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  • Writer's pictureJeannie Tribe

Everything you need to know about your child’s senior portrait session

One of the very first “senior” activities that will kick off your child’s last year of high school is their senior portrait session. Senior portraits typically take place the summer before your child’s senior year and prove to be a milestone moment for both seniors and parents. Many of the families that I work with haven’t had professional photos before or maybe their last experience was when their kids were little and it can be tricky to wade through all the options these days. Read on for easy tips and tricks to help you navigate (and maybe even enjoy!) this process with your senior.

1. Book early for the best availability. I start booking senior sessions about 6 months in advance and have even had some book as early as 1 year in advance. I only accept 10 senior sessions per season.

2. The “senior portrait season” is about 4 months longs starting in June and ending in September of their senior year. The timing of your session is ultimately determined by the yearbook deadline at your child’s school. Most schools have a deadline in October or November, so you will want to make sure your session takes place well before this deadline. August is typically the busiest month and tends to book up first. If your senior plays fall sports, it’s probably best to book your session in the summer as the fall will be extra busy for them with practices and games.

3. I will help your senior determine the location for his/her session. You don’t need to come up with locations on your own. I have many tried and true spots all over Hastings, however I will work with your senior to best fit the location(s) to their personality.

4. I will help your senior with their clothing. I know this can be difficult as parents and seniors often have different ideas of what to wear for this type of session. I will talk directly with your senior and provide guidance and advice when it comes to clothing.

5. Parents are welcome to come to the session, but it’s ok if your senior wants to come without you. Some seniors want to do this session on their own and some can’t imagine doing it alone. If you do come to the session, I will always ask you to pose for at least one photo with your senior!

6. You will be able to select your final images. Senior sessions include proof galleries and provide parents and seniors the opportunity to pick their final images.

7. Senior packages include digital images. You will receive a link to an online gallery and from there you can download all of the finished images. This allows you to print wherever you wish. I will also provide you with a list of preferred photo labs. You also have the option to order prints directly from your gallery.

8. Senior sessions may be rescheduled in the case of bad weather. This does not happen often during the summer months, but if we are doing outdoor sessions and it's raining we will reschedule. I always make contact 24 hours prior to your session to touch base on the weather forcast.

9. Most senior sessions are scheduled for the evening during the workweek. Sessions start at 6:00/6:30 pm and finish by 8:30/9:00 pm during the summer months. They will start and end earlier in the fall. The actual starting time is based on the sunset. I shoot in the evenings as this is the most flattering time of day for photos.

10. Props and pets are ok to bring to the session. This is a great time to highlight meaningful and special things about your senior. I love incorporating sports outfits, musical instruments, and beloved family pets. Please just give me a heads up before the session if your senior would like to bring additional items so that we can iron out all the details.

11. It’s ok to bring a friend or sibling to the session. Some seniors are nervous about their session and having a friend or sibling with them can be a great support and help ease their nerves. I say, the more the merrier and I usually appreciate an extra set of hands to help hold gear, fix hair, etc.


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