10 Ways to Prepare for your College Senior Session

STICK WITH US FOR #10! It's a VERY important one!

Before senior sessions, we usually send our seniors a list of small things to do or things to remember before their shoot. So, we decided to share that list with you all! Maybe you know a senior who could use a few tips. We hope these help! Shout out to this amazing group of seniors featured in today's post! Emily, Jes, Jess, Dorish, Lauren, Tori, Maggie, Carolina, Casey, Alyssa, Lizzie, and Sarah, we LOVED hanging out with you on this Wednesday morning! Thank you for letting us celebrate with you all and congratulations on your upcoming graduation! We cannot wait to see where life after Penn State leads you!

1. Location(s)

Pick out locations that photograph nicely and are important to you! You’ll probably want some photos in front of Old Main because it’s beautiful, classic, and will always have a special place in your heart! If you have a special desk in the library, it might be nice to get a photo on Pattee Lawn! If you live for a downtown bar, coffee shop or met your best friends at a yoga studio, consider those locations! If you do pick multiple locations, remember that driving or even walking to those nearby spots take up a lot of your session.

P.S. Don't forget quarters for the meters if you do drive! OR do your session early, while parking is free!

2. Decide Time of Day

We love working around the sun. Two hours after sunrise, and two hours before sunset are PRIME for photography! However, some things you'll want to consider are crowds, lines to the iconic lion statue, class changes, etc. This session was done from 8:30-9:30 am in late March. This brings us to our next point...

3. Plan early

*Winter grads might have an easier time with this since the weather is nice and the leaves are the prettiest in late October or early November!*

The earlier in the semester you plan your grad photos the less likely you are to be stuck in a 2-hour long line at your school's most popular spots! If you’ve already waited and it’s finals week, no worries, plan an early morning photo session! This will also prevent big crowds and lots of people filling the backgrounds of your photos!

4. Decide what session works for you and your group.

Is your group always on time or does organizing your crew feel like herding kittens? Think about this when planning your session.

30-minute session: Perfect for the solo or duo grad who is looking for photos at one location and 20-30 photos

60-minute session: Groups of four or more are strongly encouraged to opt for an hour or longer photo session. This allows time for headshots (update that LinkedIn! We want you to get a job as much as your parents do!), solo cap and gown photos, big and small group photos.

90-minute + session: Perfect for groups (3-8 people) who want more photos and more locations! Headshots, solo cap and gown photos, big group photos, small group photos, and more creative photos like cap toss photos!

*Feel free to ask if you’re not sure what session would work best for your group! We’re happy to talk through it!

5. Make sure you have everything AND your name is on it!

Checklist: Cap, Gown, Tassel

If you're taking pictures with a group of people, write your initials on your cap and gown! Or run the risk of walking across the stage with a gown fit for someone six inches taller or shorter than you!

6. Press Your Gown

Even if you don’t have an iron, bring your gown in the bathroom with you when you shower and let the steam do its thing! You want people to look at your pictures and see how wonderful you look, not immediately notice that you're wearing a new gown, straight out of the bag.

7. Clean Those Kicks

Check the bottoms of your heals for size stickers! In one of my favorite graduation photos I was sitting on top of the lion shrine kicking my heels up - super cute – but all I can look at is the bright orange size 9 sticker on the bottom of my shoe! Learn from my mistake!

8. Bring Extra Shoes

Bring a comfortable pair of shoes too! If you know walking home after an hour of photos in heels just won’t happen, make sure you bring flip flops.

9. Bring a Bag

We listed a lot of things, bring a bag for them! Especially if you're with a group, things can get mixed up easily! Bags are also great for bringing along a comb, hairspray, makeup or whatever you might want to touchup throughout the session! They also help when you have to go to more than one location!

10. Wash Bar Stamps From Your Hands!!

We totally get it! You’re celebrating your last hurrah with the people and in the places you love most! HOWEVER, a big black stamp on your hand proving you paid cover to drink a pitcher of sugary blue drink (I’m lookin’ at you Gaff!) isn’t so cute!

These are a few, but if you have had a grad session recently, or recall any tips that you wish you knew before your senior portraits, let us know! Comment below and share your best tips!

Let us know if you have any other tips or things that you would have liked to known before your grad session! We would love to hear them!

Happy Grad Season!! LOVE!


Shoutout to the students who put their project on pause to snap this picture for us!

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