What to Wear for a Senior Portrait

John Derryberry
2 min readMar 8, 2021


Senior portrait of Amber in a traditional, blue Indian dress, on location

What you wear is a major part of your portrait. Your choice of clothing helps tell the story of who you are at this point in your life. Ok, bring what you mom want’s to see you in (we will photograph them too) but mostly bring clothes that fit your personality and style. Here are a few tips:

  • Choose a variety of looks — three to five outfits (or more if you like) is ideal. We may not use them all, but we have something to choose from. Go for different looks: casual, dressy, unique, sports, etc.
  • Bring your clothes pressed and on hangers. Do not wear them to the shoot. You want to look fresh.
  • Pick clothes that fit well. Be aware of your silhouette.
  • Look for great necklines.
  • For color photos, choose colors that work with your skin tone and hair color.
  • For black and white photos, textures and solids work well. Everyone looks good in black.
  • Plaids and other grid patterns are hard to fix in photoshop, so don’t make them your only choice.
  • For women, bring the appropriate bra for each outfit.
  • Don’t forget accessories: belts, jewelry, hats, and especially the right shoes.
  • Make sure your shoes are clean and polished.
  • Send us a quick pic of your outfits if you are unsure. We can help you through it. For an extra charge we can send our stylist to your house to go through your closet or help you shop.

Extra Looks

Some of my favorite shots are those that go beyond the traditional portrait. Props and outfits related to your interests and hobbies make great images. Some things we have done in the past:

  • musical instruments
  • sports uniforms (don’t forget the shoes)
  • dance costumes
  • swim suits with goggles
  • art work
  • books
  • microphones
  • costumes
  • dog

These may not be for your primary image, but they can make the session more fun and interesting.



John Derryberry

Photographer and artist at John Derryberry Photography in Dallas, Texas, USA www.johnderryberry.com +1–214–357–5457