Posts Tagged ‘Senior Photography’


The Benefits of a Longer Senior Portrait Session

June 28, 2017

My favorite part of planning collections for High School Seniors is knowing how different each and every student will be. With that in mind, I love to make sure there are a few different options in my collections. However, I can’t lie about how much I love, and recommend, the longer sessions.

Understandably, being the subject of pictures is not everyone’s forte. Although, the number one thing to remember about your senior portraits is they are a once in a lifetime opportunity. They not only celebrate a huge accomplishment and right of passage, but your portraits may be necessary for use in your future endeavors.


Which brings me to the most important reason why longer sessions are preferred.

Your outfit styles can vary more widely.

It’s always a good idea to have your outfits range from casual to (semi)formal. Even if you’re not a “dress up” kind of person, it may be necessary to have at least a few formal or semi-formal shots. On top of your grandparents wanting a dressy picture of you, it’s very likely that colleges, scholarships or even job applications may like you to include a photo. In these instances, having a professional looking shot included with your credentials could improve your chances of being accepted. It shows them you’re really getting ready for the adult world!


Image © Noel Photography and Design | DO NOT COPY OR ALTER

In addition to having more outfit choices, we will also have extra time to visit more locations. Your experience and your photos will certainly be heightened if we are able to put some variety in your backdrops. It gives you more options to choose from when deciding the best images to hang on the wall and to hand out to friends and family.

Lastly, another one of my favorite pro’s to a longer session is creativity! While we can get a lot done in just an hour or two, there’s no question that setting up truly unique shots take a little extra time. The longer sessions mean we can knock out a few different locations and have time to play with more challenging ideas!


Image © Noel Photography and Design | DO NOT COPY OR ALTER

To sum it up, your senior portraits should reflect who you are and what you’ve accomplished. Sometimes it’s hard to wrap that into just an hour or so. Not to mention, your investment should help you to move to your next step after high school.

Thank you all so much for reading! Leave any questions or comments in the comment section and be sure to follow Noel P&D on Facebook by hitting LIKE, and to follow along via blog or email here on WordPress!

Happy Creating!



Three Neutral-Eye Looks for Senior Portraits!

April 19, 2016

When prepping for senior portraits it’s important to consider ALL the little details of your look. So this post is focusing on one of your most important features – your eyes!

The very first makeup tip I give to my seniors is “keep it neutral.” The cosmetics available to us include every color under the sun, but it’s important to remember there’s very limited time during your session. Meaning changing your eye makeup with every outfit is typically not possible. Using a neutral palette will allow you to move through your session with easy touch-ups and a 100% guarantee your makeup will match every outfit.

© Noel Photography & Design

© Noel Photography & Design

Does that mean your makeup has to be boring or non-existant? Absolutely not! Your senior portraits are one of your biggest photo opportunities you’ll have. Therefore, there’s no reason neutral has to be boring! Here are a few neutral styles I LOVE for senior portraits:



The “smokey eye” look is a classic and dramatic eye shadow that can never be wrong. It’s a subtle, darker look that can really accentuate your eyes, no matter what their color. Many choose to do this technique in either brown OR black shades, depending upon how bold they’d like to be. Adding a neutral “sparkle” can help highlight, and give dimension to this look, as well.

Image samples found on

Smokey eye with neutral sparkle | Image sample found on



Smokey Eye Tutorial

Smokey Eye Tutorial

Applying a basic smokey eye can be pretty easy, and typically requires a minimum of 2-3 colors: Light and Dark OR Light, Medium and Dark. This particular tutorial includes three colors. As for tools, I use two soft “blending brushes” for the whole process. Keeping one brush for light colors and a second for dark colors. So here we go:

1. & 2. The first two steps blur together because you want to do a lot of blending with your first two colors. Apply a medium neutral color across the whole lid, then a lighter highlighting color under the brow and in the inner corner of your eye. Blend, blend, blend! (Image 1 of 4)

3. Using a dark brown or black, smudge the dark shadow into the crease of your lid. Blend the edges. (Image 2 of 4)

4. After all your shadows are well blended, apply liner to the upper and lower, inner ledges of your eye. Crayon is easiest, but I occasionally use both crayon and liquid liner for this look. Liquid makes it last longer, has sharper lines, and won’t smear as easy. (Image 3 of 4)

{Careful, it does take some practice applying liquid liner to the ledge of your eye!}

5. If desired, curl your eyelashes, but be sure to apply your mascara on the upper and lower lashes. Done!

6. Practice makes perfect.



This is my particular favorite for a neutral eye! There’s two ways a “wing” can be accomplished: Shadow or eyeliner. It’s very important to choose your method wisely based on your personal characteristics. Shadows make this look more subtle, while still getting the awesome definition of a winged technique. Liners are going to create a bold, harsh line for those looking for a dramatic wing.

Shadow Wing | Image sample from

Shadow Wing | Image sample from


Eyeliner Wing | Image sample from

Eyeliner Wing | Image sample from



The last step of this tutorial is actually the most important. The “eyeliner” wing in particular can be very difficult to master. Practice getting both eyes even, and how to fix them without starting your make up process from scratch (which I will also cover in this tutorial.) On top of this being a difficult technique, there are SO MANY variations: small wing, large wing, thick, thin, curved or straight! Play around with what works best for your eye shape. The tutorial I have posted here is showing a thicker line, with a more straight or flat top, compared to the image sample just above. So let’s jump in:

Eyeliner Wing Tutorial

Eyeliner Wing Tutorial

1. Similar to the smokey eye, apply a light all-over color across your lid. Followed by a medium, neutral color to ever-so-slightly accent your crease. (Image 1 of 6)

2. Choose a neutral, dark color like brown, black or navy. Liquid liners with tapered, firm ends work best.  I am using “Revlon Colorstay SKINNY in the color BLACK OUT.” Start with a thin baseline across your lashes. You can build thicker if desired later, however, starting thin also allows room for error. (Image 2 of 6)

3. Using your tapered liner tip, add a diagonal line at the outer corner of your eye, at an angle you desire. I usually recommend a wider angle to create a sleek, elongated look. Consider using the end of your eyebrow as a reference point.  (Image 3 of 6)

{TIP: Do NOT tilt your head to the side, or pull on your eye to make your creases flat when making the angled line. Doing either of these can make a distorted line, or make it difficult to evenly apply the second wing. Instead, keep your head straight towards the mirror and slightly tip your head back allowing your eyes to close slightly to flatten your lid surface.}

4. Now, starting at the tip of the angled line, draw another line in toward your first base line. How you make this line is what defines whether it’s flat like mine, or more curved like the image sample above mine. You can then fill in the “triangle” you’ve just created and anywhere that was missed near the lash line. (Image 4 of 6)

5. Almost done… Let’s bridge the gap between wing and lashes! To fill in more of the lashes and make everything more solid, add crayon liner to the upper ledge of your eye, just beneath the lashes. (Image 5 of 6)

6. Curl your lashes if desired, but complete your look by adding mascara. WAA-LA!

7. Practice, Practice, Practice!



Oh crap! Your wings aren’t even… Don’t run to the sink to wash your face just yet. Choose which side you like better!

1 Dip a q-tip in make up remover or water. (Choose this based on what kind of liner you’re using…ie. waterproof or water based. I like using the natural astringent, Witch Hazel.)

2 Starting at the outer tip of the wing, press firmly and roll your q-tip in toward your lash line, removing the wing. You may need to repeat this process to get all of the wing removed. However, avoid using the same q-tip end twice, as to not smear around the liner already on the q-tip that you just removed.

3. Touch up the shadows you had as a base and in your crease. Don’t worry if some of the new shadow gets on the eyeliner still at your lash line.

4. Retry! Now you’re ready to try the wing again.

5. Assuming you’ve master it the second time, don’t forget to touch up the baseline with some fresh eyeliner. This will cover any touch up eye shadow that fell on it.

6. Repeat as needed. 🙂



I love this look, but it’s definitely one to be careful with! The “under eye smudge” can give a dramatic twist on the classic smokey eye or winged look. However, if overly or incorrectly done, this style can overtake your facial features and make subjects appear tired. With that in mind here are some tips for this look:

Image sample found on

Image sample found on

Image sample found on

Image sample found on

Image sample found on

Image sample found on


TIP 1: Keep the smudge line thin and just under your lower lashes. Doing so will keep those dark colors from getting into the under eye circle area, which is where this style can make you look tired.

TIP 2: Use sparkly neutrals alone or with a darker color for a brighter effect. Using a medium shade may also be a better alternative to dark as well.

TIP 3: While it’s best to keep everything neutral, doing a single, light color for the under eye can be stunning! If you do decide to venture into color, pick one that is a compliment to your eye color, or a color that is featured in more than one of your outfits.

Alright friends, there you have it, my top favorite neutral eye make up styles. Thanks for reading and be sure to follow me here on WordPress by blog or email, and hit the LIKE button on Facebook.

Happy Creating!



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