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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Senior Sessions – A Milestone {Senior Portrait}

There are songs and stories and sonnets about why we do things in life – what drives us. 

To be candid, compliments are rarely the reason. I think that teachers will tell you that seeing a former student become successful is a huge reward and it validates the passion they have for teaching.

For me – photography is my passion. I know that I shoot more looks than the seniors expect because I want to capture who they are and what they will become. – Confident, strong, flirty and funny. 

Senior sessions capture a milestone in one’s life. Too often Parents and their Seniors see it as just another portrait session – when in reality it is a celebration of the journeys they have been on and the one they are still living. 

In the blink of an eye, these Seniors will have children of their own and their lives will be dedicated to guiding their journeys. They will look back at this time – [senior year, dating, school work, school activities, graduation, leaving for college, etc] – and try to remember. 

It’s a blur for them right now and the images from their senior session look just like “pictures” that were taken on that day – but one day, when things slow down a bit …. maybe they’ll be on the train, commuting to work or watching their child sleep in their crib and the images will be like gold.

Pre-Prom in the Park – Whitman-Hanson Regional High {Event}

Just by chance and my wicked good fortune I was invited by my good buddy Mark to photograph his Daughter and her date in the park near their home as she and her friends gathered for the Junior prom this year.

 
There were lots of kids there when I arrived. The late afternoon sun was low in the sky but still very bright, so it was a bit difficult to find some shade.  
 

So, we shot with tons … and tons of hair light! Halos? 

 

In the end what I captured were images of a great group of kids who truly enjoy each other’s company.

 

What else could I have asked for?