First and foremost, these photos are about YOU! There are some general guidelines that I will go over, but some things may not reflect who you are and more than anything we want your portraits to represent YOU! If you have any questions, please ask. I’d rather that you asked ahead of time when I can help you decide on a look that is best for you than to have you unhappy with how your portraits turn out. Some rules are okay to break depending on the situation. But keep in mind that sometimes the key to success is simplicity.

I look forward to our session together!

Wendy Atkinson | Senior Portrait Photographer Serving High School Seniors in Bristow VA, Haymarket VA, Manassas VA, Gainesville VA, Prince William and Fauquier Counties.

Some non-negotiable items first:

DO NOT DO ANYTHING NEW right before your session! If you have always wanted to try a new hair color, it’s not a good idea to change right before your session. The same thing applies to haircuts, a new "do" right before portraits might not turn out exactly how you wanted or imagined it.

PLEASE IRON YOUR CLOTHES or have them wrinkle free. I cannot emphasize enough how important this is to the overall look of your portraits. Ask mom, she is generally happy to help with this part!

Please do not tan right before or have sunburned skin for the session. Red peeling skin does not look attractive.

Relax, no need to be nervous. If you feel uncomfortable, you are going to look uncomfortable. No need to worry, I will take care of everything during your time with me. Blemishes can be touched up. Please let me know before the session if there is anything (such as scars or small markings) you would like removed in the post processing of your portraits. These are usually easy fixes that are done with some retouching, but I appreciate knowing ahead of time so I can retouch everything at once. Braces, tattoos, etc. can be removed for an additional fee.

Personalization: As I said before, this session is all about YOU! Please complete my Senior Questionnaire and return it to me at least a week prior to your session so that together we can create images that you and your family will love. I want you to bring props and clothing that represents your interests, sports teams, musical talents, etc. to your session. Anything that helps define YOU!

General Guidelines for Ladies and Guys:

Try to choose colors that complement your eyes and skin tone. These are generally things that you like to wear and think look nice on you. Bright colors tend to overpower your skin tone and can create strange color casts as well. Small patterns are generally okay, large prints are best avoided.

Darker colors such as black, dark blue, dark brown, dark green and maroon tend to photograph well and also make subjects look slimmer. White and very light colors tend to wash out your skin.

When choosing a session in which you will have outfit changes, plan out your whole outfit: shirt, pants, shoes and socks if needed. Remember white socks and black pants don’t look so great in a full length portrait.

Generally, clothing that is either extremely large/baggy clothing or small/revealing does not provide the most flattering photographs. Clothes that fit properly are going to photograph so much better. It is also suggested that you wear "in season" clothing. Hot pink in a fall background doesn’t exactly make for the best color combination.

Most places we will go for locations will have a bathroom for you to change in, however some may not. This will be something we need to discuss in advance if you are planning to have an outfit change.

Get a good night’s sleep the night before! I know you are a senior in high school, and your job is to stay up late; however dark circles, red eyes, and bags do nothing for your portraits, trust me!

If you have a class ring, you should plant to bring it. You don’t have to wear it for every photograph, but it would be nice to have a few with it on.

Things to keep in mind for the Ladies:

My first recommendation is that if you have never had a make up consultation, please consider one at least two weeks before our scheduled session. I highly recommend that you contact my good friend and make up consultant Charlene Beckett. She will help you to look stunning for your portraits! 703-930-4987

Generally, longer sleeves and full length dresses/skirts/slacks produce more flattering portraits.

It is recommended that you wear close to what you normally would wear on any given day in terms of your make up. It is not a good idea to overdo your make up; you want to still look like you!

Give some thought to your undergarments. If you look in the mirror and can see your bra straps slipping out of your outfit, please consider wearing something else.

Consider wearing layers and accessories. Layers look very nice and provide a variety of portrait combination. Think about a scarf or a light jacket, and we can photograph with and without the extra layer.

Nails, the simpler, the better! Choosing a light shade or just having clear clean nails can provide a timeless look to your portraits. If you want to try a few with your shoes off, consider a pedicure as well. Keep in mind that "trendy" colors are going to date your portraits very quickly.

Hair! If you are looking for a great stylist I highly recommend you contact Tracie Sekol at Salon Nordine in Gainesville. She is amazing! (703) 753-6971

Things to keep in mind for the Guys:

Generally, long sleeves and jeans or slacks look best in photographs. However, I have a husband who is one of those people that wears short sleeves so often that it’s almost out of character for him to wear anything else. If you are the same way, I totally understand.

Please do NOT get a haircut the day of your session. If your really need a haircut, I suggest you get one about a week before your session so it has a little time to grow out.

It is recommended that you shave or trim facial hair either the night before or the morning of the session. A clean shaven look helps to enhance your portraits.