Why senior pictures are important. What’s the purpose? Why make such an investment?
Portrait – A Definition
por·trait | \ ˈpȯr-trət , -ˌtrāt \
1: PICTURE especially : a pictorial representation of a person usually showing the face
2: a sculptured figure : BUST
3: a graphic portrayal in words
Why do we take portraits?
What is the purpose of portraiture? Meditating on the past year I thought I’d showcase some of my favorite portraits, but that wasn’t really meaningful. I really want to provide my readers with any insight I have as a photographer. After some consideration, I realize that when prospective clients initially call to book a photography session for their high school senior, they are still unsure WHY they are going through such effort—an effort which by the way ends in a super fun experience for everyone—but let me tell you, it’s not really for announcements, small gift prints, or digital pictures to share online.
According to Beth S. Gersh-Nesic, Ph.D., “The purpose of a portrait is to memorialize an image of someone for the future.”
I like this definition of portraiture. As photographers, it serves as our purpose; documenting people and events for future evidence; recording history for future generations. It’s like saying, “Hey, I was here. I existed. I lived. This is who I was…who I am.” I want to help you navigate senior year which is a tough one emotionally. It’s the beginning of the end. The lasts firsts for everything. Please don’t get pictures just to keep up with the Joneses.
Keep reading to see the top 5 reasons why senior pictures are important.
It’s A Milestone Year
Senior year is a milestone year. For some, you didn’t even think you would make it! Maybe the ride was bumpy because of external forces; maybe you spent your child’s early years battling illness with them and seeing them cross that finish line is a considerable achievement. Maybe you had a super easy experience. However you got here, you are definitely pensive about this milestone; you will walk down memory lane; you will wonder how time escaped you; you will laugh, worry, cry, laugh some more, and cry again before it’s all over and in the end, you will high-five yourself or your spouse that you did your job as a parent! This is a time to bask in both parental and teen accomplishments! You did it!
Reveal Their Personality
Senior pictures are more than celebrating a milestone. Having a personalized portrait session reveals their personality. It took a long time for your high school senior to find their path, and you want to remember who they are as a person. I can’t tell you how many times parents tell me that their senior’s facial expressions they’ve seen over and over were perfectly captured. Those expressions truly memorialize our young adults and help us reminisce about special moments we’ve shared throughout their lives.
They are never always smiling! They have so many dimensions and are happy, pensive, serious, determined, even silly so do make sure to choose a balanced selection of portraits that reveals all their layers you can enjoy as you look back.
Showcase Their Interests & Accomplishments
They found their path by trying different extracurricular activities and hobbies which helped them to become who they are now. It’s always a great idea to bring something along to showcase your senior’s interests. Maybe they like to read books, play instruments, are active in sports, maybe they sing or love art! Bringing emotional symbols (your mom’s dress, grandfather’s watch) to your session help to make your portraits even more special. You can even bring pets. Whatever they like to do, make sure to capture those accomplishments so they can show their kids how cool they were in high school.
Gift Them Professional Portraits
It’s always good to have a great professional portrait. Some of your senior boys or senior gals will be rushing for fraternities or sororities, they will definitely need those professional pictures. As they move on through their college careers and graduate, the gift of professional portraits will definitely help them. Great headshots are a must to use for LinkedIn and social media accounts. College goes by even faster than high school and they will be looking for work.
Lastly, having mementos that serve as beautiful reminders of your young adult, while they lived in your home, is the absolute most important of all these reasons. As mentioned earlier, you are experiencing many “lasts” during senior year. Please don’t live in regrets, beautiful professional portraits that hang on your walls, and sit in frames sprinkled around your home will fill your heart with joy long after they have left your nest. Seeing their faces as you walk through your home will go a very long way to filling the void of not having them there with you daily.
Trust me, I can’t tell you how many times I walked down my hallway and locked eyes with my sons and daughter, happy to see their smiling faces. I can’t tell you how many times my house felt whole because we took our family portrait. All the moments you gave to them as children from pre-school through middle school and now as young adults in high school culminate in them leaving the nest. Your heart in print. Every day. That is the importance.
See more on senior pictures
Gersh-Nesic, Beth. “Defining Portraits and Portraiture in Art.” ThoughtCo, Dec. 11, 2019, thoughtco.com/definition-portrait-and-portraiture-183227.