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I’m Dakota, a Wilmington, NC-based photographer helping engaged couples feel comfortable in front of the camera and creative businesses grow with purposeful brand imagery.

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How To Prep For Your Senior Session

November 8, 2019

Seniors, Vlog

You’re all ready for your senior session, locations are mapped out, and now all you have to do is get ready!!! This is the part that seems to stress the most people out but it’s going to be okay. There is a lot to do but it’s supposed to be fun!

First things first, WHAT DO YOU WEAR?!

There is a lot that goes into choosing your outfits. It depends on your style, the season, what you want to remember about your senior year, and what is going to look the most flattering.

I recommend bringing at least 2 different outfits and some of my seniors bring up to 4 or 5. I like having variety but you also don’t want to spend half of your session changing!! I suggest bringing a casual outfit and something a little more dressy.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when you are picking out your outfits:

1. Be Comfortable!!! 

If you’re not comfortable in what you’re wearing, it’s going to show. These should be your favorite, special occasion worthy, totally love myself in this outfits.

If you’re not used to wearing tight fitting clothes, then don’t feel pressured to. If you are self conscious about your arms or legs, wear something that doesn’t draw attention to those areas. We will be sitting on the ground, potentially laying, walking, and doing other movements so make sure you will be comfortable doing that!

One thing to take note of when it comes to tight clothes is that I know everyone loves a good slouchy sweater or shift dress. However they don’t usually photograph well. If you’re going to wear something flowy, it’s best to pair it with something form fitting. This could look like skinny jeans with a flowy top or a dress with an empire waist or something that cinches at the waist.

2. Think Bright! 

I know you love wearing black but it doesn’t photograph as well either. Choosing colors that will POP and will compliment your skin tones will be the best option for loving your photos.

I love to play with different solids and patterns, depending on your locations. If you’re going to be somewhere busy with a lot of flowers I will pair one of your solid color options with it. I usually seek out locations without distractions because I love for you to wear patterns!

3. Mix It Up And Dress Up! 

If you’re a #DakotaHerseySenior then you probably spend most of your days in a pair of yoga pants or nike shorts. That’s totally cool –– me too! Your senior photos are a chance to really dress up and have fun though! I say to bring a mix of casual and dressier outfits, but even your casual outfits should be a little dressier than normal.

That be done through your accessories or even just your shoes! I always recommend wearing some type of heel because it adds to your confidence and makes your legs look awesome!

You can have an outfit with jeans, maybe one with shorts, a dress, romper…whatever you’re feeling. Having variety in your clothes allows me flexibility with your posing!

4. Don’t Forget The Details! 

When it comes to accessories, make sure to not forget them!!! You can change a whole outfit with a necklace and earrings. I recommend putting them in bags specific to the outfits so you can make sure everything is in the right place when you are changing.

Shoes are part of your accessories too, and you’ll want to make sure that you have a pair of shoes for every outfit. Bring the right bras and underwear too because I can’t photoshop bra straps out of photos either!! Some girls just wear sticky boobs with all of their outfits so they don’t have to think about that at all.

5. Schedule Professional Makeup and Hair

OUTSIDE OF CLOTHES…is makeup and hair! Having professional makeup is a HUGE plus to your photos because make up artists know how to do just enough makeup to make you stand out in your photos but still look natural.

If you want to do your makeup yourself, make sure to do it darker than normal so you don’t get washed out! It’ll feel unnatural in the mirror but look fabulous in photos! Fake eyelashes are also something that I recommend to everyone to add a little extra something to feel glam.

When it comes to hair, make sure to keep in mind the locations that you will be going and how your hair will respond…aka if you’re hair is going to fizz and puff up from being outside make sure to prepare for that!

If you’re going to be on the beach, waves and curls work best with the wind and still looking natural and put together. 

Now on the day of your session it’s important to arrive on time so we can go through your outfits and pair them up with the locations we’ve decided on and then get started!

As you’re packing up your outfits, make sure you have a way to carefully pack them to avoid wrinkles, I can’t take wrinkles out of clothing! and carry them if we need to. Most of the time you’ll change in the car or in a nearby restroom. 

If you are reading this because you’re a Dakota Hersey senior I am SO excited to meet you and work with you!!!!

If you need anything specific shoot me an email and I’ll do my best to help! I want this to be a flawless experience for you so if you have any questions at all it’s best to ask beforehand so you feel fully prepared.


I’m Dakota, a Wilmington, NC-based photographer Helping engaged couples feel comfortable in front of the camera and creative businesses grow with purposeful brand imagery.

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