A few general tips for both girls and guys:

Flaunt your personality:  The number one rule of choosing clothing for your senior portrait session is simple: wear what reflects your personality!

Do you have a necklace that you love and wear all the time? Bring it.

Is being apart of a sports team a big part of your life? Wear your uniform.

Do you like to stand out by wearing bold colors and patterns? Do it up!

Senior Portraits are all about showing off who you are at this point in your life. This is all about you! We don’t recommend buying a new outfit (unless you absolutely love it) just for your Senior Portraits.

We want you to feel absolutely natural, so pick outfits that you find yourself wearing a lot and that make you feel confident. The more comfortable you are the more amazing your pictures will be- let your outfit work for you!

Also consider your Session Style and Session Type. If you choose an Urban Session Style, consider clothing that would look great in an urban setting next to buildings, concrete, and lots of texture.

Solids, patterns, and styles:  Be sure to bring a variety of clothes including solid colors (a must!) and clothing that varies in texture, patterns, design, and style. Solid colors are important because they aren’t busy and distracting, putting the focus on YOU. They also work great outside in contrast to the detail and distracting elements of the great outdoors. Avoid large patterns, wide stripes, and large logos. They tend to be “faddish”, busy, and attention-hogging. We love texture in clothing because light falling over it can create interesting shadows and highlights.

Get ready for your close-up:  For close-up or yearbook poses, pay attention to the sleeve-style and neckline of your shirt. Long sleeves or three-quarter sleeves work best, while short sleeves or sleeveless shirts should be avoided. A neckline that comes up to the base of the neck, like a collared shirt or a V-neck top will thin the neck and frame your face beautifully. Avoid wide open necklines, as they tend to thicken the neck. If you have a slightly longer neck, choose a shirt with a higher neckline. If you have a shorter neck, choose a shirt with a slight V-neck.

Don’t be afraid to accessorize:  Jewelry, hats, props, instruments, a vintage camera, pets…the sky is the limit!  Get creative and include accessories in your Senior Portraits to make a statement about your personality. Even one or two items can add a nice finishing touch to your pictures.

Common accessories include jewelry specific to an outfit, guitars, hats, your car, and sports gear. Also, don’t forget to change up your look with different pairs of shoes.


Preparation Tips for Senior Girls Photo Sessions
(Preparation tips for the Senior Guys - Scroll to the bottom of the page)

Being well prepared for you senior photo session can make the difference between average and fabulous photos. Follow these easy tips and you’ll be well on your way to looking your absolute best. If you have any additional questions, feel free to contact us.

Mindset:  Have fun!  We’re going to make you look great and you’ll have a great time. That’s why you chose Abigayle Ray Photography. Relax. We like to think we’re rather cool and easy to get along with. Plus, we help you with posing, so there’s no pressure on you.

Style:  You’re unique and beautiful.  Follow our guidelines but be yourself in how you dress. Be fashionable. Wear clothing that’s stylish and put a lot of thought into your choices. This is a unique opportunity and we want you to look amazing!

Clothing:  We give you unlimited wardrobe changes, so bring A LOT of options. The more outfits we have to choose from, the better. This will give us flexibility in matching your clothing to backgrounds and the surroundings.

Group your outfits together on hangers. Make sure items are ironed and ready to go.

Plan on changing quickly. The faster you change, the more time we have to photograph and the more photo choices you’ll have later.

Make sure you’re comfortable in your clothing and that it flatters you. This will ensure that you like how you look when viewing your photos.

If you’re self-conscious about your arms, avoid sleeveless or cap-sleeve shirts and tank tops, as they tend to make arms look fuller.

Avoid stripes and plaid. Solid colors photograph much better than busy patterns.

Bring a variety of colors and mix the level of styles. Some should be dressy, some dressy-casual, and some casual.

If you’re comfortable in dresses, bring them! They photograph really well and offer a nice variety from your other casual clothing choices. We can mix dressy and casual dresses for some great looks.

Undergarments:  Please make sure the colors of your undergarment coordinate well with your outfits and don’t show through your clothing. If you need a strapless, please bring one to your session. Tucking or moving straps will not always work or give the most pleasing look. Check ahead of time to ensure that undergarments don’t leave unpleasing lines underneath your clothing.

Shoes:  Wear heels! Whether pumps or boots, dressy or casual, plain or sassy, heels really make you stand out and look glamorous. Flats can also work well if you mix them with the right outfit.

Hair:  Although we try to help with hair, it is hard to know what your hair “is supposed to look like.” Make sure you like the look or let the photographer know your preferences. Better yet, bring your best friend with you for the session and he or she can help. Hair style is ultimately YOUR responsibility. Any hair changes during the session should be quick and simple so you have as much camera time as possible.

Bring hair spray, clips, pins, and whatever else is needed to keep your hair out of your eyes if it’s windy. Also bring a brush and mirror for quick hair touch-ups.

Do not make drastic changes to your hairstyle right before your photo session.

Finger & Toe Nails:  If you paint your nails, make sure they’re done well for your session. Chipped nail paint will show and distract from you. Avoid bright colors that will distract from you and may not work with all your outfits. Instead, opt for basic or natural tones.

Makeup:  Makeup that is well done is one of the best preparations you can make for your session. It will even out skin tones and help give your photos that extra pop for a model-like look. Even if you don’t normally wear makeup or wear very little, take the time to do it well and your photos will look their best.

Makeup should only be slightly heavier than normal. Mascara should be clean and not clumpy. Avoid makeup with an SPF because it tends to create a shine. Summer shine can be controlled by using translucent powder that knocks out shine without adding additional color.

Jewelry:  Keep it simple. Big, shiny jewelry can distract from the important subject, you. If you have different jewelry for different outfits, you might put each set of jewelry in a plastic baggie and hang it on the hanger with that outfit.

All that being said, the proper jewelry can really complement your outfit. It’s nice to have a variety to choose from and it doesn’t hurt to bring numerous options with you.

Complexion:  Makeup helps a lot here, but we do retouch your photos, so please don’t be concerned about minor breakouts. We have you covered! If your acne is more severe, you’re still okay. We had bad acne is high school and understand! We’re happy to help you out with some extra retouching.

Braces:  If desired, we can remove braces in Photoshop for an extra charge. Otherwise, try not to worry about them. Give a natural smile and enjoy yourself. A good smile with braces is far better than the awkward smile that comes when you try to hide them.

Props:  They’re great! Bring props that help show who you are. Some popular choices are:

• Sports equipment (soccer ball, basketball, softball bat, etc.) 
• Uniforms (sports, band, cheer)
• Musical instruments
• Your Artwork
• Activity related items (dance, art, school clubs, etc.)
• bring what interests you!

Friends & Parents:  Friends or parents are welcome and often can be a help. You’re welcome to have a couple of shots with a boyfriend, best friend, sibling, or parent at no extra charge.

Weather:  Don’t worry about clouds because they actually even out the light and make for ideal shooting conditions. But falling rain is an issue and we will have to reschedule. We will try to contact you first, but please call us at (406) 792-5285 if you have any doubts or concerns.


Preparation Tips for Senior Guys Photo Sessions

Mindset:  Photographing males is much different than photographing females and we understand that. We’ll make you look like a guy, so relax. You won’t feel uncomfortable or have to do any awkward, girly posing.

Clothing:  We give you unlimited wardrobe changes, so bring A LOT of options. The more clothes we have to choose from, the better. This will give us flexibility in matching your clothing to backgrounds and the surroundings. Group your clothing together on hangers. Make sure items are free of wrinkles and ready to go. (Please don’t come everything stuffed into a gym bag like many guys have done.) Make sure you’re comfortable in your clothing and that it flatters you. This will ensure that you like how you look when viewing your photos. Avoid stripes and plaid. Solid colors work much better than patterns. Bring a variety of colors and mix the level of styles. Some should be dressy, some dressy-casual, and some casual. Bring black and/or dark gray t-shirts to wear under other shirts. White undershirts stick out and photograph poorly. Avoid t-shirts with large graphics or logos. They distract from the main subject, which is you.

Shoes:  We don’t expect you to get as excited as the girls about shoes, but bring a variety of casual and dressier shoes. Avoid gym shoes or flip-flops since these will appear too casual when viewing your photos.

Shaving:  Please come to your session cleanly shaven. Retouching stubble costs extra and won’t look as good as a clean shave. If you have facial hair that your mom despises, do her a favor and shave it off. We promise it will grow back.

Hair:  If you have longer hair, make sure it will stay out of your eyes during your session. Have it trimmed if necessary. Don’t make any drastic changes like shaving your head or dying your hair around your session date. Otherwise you’ll look back at your photos and wonder “What was I thinking?”

Complexion:  We retouch your photos, so please don’t be concerned about minor breakouts. We have you covered! If your acne is more severe, you’re still okay. We had bad acne is high school and understand! We’re happy to help you out with some extra retouching.

Braces:  If desired, we can remove braces in Photoshop for an extra charge. Otherwise, try not to worry about them. Give a natural smile and enjoy yourself. A good smile with braces is far better than the awkward smile that comes when you try to hide them.

Props:  They’re great! Bring props that help show who you are. Some popular choices are:

• Sports equipment (football, basketball, baseball bat, etc.)
• Sports uniforms
• Musical instruments
• Activity related items (dance, art, school clubs, etc.)

Friends & Parents:  Friends or parents are welcome and often can be a help. You’re welcome to have a couple of shots with a girlfriend, best friend, sibling, or parent at no extra charge.

Weather:  Don’t worry about clouds because they actually even out the light and make for ideal shooting conditions. But falling rain is an issue and we have to reschedule. We will try to contact you first, but please call us at (406) 792-5285 if you have any doubts or concerns.