Senior Portraits: A Parent’s Guide

Every year, senior portrait season comes around, and I always get emails from parents who aren’t quite sure where to begin! Whether it’s your oldest child’s senior year, or you haven’t had a senior in the family for a few years, it’s always a  little bit overwhelming- but that’s why I’m here! I decided to write a little guide for parents who might not know where to start when it comes to their child’s senior portraits. Please note that every senior photographer works a little differently, but for the most part, these are some great tips to keep in mind.

1. KNOW YOUR YEARBOOK PHOTO DEADLINE: Yearbook photo deadline’s vary from school to school, with some needing senior portraits turned in as early as October, and some as late as February. This is extremely important in regards to when your child’s senior portrait session needs to be scheduled! Sessions with me take anywhere from 2 to 3 weeks to finish and send out, so for example, if your yearbook photo deadline is October 21st, the latest we’d want to shoot your child’s senior photos would be first few days of October. However, living in Oregon, fall weather can be hard to deal with when it comes to rain, so cutting it that close can be risky! For an early yearbook deadline, your best bet is schedule your child’s senior photos in July, August, and September, when the weather is more likely to be nice.

2. DON’T FORGET ABOUT SPORTS: I always shoot with my seniors in either the early morning or late afternoon/early evening because I prefer the softer light that occurs during those hours. However, fall sport practices are often at the exact same time, so if your child plays a fall sport, be sure to check and make sure that the two won’t interfere with each other. If you do need to schedule your child’s senior session for a weekend day to avoid that problem, be sure to contact me ASAP because weekends are always the first to fill up!

3. CHECK YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER’S PORTFOLIO AND INFO BEFORE YOU BOOK: Senior photos are a really important part of senior year, so I think it’s vital that you and your child get exactly what you’re looking for in senior photos. Make sure you’ve looked at a photographer’s portfolio and that you AND your child like their style of photography before you get locked into a session! Also be sure to look into what exactly you are getting with your session- for example, I include a disc and private print-order gallery with every session.

4. DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK QUESTIONS: There is absolutely no such thing as a stupid question when it comes to senior photos. For most people, this is an entirely new experience, and senior photographers know that! If you are unsure about what your senior should wear, bring, what to do with hair and makeup, or anything else, feel free to ask and I’ll go over options and examples with you and your senior!

5. BE PATIENT: Photos can be super stressful for seniors, especially girls. Outfits, hair, makeup, feeling awkward in front of the camera- at first these are going to seem like huge obstacles, and the stress these cause can lead to some snappiness and sassy-ness. Be patient with your senior. I’m here to help tackle every single one of these problems, through answering questions, telling seniors exactly how to pose with a natural feel, and encouraging them about how GREAT they look. If your senior is feeling nervous, they are more then welcome to email, Facebook, text, or call me and we’ll go over everything and it will be easy as pie :]

I hope this was helpful!! Feel free to contact me with any questions you might have and to get your senior’s session on the calendar!

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