Senior Portraits

Growing up in the mid-west, high school senior portraits were a BIG deal.  It was a given that Mom and Dad had a budget line item for the fall of your senior year.  The portrait session took place, either in a studio or in an agreed upon beautiful location, or both. Mom and Dad then placed their order for prints, books, etc. to “show-off” their child.   The portraits captured us in our true essence.  We weren’t just posed in a drape for a composite portrait, the photographer photographed us with the intention of capturing  who we were at that pivotal time in our lives.

Now living on the East Coast and being a photographer I am baffled by how many people use the school composite photos not only for the year book, but for wall portraits, graduation announcements, etc.

When I work with my high school senior portrait students I learn about them, discover who they are, what their interests are and then work with them to capture their personality in a unique way.  The result is their family has portrait wall art to proudly display for years to come.

Below are a few images from a recent senior portrait session I did.  This young man requested a salvage yard as the location for his portrait session.  Can I tell you that this was one of the most fun shoots I’ve done?  So fun!

This shoot was an all natural light shoot.  The salvage yard was large and was surrounded by trees and farm land so the light varied depending on where we were in the yard.  The light was so fun to work with.  I hope you enjoy the images.

Do you have senior portrait memories to share?

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14 thoughts on “Senior Portraits

  1. The senior portrait was the school portrait taken during the first week of school, which was also used for the yearbook. When I became an HS senior, the price of that school portrait reprints and the yearbook had increased. The 8 X 10 portrait plus a dozen wallet sized prints (the basic package) was $30 and the yearbook was $40. When my sister had graduated two years earlier, the portrait package was around $12 and the yearbook was $15. I told my mom I would rather have that nice, used Gibson guitar I had my eye on instead. 🙂

  2. The b/w works very well in this environment Robyn. Mine go back over 40 years. We had 2 types-one with an off the shoulder drape and the other with cap&gown. I really like how they are taken today vs. in the “dark ages” when I was in school

  3. These are amazing portrait choices; they almost remind me of the shots from the original FOOT LOOSE movie, the scenes when Ren is teaching his farm-boy friend how to dance. Things have really changed.
    For my senior picture, the black drape was still in vogue. If you lined up all the females’ pictures, the drape, the angle, and the pose were the same. They could have used one drape shot and just planted all the faces one at a time on it. 😦
    My daughter’s senior picture was gorgeous. She wore her letter jacket with all her medals from tennis; her long red curly hair naturally framed her gorgeous smiling face, and the photographer captured it all beautifully. Now her children are 11 and 12, and by the time they have senior pictures taken, it will probably amaze us all.

    • What a great movie Foot Loose was ~ still is! I like that comparison. A few of my friends have also said some of the portraits were like James Dean portraits…I loved that comparison too! Your daughter’s senior portrait sounds beautiful…”her long red curly hair naturally framed her gorgeous smiling face” – that is a statement of a proud and loving mama, Marylin!

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