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How to use jewel tones for your winter session | SBVA Snaps Photography by Sarah Van Alstyne

A ton of seniors get their photos done in the warmer months of Spring and Summer when the Texas sun is either warm or downright hot, making sleeveless dresses and short rompers or dresses with sandals fun to wear.

But not only would you be freezing cold if you wore something too revealing at a winter senior session, but you want your clothing choices to compliment the surroundings. Winter senior photography sessions mean that there are no leaves on the trees and woodsy sceneries can be extremely bland, so an urban setting might work better as well, and for that, colors and choices matter so much!

So here are the 6 things to consider when putting together an outfit for a winter senior photo shoot.


In short, choose colors over neutrals. If you wear muted neutrals such as white, grey, or navy, you'll blend into the surroundings. Those colors are great for family photos, but not as styled when you're wanting the focus on YOU!

To start, know that you will want a pop of color somewhere in your outfit--whether it is your top, your bottoms, or your jewelry. Choose one or two colors from a jewel tone pallet to be the "pop" in your outfit. Senior photos that are colorful turn out awesome. So often, I am praised for how great a senior photo looks so awesome, but often it is the vibrant colors in the photo that the person is drawn to rather than anything I did behind the camera.

Remember, that you want to stand out from your surroundings and not blend in.

The best way to do this is by using jewel tones and avoid wearing white, black, or grey tops. When choosing a color, always opt for vibrant. For example, if you were looking at blues, cobalt blue is always better than baby blue or navy.

What are jewel tones, you ask?

Rich colors of fuschia, emerald green, mustard yellow, red, cobalt, and purples. You've probably heard colors like ruby, amethyst, garnet, citrine, peridot, and topaz--all vibrant names of actual jewels.


Solid colors are almost always better for photos than prints. Prints, such as plaid, polkadots, and florals, can often date your picture - meaning years from now you may look at the photo and remember when that pattern used to be popular, but now the trend has passed.

Solid colors are timeless and go well in group photo settings and will not clash with backgrounds as well.


For tops, consider the weather on the day of your shoot and what your arms can handle in low temperatures. You can still show a little skin and look super cute with an off the shoulder sweater or shirt. Also, you can layer with a vest, jacket, or scarf

winter senior photo outfits


If you're wearing a long dress or romper, disregard this section. But otherwise, dark wash skinny jeans or a skirt with tall boots are always a hit! If you wear bottoms that have the jewel tone pop of color, you can pair it with a more neutral pop. For shoes, there aren't really any rules other than know that something with a wedge or heel to it will elongate your legs and make posing for photos much easier!'s WINTER! Meaning booties are best and sandles, flip flops, and naked legs may look out of place--not to mention you'll be freezing at the session.


Dangle earrings, gold hoops, scarves, jackets -- these are the things that take an outfit from "yes" to "YAAAASSSSSS!!!" But just don't overdo it. Pick only 1-2 of the following: statement earrings, vest, hat, or scarf. Scarves and hats are great for easily putting on and removing throughout a session to give variety to your gallery.

Here, these two senior models do a great job of choosing one pop of color and accessorizing.


This one is easy! Hair down and curled or wanded always looks a little more polished. If you aren't having your makeup professionally done, really take the time to do your makeup neatly, and consider adding a bit more eye makeup than you would on a normal day.

senior photos at frisco square

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