Seniorologie » The Study of Senior Portrait Photography

  • Welcome to Seniorologie! Learning, taking notes and studying are all things we have in common with high school seniors. As photographers, we are as much students as any senior! Seniorologie is an inspirational blog dedicated to the study of senior portrait photography. We will post unique sessions, behind the scenes, marketing, business tips and more! And if you are a senior, we have posts for you too! Whether you are looking for a photographer in your area, fashion tips to help you get ready for your session or inspiration for your upcoming shoot, we have it! So sit back, take notes, learn and be inspired!

What to Wear Guide

How do you answer a seniors most common question…”What do I wear?”  Why not answer it with a beautiful guide full of photos to help them plan the perfect wardrobe for their session!

This guide is 40+ pages full of information and education to help inspire your seniors on what to wear for their photo sessions!  You will receive a pdf version of my what to wear guide that I personally send out to all my senior clients AND the psd files so you can customize the guide to your branding and add your photos!  Send this to all your booked clients to get them excited and ready for their shoot!

This guide can work hand in hand with your own inspiration from Pinterest, Polyvore and Fashion posts on your blog!  All of this working together, will help create the perfect look for your seniors’ sessions and make them feel comfortable, confident and ready to rock their portrait session!!

See photos from inside the guide below!  To purchase, click here!  All those that register and complete payment will be sent a link to download the guide.


This guide has been such a popular item since its release in February 2014 and many photographers have used it to help educate their clients on what to wear.  Check out the awesome reviews from some of our industry’s best photographers!

“I have been using Seniorologie’s What to Wear Guide for my Seniors and absolutely LOVE it! The fact that it is so easy to customize the guide using my branding and images is what I like most about it. Leslie has designed the guide so that anyone with a basic knowledge of Photoshop can make their own changes, or simply leave it as-is with Leslie’s superb design work. I also appreciate the vast knowledge Leslie has included on fashion: from color combinations, to what works best for each Senior’s signature “style”, she has laid out the guide in an easy-to-follow format that any Senior will appreciate and find useful for planning their session outfits. The Seniorologie What-to-Wear Guide has been a great asset to my business, and I would recommend it to any Senior photographer looking to add that extra special touch to the services they offer their Seniors.”  - Sarah Modene of Sarah Modene Photography

“I just love the what to wear guide! It has really encouraged my clients to reach outside of the box. My girls have become more creative and outgoing in their different looks for their senior portraits.  Ive heard again, and again, from my girls “ I just loved getting you package in the mail” I think it makes them feel special. 
More importantly, and what my clients don’t know, is that the what to wear guide is actually a client education magazine! It informs them of how important it is to think about their style, it engages their personality, shows them how competent I am, it establishes a level of trust and it creates a fashion authority! I think their parents like that its additional exclusivity, but over all the What to Wear guide adds value to the Senior portrait Experience:-) I love how easy it was to plug in my images and I also encourage others to join  Seniorologie for a ShootOut to create awesome images for their What to Wear Guide – in the end it will create a more creative client!!” - Carmen Evans of Love Carmen Rose

“As a senior portrait photographer I know first hand at how important it is to guide your senior’s in the right direction. I firmly believe you can never give them too much information.  They appreciate it and in return are fully prepared to rock out their session!

 The What to Wear guide created by Leslie Kerrigan has been the best addition to my senior client communication. The guide is packed full of information.  Leslie has made sure to cover every step in the process of choosing the perfect wardrobe for senior portraits.   Since it is so well put together I have had to make very few changes for it to fit my branding.

The guide is 100% customizable and very easy to add your own images right into the pages.  My favorite part of this guide is that it has the outfit samples put together.  There are over 70 outfit examples that are unique to each style and sure to please any senior’s personality.  This is something that can be very time consuming and Leslie has already done the work for us!  Leslie knocked it out of the park with the What to Wear guide!” - Melissa Lynn Hunt of Melissa Lynn Hunt Photography

Seniorologie Spotlight – {Share Your Image Saturday}


Happy Saturday everyone!! Each week, we love seeing your images on our Facebook page! Keep up the great work and keep posting your favorite Senior Image from a recent senior photo session on our wall (sized to 740 px wide) with your business name. We pick the top three from the week and highlight those three in a post on Saturdays. The winner for the week becomes our Seniorologie Spotlight Image of the Week and is showcased as Seniorologie’s Facebook Timeline Cover for the week.

Check out this week’s top three images and be sure to check our Facebook page Sunday to see which of these three is our Seniorologie Spotlight of the Week!

This week’s top three are Olivia Renee Photography, Kim Rollwitz Photography and Amanda Matthews Photography. Congrats to these three!!


Senior Style – {Top 10 Must Haves for a Fall Style Closet}

If you are a senior photographer, you are constantly getting asked the same question…What do I wear?  To answer that question, having a closet full of clothing that your senior clients can borrow or choose from to wear on their sessions is helpful.  Not only are you preparing your clients the best you can but you are taking the stress out of them trying to figure out what to wear on their own.

Fall is all about beautiful rich colors and layers.  This is the perfect time to add a Style Closet to your senior business.  With just a few items, you can help your seniors take their wardrobe from ordinary to extraordinary!

My Top 10 Must Haves for a Fall Style Closet are below!  These items are a great way to get started on adding a Style Closet to your senior business!


Fall Style Closet


Senior Inspiration – {Kylee Ann Photography}

Have you ever thought of drawing inspiration from your senior client’s high school mascot?  This beautiful session below incorporates a headdress that came straight off this senior’s high school mascot!  What a great idea!!

“McKenzie’s session included five outfits, three props, a few pairs of shoes and lots of accessories,” said Kylee.  “My favorite was the headdress straight off the Preston High Indian mascot!”

We couldn’t agree more that the headdress is gorgeous and unique to this senior’s session!!  Check out what Kylee had to share about this session below.  Thank you for sharing your work with Seniorologie Kylee!





What was your inspiration for this photo shoot?
I get my inspiration from my seniors. As I’m shooting, I try my best to get their personality to shine through.

Where did this photo shoot take place?
This shoot took place in the beautiful Green Canyon in Logan, Utah.

What camera, lens or other equipment was used for this shoot?
I shoot with the Canon 5D Mark iii and Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art.

What time of day were these taken?
7:30-8:30 PM


Can you share any post-processing techniques used when editing this session?
I try to do as little post-processing as possible. By shooting in RAW and getting my settings right in camera, I just have to use Lightroom for some quick color enhancement and a little creative boost. After I export them from Lightroom, I do the basic skin edits in Photoshop.

What is your favorite thing about this session?
I loved shooting until the sun set. The light was so soft and beautiful and McKenzie’s dress was flying in the wind.

What do you want this session to convey about this senior and about your senior photography style?
I want this session to convey Mckenzie’s natural beauty and my ability to capture every individual senior’s personality.

What is one tip you can share with other photographers regarding photographing seniors?
Have fun with your seniors and really get to know them before, during and after your session!


Topic Tuesday – {Help Models Give Back}

 Guest Blogger Maya Laurent of Such Great Heights Photography is sharing with us how to help your senior models give back! Check it out below!
Have you noticed this generation of teenagers seems to be much more involved in their community? Whether it’s volunteering at the local humane society or heading out on a missiontrip each summer, the high school students are looking for ways to impact the world around them. This is a wonderful opportunity for you to embrace this idea of giving back and make it a part of your model program.
To make your models feel involved on a personal level, allow them to pick the charity they would like to donate to. At Such Great Heights, the charities range from the local children’s hospitals and humane societies to very specific organizations that each model has a reason for wanting to donate. This provides another opportunity to
get to know your models on a different level too. Finding out what their passions are and the stories behind those creates another connection with the senior.
Communicate to your models how they can raise money for their charity. The easiest idea is to give a certain amount of money to their charity when they send referrals to you who book a session. This gives them another reason to talk about your photography business as they tell others to use you. In fact, they might be more likely to
talk about you because you are helping them give back to something they truly care about.
Create blog posts for your models from their senior sessions and give an incentive to donate to their charity for the number of blog comments they receive. This drives more traffic to your website for their friends to explore your site, as well as communicates your desire to give back.  You might give an amount for each comment or for reaching a certain number of comments.  Communicate this on social media when you share the blog about how others can help the model raise money by commenting. You could do the same with the number of likes on Instagram if you want to drive traffic to your Instagram feed.
In order to track the number of donations, have some kind of tracking sheet to keep on top of the amount raised for each charity. You will most likely have some charities overlap with your models. Pick a couple times per year that you send the donations and make notes of the
donations sent in your tracking sheet. Send your models notes when you donate to let them know how much they’ve helped raise and the total sent.
A giving-back program helps you give back and involves your models in the areas they feel strongly about and giving them a tangible way to take action. There’s no better feeling than sending out checks and making online donations to a variety of charities your models have picked. Grab this idea and start incorporating it into
your model program to make a difference as a company.

Senior Inspiration – {Purple Tree Photography}

I absolutely love when a senior has a passion that she wants to incorporate into her senior session!  Not only does that make her senior session unique but it also can provide you with a location that is different than your other clients!

Kelli of Purple Tree Photography in Northville, Michigan shared this beautiful senior session in which the senior is a serious equestrian who owns three horses.  So by using the barn where her horses are boarded was a perfect way of choosing a location unique to this senior while showcasing her passion for the sport.

Check out this beautiful session below and read what Kelli had to share about this session.  Thank you for sharing your beautiful work with Seniorologie Kelli!





What was your inspiration for this photo shoot?
My inspiration for every session is my clients personality and the location that they liked enough to choose.

Where did this photo shoot take place?
Almont Michigan

Did you collaborate with this senior to come up with the clothing and/or concept for this shoot?
Mary and I did discuss her clothing choices on the phone but I do offer to video chat with my clients as well.

What camera, lens or other equipment was used for this shoot?
Canon Mark 5D Mark III. 85m 1.2 and 24m 1.4.


What time of day were these taken?
Late afternoon

What is your favorite thing about this session?
I loved how much Mary enjoyed the session and that it incorporated something that is so special and such a big part of her daily life.

What do you want this session to convey about this senior and about your senior photography style?
This session is unique to this senior and I think every session should be.

What is one tip you can share with other photographers regarding photographing seniors?
Have fun! Enjoy the session and make sure they do too, they will remember how you made them feel.