how to rock your senior session

wear something that is YOU!

these pictures are supposed to be a representation of who you are. don’t wear something you’ve never worn before or try out a different style the day of the photo session. chances are you won’t feel comfortable doing that and it will show in your pictures. wear something that you feel AMAZING in. i always recommend to bring a few of your favorite outfits to wear (shoes and accessories included). wearing your favorite outfit will help you to feel comfortable and confident. plus, you know your mom is going to want to show everyone and their brother your pictures. you want them to look great! 😉

stay hydrated. 

this is a no-brainer. please bring some h2o along. this helps you to look AND feel better. be sure to drink plenty a couple of days before to help your skin and complexion. also, i know i get super grumpy if i’m thirsty. so i ALWAYS have a water bottle in my bag and if a client meets me at my house, i offer one to them as well! 🙂

pick a fun location!

some seniors have had the exact location of where they want their session. others have no clue. that’s okay! this gives us time to have a fun adventure/bonding time while driving around and finding new places to take pictures. my sister and i found this location off the side of the road. it was an abandoned road near a railroad track. so cool.



be ready to rock the elements

whether it looks like a snow globe outside or feels like the sahara desert, be prepared. be sure to bring coats, scarves, gloves, and anything else to keep you warm, if it’s a wee bit chilly outside. i always try to carry a blanket in my car for emergencies too. if it’s a scorcher out, bring stuff to keep you cool. always bring something cool to drink. also, a towel or tissues might come if you get a little overheated. oh, and if you’re a girl, bring some shorts to wear under your dress. if it’s windy, you will be so thankful you did this. it will make your life so much easier. and if ya have to do a funky pose on the ground, you won’t have to worry about showing your goods to anyone haha.

get a good night’s sleep before the session

again, this is pretty common sense. get some sleep. you don’t want to have bags under your eyes and be grumpy the day of the shoot. that will not make for a pleasant experience.

bring an extra pair of comfy shoes!

let me tell you, when inspiration strikes,  sometimes drag my clients along for the ride (or walk). we might be out on location and see a REALLY AWESOME spot to take pictures, but the only way to get there is to walk. so please please PLEASE bring some comfy shoes to switch into, because you never know what shenanigans we might get into. 😉

bring along a friend or family member

senior sessions are supposed to be fun! never hesitate to ask if a friend or family member can join. i love having quality time with my clients, but i don’t always know them like their closest friends do. having a loved one come along can help my client loosen up and produce more genuine photographs. the more the merrier 🙂

feel free to bring props or anything that would make the shoot more fun or special for you.

don’t let this go to your head, this shoot is about YOU! if you want to bring along your puppy, go ahead. if you want to bring your favorite stack of books, be my guest. if you want just have a shoot inside your room, because that’s where all of your favorite things are, i am down with that. trust me! whatever you want to happen, we can make it happen. your senior year is supposed to be a monumental time in your life. you’re finishing one stage and graduating on to another. i want to document your favorite things, so you can always remember that special time in your life.

don’t be afraid to speak up and input your ideas

if you have a pose idea you want to do, PLEASE tell me. i love hearing your input and i want this shoot to embody you 100%. if you see a sweet place to take a picture, don’t hesitate to tell me. i love new ideas and am very open minded! 🙂

be ready for anything.

i have a lot of crazy ideas that run through my head. for example, when kara and i went out to do her senior pictures, we saw this cool chain on the ground. she picked it up and worked it into her pictures. they turned out AMAZING! so cool. another senior, sarah, rocked it on the ground. i asked her if she felt comfortable to get down on the train tracks and she was game. do i have the best seniors or what?!

have fun and be you!

 senior sessions should not, in anyway, be stressful. this is supposed to be a fun time in your life. if you start to stress or worry about this, DON’T. you’re not being graded. there won’t be a test at the end of the session. this is all about having a crazy fun time! if you’re not having fun, tell me. i’ll even get ya some ice cream to make it better. 😉

here are a few more shots from some of the wonderful seniors i have worked with! 🙂

i hope this helps. anyone out here have some good tips to prepare a senior for their big session? feel free to share! 🙂

I’M  Ashley

a Richmond, Virginia WEDDING & PORTRAIT Photographer

I’m Virginia Ashley, but my friends just call me Ashley! I’m a wedding photographer based in Richmond, Virginia. Even though I live in RVA, I travel all over for photography, which is awesome because I LOVE to travel! I’ve been as far as California and have my passport burning a hole in my pocket!

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