Have a high school senior and trying to figure out what you need for senior photos? This 101 guide for high school senior pictures gives you everything you need to know, including tips on how to print their photos. This post is sponsored by Walmart Photo.
101 Guide For High School Senior Pictures
It still feels like a dream. The twins are entering their senior year of high school, and I’m filled with so many emotions! From the first day of kindergarten to their first day of high school, it’s been one exciting ride. Now, as we gear up for their senior year, I’m starting to put together a list of everything I have to do as a mom to two seniors. This is the time I need my mom. She was the best at organizing this stuff. As an educator and mom of four, she helped so many parents at this stage in the journey. She knew all the deadlines for seniors, places to apply for scholarships, and how to get reference letters for college.
This was my mom’s senior photo.
My mom was Google. And when it came to our senior pictures, she spared no expense to get every size and went with the best photographer in town. But she’s no longer here, and I’m struggling to figure things out on my own. I was always in awe of how she could remember dates, people to talk to, and gave great educational advice. And because I grew up watching this, there are a few things I know I have to do right now, with the first being senior pictures.
Where to print Senior Pictures
I’m sharing tips below on everything you need to know for high school senior pictures. But I want to point out one thing I’m doing differently than my mom. While I intend to use the best photographer, I won’t be paying a pretty penny to print their senior photos. Did you know Walmart Photo can print all of your senior pictures, including graduation announcements and grad party invites?
I’ve talked about the quality of photos from Walmart in our Photo Gallery Wall blog post, as well as Zayd ‘n’s 8th-grade virtual party idea. Impressed is an understatement of how much I love the quality of the prints + products I’ve received from Walmart Photo. And many of these prints are available for same-day service.
I found one of my senior photos from 1999!
So many print options for senior photos
For the twins’ senior photos, I knew I wanted wallet-size, 4×6, canvas, and large prints I could frame. Walmart Photo was able to deliver same-day quality service for my needs. Since Walmart Photo offers budget-friendly prices, I was able to get all the prints (times two) I wanted from their senior photo sessions.
Walmart Photo has photo templates you can use on their website. For the 11×14 canvas shown above, I was able to use the senior script template and added their name and year. I loved how these turned out!
These are 11×14 photo posters on matte photo paper.
Walmart also carries frames for every size you need. You can purchase a matted frame, and just slide the photo in! How simple is this? Instead of spending a lot of money to print and frame photos, you can use Walmart Photo to print your pictures and pick up a matted frame.
You can also get 4×6 prints from Walmart Photo. From mounted photos to photo books, they have everything you need. Head over now to explore their photo options and make a note to use Walmart Photo to print your high schooler’s senior photos.
I’m sharing my mom’s tips + things I have learned during this process of getting senior pictures for the twins.
Make a note of deadlines. The school will start sending out announcements for deadlines for seniors. The first being the deadline to get senior photos in for the yearbook. If you’re a parent of a senior, be sure to sign up for those emails. You don’t want to miss a thing! You should also join your school’s community group on social media to connect with other parents and get up-to-date information.
Book your photographer ASAP. If you live in a location where it is hard to book the best photographer, book one as soon as you can. Mid-summer, early August, is ideal. Most deadlines for senior yearbook photos are in September or by October. However, with the current status of our country, your school may adjust this deadline.
Tips on finding a great photographer for senior photos
- Ask for referrals from friends + family.
- Look at the photographer’s social media handles to read reviews from other satisfied clients.
- Search the internet for the best photographer for senior photos in your town.
- Once you’ve found a few photographers, narrow it down by asking for proof of their work (preferably other senior photos).
- Be sure to find a photographer who has expertise in taking senior photos.
What to wear for your senior yearbook photo
While you can take a variety of photos for your senior portfolio, the school yearbook photo typically has specific guidelines. You should first check with the school to inquire about a dress code policy for senior yearbook photos.
- Formal attire, such as a gown or tuxedo is always a suitable choice. A suit or a navy/black blazer with a tie is another option for guys.
- Your school may also require your senior to wear specific colors for the yearbook photo.
- Avoid neon colors or big graphic/logos.
- Also, stay away from fabrics that wrinkle easily. And make sure you iron your clothes before your photo session.
- A cap + gown is another option.
How to pick a location for the senior pictures
Once you’ve booked a photographer, you should talk to them about locations. The photographer may have suggestions in mind for the best places + time of day to take photos. Follow their lead. If you have your own spots in mind, let them know upfront.
If you’re taking the photos yourself, take a drive around town and throughout the countryside to find the ideal backdrop. Ask people on social media for the best spots in your city to take photos. You can also use local hashtags on social media to find the perfect spot. One of our favorite places to shoot photos is in Old Town, Lansing. There are so many unique buildings and murals to use as a backdrop.
Using a studio is another option. This would be ideal for poor weather conditions and getting the senior portrait for the yearbook. Using a studio for your photos is also great if you want dynamic backgrounds or interactive images (using a green screen).
Before your photo session, drive to the location to check it out. This is also a great idea to do if you’re not familiar with the area. You do not want to be late. You should show up at least 10-15 minutes ahead of your appointed time.
Tips for a successful senior photo session
Once you’ve booked your photo session, start thinking about the outfits. Most senior photo sessions have 3-5 outfit changes. It would be best if you talked to the photographer at the time of booking on how many outfit changes are allowed. If you need more, be sure to adjust your time/budget accordingly. This is another reason why you’ll want to use Walmart Photo to print your photos. You’ll have so many photo options; it is going to be hard to print just a few images. By using Walmart Photo with its budget-friendly prices, you can order as many prints as needed.
Use sources like Pinterest and the internet to get outfit ideas. You can also search for poses and styles for your senior photos. Another option is talking to your photographer about outfit ideas. Expert photographers will be able to advise on what works best. In the end, pick styles + clothes that fit you and give you the confidence to glow in front of the camera.
If you’re using a hair + makeup stylist, be sure to book them at the same time you book your photographer. Plan to have your hair + makeup done the night before or the morning of your photo session. Book an appointment for a barber or hair salon a few days before your photo session.
Pack a bag. The night before your session, pick a bag full of essentials you may need. You’ll want to pack:
- Makeup (for touch-ups)
- Jewelry (if needed)
- Socks/shoes/ extra clothing accessories
- Lip balm or chapstick
- Snacks/Water bottle
- Hand Sanitizer
- Mask (This would be great to have on hand when you need to be in close contact with the photographer, getting directions or looking at photos on their camera)
It would help if you also talked to the photographer about any policies they have in place regarding social distancing.
The day before your senior photo session, organize your outfits. You may want to have a specific rack for these outfits or use garment bags to protect them. Don’t forget to grab your shoes.
A few hours before your photo session, go over everything you need, and put it in the car. You don’t want to rush this appointment or forget anything.
A few things to remember for your senior photo session
- Relax, it’s going to be okay. The photographer is skilled in their job of capturing you.
- Be mindful of your time. Have your outfits ready to go.
- It may be helpful to have a parent or a friend on hand to help you change into the next outfit.
- Have fun. This is your moment!
- And parents, if you’re going with your child, jump into the camera for a photo or two! You deserve it as well!
Taking senior photos when you have two seniors
With two seniors, I found this process a little challenging. I’ve been doing everything in twos since 2002, but senior year is a new one for me. Since I wanted the twins to have a photo together, I booked their photo session at the same time.
It gave us more time, and since the boys are simple (no fuss, no makeup to worry about), we were able to get through their photo sessions quickly. While one twin was changing into their next outfit, the photographer was taking photos of the other twin. Quite a win-win situation in my book!
Once I received the digital files, I was able to upload the ones I wanted to my Walmart account and use Walmart Photo’s user-friendly website to order all the prints I needed. And when it’s time for graduation announcements and grad party invites, I’ll be relying on Walmart Photo for quality, yet budget-friendly photos.
Did I forget an important detail? Drop me a line and let me know! And congrats to all the 2021 Seniors!