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Back to Basics: A Guide on Styling Senior Photos Items You Already Own!

Stressed about finding the “perfect” outfits for your senior photos? You’re not alone. But I'm here to help!

While I get the importance of wanting to look your best, I’m also of the mindset that keeping things simple is best.

We'll call this advice B2B - Back to Basics: a guide on how to style your senior photos with basic (classic) wardrobe items you probably already own.

Wondering what to wear for your senior photos? I'm sharing how you can style your senior photos with basic items you probably already own!

Ready to elevate your senior portraits with some classics?

Let’s start with everyone’s favorite - jeans!

Favorite Jeans/Denim

We all have a favorite pair of jeans we reach for, right? It’s usually because we feel good when we wear them. And when you feel good, you look good! Don’t worry if they’re distressed with rips or colored denim. If they’re your favorite - wear them for your photos.

Fun sidenote - a past client, Kayla, had two sessions with me. And both times, she was most comfortable when she changed into her favorite jeans.

photo collage showing how to style senior photos with a favorite pair of jeans or denim pants

Favorite T-Shirts

Everyday staples can add a touch of personality to your senior photos. And you can’t go wrong with a favorite shirt. Whether it's a graphic tee, vintage band shirt, or future college t-shirt, don’t be shy about showing your interests and casual side. 

how to style senior photos with favorite t-shirts

Jean Jackets

I’ll admit it: I think jean jackets add a level of laid-back coolness to senior photos. Pair it with your favorite bottoms, and it creates an effortless chic look. 

high school senior girls wearing jean jackets to style their photos

Suit Jackets / Leather Jackets / Letterman Coats

Not really into jean jackets? No worries. 

Bring a suit jacket and pair it with a tie for a GQ style.

Prefer a more casual approach? Grab your letterman jacket or a leather jacket for an edgy take!

photos of seniors wearing suit and ties and school jackets for senior photos in columbus ohio

Denim and White Shirt

You really can’t go wrong with this go-to combo. It’s classic, timeless, and failproof.

Mix and match a white shirt with your go-to jeans, a denim skirt, or your favorite shorts. It’s a versatile look that looks great on everyone and works well in any location.

high school senior photos styled with white shirts and denim bottoms

White Shirts

Speaking of white shirts, whether it’s a tank top or button-up, a classic white top never fails to look great in senior photos.

high school senior photos styled with white shirts in columbus ohio


For an effortless vibe of dressy and casual, wear your favorite sundress.

Dress them up, dress them down – either way, you're sure to look flawless. And if you’re doing photos against a field of sunflowers, trust me, a white sundress is the way to go.

senior girls wearing sundresses for senior photos in columbus ohio


Splash of Color

Last but certainly not least, don’t be afraid to add a splash of color!

If you have a colorful personality, inject that into your senior photos, too. As you can see in the photos below, a little can go a long way. 

high school senior photos in columbus ohio

Simple Hair and Makeup Styling for Senior Photos

When it comes to hair and makeup for your senior photos, the key is to keep it real. Senior photos are all about showcasing your genuine self, just with a touch of polish. 

To put it simply - don’t stress it. Wear your hair and makeup how you normally style it. 


If you want a bit of variety, wear your hair down to start your session off and throw it up or into braids mid-way through your shoot.


Opt for a tiny bit of foundation, light eye makeup, mascara, and lip gloss. Try to avoid over-the-top eyelash extensions that can create shadows on your eyes. 

hair and makeup styling tips for senior photos in columbus ohio

What to Expect: Photo Editing and Retouching

As you can see from my work, I also keep my photo editing more on the natural side of things. I aim to keep retouching subtle, so you’ll still look like you - but on your best day!

Most seniors have insecurities about skin blemishes, which is totally normal. But rest assured, I always clean up three key areas during retouching. Those are skin, eyes, and distractions. Beyond that, I’ll edit as requested to make sure you love your final images.

high school senior photographer in Columbus, Ohio providing styling tips for senior pictures

Ready to chat about your senior photo session? 

I’ll answer any questions you might still have, including those last-minute, “Wait, what do I wear?!” questions.

You’ve got this! 

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