Senior Portraits Preparation Tips For Males

The following Senior Preparation Tips for Males blog post offers a few helpful portrait suggestions to keep in mind when preparing for your senior portrait session.

• Senior Portraits Preparation Tips for Females
Basic Senior Portraits Preparation Tips


Business Headshot Preparation - Clothing, Hair,  Jewelry & Makeup

Senior Portraits Preparation Tips for Males – Shirts aspects to consider are Style, Pattern, Material, Color and Fit.


Collared shirts tend to look best for a finished look. Non-collared shirts (t-shirts) can work in certain scenarios and usually work best when paired with a coat or where the t-shirt is a finer quality.

A plain, non-patterned shirt always works best. If patterned, a very subtle one is acceptable.

Shirts that work best do not easily wrinkle and bounce-back when scrunched.

An off-white or color shirt is much preferred over white. Colored shirts are softer against the skin and are not so contrasty. However, white shirts are acceptable, especially when covered by a dark jacket or sweater. Regardless, if a colored shirt is available, it’s your best option.

In general, a slightly looser fit is preferable over a tight fitting shirt. Choose a snug fitting shirt only when there are no weight concerns. If not, the tight look can easily add around 20 extra pounds of “visual” weight.

When a senior is opting to wear a tie, the main concern is for collared shirts with buttons to the neck. The top must button easily, allowing for a loose fitting collar (i.e. skin must not be pressed tightly), making head turns a breeze.If a new shirt is not in the offing, it’s possible to remedy the problem in post-production retouching.

For the majority of our senior portraits, seniors tend to where shirts without ties. In this case, simply ensure the collar is neither too tight or too loose around the neck.

Business Headshot Preparation for Men - Clothing, Hair, Jewelry & Makeup

Senior Portraits Preparation Tips for Males – Jacket elements to consider are Style, Pattern, Material, Color and Fit.


Think simple and you should do just fine. You might also keep in mind those to whom you wish to give your senior portraits and narrow your focus to appeal to them.

A plain, non-patterned jacket always works best. If patterned, a very subtle one is acceptable.

As with shirts, fabric that works best does not easily wrinkle and bounces-back when scrunched.

By far, darker colors tend to be your best choice. Darker tones not only evoke more emotional impact, but engender a healthy and slim persona:

Black: stirs a sense of both creativity and protection, as well as power, seductive, authority and nimbleness.

Navy: evokes a feeling trustworthiness, integrity, caring, credible, conservative, orderly, calm and loyal.

Dark Brown: practical, solid, reassuring, reliable/dependable, friendly, stable, wholesome and genuine.

Dark Green: masculine, vitality, dependable, tactful, family, nurturing, flexible, conservative, and wealthy.

Deep Purple: feminine, romantic, luxurious, inventive, intuitive, mysterious, wealthy and sophisticated.

Deep Red/Burgundy: harmonious, balanced, supportive, imaginative, spiritual, kind, non-conformist.

Dark Gray: knowledgable/wise, classic, mature, sleek, refined, dignified, controlled, and contemporary.

The primarily concern for any garment is tightness. While you cannot go wrong with a jacket that is a skosh too loose, a garment that is too snug evokes negative attributes of disheveled and careless – both of which are not only non-conducive to evoking a positive feeling, but are decisions made about you at the subconscious level. Others will feel intuitively that your portrait doesn’t express you at your best, yet they cannot tell you why.

Therefore, a comfortable, loose fit is vital. Where our seniors are unsuccessful in this fundamental requisite, we are equipped to remedy the oversight in post-production retouching.

Business Headshot Preparation for Men - Clothing, Hair, Jewelry & Makeup

Senior Portraits Preparation Tips for Males – Ties: We recommend keeping patterns simple and colors subdued.


Again, simplicity is the key. You might also keep in mind those to whom you wish to give your senior portraits and narrow your focus to appeal to them.

We recommend keeping patterns simple and colors subdued. Again, the idea is keep the viewer’s gaze fixed upon your eyes/face, not an abundance of colors and patterns.

Colors to avoid are orange, pink, and iridescent hues. If interested in learning about tie color psychology and what sort of persona you’re exuding to world, followings is a link to my blog post: Tie Color Reveals The Man.

Need help in tying your tie? Here’s a few helpful YouTube links that’ll get you up to speed in a hurry:

• How to Tie A Half-Windsor Knot

• How To Tie A Windsor Knot

• How to Tie a Four-In-Hand Knot

Should you prefer printed instructions, has everything you’ll every need: Learn How To Tie A Tie

Feeling adventurous? Take a look at this fascinating article on 30 DIFFERENT WAYS TO TIE A TIE THAT EVERY MAN SHOULD KNOW!


Bring a happy heart and your smile will take care of itself. Remember, your session should only take a few minutes. It’s a short enough time to turn off the outside pressures of the day and simply be present.
• Smile Challenged? If so, Senior Preparation Tips for Males suggests practicing in front of mirror, remembering the feeling of a natural smile.
• Also, a helpful technique is something we call “Lifting Your Apples.” The roundness of our cheeks are referred to as “apples.” In those instances where a smile is required but it’s challenging to do so on cue, simply “lift your apples” while placing your tongue in the roof of your mouth and a smile will emerge.


If a 5:00 shadow is a concern, please shave beforehand or you may opt to arrive early and take care of it here. We offer disposable razors with our complements – just be very careful to avoid razor burn…


SIMPLICITY is the key.

Necklaces that photograph best are simple with no center focal-point design. Even though we can center a necklace feature (such as the Star of David, or cross), it may not appear to be so in the image – so much depends on how your body is turned. Generally, this is not a detriment for most people, however, the slight off-center feel can cause heartburn for perfectionists like myself…

Earrings that photograph best are simple and small. Dangling earrings can be problematic (for both men and woman) as with any sort of a tilt of the head the earrings will hang freely on one side, while falling askew on the other side of the face.

Bracelets & Watches, though do not generally become an issue in a headshot portrait, if there is a possibility that your hands might show, please keep any wrist-wear simple so that it does not distract and draw attention away from your face.


ALL glasses present two essential challenges:
1. glass glare
2. distortion (eyes and temples

BOTH aberrations can be remedied with judicious retouching and is included with our Pro Retouching. However, for best possible results, we recommend either wearing Non-Glare glasses, or arranging with your Optometrist to remove your lenses prior to your session. Eye/temple distortion is much easier to restore than eyes being obliterated by glass glare.

    • Glasses without non-glare coating are problematic, and therefore we do not recommend regular glasses for portraits. The resulting glare can be light (easy to remove) to severe, which may require a complete rebuilding of the eyes.
    • Non-glare glasses work wonderfully and generally are no problem. However, non-glare can still present a challenge depending on the degree and where the soft-green glow appears, as well as distortion eye, face and temples caused by thicker lenses.
    • NOTE: Contact Lenses work well, though they can cause a bluish ring to appear around the iris.


Generally speaking, men require no makeup. What issues do exist can easily be remedied with Retouching.

Makeup Artist
If you prefer to hire a makeup artist, please inform the artist we are using digital capture. Also keep in mind that unless you have very specific makeup needs, it’s less expensive to request post-production retouching from us rather than hire a makeup artist.


Definition: PROP – 1.  to support or sustain

Props are objects you might to choose to include in your portrait. Generally speak, props are items that have significant meaning. Props might be a musical instrument, sports equipment, or anything you own, which you want to included in your Senior.

However, since props merely support an image, it’s vital that props are used judiciously.

Therefore, should you like to include a prop in your Senior Portrait, please know that Mark prefers portraits where your face and expression are the focal point  – not the prop.

As always, should you have questions regarding any aspect of your approaching headshot, no concern is too small.

Orange County Photographer, Mark Jordan

Mark Jordan
Master Craftsman Photographer
American Society of Photographers
International Photography Hall of Fame & Museum
Orange County Photographer of the Year
3-Time Honoree -EPCOT’S World’s Greatest Photographers Exhibit

When looking for a professional Orange County Family Portraits photographer, or Orange County Headshots Photographer, please call 949-888-8071 or complete our online request form.

Senior Portraits Preparation Tips For Males

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