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Sunday, April 10, 2011

Senior Portrait Sessions - What to Wear with guest blogger Dawn Fryxell | Maris Ehlers Photography

Senior pictures are a rite of passage for most high school students.  They are fun to think about and look at, but planning them can be stressful for both students and parents.  

As you plan for your senior portrait session with Maris Ehlers Photography, planning ahead about what to wear can help you make the most of your senior portrait time and investment.  

As a fashion stylist who has worked with Maris for over a year now, here are some tips and ideas that I hope you will find helpful:   

 Dawn's Senior Portrait Fashion Advice: 

Stick to solids or subtle prints.  Not only can they overwhelm the portrait, but they can limit what your photographer can use for a background, etc. 

Scoop neck tee
$14 -

Low rise bootcut jeans
$89 -

Crystal earring
$12 -

Mallory, (Buffalo High School 2011) had on a great cream blouse.  Had she been wearing something really busy, we couldn't have taken advantage of this great mural behind her. 

Same goes for clothing with lots of words and numbers on them.  They look cool now, but what about in 5 years?  Remember, these will be hanging on the walls for a LONG time.  


Guy Look 1 - Classic

Guy Look 1 - Classic by dfryxell on

Here Devon (Wayzata High School 2011) shows just the right amount of "text" on a shirt.  Simple, not overwhelming, and not the focal point of the image. 

    Skip the trendy trends.  A senior portrait investment is a significant one, and so you don't want to hate the clothes that you chose a few short years later. Classic styles look fresh year after year.  Think polo or button down shirts for guys and feminine dresses or blouses for girls.

    Add a splash of color.  Incorporate some color in your outfits.  Guys – try a colored polo or shirt with your jeans.  Girls – wear color in your shirt or dress or a pop of color with your shoes or scarf.  
    Grant chose a colored t-shirt and dark hoodie for this series, dressed up a bit with a pair of grey cords.  It was a cold morning and the sun added just the right touch of light for a dramatic and unique portrait.  One of my favorites. 

    Frye button boot
    $328 -

    Silvertone jewelry
    $18 -

    Kohls jewelry
    $14 -

    Start with your favorite jeans.  Simply a must, and then dress them up or down with your other choices.  Girls – pair your jeans with a blouse, sweater or leather jacket.  Guys – your jeans go perfectly with your favorite tee or button down shirt.

    Kelsey (Buffalo High School 2011) chose a gorgeous feminine blouse for this series.  Not only did it set off her eyes, but the greens and pinks worked really well with the tall grass. 

    Make sure your clothes fit well.  Don’t squeeze into a tight shirt or tight pants.  Ill fitted clothes, whether too big or too small, do not capture YOU at your best.  Clothes that fit well will create a more polished, finished look. 

    Skinny jeans
    $34 -

    Lauren Conrad chiffon top
    $36 -

    Lauren Conrad shoes
    $65 -

    Kohls jewelry
    $12 -

    Wallace White Curtain Panel
    $60 -

    Accessorize.  Add some of your own style with your accessories.  Girls – add in earrings, necklace, bracelet or cocktail ring.  Just keep it simple and don’t OVER accessorize.   Guys – not much to do here - your favorite watch can work well, but sometimes a photographer will ask you to remove it if it is too distracting.  

    Rachael is also from Buffalo High School (2011), and this flower in her hair is not only one of her favorite hair accessories, but was a PERFECT add on for this image.  It makes it playful, exotic, and shows of her hair.  Gorgeous!

    Create multiple looks – Be sure to choose a variety of of clothing designs and patterns, such as formal, trendy, sporty, preppy, casual, etc.  Most importantly, make sure your looks represent YOU!!  Also remember that moms and grandmothers probably want something a little more traditional, and you can easily accomodate them with at least one of your choices.  

    Gap The Vintage Khaki
    $50 -

    Shop Men's Shoes: Casual  – DSW

    Props do matter.  From Maris, adding in props that are personal to you can create memorable images that capture your personality and interests.  A musical instrument, a hobby, sporting equipment, can all help tell a story in an image, so don't be afraid to tell Maris what your interests are, or if you have something specific in mind for your shoot.  Even if it's your car or truck. 

    Katie, from Maple Grove High School (2011) loves to read.  She brought a set of antique classic novels to her session, and you can just feel the vibe of an idyllic summer afternoon spent with her nose in a book. 

    Grant brought his guitar to his session, and it was a great way to infuse his personality into his images. 
    Alex, another guitar player (and already a student at McNally Smith College of Music), let me capture this fantastic series by his family home while he played.  It was awesome!
    Lastly, modest IS hottest.  Fun and flirty work, but this is not the time for over the top sexy.  Go for classy, stylish, and a look that’s you, and you really can’t go wrong.  

    Here Nina, from Buffalo High School (2011) chose a simple blue sweater with a great neckline and tiny pattern of color.  It was easy to work with, kept the focus on her, and photographed beautifully. 

    Yet to come this week, we'll be announcing the MEP 2012 Senior Reps, the new MEP Senior Session Packages and Products, and much more! 

    20 x 10 custom collages now available mounted and framed or ready to frame! 

    If you are going to be a senior and AREN'T on our mailing list already, click here.  You'll receive a FREE 5 x 7 professional print from your session with us just for signing up! 

    Of course Dawn is available to style you for your MEP Senior Session, {wow} session or do a closet revamp / shop for style.  She can be reached on facebook and via email.  

    1 comment:

    Stacey Beck said...

    Thanks for the advice. My daughter is getting her senior portraits in Cincinnati taken tomorrow and we have been clueless about what she should wear. This helps a lot, because as we look back on them we don't want them to look outdated.