High School Remembered - A Creative Senior Portrait Session

When I was graduating from high school (just a few years ago), I remember getting my senior portraits done in the school auditorium. It took two minutes, two shots looking over my shoulder, looking right at the camera. Then right away they threw a black robe over my clothes and handed me a rose. Two shots looking away from the camera and then two more directly at it, with the rose resting on my shoulder. A total of 6 clicks and I was send on my way. Leaving the robe and rose behind for the next poor teenage soul to pose with. There was nothing personal about it. I rarely wore black. I was all about imitating Gwen Stefani’s colorful style and I HATED roses. I found them too main stream. God forbid. To add to everything, my hair looked terrible. I decided I needed a hair cut two days before my pictures. It wasn’t a good one and nor was I a girl that would get up early to actually blow dry her hair. Picture perfect I was not! Sorry to report, I have no idea where that picture is today so I can’t share it with you. (sorry not sorry)

Justine graduates this June! I love this shot of her and her artwork.

So when Justine’s mom asked me to do her senior portraits, I jumped at the chance. I didn’t even have to think about it. It wasn’t a chance to redo my portraits, but it was an opportunity to give someone shots that actually reflected her high school self. And yes, I would totally love to see my Gwen Stefani wannabe self right now. I love the pictures of me with my hair twisted back in rows with butterfly clips, wearing capri pants and cropped Roxy girl T -shirt with Vans sneakers. I loved my teenage girl spunk and fearlessness when it came to fashion.

Justine is an amazing painter. She will actually be studying art in college. When thinking about what to do for her portraits, I immediately knew I wanted to showcase her work as well. Her mom agreed and we set a date!

When I first got to their house Justine was wearing a super cute yellow dress. It took maybe all of 10 minutes before we had the entire living room floor covered in her work. After a few shots of her in her “pretty” dress, we asked her to change in something more casual. She came out in ripped jeans and a Star Wars T-shirt. As soon as she walked out her Mom and Sister both commented on how that is how she always looks. Perfect!


“I snapped away as Justine took up the opportunity for an impromptu air drum session”

We set the living room up as if she were just hanging out and working on her paintings. Justine brought out the old sheet she uses to thwart paint from getting on the carpet while she works as her sister threw on a playlist that was appropriately named “ Graduation Mix.” I snapped away while we talked about music, school possibilities and her cat, Mila. The latter made her way into the shots. Rubbing up against her and looking right into the camera! It was like she knew exactly why I was there. If I wasn’t allergic to her, I probably would have taken her home with me.

The music jumped around from 90’s boybands, Queen to Hamilton. I snapped away as Justine took up the opportunity for an impromptu air drum session. In the few months that I have had my business, I think this might have been the most relaxed shoot. Justine’s down to earth personality and calm coolness made it so easy to capture what its like be around her right now. I really hope she looks back at these twenty years from now and loves herself for who she was as an artsy, music loving 18 year old.

What would your dream senior portrait session consist of?

If you could redo your senior pictures - what would you do? What advice would you give to a high school senior looking to get their picture taken today?

Come on! I want to hear it! Comment below!