I don’t know about your Senior Portraits, but mine were done in the 1980’s. Big hair and even bigger props were the theme for many. I can still see my friends pictures, laying on a white backdrop with acid washed denim and next to huge plastic numbers. I went to a small catholic high school and my choices for my High School portrait were a conservative black drape and either pearls or a simple cross necklace. Thankfully Senior Portraits have changed a great deal and are much more natural and show more of a teens individuality than ever before.
These days Seniors have several options to choose from. Senior sessions options range from traditional studios to more modern sessions on location. Senior Pictures are now meant to do more than just capture a single picture of your teen. A Senior portrait session is a fantastic opportunity to showcase the different sides of your teens personality, their unique talents, and all the things they are passionate about, while creating art work and keepsakes for lasting memories.
With so many choices available scheduling and choosing to have senior portraits taken can feel overwhelming for both parents and seniors. Here are a few quick tips to help you get ready for booking teen’s upcoming senior session!
Know the Yearbook Deadline
Several Phoenix and Scottsdale high schools require your teen to go to a particular studio for the image that will go into the yearbook class page. Families have the option to go beyond that and have individual senior portraits done for tribute pages and personal use. If you do plan on submitting images to the yearbook it is important to know the actual deadline for your individual High School. Once you know the deadline you can schedule your session with enough time to allow for the taking of and delivery of your senior’s images as well as designing a yearbook page. Not sure when the deadline is for your school? I may be able to help you with that. After several years working with several High schools across the valley I have gotten very familiar with year book deadlines at different schools.For example, Xavier College Prep here in Phoenix has a early deadline of mid September and other schools such as Sunnylsope High School have very early spring deadlines for print, think January. Knowing those dates and the importance of having your teens pictures done in time will allow you to plan accordingly. Designing the yearbook page is also a service I offer, taking one more thing off your very busy senior parent plate!
Consider Your Senior’s Schedule
As a parent of a senior, you already know how full their schedules can be with work, extracurricular clubs and sports. If they play a club sport you may want to consider scheduling their portrait session during their off season if possible. Many extra-curricular activities such as football and cheer require most time commitments in the fall, leaving little room for a senior portrait session. If you are more involved in sports such as softball, spring is a difficult season to plan around. It’s always a good idea to chat with your teen about the ideal season for them. As the seasons change so does the available light for your session. The time of day matters when scheduling a senior session especially as the seasons and temperatures change. Spring and summer afternoons can allow for as late as 5pm start times, but winter or late fall may require your teen to miss a period or two of school to accommodate the loss of light by 5pm. We also have the Arizona heat to plan around when scheduling here in Phoenix. My favorite time for the best light will always be the hour just after sunrise and the soft golden light 1-2 hours before sunset. To ensure you find a time that works for you, start by looking at your availability. You never realize just how fast time flies until you try and work a photoshoot into a busy senior year. Before you know it, graduation is around the corner and you don’t have a date for your session yet.
College Decision Date
Some High School seniors start the school year already knowing where they will head to college the following fall. That’s not the case for everyone and you may want to plan your teen’s Senior Pictures late enough in the school year to give them (and you!) time to settle on next steps. Spend some time talking with your senior and decide how important it is to your family to include a college choice in their senior portraits. One way around having to make a decision prior to your teen’s shoot is to focus on the top 1 or 2 most likely choices. You can always bring a t-shirt for both schools so you have pictures ready for announcements, whichever way they decide to go.
Compromise is Key
I hope these tips for scheduling your senior portraits have been helpful! At the end of the day you want to schedule your session at a time that works best for you and your teen and reflects both your preferences. You may have a specific idea about when you want the photos taken but I always suggest chatting with your teen and getting their input. All of my senior sessions allow for multiple clothing changes so use this as an opportunity to find the happy place between what you want and what your senior wants. No matter when you decide to have your session, both you and your teen will come away with lots of variety to please you both. I hope these tips will help guide your decision on timing. All of my sessions come with pre-session planning so you don’t need to worry about all of those details. We will work everything out together! My end goal is always to create the most authentic photos for you and your Senior. Ready to start the planning? Drop me a note on my Contact Page and I’ll be happy to reach out and answer all your questions.