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

Senior Inspiration – {Katrina Jackson Photography}

A senior’s style is definitely a major part of a senior photo shoot.  Whether you help them prepare what they are going to wear or they know exactly what look they are going for, you can count on the photos showcasing their style.  In the session below by Katrina of Katrina Jackson Photography, this seniors trendy style shows!

“Alyssa’s style was very trendy and was a photographer’s dream,” said Katrina.  “I didn’t have to worry at all about what Alyssa was going to bring and she totally rocked her style!”

Check out this session below and read what else Katrina had to share about the session.  Thanks for sharing your work with Seniorologie Katrina!






What was your inspiration for this photo shoot?

Where did this photo shoot take place?
Rochester Indiana

Did you collaborate with this senior to come up with the clothing and/or concept for this shoot?
Yes, Alyssa brought all her clothing choices to the studio. I then matched them up with my hot spot locations.

What camera, lens or other equipment was used for this shoot?
5D mark III


Katrina_Jackson_Photography_01_0027Katrina_Jackson_Photography_01_0028 What time of day were these taken?


What is your favorite thing about this session?
I love Alyssa beautiful smile and I loved her clothing choices!!!!

What do you want this session to convey about this senior and about your senior photography style?
I would like people to know that by coming to Katrina Jackson Photography and seeing my work you can expect 3 things. Great Fashion, Bold Colors and Fun! Alyssa and I had a lot of fun through out her entire senior session. A little rain didn’t even stop us!:)

What is one tip you can share with other photographers regarding photographing seniors?
Providing as much information before your photo shoot helps prepare your seniors with what to bring to the photo shoot.


Topic Tuesday – {Continuing Relationship with Your Models}

Today’s Topic Tuesday is from our guest blogger, Maya Laurent of Such Great Heights Seniors in Indiana.  Maya shares with us how she keeps the relationships with her models throughout the year!  Check it out below!  Thanks for sharing Maya!!

Continuing The Model Relationship Throughout the Year

Establishing a positive relationship with your models is the most important part of your program. Your models aren’t going to talk about you if you haven’t grown a relationship with them. This means your time with them goes beyond their model and senior sessions. It’s your opportunity to be fun, creative and reach out in unexpected ways.

Be sure to have them answer some kind of questionnaire so you know what types of activities they are involved in. Make sure to be following them on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to keep up with what they are doing as well. Find an event they are involved with to attend if you can. You might not be able to make it to an event for every model but at least trying will show. If you can’t make it, send them a text wishing them good luck. If they are involved with theater or choir, bring them flowers to give them after their show or send the model flowers before a big sporting event to wish her luck. For guys, send them some goodies to eat or a gift card to their favorite restaurant. Go out of your way to show you are paying attention and care about what they are doing.

A simple gesture that goes so far is to send a birthday card. Keep track of all your models’ birthdays and write them a handwritten card. You could include a simple gift card to Starbucks or a local coffee shop. Post up a photo the day of their birthday with one of their senior photographs, tag them in it and wish them the best on their special day.

Look for ways to help your models give back to your community. This can happen several times throughout the year. Find a local event to volunteer at together as a model group. You can put a call out to those interested, grab a snack or warm drink before and show up together to the event to help out. During Christmas time you could adopt a family together and have your models help coordinate getting what the family needs including putting together fun shopping times, wrapping gifts together and delivering to the family.

Another touch point is having special events throughout the year. Plan events in which the models can bring their friends or their moms along. This can range from a DIY event to a clothing swap to a private shopping event with a local boutique. Don’t be afraid to ask the models what they would want to do and have them help plan an event. Again, it’s another time you can hang out with them, get to know them more and show them a good time.

Don’t let the fun stop after you have photographed each of your models! Continue to build the relationship throughout the year and you will see word spread about how fun it is to be a model for your business!



Senior Inspiration – {Shauna Lofy Portraits}


Television shows and movies are great sources of inspiration.  Being up on the latest craze in the teen genre is a plus.  So when you get a senior that wants to incorporate one of those television shows into her senior photo session it is perfect!

The session below, submitted by Shauna Lofy of Shauna Lofy Portraits in Bakersfield, California, was inspired by the character on The Carrie Diaries.

“I chose a background that had a very downtown, urban feel and saturated colors to add more richness to the photographs,” said Shauna.  “The flying skirt is a composite from another photograph in the same series.”

Check out this fun, colorful and urban session below and read what else Shauna had to say about it!  Thanks for sharing your work with Seniorologie Shauna!





What was your inspiration for this photo shoot?
The tv show The Carries Diaries. Set in the 1980’s in New York.

Where did this photo shoot take place?
Downtown Bakersfield, CA

Did you collaborate with this senior to come up with the clothing and/or concept for this shoot?
We decided on the colors based on the leather jacket and shoes she wanted to wear and her favorite color being blue. I handmade the skirt and added ribbon to the vintage white bead necklace to make it more chunky looking.

What camera, lens or other equipment was used for this shoot?
Canon 5D mark 2 with a 24-70 lens and natural light.

What time of day were these taken?

Can you share any post-processing techniques used when editing this session?
To saturate the color I used the sponge tool in pHotoshop.


What is your favorite thing about this session?
The flying skirt!

What do you want this session to convey about this senior and about your senior photography style?
I am a fashion inspired senior portrait photographer. I want my seniors to feel like they are on the set of their very own fashion shoot.

What is one tip you can share with other photographers regarding photographing seniors?
Get to know your senior client and find out what they like who they want to be when they grow up, what their hobbies and interests are so that you can use it to tailor their portrait session to to that.


Seniorologie Spotlight – {Share Your Image Saturday}


Each week we choose three images that have been shared by all of you on our Facebook page.  To enter this weekly contest, simply post a recent photo from a senior shoot that you have photographed sized to 740 px wide and include your photography business name and you will be considered for that week’s top three.  The Top Three chosen each week will be posted right here on the blog on Saturdays and the winner will be displayed as our Facebook timeline cover for the week.

This week’s top three are Coco Laine Photography, Photo Jewels Photography and Kim Rollwitz Photography.

Congratulations to these three!  Keep sharing those amazing images with Seniorologie!!





Senior Style – {Adding Necklaces to a Style Closet}

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…the easiest way to start a Style Closet for your Senior Photography Business is with jewelry!:)  I’ve seen other photographers have a jewelry bar or like me, when I first started, a tackle box of jewelry to take on shoots.  Just adding that perfect accessory such as a beautiful necklace can be the finishing touch to your senior’s outfit.

Necklaces can be purchased from a number of places for your Style Closet.  Here is a list of my favorite places to purchase jewelry…

Forever 21 

Stella & Dot

Charming Charlie

Pink Pineapple Shop

Altar’d State

J Crew

Kendra Scott

Kate Spade

Bauble Bar


Check out these beautiful necklaces below that would be a perfect addition to a Senior Style Closet and to any senior’s wardrobe for their photo shoot!  Remember, the perfect accessory can make the outfit!  Be sure to Pin this to show your Seniors what pieces could be added to their outfits to make them picture perfect!