Hey! Hey! Look at you! You are almost a SENIOR! (Or Senior Parent! Either way – woohoo!!). Around this time of year, I often get asked this question: When is the best time to take your senior photos? Here are my top two times of year…which might surprise you.
First, it’s important to understand the Senior Portrait Experience with me consists of 4 parts (not all photographers are created equal, but this is how we roll):
- The Consultation – planning meeting where we talk wardrobe, location, etc
- The actual session – including professional hair and make up before the session
- Proofing and Purchasing Session – an in-studio meeting where you see your portraits and place your order
- and then the delivery of your order – where I bring them to you and install your portraits (FULL SERVICE, BABY!)
There are a few weeks in between each time we see each other. For example, if your session is in mid July, you are viewing your portraits proofs in mid-August and your portraits and albums are delivered in September. This is super important to know!
So, when deciding when is the best time for YOUR senior portraits (which might not be the best time for your friends) you need to ask yourself a few questions:
- Do I need portraits for the school yearbook? And not just the actual senior headshot, but will your mom want to do an ad in the back with your portraits? If you do, you need to schedule your session for the summer BEFORE your senior year. Most deadlines for school yearbooks are early October.
- Will I be heavily involved in activities in the fall? Are you a cheerleader? Dancer? On volleyball team? If you are in the band, on the football team, affiliated in ANY WAY with football, you need to go with my first choice. Keep in mind, this is Texas, y’all and football season has been known to stretch into Christmas time.
If the answer is YES to any of the questions above, you need to go with: The summer before your senior year. If you answered no, you can still choose summer scroll down to my second choice, if you’d like.
FIRST CHOICE: The summer before your senior year.
Additionally, summertime is so much easier on you, the student, to make time for fun things like preparing for your session (read: shopping! Coordinating outfits, etc). Simply put: you are not as busy and have less commitments. Even if you have a job, it’s not as demanding at school (usually). Have you ever heard of the song lyrics by the lovely Ella Fitzgerald “Summertime, when the living is easy” ? (If you haven’t clicked here -its a soulful classic, but I digress…)…the song’s lyrics ring true.
So I know what you might be thinking and, I know, yes, summertime is hot, but your session would be near the end of the day. Plus, you get your hair and makeup done by a professional so it won’t wipe off like regular make up can in the heat. We got you covered!
SECOND CHOICE: The fall of your Senior Year
Why: This is great for those of you who are involved in activities that get really busy in the spring – spring sports, competitions, etc. The fall in Texas is basically the summer everywhere else, so we still have bright, gorgeous sun, pretty green grass, flowers come back out after the hot summer and it’s just an overall lovely time of year. In the later fall (November), my seniors have even been known to wear a SCARF! Or a SWEATER! Craziness, right? But it is a little easier to layer up during this time of year so if that fits your style, book a fall session.
OFFICAL WARNING: Fall is a super busy time for family photography, too. So, my advice to you would be to schedule your session ASAP, grab the date you want, even if it is months in advance. Then you will know that I am all yours and won’t book another session on that day.
THIRD CHOICE: March of your senior year.
That is the latest spring session I’d suggest would be in March, given the timeline for the Senior Portrait Experience. We need time on our end to create heirloom albums and wall art the you will treasure for a lifetime. You don’t want to rush this process.
On behalf of all photographers in the world, please, don’t wait til April of your senior year to schedule your photos. PLEASE! (Can I call out my sister here? Haha! I am going to – she totally waited till April – and she was stressed about the whole process). While spring flowers are lovely, there is just too much going on the last 2 months of high school and waiting till the last minute isn’t the best idea. (You know that by now, you are a senior!) You can procrastinate about somethings, but not your senior portraits. You gotta allow time for the process – your photographer needs time to edit your photos, prepare your proofs and then place your order. You want that all done by May 1st so you can enjoy the process and not making it something you HAVE to do. At Maureen O’Shay Photography, we want you to WANT to do this.
So, that’s all for now. I hope this helps – we are here for you if you have any questions or comments. Email us and make sure you click click here to subscribe to be an insider and learn more tips and tricks about photography, session prep, what you really need in a dorm room and more!