One of the things my seniors tell me they worried about the most when planning their senior session was that they wouldn't look like themselves in the pictures. They don't want to be overly made up, wear outfits they don't normally wear, and they don't want to look like they are trying too hard to be someone they aren't.
I totally get it. Who wants to look back in the years ahead at pics that look pretty, but nothing like who you are at this point in time? We've all seen senior pics that look amazingly beautiful, but we barely recognize the person in it. That's usually because the photographer has a recipe for every shoot that she follows no matter who is being photographed; from what hair and makeup artist to use (it's usually required), to outfits, to locations, props and overall style. It's all decided by the photographer so that she can be sure every shoot reflects her portfolio standards and because having professional makeup makes her job of editing a little easier. Everyone looks the same, wash, rinse, repeat.
My seniors are different. My seniors want pictures that show WHO THEY ARE, not just what they look like, and certainly not how someone else things they should look. Every single client that comes to me gets to sit down with me to tell me how they want to look in their pictures. Some want to look glamorous, so we discuss hair and makeup options from DIY to the mall makeup counters to the best high-end artists in our city. Some of my seniors don't want to wear any makeup at all, and that is ok with me. Some want to bring their dog, some want to be photographed with their show animal, some want to bring a journal, or a chair, their baby brother, or even their own baby. (Almost) anything goes: