Top 5 benefits to creating your senior portraits right now
Sep 3, 2019 | By: Allison English Watkins
I am passing along some motherly wisdom I learned after surviving my first childs senior year. NOW is the very best time for your senior to have their portraits created in order to have the maximum photo benefits for the rest of the school year. Senior year is filled with portrait needs that just keep popping up all year long and it feels good when you are prepared with images you love. From scholarship apps to awards slideshows to yearbook dedications, get ahead of the demands now while you have time. I know you are probably thinking you are too busy now, but wait until the end of the school year and you will really feel overwhelmed while juggling AP tests and all the year end celebrations. So I have compiled the top 5 benefits I learned from having your senior portraits created now.
1. Because it's warm, the clothes are fun and you probably have a summer tan- Let's face it, summer and fall clothing are the best to photograph. Everybody feels better when they get to wear clothes they feel confident in. Sun kissed tans and sun streaked hair is fun to photograph when the weather is warm enough to show it off. Feature all your favorite accessories like your sunglasses, car, sports gear and your homecoming formal to really show off your personal style. Senior portraits are about telling the whole story of you and all that you are right now. Having your senior portraits created while the days are still worm give you the maximum location options and most style.
2. Because scholarships and applications often ask for a portrait- As a mom I spent from September through February nagging my son about finishing applications. Applications for college, applications for scholarships, applications for awards, applications for housing and on and on.... these deadlines became the focus of my relationship with my son for a good number of months. I admit they stressed our relationship slightly but now that my son is reaping the benefits of all those applications he is darn grateful I stayed on him. More than half of these applications required professional portraits and it made both of our lives easier to have this obligation ready to go.
3. Yearbook dedications and deadlines- Because our yearbook contracts with a huge corporation to create the very boring and average headshot, the yearbook dedications give us an opportunity to really let our kids personality and style show. Although it costs a little money, senior parents and family can buy a space in the yearbook to print a dedication with photos. I didn't tell my son I was doing this dedication and when he finally saw his own page in the yearbook he admitted he cried with joy. If you have your seniors photos created now you can use these personalized images in your dedications. Usually the deadline for dedications is in January so if you wait until spring to create your senior portraits it is too late.
4. Senior slideshows and celebrations- There is going to be a ton of celebrations as the year starts to close and you will need everything from baby pictures to graduation photos for these parties. Save yourself half the battle by having these images prepped and ready to go. It's also fun when your senior has created photos that reflect their talents and hobbies so they can send specialized photos to each different party. Make their senior photos personal by bringing their hobbies into the photo session. I promise as a photographer, we love to show off what makes you unique... bring all the shoes, bikes, sunglasses, balls, uniforms or animals.. and we'll create some magic.
5. Photo grad announcements are the thing now- Gone are the days of the school ordered grad announcement. I love that seniors are embracing their style by using their senior photos to create custom announcements. Most of the people you will be sending out cards to won't be able to come to the actual graduation ceremony so sending an invitation is a little irrelevant. Sending a grad announcement is how it is done now. Since I personally design each grad announcement it can say as little or as much as you would like. It could include 1 photo or 10, it all depends on your style. By the time our kids are seniors they have worked hard to develop into themselves, their grad announcements should reflect that awesome style not the cookie cutter mold.
#6 BONUS REASON - After graduation and heading off to college, you will actually grow to miss your kid. It took me exactly 10 days after moving my son into his college dorm for me to finally stop reeling from all the work the last 4 months were to sitting in his bedroom shedding a tear. I had been so excited for all the doors that were opening for my son and for his future that it wasn't until I vacuumed his room at home that I realized he's probably never moving back home. Don't get me wrong, I don't really want him home, I want him to fly. But as a mother, I couldn't image how it would feel to finally launch one kid out the door until it happened. Let me tell you... it's quiet. In those quiet moments when the reality sets in all I want are photos. Raising my son really was a dream come true, and in the quiet moments, it's hard to believe it all really happened and I stare at the photos because that's what pictures are for.. to remember that it really did happen.
** Showing off your seniors personality is important in order for them to get excited about their portraits. Will is all things engineering and electrical and digital music. Although he's great in the backcountry and knows his knots and his life saving skills, he's truly into all things electrical. So with his senior photos, everything has some tie into his lighting, electrical and love of music.