• Aderinsola Popoola

5 Step Guide to Graduate Portraiture Preparation!

Step One: Develop Your Vision

Your photographer will help bring your vision to life but it’s up to you to develop it! Your graduation portraits should not only document your accomplishments but also capture the facets of what make you who you are. Take some time to think about how you can personify yourself.

Maybe your future goal is to be a doctor. Grab a stethoscope as a prop! Maybe one of your favorite hobbies is playing soccer. Grab a soccer ball and shoot an action shot of you scoring a goal! Another idea is to create a vision board. Creating a vision board can help you gain inspiration for props, posing, outfits and so on. Pinterest is an excellent tool to create visual boards. Not every graduation shoot needs to be creative but you should maximize your shooting time by coming with a set plan of what you want to portray.

Step Two: Early Is The New On Time

Do yourself and your photographer a favor and arrive at least 15 minutes early to your photography session. This extra time is super valuable! For one, it gives you the opportunity to relax and organize yourself for your photo shoot. When you arrive late, you can appear frazzled, out of breath and not put together. This in turn may have you in a bad mood and you don't want that to be reflected in your pictures.

Secondly, arriving early gives you the time to have any last minute discussions with your photographer. Perhaps you had an amazing idea for your shoot on the ride there. The extra time can benefit you and your photographer in such a way that you are both on the same page as to how the shoot will go!

Finally, arriving early can help you save money! Many photographers charge extra fees for clients that arrive late and/or need to spend extra time shooting past the agreed end time of the shoot. Portraiture sessions are an investment but you do not want to be caught in a situation where your photographer refuses to deliver your photos until you pay the extra fess associated with extra shooting time.

Step Three: Wardrobe

Right after your beautiful face, your choice in wardrobe is very important. During your shoot, you will be taking both traditional and modern graduation photos. Your choice of attire must not only be consistent with your photos but also complement who you are!

Try to avoid busy patterns that may distract from you, the subject. Be sure to iron or steam out any wrinkles in your garments. Post editing may not be able to save you if you don't. Bring a back up outfit in case there is a wardrobe malfunction. You don't want to be out of luck if you bend down and hear a rip in your pants. Lastly, plan out the number of outfits included in your photography package in such a way that you are able to get versatile and unique photos that capture who you are.

Step Four: Stylist Please!

Okay, so maybe you aren't a movie star and don't have your very own personal stylist. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't seek out such services! Photoshop may work wonders but your photographer is not responsible for your appearance. You are. And unless you want to pay extra fees for retouching and editing, it's best to come your best for your photo shoot.

Make up. Hair. Nails. Skin. Seek out services to to get these all perfected before your photo shoot. A good rule of thumb is to be done with these services at least an hour before your shoot. You don't want to risk being late! Luckily for you, Aderinsola Visions Photography has service recommendations for those that live in Pennsylvania and Maryland:

Jariatu Kamara of Looks By Jariatu

Middle Photo: wig constructed and styled by Jariatu

Looks by Jariatu is dedicated to empowering our clients through makeup and hair styling. Whether it is looking great for a speech to prom, we empower and help our clients glow from the inside out. We offer an array of services at Looks by Jariatu. From creation of custom wigs to full glam makeup. We work with our clients to deliver the hairstyle and makeup they need to look their best.

Services offered: natural, soft and glam makeup looks with eyelash application. Along with this, wig creation, installation and customization is also offered.

Contact: by phone (202) 386-8240 or by email jariatumakeup@gmail.com or by Instagram @looksbyjariatu

Future promotions will include a graduation and prom discount for the class of 2020!

Aijalon Brown of BCB Beauty

BCB Beauty which stands for Beautiful City Brown (meaning of my name) was established in January 2018. At first I started off as Adored by Aije which only offered makeup services. In October 2019 I re-branded to BCB Beauty and added mink lashes to my brand. BCB Beauty wants women to feel beautiful at a reasonable price. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic I am not taking any makeup appointments in my home. If needed, I could travel to a client’s home.

Services offered:

Natural Full face of Makeup – $40

Glam Full face of makeup - $45

Glitter Full face of makeup - $50

Regular lashes - $8

25 MM lashes - $11

Contact: by phone (412) 386-0518 or by Instagram @bcbbeautypgh

Website & Pages:


Facebook page: BCB Beauty

C’enna Crosby of Nails by Cece

I started doing nails when I was about 10 years old. It started off simple and before I began my senior year in high school I created my own side hustle/business serving those in my area. After nail school I created an Instagram page for my business where I document all of my work today. I obtained my nail technician license in June of 2018. Today I serve clients in the Philadelphia and Pittsburgh area.

Services offered: Nails by Cece offers services to both men and women. Services include manicures, pedicures, and nail enhancements. At this C'enna does acrylics and hard gel nail enhancements. As time goes on she increases the services that she does.

Contact: by Instagram @__nailsbycece

Alexis Herbert of Beauté Noire Lash Company

Beauté Noire was started in December of 2019 to help women enhance their beauty. We wanted to do this without breaking the bank, or “lashin’ on a budget” as we like to call it! We strive to provide lashes of all lengths and styles so that anyone can feel classy with a quality set of lashes.

Services offered: We offer luxury 100% Siberian Mink strip lashes! Currently Beauté Noire has The Noire Collection, which includes our four signature lashes. Bossy, Rae, Nene, and Chrissy are four durable, gorgeous lash styles made for any woman! As an online boutique, we provide limited drop-offs as well as shipping to all 50 states. Contact: by Instagram @beautenoirelash.co or email beautenoirelashcompany@gmail.com Stay tuned for future promotions and a special giveaway for graduating seniors!

Step Five: Jam Session

Create a music playlist for your session. Trust me, if you aren't a natural model, you may be uncomfortable in front of the camera for the first part of your shoot. To avoid photos where you look stiff and shy, have a playlist at hand that has you feeling confident and glamorous! This is your big moment! You should be shining as bright as a diamond.

Feel free to invite a friend or two that can jam with you! Keep in mind, they can not be photographed with you, but there is no harm in having people around who make you feel comfortable. And extra hands of assistance at the shoot is always a plus!

Best of luck on your graduate portraiture shoot and congratulations on your big accomplishment!


©2020 by Aderinsola Visions Photography.