Do I have to Use the School Photographer for My Senior High Yearbook Portraits?

Do I have to use the school photographer for my Senior yearbook pictures?

The answer is yes … and no … and that depends

This is a question that I get all the time. Do you need to use the school photographer for your Senior pictures?

Well, you got a postcard in the mail with your session date and time, so I guess you have to go .. right?

Typically the answer is yes you need to use the school’s photographer if you go to a private high school and your school requires that you dress in a particular way and use the school’s photographer to ensure that all the pictures in the yearbook are exactly the same.

But the answer is also, no, if you want the additional things that a professional photographer can offer for your other Senior pictures.

Look, your private high school isn’t trying to restrict you from having epic senior pictures to remember this milestone in your life, they just don’t want you looking all goth in torn jeans and high heels in the yearbook.

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Now, for most of you out there, your public school has contracted with a national photo factory to photograph everything from kindergarten to senior portraits. And that is not a bad thing, they offer very consistent quality and their thousands of photographers across the county photograph millions of pictures each year.

I’ve known lots of photographers who have worked with the photo factories early on in their careers and some of them were and are truly great photographers.

But to be candid, the ads that I’ve seen to recruit photographers for these companies often say “no photography experience required … we’ll train you”. And if you’ve worked with a professional photographer in the past, you know that there is a lot more to a great photo session experience than just taking pictures.

But if all you want is a headshot in the yearbook, the school photographer is going to be fine.

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Although I don’t believe that portrait enhancements ( like smoothing out the skin and other enhancements – something that a professional photographer will include automatically in all the prints that you purchase ) is included in the free or possibly even in the basic purchased packages from a photo factory.

In our studio, we do offer a “Just the Essentials” package, It’s focused on giving you that one great photo for the yearbook, and you get a pile of prints included! And, it is an option that most professional photographers offer.

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There are just a few milestones in your life (and don’t forget in the lives of your Parents and guardians lives as well ).

Birth, graduation from high school when you head off to college / start a trade or a job / go into the military, and then marriage and the birth of your own kids when it all starts over again.

You’ll never be in this place again, never have this same set of friends, many of whom may have been with you since nursery school, you never have the same set of values. Probably never dress as cool as you do.

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What you will experience, and who you’ll meet after high school will most likely change your life direction.

So celebrate this milestone in your life and consider using a professional photographer for your senior session with no one watching, standing in line waiting their turn for their pictures.

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Norwood Senior Portrait Photography by Walpole Senior High Photographer, Dan Busler {Sai Nedu}

Sai is such an interesting guy. He, his Brother and his Parents came to the states from India. And like a number of seniors that I’ve met who came here from other countries, Sai has no accent.  

It was such a great day for his senior session, the cool Fall air here in New England was blowing, the leaves were colorful and the time just flew by. 


We even got a few shot of Sai’s family – and that made this even better! 


Norwood Theatrical Photography by Walpole Theatrical Performance Photographer, Dan Busler {She Kills Monsters}

“She Kills Monsters” written by Qui Nguyen 

… you go into this play without a notion of the subject matter and come out with a better understanding of the teenage mind. We all struggle with the things that affect us. Here in this “dramatic comedy” we get to see the struggles and the fight to control them come alive. Even if most of the characters are no longer alive. 

Well, that’s what I got out of it.  Along with some very dynamic and moving pictures of this fine cast at Norwood High School in Norwood MA – November 2014



Boston Senior Portrait Photography by Walpole Senior Photographer, Dan Busler {Bella Aspinwall}

Bella is a multi-talented high school senior dynamo. 

I first met Bella through my musician side when I was in the band for one of her performances. (She’s a guitarist and violinist). 

When it was time to schedule her senior session we had to work around her sports schedule (She’s a champion swimmer).

To this list we now add … wicked good model.  Which is partly posing, but mostly a great attitude! 

When the day came for her session it just rocked. 

I had asked her friend Joey to come by for a few shots and together…well, it was excellent.




Norwood High Senior Photography by Walpole MA High School Senior Photographer, Dan Busler {Caitlin Sullivan}

Caitlin is a fish .. I mean, she’s a swimmer and a serious competitor as well. And she’s got this great smile which just lights up the place ! 

We had a great time during her senior portrait session hitting all the great locations around the studio.

Sadly, it had to end. But we’ll always have the pictures to remind us. 

Senior High Portrait Photography by Walpole MA High School Senior Portrait Photographer, Dan Busler {Sydney MacQuilken}

Norwood High School senior; Sydney’s portrait session just flew by … but we got some great images.


Norwood High Senior Portrait Photography by Walpole MA Senior High Portrait Photographer, Dan Busler {Shannon Rose Geary}

Shannon was just so comfortable that it seemed like she didn’t “pose” during her Senior session … she just was this awesome I guess . Easy peasy !



You can see more of my work on my WEB site http://www.danbuslerphotography.com – We are located just south of Boston in Walpole MA  781-352-4863