Senior pictures are more than just a photoshoot.
Senior pictures aren’t just to give to your grandma. I get that kids aren’t passing their senior pictures around like trading cards at the end of the year now, and whatever. I think that trend needs to come back, but I don’t think I’m going to be able to single-handedly resurrect it, so I won’t beat a dead horse here.
Even with that trend hiding somewhere in a nineties graveyard (RIP) senior pictures are for more than just sending to family who aren’t quite smart-phone literate! Beyond being useful for the yearbook, they’re also for your GRADUATION ANNOUNCEMENTS. Whether you have a party or not, sending out graduation announcements is a great way to celebrate this accomplishment in your teen’s life. And it’s WORTH celebrating!
So what do you need to do to make sure you get the perfect image for your teen’s graduation announcements from their senior session?
First of all, communicate with your senior photographer.
This might seem like it goes without saying, but I’m going to say it anyway. The first step to making sure you get a great graduation announcement photo from your senior session is telling your photographer how you plan to use the images! Just like any session, your photographer (me?) is going to keep in mind all kinds of standards while they’re pointing the camera at your teen. They’ll be thinking about ratio rules and lighting – angles and posing. But the more they know about how the images are going to be used, the better they can do their job!
They might ask you whether you’re planning on printing them in portrait or landscape, to make sure that there are enough options for you in the set of images you get following the session. It might also be good to talk to them about whether a specific outfit is the one your teen wants on their announcements. It can help us to take a little bit of extra time with that outfit, to make sure you’ll get the image you need!
Speaking of wardrobe… What tone needs to be set in the images?
Choosing the best wardrobe items for any photo shoot requires thinking about how the images are going to be used. That’s another one of those things that goes without saying. But what might not be as obvious, or at least might not be the first thing to come to mind, is that not all wardrobe items are going to be ideal for a graduation announcement! Senior photo sessions regularly include outfit changes, because their purpose is to capture your teen’s personality… and well, they’re really cool. So it’s worth capturing multiple sides of them!
But that also impacts wardrobe. Have a little conversation with your teen about how they want to look in the pictures that announce their graduation to your family and friends. Do they want to be a little bit on the casual side? Do they want to go full glam? What about props – do they want to bring in a treasured hobby or passion? If so… does that mean some photos in a uniform for that activity?
All of those potential elements can contribute to choosing the outfit that’s going to work for senior pictures that will be perfect on a graduation announcement.
When will you receive the senior picture package?
Of course, we do have to touch on the elephant in the room a little bit. Graduation announcements are typically sent out around graduation itself. Which means you need to HAVE the announcements to send out, or get the information to the service you’ll be using to send them. But they also take some production time, plus if you’re designing them yourself… you see where I’m going here, right?
You’re going to need some LEAD time!! Be sure to ask your photographer when you’re going to get access to your teen’s gallery, that way you’re certain that you’ll have time to get your cards together, order them, and send them out. Of course, working with Jessica Strobel Photography, your 2024 grad will still have PLENTY of time for all that! Galleries arrive for proofing and selection of your favorite pictures within 24 hours of your session, and then the final images (once you’ve picked out your favorites for editing) will get to you within a week.
So even if you have a spring senior photo session for your graduating teen, you’ll have plenty of time to get graduation announcements designed, printed, and sent!