Kali Photography Exclusive

Senior Style Guide

Stuck on what to wear? You can also get some “what to wear” inspiration on my senior style Pinterest board HERE.


not sure how to prepare for your senior session?

You’ve booked your senior session with Kali, so now what? You’re officially a #KPSenior and I’m SO excited to work with you! It’s time to decide on a look for your session and choose your outfits carefully. This is one of the most exciting ( but also overwhelming ) parts of the experience – there are so many options, but I am here to help! 

Keep reading to find out my go-to tips and tricks for preparing for your senior session. This guide will help you get the absolute most out of your senior portrait experience, and make sure that you love all of your images! 

Your session is going to begin at a pre-determined location, based on the answers to your senior questionnaire and the session length you chose. We will meet there a few minutes before we plan to start shooting so that I can help you finalize any outfit choices! Please try your absolute best to arrive on time, if not a few minutes early. As a natural light photographer, your session is scheduled around the time that the sun sets or the best lighting possible. Therefore, if you arrive at your session even 15 minutes late, it can affect the length of your session. If you are more than 30 minutes late to your session, we will need to reschedule for my earlier convenience (which is often 2-3 months out).  

read below to see my favorite tips and tricks for preparing for your senior session!

OUTFIT TIP #1

be
YOU!

The most important thing is to be authentic! A lot of times we view picture day as a special occasion, so we want to go out and buy something for the occasion. And a lot of times, we choose things we wouldn’t normally wear. I get it, you want something nice, and you want it to be special. It’s about finding… Balance.

My advice is to find something special IN YOUR OWN STYLE – you don’t need to go buy a new ball gown or an over the top outfit that you would never wear again. Often, when you try something you typically wouldn’t wear and haven’t tried on before, you can feel uncomfortable and this can reflect in your images, it’ll feel awkward. If you don’t like tight fitting clothing, leave them at home! Personally I try to steer clear of tight fitting on certain parts of my body, and prefer tighter fit on other places, otherwise I’d be constantly wondering if it looks bad. So, if there are items in your closet that make you feel self-conscious or uncomfortable, don’t include them in your senior portrait wardrobe! If something doesn’t fit you quite right, it may not be something you want to bring either. I will most likely have you sitting on the ground, walking, spinning around, laying down, or doing other things that would be difficult if your clothing is uncomfortable. So – when you go in search of the perfect outfits, be sure to look for fun pieces that you will wear even after senior pictures are taken. You will be much more comfy, and you will look like YOU in your images! 

OUTFIT TIP #2

play with textures + colors

Of course, I do my best to select the perfect locations for your session, however as pretty as the scenery is, YOU are the star of this show – I want you to stand out! One way to do this is to avoid pieces that are too plain or solid in color. Wearing prints, patterns and textures is a great way to add a little pop and interest to your images. I shoot images with a beautiful blurry background, with you as the subject, and this will help make you POP! Nothing looks better against a smooth, blurred background than a pretty floral dress or a fun textured sweater. A graphic tee is also a fun way to add a little detail if you aren’t into patterns. Adding textured materials to your wardrobe also helps if you do truly love solid color pieces. 

There is a lot to be said for classic black, and I’m not going to tell you to avoid it when choosing your outfits. However, I will tell you to keep the plain black to a minimum, especially if it has no texture to it. We live in a beautiful place, and there are so many location options…. from the woods, to a pond or river, city lights, or a flower field…. and everyone of those places is a perfect location to bring in some color! Color not only looks great in your images, it makes YOU look great in your images too! Very few of us can truly pull off full white or black without it washing us out. Pure black often times looks a little more grey in my style of images, since they are lighter, so they are safer to skip – unless its just a little here and there. Grey is trendy but can sometimes get lost amount the greens in a field or the concrete grey of a city sidewalk. I love shooting lighter colors, as well as greens, peaches, blush, yellow, and any colors that really POP! Color just takes everything up a notch, so be sure to add a little into your outfits, either with your clothes or your accessories. Sometimes, color combinations that may seem off or “too much” in-person end up photographing PERFECTLY on camera! 

OUTFIT TIP #3

don’t forget top layer + accessorize

Details are arguably the most important part of your wardrobe. They add interest and depth, and are the perfect finishing touch to an outfit. It’s that little bit of icing on top of an already beautiful outfit! A statement necklace, rings, bracelets. A trendy hat (LOVE HATS. A scarf. ALL THE THINGS YA’LL!) There are so many ways to accessorize, so the combinations are endless. Do you still love your solid colors? Are you a plain t-shirt kinda person? GREAT! Wear those things, but then add a little touch of detail by adding a super cute necklace and a fun hat. Accessories are a great way to change something up a bit that is more on the simple side. And it just adds more layers to your outfit, thus adding the perfect pop to your photos. 

We live in a state that can get VERY warm in the summer, and your session could be just plain HOT. BUT – layering does not mean heavy. It just means… ya know, layers. Summertime layering with kimonos, dusters, and light scarves is a great way to add detail, depth and color. Fall/Winter layering with boots, cardigans, and knit scarves keeps you warm during your shoot, but also takes your outfit up a notch! Layering can take a simple outfit from blah to WOW, AND you can always just take a cardigan or jacket off in a few shots for a variety in your look. 2 outfits in 1 – HECK YES! Not sure what to do with your hands in photos? Well, I will worry about that, but layers are a great way to give your hands something to hold, play with to add movement, or wrap up in when posing!  

why you should get professional hair & makeup

The Full Senior package includes professional hair and makeup, and this section below explains a lot of why I include this service in your session. If you did not purchase the full senior session, and it is in your budget, I would love to set you up with one of my partners – just ask at the time of booking! 

I highly recommend that all of my seniors invest in professional hair and makeup for their senior session, and here is why! If it is in your budget, it will drastically improve the quality of your images and your senior portrait experience. You are already making a large investment here, so why not make it the best it can be? The answer is DUH! So why exactly is it so important? 

Here are reasons why…
  • HELLO they are trainer professionals!
    When you are investing in a professional photographer, you want to make sure that the images look their absolute best. Professional hair and makeup artists are trained to do this service so that they photograph well, and some makeup products or application methods do not. While your makeup may look AMAZING in person, it will look completely different on-camera, and these professionals are trained to know the difference! They will conceal spots you don’t like, contour your face so it looks the best in every light, use colors that compliment your skin and outfits to make it look flawless, make your eyes POP with false lashes and shadows, manicure your eyebrows to perfection and more! My favorite part of my makeup and hair team is that I’ve specifically selected them for my seniors – I have trusted them for years to keep my seniors looking like the best version of themselves! So they will leave those CUTE freckles visible and make sure you look fab! 
  • Less Stress Preparing
    Your senior portrait session is stressful in and of itself – picking outfits, making it on time, keeping fly aways down, etc. Trying to do your hair + makeup by yourself can make things even harder and create more stress. Professional camera equipment is designed to pick up every detail in an image (even details that the eye can’t see sometimes!) so hiring a professional artist is the way to go, always!
  • Who doesn’t like to be pampered?
    I never want one of my seniors to feel like their senior portrait session is simply “taking pictures”. It should be an EXPERIENCE! So, if my seniors arrive to their session after an hour or so of being pampered and beautified, the entire experience has already gotten off to a great start! If a senior arrives frustrated or stressed, it can affect the entire experience, and become more of a stressful one, and it can show in your photographs.

my go-to gals for hair + makeup

01.

Amber

Amber Leitner Beauty

Phone: 208-407-7694 
Instagram @amber.leitnerbeauty
Downtown Lewiston
Amber is my main hair & makeup, and if you’ve booked a full session with me, you’ll most likely get to meet her!

02.

Kenzie

Styled by Kenzie

Instagram @styledby.kenzie
Downtown Lewiston

03.

Jenny – Makeup Artist

Made up by jenny

Phone: 208-305-8628
Instagram @madeup.byjenny
Lewiston

04.

More Hair Recommendations

Megan – Instagram @beautymarked.bymegan
Kinsey – Instagram @_hairthatsparks
Julia – Instagram @craftedbeautybyjulia
Alli – Instagram @thesaltyblonde

shoot day checklist!

  • POWDER AND LIP COLOR : As the shoot goes on, your makeup may need a little TLC, so be sure to pack some powder to keep the shine away. Lip color can also fade, so bring a tube or two of your favorite gloss or lipstick to reapply as needed. 
  • BRUSH/COMB + Hairspray : If you tend to have fly always, or your hair gets tangled easily, be sure to bring a comb or brush to your session. We can always pause for a minute so you can tame it back down. 
  • COMFY SHOES : While those killer heels are going to make your outfit WOW us, they will probably be fairly difficult to walk in (or stand for that matter) over rough terrain. Bring a pair of flip flops or slides to wear to get into position, then we can change back into them once you are set! 
  • PROPS : If you want to include your favorite books, band instrument, pet, or anything else you love, be sure to bring those items with you! Make sure to have a friend/parent available to hold your pet or bring them to the session halfway in so they are not stuck in a car during the session. 
  • YOUR PHONE : You are going to have a TON of fun, and I want to see you document the whole thing! Be sure to bring your phone so your mom or besties can use it to snap some behind the scenes photos that you can share on Instagram or TikTok later! 
  • A FRIEND : Bring someone along who is going to hype you up – alongside me – and someone you feel comfortable being a little silly with! We will even add them in the session toward the end.

some of my fav places to shop!

local

  • Iconique – Lewiston
  • Flirt Boutique – Pullman
  • Maurices – Lewiston
  • LaRe Boutique – Lewiston

online

MEET YOUR photographer

hey, friend!

If you have any questions, please reach out to me. I’m here to help!

frequently asked questions

For a Mini Senior Session, I recommend 1-2. For a Basic Senior Package, I recommend 2. For a Full Senior Package, I recommend 2-4.

My favorite compliment that I received often from senior sessions is that my clients look like themselves – but in a happy and bright light! Your senior’s images will reflect what they look like at that time, for you to remember for years to come. My rule is, if it won’t be there in a week, it won’t be in your pictures! Therefore, things like birth marks, freckles, certain scars, will all remain, but bruises and major breakouts will be retouched. Advanced skin smoothing, major acne removal, teeth whitening and more can often times make clients look like a less authentic version of themselves. For this reason, I do not offer retouching services that are extensive. If you have any requests in this area, just ask, I do some of these edits for a fee.

Bring it! Send me a picture! Whatever outfit you are most excited about is the best option for me! I can’t wait to see what you choose!

Rain and inclement weather are just part of the photography game, unfortunately. The phrase “no rain, no flowers” is very true, so we do need some rain days in the mix. For this reason, I schedule in rain days into my schedule, in case it does rain and I need to move your session. My goal is always to keep the session planned until right up until a couple hours before, in case the weather decides to turn out in our favor. I only want the best for my clients, so trust me that I will do what it takes to get the perfect session day for you!

As a natural light photographer, I rely heavily on sun placement and lighting to give me these bright, glowy images that I’m well known for. For this reason, I shoot a majority of my work during the time of day referred to as “golden hour”, which starts around 2 hours before sunset. This time provides the most flattering light and Kali loves!

NO! In fact, all of the incredible seniors that you see on my social media and website are all real seniors just like you! I will walk you through everything you need to know about being in front of the camera. It may feel a little silly to do some of the things, like walking toward the camera or placing your hands on your face. But I promise, you will love the result if you trust the process!