Things have changed since I was a senior in high school. We won’t discuss how long ago that was – all I’ll say is that for a very long time, it felt like it was just yesterday and then one day, all of a sudden, it felt and continues to feel like a former life.
Anyway, when I was a senior in high school, the school made an appointment for you with a local studio during the summer before senior year to do senior portraits. You showed up and they shot you one two backgrounds. All the kids in the class were shot on the same backgrounds. One was very light and looked like you were sitting on the steps of some building with marble columns. The other was dark brown and had a swanky old library feel. While the look was elegant and nice, it was not at all natural for my 17 year old self, and it got tired when 40+ kids (I went to a really small school) all had to do the same thing.
They weren’t bad photos. My parents still have them framed in their house. But they make me laugh a little. I wore a button up shirt and a bunch of rings (I don’t know why) and my hair was stick straight. I know everyone looks back at old photos of themselves and laughs but this isn’t “wow, look at what I looked like at 17,” it’s “who is the girl in this picture?” as it doesn’t represent any past version of myself that I can remember.
The transition from that version of senior portraiture to what goes on now is really exciting to me. Senior portraits are all about capturing this coming of age moment when a teenager becomes an adult, becomes their own person. Sure there’s the standard yearbook photo that everyone still needs but that’s not the purpose behind senior portraits now.
Seniors can choose the background, the props and the action to collaborate with the photographer to create images that uniquely represent who they are in this pivotal moment in time. Do you play an instrument? Do you love the city skyline? Are you really psyched about where you are going to college next year? All that and more can be incorporated into the freedom that a modern senior portrait session presents!
What’s going to make your senior photos uniquely you?
You all want to see my senior photo that I described up there, huh? I’m not embarrassed – if I can find it, I’ll share it ;)