How to Prepare for Grad Portraits

Arrival Time

Please arrive at your appointment 15 minutes early. You will want to be relaxed and ready for your photo session. Ensure that you allow enough time to prepare yourself, and to discuss your poses and backgrounds with the photographer.

Wardrobe, Attire and Clothing

During your Graduation portrait sitting, we will take 12 or more photos. Some will be 'traditional' with the grad robe and sash in your school's colours; others may be 'contemporary' poses in formal (or casual) attire.

  • Please wear clothes which reflect your personality, and will make your loved ones proud in the years ahead! Make sure they're neatly pressed and on hangers so they stay neat and unwrinkled. We will try our best to accommodate a change of clothes, time permitting.
  • Avoid white or light-coloured clothing.
  • Solid, medium and dark colours look best on camera.
  • Busy patterns, stripes or logos will detract from you, the main subject.
  • V-necks or scoop-necked shirts look good on almost anyone and turtlenecks work well if you have a long neck and slim face.
  • Guys, if you have a suit at home, don't forget to bring it with you. A suit will look great in your graduation photo.


You will want to be comfortable, and you should feel great about how your hair looks on photo day, so it's usually not the best day to experiment with different or new hairstyles. If you are going to get a haircut, make sure it's just a trim, and not a drastically different hairstyle that you might not feel comfortable with. And do it at least one week before the shoot, to allow you plenty of time to adjust to it.


Fresh-looking, daytime make-up is best. Try not to go overboard with thick or heavy foundation or cosmetics. Natural tends to be the key word when it comes to great photos- just do what you usually do every day. Use a little bit of loose powder to touch-up shiny areas on your face, and concealer to lighten up dark spots and cover blemishes. Try a neutral or natural-toned nail polish to make your nails look great.


We're good at retouching our pictures, but even a 5 o'clock shadow can't be removed. Light stubble can be picked up by the camera, so make sure you shave carefully the morning of, or a couple of hours before your session. Cleanse your face thoroughly to remove any oiliness and to prevent shine. Feel free to ask others for help with a little bit of concealer or powder to even out your skin tone and minimize blemishes- film and television makeup artists use it on anybody and everybody to enhance their image for the camera. Make sure you check your appearance and fix your hair immediately before your photo session.


We want your Graduation Photos to be a true reflection of who you are, so feel free to bring any accessories that do just that. Items such as musical instruments, sports equipment, etc., are props that will express the real you at this time in your life.

Grad Gown Pictures

Ladies traditionally prefer to let the gown and sash be the main event! Try not to wear anything that will detract from your face or neckline. A V-neck or scoop neck top worn underneath your gown will work perfectly.

Gentlemen traditionally choose a fresh, white or light-coloured dress shirt and a tie that works with the colours of your school's sash and gown.

What to Bring

  • A couple of changes of clothing that reflect your personality
  • General grooming supplies
  • Hair and makeup products (comb, hairspray, face powder)
  • Props and accessories

Finally, have fun! If you're relaxed and feeling good about yourself, it will be reflected in your photos.

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