Booking Senior Pictures in Junior Year: Is it too early?

by | Dec 8, 2023 | Family Photography, Kiddos, Senior Photos, Sessions

I’m going to accidentally spare you reading this post, kind of. Well, not really. But basically, the tl;dr answer to that question? No. But also… there are some things you should think about (and your senior/junior too!) when you’re planning WHEN you want to have senior photos taken.

And some of them might impact whether it’s better for you to do them in junior or senior year! So without further ado… let’s get into some questions that can help you decide on the perfect timing for your teen’s Minneapolis senior picture session.

1. Have they recently been through a growth spurt?

This might sound weird, but hear me out!! It’s currently December at the time of writing, and we’re headed into spring semester – which means if your kiddo is a junior, they’re about to go into the summer before their senior year. Now, every teen grows at different paces, and has growth spurts at different times, and theres NO science that says if they have a growth spurt in the fall of their Junior year they won’t have another in the summer before their Senior year… but… if they’ve just gone through a growth spurt, it’s a little safer to assume that they’re NOT going to have another major one before they graduate.

So if you’re concerned about them changing a ton between their junior and senior years, then think about when their last growth spurt was!

brothers in matching navy polo shirts during Minneapolis Fall Mini Sessions

2. When does their school want senior pictures for the yearbook?

You might not be able to answer this question right off the bat, but reach out to their school if they haven’t let you know already. Some schools want them as early as the first few months of Senior year, and others don’t want them submitted until the spring. If your teen wants to submit a custom photo instead of one from picture day, then knowing when their school’s senior picture deadline is becomes SUPER vital to booking senior pictures!

There are (of course) tons of OTHER reasons to have senior pictures done, but factoring in the yearbook is huge! 


A mom hugging her two daughters during a Minneapolis Fall Mini Session

3. What kind of hobbies or passions does your soon-to-be-graduate want in their senior pictures?

This is a big question, and it’s going to mean having a conversation with your teen. I mean, you might already know exactly what they’re going to want, but getting them involved in the booking and planning process can help with their nerves before their session! Back to booking timelines though.

Sometimes the hobbies your kiddo wants involved will change the timeline for booking their senior pictures! If their passions involve the outdoors, it might be best to book something for summer (especially since we ALL know how cold winter can be in Minneapolis!!) But on the other hand, if their hobbies involve the snow (or they just want snow in their session!) then winter might be a better vibe for them. But either way, it’s going to change when you should book their senior pictures.

4. How quickly does your chosen photographer get you the final photos?

When you work with me, I have your initial gallery returned to you in 24 hours to choose your favorite pictures for editing. But that’s not the process for all photographers!

Some have turnaround times closer to a few weeks, up to a month or more. And if there’s a deadline for submitting your teen’s senior picture for the yearbook, and your photographer takes a month (as an example) to send you their final images… then that’s definitely going to impact when you should book their senior session. Make sure you check the FAQ sections of your photographer’s website (or straight up just ask them!) to see how long it’s going to take to get images sent back to you.

Best friends posed against a pink backdrop for Minneapolis senior pictures

5. What about style?

Thinking about style for senior pictures is kind of close to thinking about their hobbies. Basically, it comes down to whether or not outdoor photos are going to be included.

Because if so, then there are definitely seasons that will serve that goal better, and seasons that will make it… uncomfortable. (Is that the right word for FREEZING? Because in case you didn’t gather, I mean FREEZING.)

Now, if your teen is more into studio style images, then it’s not going to be a problem to capture those as late as the winter/spring of their senior year! Especially if you’re not planning on submitting one of their pictures for the yearbook, in that case you’ve got plenty of time. But if they want outdoor images (or a little of both!) then it may be best to look at timing their session in the summer between their junior and senior years, or in the fall of their senior year.

That way, no one has to deal with the Minneapolis winter (including you and your teen!).

5. Does your teen want family members with them in their Senior Picture Session?

I know I’ve already given you a lot to balance and think about, but I promise this is the last one. Depending on the photographer that you work with for your teen’s senior picture session, you might be permitted to have friends or family involved! And if that’s the plan, you’re going to have to work around THEIR schedules too.

Do they have older siblings who are off at school for part of the year? Or close friends who graduated last year (or will be graduating THIS year, if your kiddo is a junior)?

If they want those super cool humans involved in the session with them, it’s going to involve some coordination, and that’s just another of the variety of reasons that their Junior year ISN’T too early to have senior photos done!!

So… is Junior year too soon to book senior pictures??

NO. It most certainly is NOT!

But if you’re a parent of a current senior, then in all likelihood you probably still have time.

If you’re still uncertain about when the best time to book senior pictures for your kiddo might be, then reach out! We can talk about it, and figure out the timing that will work the best for your family. I’m here to help, and to make this process as smooth for you and your teen as it humanly possibly can be!! I’m all about simple, so the simpler we can make this… the better.

Jessica Strobel holding multi-colored doughnuts over her eyes, smiling wide

Hey! I'm Jessie - 

And I'm so glad you're here!



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