This post about portrait taking is sponsored by Responsival.

Portrait Dilemmas

My oldest is a senior in high school this year. This reality seems to have crept up on me. Besides all of the scholarship and financial applications that are involved in this year, one other part of being a senior mom seemed rather overwhelming too. Senior pictures. While I was not planning on being on either side of the camera. I did anticipate being involved in picking out locations and the photographer. Plus my husband and I concluded that since we were already hiring someone to take one set of pictures, we may as well get family pictures taken as well. This decision resulted creating a new challenge. This might be one of the hardest part of photo sessions: coordinating outfits.

Portrait Wardrobes

When my kids were younger, I could simply pick for them. But now they all have their own opinions. To make the process easier, I decided to have my outfit be the one that everyone coordinated around. To my delight, I found a long patterned tunic sweater that I thought would work well. And it would have if I would not have washed it. Evidently there is a reason why they say that wool sweaters should be dry clean only. (Yes, it shrunk three sizes. My daughter really likes her new sweater.)  Thankfully I did find another outfit that would work, and we mostly coordinated very well.

I only wish that I would have ordered my ROCKFLOWERPAPER oversized scarf earlier.  What I appreciate about scarves is that they add pattern and interest to an outfit. They dress up the basics. The scarf that I ended up picking was the Riley Black Oversized Scarf. Because it is a larger piece of fabric, I can wear it many versatile ways. Although I did not get to wear it for our family pictures, I was able to use it as an option for my promotional picture for an upcoming workshop that I am presenting in the spring.

If you are not looking for a scarf that can double as a tunic, they also have a lovely selection of silk scarves in many different patterns. To check out what they have available, this link takes you to the ROCKFLOWERPAPER scarves collection.


The above picture shows some of the options that are available.

(If you are not into scarves, they have a wide collection of tops for women as well. Bags are available in a wide variety of patterns and styles. Then they also have a selection of items for the home. One surprising item that they have is succulents!)

I am certain that you will find something that you like … for yourself or for a gift.

Not finding anything on that site? Another site where moms might have luck finding accessories to coordinate around is Chadwicks of Boston. Here are some of the scarves that they have available.



Portrait Locations

The next challenging aspect is picking where to take the portraits. Here are few suggestions.

  1. Pick a place that is meaningful to your family. I chose to have my homeschool presenter picture taken in front of a one-room schoolhouse. For some of my son’s senior pictures, we chose an interesting alley near one of our favorite ice cream shops. For our family pictures, we had the photographer come out to our house. We have an old barn and other interesting items that made the perfect backdrop.
  2. If the backdrop is busy, wear basic clothes. Murals especially make fun backgrounds. But try not to clash with them.
  3. Pick a place that is public. Trespassing is not suggested especially if you plan on handing out the pictures. Damaging property is not worth it to anyone!

These are some of my favorite Lincoln locations.


Row by row

Pioneers Park

University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Lincoln Haymarket

Downtown Lincoln

By clicking on the links, you will be brought to general website. If you have would like more specifics about the places that I featured, please let me know. And if you have any further portrait suggestions, please comment below.

Portrait Photographers

There are definitely quite a few photographers to choose from. Because I am friends with several and do not want to start having to keep an exhaustive list, I am choosing not to put out links. Many more options are available compared to when I was a senior and photos had to be sent away.

Today some may even try to take their own photos using a nicer camera.  While some of the images on this site were taken with my phone, many more were taken with my Olympus mirrorless camera. If you are in the market for a camera and live in the Lincoln area, I highly suggest that you check out the cameras at Rockbrook Camera.  They also have a location in Omaha.

Portrait Photography Resources

Pinterest is definitely one of the best places to find ideas on portrait, wardrobe and photo settings.  I have started a Family Photography board with suggestions for making the experience more enjoyable.

If you are looking for print suggestions, here are some of the best books that I could find. Note: these are Amazon affiliate links – if you purchase the item from this link, you are supporting this blog.

I have not looked thoroughly at these books, but they look interesting to me. Both of them are also available on Kindle Unlimited which means that they are free with a subscription.

Posing and Lighting Book

A Master DSLR Book

And in case your lighting needs a bit of help, here are some affordable screens.


P.S. Thank you to Responsival for sponsoring this post. I also appreciated getting to pick out a complimentary scarf from ROCKFLOWERPAPER. I am so glad to add it to my wardrobe!


Author: neodyssey

My name is Gretchen Garrison. I started this blog about Nebraska in 2013. So far, I have written three books about Nebraska and Lincoln.