Graduation and Senior Photos
It's a huge milestone! A time never to be forgotten. It's a time of opportunity and excitement and also some stress, right? What do you need to know about senior photos? I'll give you my best tips as a professional photographer who has taken lots of senior graduation photos in the Utah area. I have 3 kids who graduated from Davis High here in Kaysville. This year I have my son who is a senior. Boys tend to be less interested in photos than girls and that's ok. Here are reasons why you should have senior photos and send out announcements.
Celebrate the Accomplishment
Think of all the hours and classes a senior has taken over the past 13 years. Many kids have earned college credit and taken AP tests, which is huge. For kids who are not interested in photos I tell them that it is a money maker. Seriously, when you send out graduation cards, family and friends will send you money. I was amazed that my own aunts and relatives that I hardly knew sent me money when I graduated. It's the same for my kids. They sent out announcements and grandparents are happy to reply and give them money. Ok, this might not always be the case 100 percent of the time, but most of the time it's true. One senior graduated right before his sister got married. The senior had cards from about everyone who went to the wedding. People want to celebrate the success with you. I highly recommend sending out announcements and the photo announcements are more personalized than the standard ones from the school that I sent out 30 years ago. Yup, I'm that old.
What to Wear for Senior Photos
Wear what you love. It's really that simple. Wear clothes you feel comfortable in, clothes that are timeless, and the colors you love. You can have a clothes change during the senior session also.
For girls I suggest a favorite dress with a longer skirt that you can easily walk around wearing. Heels are ok, but comfortable shoes are a must. A cap and gown looks best with a dress or skirt.
For guys, a traditional suit and tie is a classic look and can be used for resumes and applications you might need. You could also wear a dress shirt without a tie. For cap and gown photos you'll look best dressed up.
Girls and guys can wear anything they love: jeans, sweater, school uniform, sport uniform, club t shirt... really anything can work. Instruments can be fun to add to your session or other equipment or props you like. I'd recommend something timeless and wearing something that is "you."
Where to Have Senior Photos
Outdoors is my favorite place for senior photos. You can take them riding your horse, by your car, at school, the field, favorite park, in the mountains, by the beach, in the city, or in the fields of long grass. Utah has a lot of variety for locations for photos and I have ideas of several fun places. You can pick a location based on your outfit and preferences. I even took one at Snowbasin with a senior snowboarding, so it all works.
Indoor photos are more formal in my studio. I have white, grey, blue, and black backgrounds and you can have a traditional cap and gown photo here. Maybe have some outdoors and some indoors. Really it's up to you. Some of my favorite locations are in this blog post. (click the link in red)
Who to Have in Your Senior Graduation Photos
Many seniors want to have photos with their friends. The friends you have in high school might stay your friends through the years. Friends are fun to add in your photos.
I always like to include a parent in the session. I'd recommend the graduating senior having a parent come to help. Parents have always given lots of support and I like to include them in the photos if possible.
What Kind of Photos Do You Want
Always talk to your photographer about the type of photos you have in mind. Most students have seen things they like on instagram or Pinterest and have ideas. I like to work with the parents and graduating senior to know what their vision is for the photos. Some people won't really know and I can help with ideas as I get to know you. It all works out. If you have a photo you really want (headshot, full body shot, serious face) make sure to tell the photographer. Here are some other tips.
In summary, I'd say to get your appointment for senior photos early. Definitely a couple months out from graduation if you wait for the spring. My senior photos take 2 weeks to get the images edited and out to you and then a week for announcements.
It's a great opportunity to share your graduation!
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