What to Wear for Senior Photos

Resources, Seniors

Getting your senior photos done should be exciting! But so often I hear about people being so stressed out about what to wear for their photos, that they lose the excitement of getting their senior photos taken! As a Denver senior photographer, my aim is to always make the photo taking process fun and stress-free, from inquiry to booking to the actual session, I’ll provide you with lots of resources, tips, and suggestions to make your senior photoshoot the best experience! Starting with this little guide for what to wear for your upcoming senior photos… I hope you find it helpful! if you have any further questions about what to wear for your senior photos, feel free to send me a message, I’m always happy to help!!

Bring an outfit change! (but maybe no more than one!)

I always recommend bringing one casual and one fancy outfit, that way you have some variety! But too many outfits can cut into your photo taking time and create a gallery that’s all over the place. So for an hour session, stick with two outfits!

Try on each outfit with your cap and gown!

Listen. No one looks great in a cap and gown. It is a polyester trash bag and a hat that makes you look like Dracula. So have realistic expectations. But we gotta take a least one photo with your cap and gown, so try it on with both outfits and see what looks best! *proof that you can look cute in a cap and gown* 

Coordinate your outfit colors to your sash

Once we get photos with your cap and gown, we’ll likely just utilize your sash for the rest of the outfits. So make sure the colors don’t clash. The easiest color? White! It makes your sash pop!

Pick a color scheme

I recommend choosing a color scheme for all your outfits. Now your graduation announcements will look cohesive and uniform. Some of my favorite color combos? Orange + blue, mustard + navy/grey, blush + black. Jewel tones always photograph wonderfully (emeralds, deep reds, mustards)

Consider your location when choosing your color scheme

Location will play a huge part on which colors you should choose! If your location is green and lush, you want a color that pops against the foliage. Try a mustard, orange or vibrant blue. If your location is a busy city scape, go classic with black and white or a bright red!

And consider your location when for terrain and weather

If choosing a mountainous location, make sure your shoes accommodate tricky terrain and bring layers to ensure you’re not too cold at higher elevations! Always check the weather beforehand and pack accordingly!

Some other things I recommend packing for outdoor sessions: combs for flyaways, change of shoes if there’s a hike involved, tissues/makeup wipes in case of wind, touch-up makeup, bug spray and water.

Stick with one color for large groups

If you are taking photos with a big group, stick with one color (especially if y’all are wearing different color sashes!!) This ensures you all look cohesive but also that one person doesn’t draw more attention than others. I love a classic white because everyone looks good in it and it makes your sashes really stand out!

Get personal!

This is a great opportunity to show off your culture or family history. Personal elements like a sari or your moms leather jacket help tell your story. (And your family will love it!)

Show of your extracurricular activities

Bring your letterman jacket or wear your dance uniform for a few of your photos. This might be the last time you’ll get to wear or use these items– so let’s document them! It’s a great way to show off your personality and you’ll love looking back on those photos years from now.

Get your hair and makeup done!

Because why not?? Keep your look simple and don’t deviate too far from your normal look. You still want to look like yourself!

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Keep it simple!

This especially applies to jewelry and prints, anything too large or colorful will draw attention away from you. Keep your prints classic or small. And for jewelry go with dainty pieces near your face.

Bring a prop!

This could be champagne (if you’re over 21), balloons, your musical instrument, the options are endless! Not only will it add a personal touch to your images, it will also give you something to do so you don’t feel as awkward in front of the camera!

Bring a buddy!

Senior photoshoots are so fun with your best friend or friend group! Just make sure you talk with your photographer beforehand because usually there will be an added fee for a second person!

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Outfit Tips for the Seasons


When choosing your outfits, keep in mind the climate and season. For Spring, most locations will have snow or if later in the season, light green foliage. Colors that pop well against light greens are deep blues and oranges– if you want to compliment the foliage, aim for beiges, soft purples and dusty blues. Don’t forget to bring bug spray for your Spring session!


With Summer months you will want to make sure you’re wearing something breathable and cool. Consider choosing fabrics like cotton, silk and linen. And opt for lighter colors that won’t show if you sweat! Depending on where your session is and the month, the scenery might be vivid greens or foliage might have already died off, leaving things a light yellow color. For bright green backdrops, go with something that will pop, like oranges or white. For more beige scenery, blues and emeralds look fantastic.


Fall is all about layers! The temperature can change drastically during a session, so bring a few layers just in case. For Fall, I recommend sticking to burgundies, mustards, deep greens. Those all look great against the foliage. Usually the green grass has muted, which means you’ll want a vivid jewel tone so you pop!


I have photographed sessions in the coldest of temperatures! If you’re wanting a Winter senior session, make sure you dress appropriately! I recommend wearing nude thermal leggings under your clothing and don’t be afraid of wearing some warm accessories. If it’s especially snowy, stick to deep reds, vibrant emeralds, and darker blues– those colors will pop against the snow and match the season. If you are a neutral kinda person, camels look fantastic against the snow and silvers are a great alternative to white. Try adding texture to your outfit with different fabrics to help you stand out against the all white canvas. And don’t forget weatherproof shoes and warm socks!

If you’d like more inspiration for what to wear for your senior photos, check out my pinterest!

And if you’d like more help planning your senior session, why don’t you check out these other helpful resources:

Best photography locations around Denver

Deep Ellum senior photos

SMU senior photos

Arbor Hills senior photos

Leah Goetzel Photography is a Denver based senior portrait photographer creating fun, bright and authentic photos. If you’d like to learn more you can send us a message! And if you’re ready to book you can do so online using our easy to use online booking system. We can’t wait to chat with you more! Oh and congratulations!!!

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