Senior Pictures: Hair, Make-up & Nails. Going Pro or DYI? Tips to styling worrying free! Midlothian Senior Photographer | Senior Picture Tips

Senior Picture Tips: All about the hair, make-up and nails!

When planning your senior session you will want to start thinking about how you want your hair, makeup, and nails to look.  You have a few options – set up an appointment with a professional, or go DIY!

I believe what you decide to do is a personal preference and I have seen both results from going pro AND doing it yourself!



There are benefits to letting the professionals help with your senior pictures:

  • Professional makeup artists have experience in makeup application for photography
  • They know how different makeup will appear in camera
  • They have high quality products in every shade imaginable
  • They know how to contour and choose colors that highlight your best features

If hair and make up are not in your budget or you have to choose just one, I definitely recommend the makeup application. If neither is in your budget, below are some tips for doing them yourself!



  • Apply eye and lip makeup slightly darker than normal. Cameras don’t pick up the contrast & definition our eyes see in person.
  • Avoid makeup with SPF & mineral makeup. While great for everyday use, they can create an unflattering shine.
  • Don’t go overboard with layers of heavy makeup. It’s hard to photograph cakey makeup.
  • Set foundation with translucent powder that reduces shine. Shine is hard to Photoshop.
  • You might not normally wear lipstick, but I recommend it for your session, even if it’s a shade close to your natural lip color.
  • Mascara is a must. Clean not clumpy. At least 1 coat, 2 if you normally wear mascara.
  • Pastel eye shadows will look washed out – go for a medium or dark, rich tone. Browns and golds are pretty safe!
  • Avoid heavy black eyeliner, which makes your eyes look smaller. Go with gray or brown and blend well if you’re wearing eyeliner.
  • Avoid any sparkles and shimmers. Matte makeup will photograph better!




  • Don’t try a new cut, style, or color before your senior session!
  • Have your hair trimmed and any color touched up a couple weeks before your session.
  • Keep your hair natural. If you have straight hair you can give it a light curl, which adds volume and framing for your face.
  • Even if you don’t normally use hairspray, use it for your session – especially on all those little fly-aways. Just try not to overdo it with sticky products.
  • For our outdoor sessions: We’re going to be outside for a couple hours. If your hair tends to get frizzy, use products that help minimize frizz!



Your Nails!
  • Natural nails look great for portraits – just make sure they’re neatly trimmed, filed, buffed, & cleaned 🙂
  • If you want painted nails, choose a light and neutral color that goes with all of your outfits. Loud colors can take away from the picture!
  • Chipped nails are not a great look, so wait until the night before your session if you’re painting them!
  • If you’re wearing sandals or going barefoot for any photos, you’ll want to give your toes some love too!



Most importantly, if you’ll be doing your own hair & makeup – do a trial run at least a week in advance. After your trial, have somebody photograph you close up, outside in both shade and sun. Look at the photos to make sure your makeup and hair look the way you want them. If they don’t, you have a couple more days to practice and get it right!

If you have any questions, or want to book your senior session,  please get in touch with me and I’ll email you my client welcome magazine!Richmond-Midlothian-Senior-Photographer-Hair-Make-up-Nails-Style-Help_0031

One thought on “Senior Pictures: Hair, Make-up & Nails. Going Pro or DYI? Tips to styling worrying free! Midlothian Senior Photographer | Senior Picture Tips

  1. My daughter is graduating soon, so I wanted tips on making sure her pictures come out good! I didn’t think about hiring professionally, but it would be nice to not worry about her hair and makeup since they’ll know what’ll look good in whatever place we go to. I’ll have to show my daughter this post, so we can look for senior photography services!

    Liked by 1 person

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