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4 tips for choosing a Portland Senior Photographer

Choosing a Portland Senior Photographer

“They are just pictures,” she said. “Just go to JC Penney” she said. Sorry, Mom. You got that one wrong. My experience was sorely lacking. 26 years later, I still feel disappointed that I didn’t have a senior portrait experience that made me feel special and beautiful. Instead, when I look at my senior photos, I feel embarrassed to show my kids because they might realize their Mom was totally unfashionable and clueless about hair or makeup back then. They bring up bad memories of being one of the uncool kids. So now I’m on a mission to share my best tips for choosing a Portland Senior Photographer. I hope for other high school girls to have an amazing senior portrait experience where they feel like the special ladies that they are. Here are 4 questions to ask a photographer to see if they are a good fit for you.

4 tips for choosing a Portland Senior photographer. This image is of a high school senior girl lying back on a couch.

Is professional hair and makeup provided?

Whether you wear makeup in every day life, or not, professional hair and makeup makes a huge difference in the final photos. Even if the makeup look you choose is a very natural look, you’ll find that a bit of makeup makes your features pop. Features look more subdued in photographs. Facial features can blend in to the skin. Hair can look flat. A professional hair and makeup artist with experience in working with photographers will know how to apply the makeup in a way that will photograph beautifully.

How to choose a Portland senior photographer. This image is a of a teenage girl sitting on a blue sofa in a photography studio.

It’s also true that the time spent being pampered in the makeup chair is an amazing part of the experience. My ladies start their shoot off feeling beautiful and confident. Those feelings show up in the senior photos.

Does the photographer offer studio or outdoor senior sessions?

One of the most important questions when choosing the right senior photographer for you is whether they offer studio sessions or outdoor sessions. Which do you want for your shoot? While some photographers give the option of either one, some photographers don’t have a studio and are unable to shoot indoors. It’s also sometimes the case that studio photographers don’t offer outdoor sessions.

Studio photo sessions are my favorite because I can provide perfectly beautiful lighting. Also, the photo shoot isn’t dependent on unpredictable Portland weather. That being said, I do offer outdoor senior sessions for those who have their heart set on that.

Do you like the photographer’s shooting and editing style?

Every photographer has their own look and it’s simple enough to advise you to find a style that you like. In addition to that, though, please make sure you get a good look at the photographer’s portfolio on their website. Is their look consistent? Can you tell exactly what to expect for your own photos? I urge you not to just go off of a small handful of photos that you see on Instagram. If the photographer has inconsistency in their work, you may not end up getting photos that are what you are expecting.

How to choose a Portland senior photographer. This image is of a teenage girl posed in a sitting pose in front of a white wall in a studio.

Is quantity the priority or is quality most important?

Of course, price is an important part of your decision when choosing a photographer, but along with that, you might consider quantity vs quality. Speaking for myself, I’d much rather have 20-30 amazing photos that I absolutely love than 100 photos that are just good (or not so good). That’s what my clients want and that’s what works great in a stunning album layout for the final keepsake product.

Choosing a Portland senior photographer

The last year of high school is full of traditions and social rights of passage. At the end of the school year is prom and graduation, of course. But long before that, the year starts off with the tradition of senior photos. Start the year off right with an unforgettable senior portrait experience. I hope these tips help you to choose the best senior photographer for you.

Let’s chat!

If you feel like I might be the Portland senior photographer that you are looking for, please send me an email and we can chat! I can’t wait to get to know you.

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What to Wear for a Fall Photo Shoot

What to Wear for a Fall photo shoot

Are you looking for ideas for what to wear for a Fall photo shoot in Portland?

Ahhh… the time of year I look forward to most! I know some of you ladies treasure your sunny days, but all summer long, I’m dreaming of the day when I can don my cozy Fall attire. Fall is my jam. It’s also my favorite time of year for photo shoots, I love how Fall outfits look in portraits. If you have a photo shoot coming up, you may be wondering what to wear for a Fall photo shoot in Portland, OR . Here are some ideas to give you inspiration.

What to wear for a Fall Photo shoot in Portland, OR. This is a boudoir image of a woman wearing a sweater off the shoulders.


Sweaters, sweaters, and more sweaters. My favorite kind of wardrobe to photograph, happens to be trusty sweater. Their softness brings out the softer side of a woman’s personality, which is so lovely . I particularly love the comfy, long sleeves against her face.

I recommend a sweater that is more on the light weight side. A chunky, bulky sweater can add weight, which is something my clients typically aren’t hoping for. lol

For a beauty photo shoot, slouchy, off the shoulder sweaters look good on everyone. If you like this look, make sure your sweater has a wide neck or deep v neck. Cardigan sweaters work great for this, too.

Leggings or ripped jeans pair well with a sweater and look fun and casual. Skip the pants all together for a more intimate look. Add a tutu or other skirt to glam up your sweater for a dressy vibe.

A sweater poncho or shawl gives an even higher level of comfy-coziness. (Is that a word?) Your photos can feel like you are relaxing at home on a chilly day, watching the leaves fall from the trees out your window. If you are looking for an outfit that’s slimming, I wouldn’t choose a poncho or anything that is too oversized. But they can look really cute if you aren’t worried about that.

Have you ever worn a sweater dress? That is another way to add femininity and dress-uppiness (there I go making up words, again) to the sweater look.

Fall Colors and Textures

It probably goes without saying, but Fall colors are always great and so obviously reminiscent of the season. Orange, brown, black, tan, green, maroon, mustard yellow, and gold. In addition to the softness of sweaters, corduroy is another texture that shouts Fall. Knits, lace, tweed, and wool are other ways to add texture. Wool can get pretty warm, though, so you may want to avoid that if you run warm.

Ideas for what to wear for a Fall photo shoot. Photography by Rayleigh in Portland. This woman is wearing a black sweater and brown corduroy skirt while lying on a fur blanket on a chase. For more info, see byRayleigh.com.


One of my favorite things about a Fall wardrobe is the ability to add layers to outfits, which always adds interest. Scarves are a great way to do that. I recommend a solid color or subtle print. We wouldn’t want a bold pattern to distract from your face.

I love bare feet in portraits, but for Fall, a pair of knee-high or thigh-high socks are also so cute. Boots are a great way to add an additional layer over your pants this season.

Halloween Attire

If you’ve got something special, Halloween costumes can be fun to photograph. We just want to be careful not to cross over to the cheesy side.

Ideas for what do wear for a Fall photo shoot. Photography by Rayleigh in Portland. This woman is wearing a Black hooded cape and black lace gloves while standing in front of a black background. For more info, see byRayleigh.com.
Ideas for what to wear for a Fall photo shoot. Photography. This young girl is wearing a Little Red Riding Hood costume outside next to a tree with Fall leave on the ground. For more info, see byRayleigh.com.

This beautiful Mother (below) has a shirt to match her daughter, which is so fun to do sometimes. What I like even more, though, are outfits that are coordinated but not too matchy-matchy. For family photos, start by choosing Mom’s outfit. Then find 2-3 coordinating colors for the other family members that compliment each other.

Ideas for what to wear for a Fall photo shoot. Photography by Rayleigh in Portland. This family is wearing orange and black shirts with jack-o-lantern faces while sitting in a pumpkin patch. They backlit by the setting sun. For more info, see byRayleigh.com.

Football Jerseys

When you think about Autumn, is football what comes to mind? If Football is your thing, it can be fun to incorporate your love for the sport in your Fall photo shoot. Showing support for your team is one way to share your unique personality and interests in your photos.

Now you have some ideas for your Autumn photo shoot wardrobe

I hope these ideas help give you some inspiration for what to wear for your Fall beauty, glamour, senior, maternity, boudoir, headshot, or family photo shoot in Portland. If you’d like more ideas, Pinterest is always a wealth of inspiration! If you don’t already have a photo shoot booked, I’d love to chat with you about scheduling something. Please send me an email! I can’t wait to hear from you.

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What to wear for a Fall photo shoot. For more info, see byRayleigh.com

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