As a senior photographer serving the Iola area and throughout the country for the past 20+ years, I have a ton of knowledge about the senior photography industry. I love sharing to help seniors and their parents have stress-free senior sessions and stunning senior portraits! So let's dive into a few tips on some common session mistakes and how to fix them:


Wanna know the #1 secret to the best senior session ever straight from an industry-leading photographer? It's all in the PREP work! How you prepare for your senior session will show 100% in your senior pictures! That's why we pride ourselves on giving every single one of our clients an unmatched session prep experience. AKP provides downloadable guides and resources to help make your session day easy & stress-free! We are the experts in preparing for a session because we've helped hundreds of seniors over the past 12 years! We know all the tips & tricks to have the best senior session possible!

Here's a sneak peek into what our senior clients receive when they book their session with AKP:

• What to Wear Guide: This guide helps you know everything from what skin tone you have so you know what colors best suit you to different style inspirations, how to dress for your body type, and so much more! It's our clients' FAVORITE guide from their welcome packet!

• Face Prep Guide: ready to get your face ready for your big day?! This guide will help you know what to avoid and what to do to make your skin super smooth, fresh, and glowing for your session day airbrush makeup application!

• Nail Prep Guide: Nothing can take attention away from your face more than a set of busted nails and cuticles. This guide will help you prepare your nails and hands for a perfect portrait! We'll also share the best nail polish colors that our clients have used in the past!

• Session Day Packing List: Do you want to know exactly what to bring to your session and don't want to forget everything? We've got you covered! We'll send you a final packing list with many details, including the most forgotten items!


Now is the season where it usually happens... the air gets cooler, the wind picks up, and before you know it, our lips feel dry and less than nourished. Want a secret session prep tip that will have your lips looking luxurious the day of your session (no matter what they looked like last week)? Well, look no further! For one whole week BEFORE your senior session, brush your lips with a toothbrush every night before going to bed and slather on your fave lip fix.

What balms are best? Here are a few we love:

• Burt's Bees: Overnight Intensive Lip Treatment

• Blistex Intensive Moisturizer

• Aquaphor Lip Protectant

• Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask

• Vaseline Lip Therapy

Let me tell you, chapped lips not only show through all kinds of lipstick & gloss, but they're also incredibly difficult to Photoshop in your senior portraits. Your best bet is to follow these tips and arrive with smooth, healthy lips for a portrait-perfect smile!


I know you want to be a beautiful bronzed goddess for your senior session, but running out and getting spray-tanned the day before your session could end in a blotchy, streaky nightmare. If you are determined to be faux-tanned for your session, here are a few details that could save your skin (literally):

• Don't get a spray tan within 3 days of your session. Your color needs time to develop & settle. Lightly exfoliate your skin 48 hours after your spray session, and then rub in plenty of moisturizers to help it set.

• Exfoliate and scrub your wrists, ankles, knees, and knuckles religiously if you get a spray tan. These are the parts of your body that can collect extra tanner and actually make you look dirty. After scrubbing, hydrate these areas with a heavy moisturizer.

• Consider using a slow-build self-tanner the month before your session. These daily moisturizers with gradual tanning solution build a bronze glow over time that won't look blotchy or streaky like spray tans can. First, the secret to using these options is to layer them over a base lotion.


Senior pictures are NOT the time to wait until the last minute. You will need plenty of time to make other appointments with your hair stylist, nail artist, aesthetician, etc., to ensure you feel your best the day of your session. You also need to consider how busy senior year events will get & you'll want to have your session booked with your top choice for a photographer before they book out! To make sure you have your senior pictures ready for your grad card orders, grad party, and senior slide shows, let's look at the AHP timeline to find out how far in advance you'll want to have your


• Session day to gallery delivery: this time includes culling through your session, editing your images, uploading your high res images to your custom gallery, and sending you your custom delivery hub. This means that you'll have digitals between 2 and 3 weeks after your senior session at the most basic level of image delivery. If you want grad cards, albums, and other products, you'll need to add a few more weeks to your end goal timeline.

• Grad card design to card delivery: from the moment you place your order with AKP, we work hard to get your grad cards designed, proofed, confirmed, printed, and delivered to your doorstep within 2-3 weeks. Remember that you want to send out graduation and party invitations at least 6 weeks in advance if you want to give people enough time to plan to come. Grad announcements can be sent out at any time between May and August.

• Senior products design to delivery: if you'd like to have an album, signing portrait, gift prints, and canvases displayed at your grad party, you'll want to order those products at least 3 weeks before your grad festivities. So, if you plan on sending out graduation and party invitations, you'll want to book your session 9 weeks in advance to ensure you have plenty of time to invite your family, friends, and loved ones. For this time, you'll need to book your session for early April. If you plan on only sending out grad announcements, you'll want to book your session at least 6 weeks before your festivities. This means that you'll want to book your session, at the very latest, in mid-April.


VARIETY is everything! Ensure your outfits aren't all dresses, jeans, or shorts. Try to incorporate a variety of pieces and styles (like urban, organic, casual, and sophisticated).

Here are 3 quick tips to making sure you have plenty of variety in your session wardrobe:

• Don't show up to your senior session with the same kind of clothing piece (for example, maxi dresses) or the same vibe (for example, sophisticated) for every single outfit. Get some variety in there! Bring different kinds of pieces like denim for one outfit, a formal gown, a skirt, or some shorts, and make sure they range from casual to sophisticated and everything in between!

• Opt for colors that complement your skin tone. Wearing the wrong colors for your skin tones can make you look washed out and very drab. To stay looking fresh and your best! Go with colors that are known to fit your seasonal shades, like warm, cool, or neutrals.

• Speaking of colors, change it up throughout your session outfits! I'm all for a good monotone color. Palette, your senior session is a time for purposeful variety showcasing your personality. Opt for a beautiful range of colors that look good with your skin tone for the ultimate variety. If you absolutely must stick with one or two colors, at least vary the shades to mix it up.


We have a FREEBIE for you! Download our free guide: What NOT to Wear for Your Senior Session! This will give you an inside look at what to avoid when putting your outfits together! If you're ready to book your senior session with April Kroenke Photography, the time to book is NOW! Contact us through our contact form, and we'll start your booking process! We'll send you our client magazine and available dates!