The Essential Guide To Senior Portraits


The senior portrait is one of the great rites of passage for most high school students.  The summer before your senior year is the time to start thinking about senior portraits.  Its a time to document who you are and how far you have come.   But how do you know if you even need this type of portrait and- if so- how do you go about planning for the perfect session?


High school graduation is a turning point for people.  You are right at the transition between childhood and being an adult.  It is a moment you want to document.  In fact, it ranks right up there with “First Birthday” and “Wedding” in the Important Photograph hierarchy.   You will also want to include an image in graduation announcements or thank you notes.  If there is going to be a graduation party, then the portrait will almost certainly be displayed there as well.  Let’s face it – its a pretty big deal, so you need to document it.

Senior photography


I still remember my senior portraits very clearly.  I was in a stiff, uncomfortable pose with giant block numbers of my graduation year.   The place was photographing several people at once and you pretty much flew through there.  Of course, at the time- that was fine with me.  Most high school guys are not interested in spending any more time than necessary at a photography studio.  In hindsight, however, I see the value in taking time to plan out something a little more unique and special.


The goal of a good senior portrait session is to create something that is unique and interesting-something that tells you a little bit about the person and gives a glimpse into their personality.

My favorite clients are the ones who are looking to stretch the creative boundaries and create an image that makes people say “WOW” when they see it.

dallas senior photographerFor example, I had a senior this spring who was into art and came up with this idea for a one-of-a-kind senior portrait.  Covered in paint, she was truly in her element.  We printed the image on metallic paper and ended up with a very striking piece.


Take some time to plan out your senior session.  Find a photographer who shares your artistic vision and plan out something with them. Don’t settle for someone snapping a bunch of candids and calling it “photojournalism” – look for something more.  The options are out there, you just have to go for it!


  1. Hi Larry, I think the senior portraits are one of the most treasured things in life….Even after 10 years which I look at them, it reminds me of the best days of my life.

  2. These are some great tips indeed. Unique photos are sure to create a lasting impression and memories. These pointers should not be ignored. Thanks for a great post and keep up the good work on your site!

  3. cris

    Indeed you have the most artistic and unique articles Larry. I also read about your other posts and I can say they are interesting. Keep it up. Thanks

  4. I have photographed a good number of students on several occassions and I must say that I’m glad I was able to document and keep my own moments in high school and college. These photographs are priceless. Thanks.

  5. Oh Larry – where were you when I had my senior portrait done all those years ago! I swear, if your talent had been involved in the process, my protrait would still be framed and proudly displayed. Instead it is in the garage somewhere. Haha. Lovely work, darling!

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