What to Wear: How to Dress Teens and Seniors for a Portrait Session

Free Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets by MCP™

What to Wear: How to Dress Teens and Seniors for a Portrait Session

What to Wear {Part 3: Teens and Seniors}

As a photographer, it can help your customers when you direct them on what to wear. The next number of weeks, guest writer Kelsey Anderson will be providing information to help you coach your customers on what to wear.

When booking a portrait session I think it is almost always a given that the client is going to ask for suggestions on what to wear. I struggled with this question when I was first starting out. My clients would come dressed in matching outfits or in the same color head to toe. These clothing choices do not make for the most visually appealing image, right?

I knew that I had to change my clients way of thinking when it came to choosing outfits for their portraits. I personally believe that is part of my job to help style a session. This gives my clients another reason to hiring me over going to a chain portrait studio. I always tell them to choose items with good color, texture (ie, knits, ruffles, denim) and accessories. I tell them to think coordinating not matching. I even go as far as offering to come to their homes and dig through their closet with them or tell them to bring a trunk full of options and we can put together outfits on location.

When I do sessions with teens or high school seniors I tell them to bring the majority of their closet. I kid you not I have had seniors show up with a trunk full of clothing. I give them my ‘color, layers, textures, accessories’ talk and tell them to bring everything that falls into that category. I think seeing their complete wardrobe also gives you a chance to see who they really are and you can work with their personal style. I don’t want to put them in clothing they wouldn’t normally wear unless they are up for that and want to step out of their norm. I want to build off of their basics. Mix and match pieces to create a look that is them but not their everyday wear.

Here are a few items I love for teen and senior sessions.  I like to keep ideas of clothing choices fresh in my clients head and don’t want to have to have them dig through my blog to find them.

what to wear for a senior portraits

Clothing in images – Forever21 (girls) and Old Navy, Gap, and Piperlime (guys)

Other Store Suggestions:

Forever 21
Urban Outfitters
Heritage 1981
Lucky Brand

Kelsey Anderson is a natural light photographer in Las Vegas, Nevada. Specializing in maternity, newborn, baby, children, senior and family photography.

Free Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets by MCP™
Previous post
Memorial Day Picture Share ~ Photos of Patriotism
Next post
Accounting in Photography: Why It's Important for Your Business


  1. February 25, 2012 at 4:13 pm —

    Hi Jodi,

    I visit your web site very often. I just saw your article regarding clothing and if I may, I have a funny question, where do they get change? Seriously I am a bit baffled. I don’t have a studio (home based business)and each time I take people to on-location session I just advice them what to wear and this one outfit is what they will wear.

    I think it’s intriguing when a client can bring many outfits and the fun begins but do you have any advice on how to be able to change comfortably :-).

    Oh ya, also, the post processing on the images in this article was done with PS or Lightoom?


  2. November 21, 2010 at 1:04 pm —

    Hi friends.. as you are well aware, christmas is comming fast:-) Im in a bit of a pickle, because my friend which is really into fashion wont give me a wish list, and I have no idea what so ever what to get her.

    So this is the deal, she is 32 years old, I know she loves hats and athletic wear, but what to get her for christmas? My budget is around 200$… Also, It really should be available near New York…. If any of you could come up with some ideas I would be so ever thankfull:-)

    Regards and merry Christmas

  3. Shelley
    September 10, 2010 at 12:47 pm —

    Will I be able to post this link on my blog?

  4. erin lundy
    June 8, 2010 at 12:54 pm —

    Can you tell me more about your ‘color, layers, textures, accessories’ talk.


  5. June 8, 2010 at 11:39 am —

    Hi Kelsey,
    Where do get the clothing clip art?

  6. June 1, 2010 at 3:41 pm —

    Wendy – I actually have an outfit like this on right now and not ‘trampy’ at all. I can see how the leggings may possibly make you think that but being a mother of 3 I wouldn’t dare wear something that could be construed as ‘trampy’ lol However that being said this style isn’t for everyone but it is for sure the trend for today 🙂

  7. June 1, 2010 at 1:33 pm —

    Love the clothes suggestion for a guy, but the girl’s looks a little trampy to me. Really appreciate your What to Wear Guide. I’m always sending people over to check it out!

Leave a reply




What to Wear: How to Dress Teens and Seniors for a Portrait Session