Are you a high school senior and thinking about graduation photography? Since you are only a high school senior once (most of us anyway), you may be wondering about senior pictures. With this article, I will provide some help if you have a few questions about getting senior photography completed.
When should you plan to have your senior pictures taken?
Senior pictures are usually taken sometime in the summer between your junior and senior year of high school. Sometimes you can wait until school starts, and some people have them taken as late as December. However, you should first check when your school yearbook deadline is. Use that date and work backwards from it. Find out how long it takes to see proofs from the photo shoot and how long after you order will your pictures be ready. The main tip would be: Don’t wait until the last minute. If you can, schedule senior pictures in August or September, if not sooner. Then you should not have to worry about having pictures completed in time for the yearbook.
If you want fall colors, schedule your portrait session in early October for our area. That should provide enough time to show you an online proof gallery and for you to make a selection for the yearbook. (However, be aware, some yearbook deadlines are in October.) To get the yearbook photo, you should not have to order all your pictures. Once a client selects their yearbook photo, I get that retouched and sent to the school. No need to wait for a complete order.
Where should you have your senior pictures taken?
Senior portraits can be done at an indoor studio or outdoors. Many seniors opt to have their photography done outside. When I photograph high school seniors, we will do the photography in downtown Northfield or at one of the colleges or green spaces in town. There are many beautiful locations around Northfield. Senior pictures have become more natural and less formal over the years (see my article on changes over the years). The in-formalness of pictures provides the opportunity to try more creative locations and capture images with many different backgrounds — at no additional cost.
Can you bring friends along?
Yes. If you want to bring some friends or family members along you may. We can even do some photographs of you and your friend(s) together. Sometimes I have done multiple seniors together, so if you have a friend and you want to do them together, let me know.
What about props?
Do you play an instrument or are in a sport? Do you have a hobby or a pet? Items to reflect your personality may be brought along for the senior photography session. I always make sure to capture some of your senior pictures with those items to provide the student some great options for their senior pictures. Bring Fido along; we’ll get some fun pictures with the two of you.
Once the photographs are completed, you can expect to see your pictures in an online photo album within two weeks. That album can be shared with others, so if you have a grandmother who wants to see them you can share the link, and she can view them as well.
Once you are able to view the online pictures, you should select your favorites. Narrow down the pictures to a dozen or so favorites. (I receive many comments from seniors that there are too many great pictures, which makes it hard for them to decide on favorites. That is exactly what I strive to provide.) Of course, eventually you have to select just one to go in your yearbook. Remember, this image should be a closer shot, not full length. You want to be able to see your face well, after all, it is a yearbook photo so everyone will know what you look like. From the other pictures, you should determine which image you like best to have larger wall prints made, which portraits you would like to give to relatives and which you would like to be on your invites. The nice thing is, if you want to order lots of senior pictures, I won’t stop you. 🙂
What about graduation invites?
Seniors really have some good options that were not available a number of years ago. I encourage seniors to order the 5×7 press printed invitations to send out for their graduation party. These are high quality invites that can be customized to say whatever you want. The invites also provide the opportunity to show off many of your favorite photos. This is a great way to share some of those beautiful senior photos with others and those who receive them can keep them. Everyone should look at press printed invites. There is a style for everyone.
Those are some of the main items to think about as you ponder the senior photography experience. If you have any questions about senior photography, please drop me a line. I would love to help you get answers to your questions. Thanks for reading.