How to Get the Best Senior Portraits

Hope Methvin, Mountain Brook High School Class of 2019

Senior portraits are a great way to memorialize this milestone moment in your child’s life. For many, the senior year marks a lot of big changes in their lives – the last year living at home with their parents, last year to be with childhood friends, going off to college and becoming a legal adult. It may be tempting to forego this opportunity given that today’s youth captures nearly every moment with selfies and orchestrated iPhone photos, but professional high-quality portraits will be both useful (think sorority rush packets, graduation announcements) and treasured for years to come, offering a unique way to commemorate all the things they’ve done and celebrate all that lies ahead.  

Capturing this exciting time can be challenging so we asked Beth Hontzas, photographer extraordinaire, to give us some tips to ensure the best portrait outcome.

BH&G: Give us your thoughts on how best to prepare for a senior portrait session, as well as session information such as time allotment and price.

Beth Hontzas: 
I adore photographing seniors! It’s such an exciting time in their lives and I love to capture that! Here are my suggestions:

What to wear? I suggest people bring up to 3 outfits (formal, casual, and in-between). Solids are always best, however I think layering over a stripe or small pattern can add some interest to the old clothing rules! You definitely want to wear things that show your personality. People often ask what colors are best for portraits. It really depends on your skin tone, hair and eye color. What colors look best on you? Most everyone looks great in some shade of blue so that is a perfect place to start. Also, consider layers, jackets, textures, scarves, ruffled sleeves, and dresses that flow. I do a variety of full-length, 3/4 and closeups so make sure you bring accessories and shoes for each outfit.

Spray Tan – good idea or bad idea? If you decide to do a spray tan, make sure you have tested it before your session. You don’t want to show up with orange skin or splotchy areas.

Makeup/Hair – Dos and Don’ts? Having a professional do your hair or makeup is always a great idea! If you are able, you might want to schedule a trial session first to make sure you feel like yourself. If you are doing your own makeup, it’s nice to add a little more to the eyes than you normally would. Bring along your hair brush and makeup bag for touch-ups, if needed.

What to bring? I think it’s fun to bring along your mom or your best friend or even both! They might help you feel at ease at the beginning because most everyone is a little nervous when getting their portraits made. We are not used to knowing what to do or how to stand, but I always talk and walk you through it. It will be fun, I promise! 

Session information – time allotment, price etc? It usually takes about an hour for a three outfit session. My session fee is $300 and I do offer a discount if you and a friend schedule at the same time. Prints and digital files are sold separately.

How can we contact you to get on your schedule?! The best way to contact me is by email [email protected] or by phone 205-253-5870. My website is

Take a look at some examples of Beth’s beautiful senior portraits.


Ruthie Jolly, Mountain Brook High School
Class of 2019
Mary Hanlon Hunton, Vestavia High School
Class of 2019
Elini Gulas, Vestavia High School
Class of 2019
Anna Catherine Brown, Mountain Brook HS 
Class of 2019
Connor Ridgway, Vestavia High School
Class of 2018
Ellie Gray, Homewood High School
Class of 2019

Explore more of Beth’s work here

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