I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but summer break is indeed coming to an end soon… but the exciting thing is that many students will be taking their senior portraits this year! This is the photo that gets hung on the living room wall and shown off arguably the most throughout your life, so you gotta make it a good one!
I didn’t take a senior photo in college, but when I was in high school, our senior photos were super important since they were larger in the yearbook than everyone else’s, with our senior quotes underneath. Mine (above) turned out alright, but hindsight is 20/20 and there are definitely some changes I would have made given the chance— so let me give you my best tips to prepare for your senior photo so you’ll love yours forever!
1. Love the Skin You’re In
Luckily, I didn’t struggle with problem skin very much in high school, and my skin was pretty clear for this photo, but I’ve heard the horror stories about breaking out right before picture day! The best thing you can do is really nail down your skin care routine at least 28 days before you take your picture. Since dermatologists say that acne medication can take anywhere from 4-8 weeks to start working, getting a head start is your best bet to a clear canvas for the photo.
Not sure where to start in picking out the right products? Try downloading the Oxy 28 Day Challenge app, which asks you questions about your skin to give you a customized and dermatologist-approved acne treatment plan with product recommendations. The recommended plans have a money-back guarantee to clear up your skin in 28 days, so you’ve got nothing to lose! The app will also send you reminders and tips to keep you on track on your road to clear skin for picture day, and you can upload before & after photos to track your progress.
2. Your Outfit is Key
I was really zeroed in on the deep purple shirt I chose for my senior portrait, and I’m glad it gave enough of a contrast against the dark background or I would have been a floating head! If you don’t know what type of backdrop the photographer will be using, it’s best to have a couple of options in mind that you absolutely love and wouldn’t mind shooting in either way. That way, you don’t clash or blend in to the background.
Ty to avoid loud patterns like stripes, as they usually don’t translate well on camera and probably won’t be distinct when the photo is shrunken down for the yearbook.
Wear a nude bra underneath your outfit so you don’t risk the flash exposing more than you want— it will also help conceal straps that may be peeking out under your blouse. And please, for the love of god, don’t wear spaghetti straps. Also, avoid strapless shirts/dresses. I promise: you will look naked.
Pick accessories that don’t reflect too much, since you want your face to be the key feature.
3. Find the Right Makeup Balance
So ironically, here’s one area that I wish I could change for my own senior portrait. It’s a good idea to go a little heavier with your makeup so that you don’t look washed out in the photo, but if I were to do it again, I wouldn’t have gone with the black smoky eye I chose to wear. I think the dark colors made my eyes look smaller almost hooded.
Instead, I would go with softer shades but still adding extra definition around the eyes with a few extra coats of mascara and winged liner, with a nice matte brown in the crease. Inner corner highlighting will also help keep your eyes looking open and bright.
Adding just a tad more blush and contour than you would normally wear will help keep the definition in your face through the flash— I wish I had used a little more contour in my own photo!
4. Care About Your Hair
In this case, I was glad they used a dark background because you can’t see my flyaway very much. The night before the photo, use a deep conditioning treatment so that your hair is smooth and frizz-free, and follow up with an oil the next morning while styling for a boost of shine.
I also regret that my bangs covered one of my eyes in the photo, casting even more shadow onto my face. Bring bobby pins that blend in with your hair color if you constantly struggle with waving your hair out of your face. You can also afford to be liberal with hair spray for the photo since you’re not capturing movement.
Since most yearbook photos are taken straight on, I would suggest leaving your hair down so that you don’t look like you’ve suddenly chopped off all your hair when it’s hiding in a ponytail or bun.
Overall, accentuating your natural beauty and stay true to what makes you feel like you! Trying a brand new look or style for the photo can easily backfire, so do what’s comfortable to you and you’ll end up with a photo you’ll love.
What are your best picture day tips?
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Oxy . The opinions and text are all mine.