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9 tips for an amazing grad session!!

With Spring just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about your grad session!!!  With the possibility of this year’s grad festivities being modified like last year, you may be wondering what to do to make grad feel special and like more of an event.  A Grad Photo session may be just what you need!!!

I tend to get the same questions about grad sessions, what to wear, how to prepare, when is the best time for grad photos and more, so I decided to put together a list of my TOP 9 Tips for an amazing Grad Session!!  Before we get into those, though, let me give you an idea of what to expect when you book your session with Lisa Novak photo!


Kamloops grad portrait photographer

Most likely your experience with professional photo sessions has been school portraits  and maybe a couple family sessions over your lifetime. Maybe. Pictures can be stressful when you’re not used to being in front of the camera. If you’re feeling nervous, let me know, because it’s my job to help with that!!! You don’t have to worry about how to pose or be nervous about feeling awkward!  I’ll take care of all of that, and  the tips below will help you feel better before we even start and will help you be prepared! And I believe the more prepared you are for the shoot the more relaxed you’ll be in front of my camera.  I hope this helps to take the stress out of the prep so we can just focus on how much FUN the whole process is!!!!

1. What to wear

I recommend bringing multiple looks, probably 3-5 of them.  We may not shoot them all, but having multiple options ready to go is always a good idea.  

Choose clothes that fit closer to your body (but that you still feel comfortable in). Regardless of body type, more fitted (but not too tight) pieces are typically more flattering in photos.

Choose either neutrals or colors that compliment your eyes, skin tone or hair color.  When thinking of color I recommend deeper blues, greens and burgundy’s, avoiding super bright colors and loud patterns.  Layers are another important factor to think about. Jean and/or leather jackets, flannel shirts, slouchy cardigans and shawls, whatever suits your style, are all great to give us options during a shoot.

Bring your grad formals!  I mean, you bought an amazing outfit, let’s get some more use out of it!

If choosing clothing stresses you out, I’m always willing help with that, my clients often text me photos of what’s in their closet, or what they’re trying on in the store!


A week prior to your session, gather up and try on each complete outfit. Make sure they fit you well and all the pieces go well together.  Check that they are clean and not wrinkled.  Don’t forget to coordinate undergarments too, and the things that are the most often forgotten… shoes and (this one’s for those suit pants) black socks!


Saw a photo you loved on Instagram or Pinterest?  Show me!!  Every session is different and I love to reflect your specific tastes, interests and personality in your session. Inspiration photos help accomplish that.

It’s fun getting creative, so if you can, try to do some “research” on poses and location ideas that make you more excited for the session.


Make sure you stay hydrated and get plenty of rest in the days leading up to your session.  This will aid in keeping your skin clear and eyes bright!

Consider getting professional hair and makeup done! If you wake up with a breakout the day of your session, don’t stress about it! Leave it up to me and the magic of photoshop to clear that up for you. Making sure your nails are taken care of and your eyebrows are groomed is a good idea too!


Because great music will help with nerves, helping you relax and have fun in front of the camera! My grad sessions are a lot like fashion photoshoots, and having upbeat music adds to the vibe of the session! 


Seriously!! The posing is on me, so don’t worry at all about that! I will coach you on posing as much as necessary during the session, so you can just enjoy the experience of being a model for the day.


Part of the fun of a grad session is creating something that’s unique to you and what your interests are, especially since these interests may change dramatically in the future. Do you restore cars? Do you have a car or bike that’s your pride and joy? Are you into extreme sports? Are you a musician? Do you love spending time outside soaking in the quiet of nature?

Adding these pieces of who you are into a grad session often becomes my clients favorite part of the shoot!!


I have shot alllllll over the Kamloops area!!!  If you have a specific location you love that you want to got to, let’s do it!!!  If you have no preference I have a pretty extensive location list, and we’ll chat about the perfect spot for you! I encourage you to look through my instagram and portfolios for inspiration on where would be best for your Senior Session.

If you’re into cars or mountain biking or something that is location specific this can be an easy choice. Otherwise we’ll chat about what you love about local scenery (or what you don’t love, haha) and find something that best represents you!


If you’d feel more comfortable doing a photoshoot with your bestie, or your group of bff’s, OR if you just want to do the shoot together because they’re you’re favorite people and you do everything together so it just makes sense, then, heck yes, let’s talk about a BFF session!!

We can still do all the fun stuff, like photos in your formal wear, as well as your everyday wear, and yes, you will still get gorgeous individual senior portraits, but with the added bonus of sharing the experience with your best friends. And for sure we’ll photograph you together too!!!

Ready to book your session? Drop me a line and we’ll get things rolling!!

Lisa Novakowski      250.320.4213    

Based in Kamloops, BC, Canada.  Available worldwide.