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  • Writer's pictureMichael Thomas


Checkout these helpful tips on what to expect for a high school senior session.

High school seniors come to us unsure of how a senior portrait session “works.” It’s mostly the unknowing of what to wear and what to expect; most seniors just kind of show up, which is not what we want at all. Our expectations for a senior portrait shoot is a relaxed, enjoyable session with everyone excited about seizing their moment.

We wanted to create a blog that sorts out the confusion. Senior sessions are quite honestly the most fun photo shoots for us because of their excitement for a new adventure and the adult freedom that’s feels so close.

These 5 tips will give you a better understanding a M. Thomas Photography high school senior portrait session.


The phrase “better late than never” doesn’t apply to high school senior portrait sessions. Because of strict deadlines for yearbook photos, graduation parties, and order processing, it’s SO important to get your pictures done “sooner rather than later.”

A good time to book your senior session is during the summer/early fall. Many high school’s have an early deadline for yearbook photos and missing that deadline would mean high school memories lost. You would be a blank space next to your friends in the laminated yearbook you would otherwise pass down to your grandchildren. Don’t let that happen!

You also have to consider photograph graduation cards for Thank You’s and grad party invites. If your parents or grandparents or aunts and uncles would like physical copies of your photographs, that’s important to get taken care of early as well! The last thing you want to do (or your parents want to do) is scramble around getting everything in place while you’re working on college prep or planning your last summer vacation as a high school senior.


This is the BIGGEST concern we hear from our high school seniors. What you wear is not as important as how you feel wearing it. We like to tell our seniors (and all clients) you should wear something you know you’ll feel confident in. It may show off your features, like your sparkling eyes, your flowing hair, or beautiful smile. Or it’s your favorite color blue. Whatever the reason, wear something you love.

Dress as if you’re out for a nice dinner or school function. For girls, we suggest either a dress, flowy skirt, or your favorite pair of blue jeans. For guys, we think button ups look nice or single colored T’s with a pair of nice pants/jeans. We suggest a maximum of 3 outfit changes for diversity, but anymore than this and you spend more time changing clothes than taking photos!


If it is one thing that Missouri does not have a short supply of it is beautiful scenery! Whether it is a local state park, a downtown, or at your uncles back 20 acres, you can choose to have your senior portraits anywhere you’d like (within reason!). If you can’t think of any location, we provide beautiful options like wooded areas, fields of flowers, rustic barnyards, or chic downtown cityscapes.

Location also provides character to your portrait. Where do you feel comfortable? How do you want to represent yourself against whatever backdrop you choose? Are you more interested in urban downtown? Do rolling hills and nature fit more with your personality? Choosing a location is more than just a pretty back screen. It’s a place where you feel at home.

If you’re still unsure about location, send us an email and we’ll gladly show you some great spots!


After your shoot you’re probably thinking….okay now what? Now is the important part: your Design Consultation.

Your Design Consultation is YOUR experience. We take time with you while you view your personalized slideshow of photographs and look over our product examples. This is where we design your photographs into actual physical products.

Letting your photographs sit as “images” in a unopened file folder on your desktop is not worth the amount of time and funds you’ve invested in taking your photographs. Getting your photographs into the hands of your family, onto your walls (whether it be Acrylic, Canvas, Metal, or Fine Art Prints) and on display for the world to see is what’s most important.

Your design consultation involves touching, feeling, experiencing your photographs in albums, frames, crystal blocks, and so much more. Images remain digital, photographs last a lifetime.


Ladies, you do not need to go overboard on make up! Its absolutely up to you if you want your make up done professionally (we can suggest great people) or do you own. The key is to still look like yourself, just polished. Guys, if you are prone to razor burn when shaving, take into consideration to give your skin time to adjust before your session. Don't stress if you want up to a blemish on your-we can easily photoshop them out for you. Another tip we love, the night ahead of your scheduled shoot, get a decent night sleep, drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and for your skin to look its best.


Your photos are done, your grad cards are sent out, and your products are ordered. You’ve finished your senior pictures and now you have all these great photographs in your home, on your mantle and in albums to share with your family and friends.

As a guiding tip for graduating seniors, we can take a few headshot photographs during your session you can use for starting your career path. This head shot could go on your social media, your website, resume, portfolio, or any other professional avenue you wish to use when starting your journey into your career, whether academic or professional.

Now you can focus on the bigger things, like getting ready for your next adventure!

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