I’m a little jealous of high school seniors today. When I had my senior photos taken, I had no idea how to get beautiful photo session hair or makeup. Youtube was only just becoming a thing so I couldn’t even consult that. I also didn’t really know that I could hire a professional to do my hair or makeup for me. Those where dark days, am I right?
Nowadays, many seniors know how to do their hair and makeup thanks to Youtube, and if they don’t want to go the DIY route, it’s easy enough for them to find and hire a professional hair and makeup artist (HMUA) so they have beautifully coifed photo session hair and makeup.
However, whether doing your hair and makeup yourself or going to a professional, there are several tips you can do to get picture perfect photo session hair and makeup for your senior photos.
It’s an old saying but it’s so true. The more you practice something the better you get at it, even if it’s practicing putting on fake eyelashes. If you’ve decided to do your own hair and/or makeup, practice the look you want to achieve in the weeks leading up to your session. Don’t leave it for the day of…you don’t need that kind of stress hours before your session.
Look up tutorials online and pay attention to the technique(s) used, go to Sephora or MAC and get a quick makeup lesson, and practice practice practice!
If you plan to hire a professional HMUA, don’t wait to schedule your appointment! Book professional hair and makeup at least 1 month before your session if it’s on a weekday and at least 2 months if it’s on a weekend. Senior session overlaps with both wedding season and pageant season so most HMUA’s availability will be extremely limited if you try to book something at the last minute.
Why should brides have all of the hair and makeup trial fun? Hair/makeup trials are a way to test-run your hair and/or makeup look before your portrait session. Many brides do this before their wedding so they can be sure that they’ll like how they look on their wedding day. In my humble opinion, portrait sessions deserve the same kind of treatment.
If you’ve hired a professional HMUA for your senior photos, ask them if they do trials and if they’d be willing to do one with you. It may cost a bit extra (they are using product on you after all) but I promise it’ll be worth the investment.
Pinterest is our best friend when it comes to finding hair and makeup inspiration. Look up photos of looks you love and bring them with you to your hair and/or makeup appointment. It’ll make your HMUA’s job easier, and get you closer to the look you want, if they can see the final look you’re verbally trying to describe.
If you plan on taking your senior photos outside and you know your hair gets frizzy with humidity, plan to hydrate your hair regularly. A moisturizing hair mask 1 to 2 times a week or a leave in conditioner after the shower is a great way to help fight frizz!
And to reduce fly away, treat your hair to a blowout a day or two before your session. Bonus because it’ll make you feel super fancy!
At the end of the day, you want to look like yourself in your senior photos. There’s no need to cover your entire face with a heavy foundation or plaster your face with a ton of makeup if you don’t normally wear it. Less is more as they say.
When covering blemishes, a little bit of concealer along with some bronzer and blush will go a long way.
Keep eyeshadow colors natural (skip the sparkly/super shimmery shadows).
Eyelashes can get lost in professional photos so help them out by adding a few extra swipes of mascara or adding in some false lashes that say “natural lashes” or “demi wispie.” Adding individual fake lashes look nice too (that’s what I did on my wedding and they looked SO FREAKING GOOD).
Avoid heavy or dark eyeliner in your lower lash line as this can make your eyes look small and beady. For the same reason, avoid doing a dark smokey eye.
If you plan on wearing lipstick, look for colors that compliment your skin tone and the outfits you’ll be wearing. Chapstick is always a good idea too because it’ll enhance the natural color of your lips as well as hydrate them.
At the end of the day, you want to feel and look like yourself in your senior photos. If your hair, makeup, and clothes make you feel comfortable and confident, that will show in your photos.
There was a chunk of time in our wedding planning when we thought we'd go without a professional photographer to save on cost (terrible idea!) but once we met with Lauren, we knew we'd be in good hands. She checked in often and asked questions that got us thinking about other parts of the wedding that we probably would've missed. Lauren captured exactly who we are as a couple!
Lauren and her team are so much fun to work with! She made us feel so comfortable on the day of our wedding, providing both silly and helpful cues to help us relax and be ourselves in our photos. Lauren’s background in dance is super helpful in recognizing simple posture changes that make a big difference, too. Oh, and the photos we got are just stunning!
My husband and I looked FOR MONTHS to find the perfect photographer and after meeting Lauren we knew was the best fit for us. She made our day so much fun and easy. She found little opportunities to make the perfect photo all with a calm ease that comes from someone who has an artistic eye along with experience in understanding the flow of a wedding.
I've been in several weddings and have worked with a multitude of photographers and I never felt as confident as I did with Lauren. I love how professional she is. She helped with the timeline way in advance and we stuck to that timeline the day of. She was also able to professionally and firmly keep unruly family members settled and focused and navigated family drama beautifully!