Summer is for Seniors: Convincing Your Teen to get Senior Pictures

by | Mar 10, 2024 | Family Photography, Kiddos, Senior Photos, Sessions

We’re coming up on prime time for summer senior picture sessions, and that means scheduling your teen’s session! But it might also mean convincing your soon-to-be graduate that having a session is even a good idea.

Not all teens are going to feel comfy cozy with the idea of spending time in front of the camera. And some might even be pretty against it. Which makes sense! I mean, think about it. They’re going through the most bonkers time of their lives, about to graduate from high school, trying to figure out where they’re headed… and also… a lot of teens are pretty obsessed with their peers’ approval. Senior pictures might not be the first thing they’re thinking about when it comes to the summer ahead of their senior year!

So if you have a teen who isn’t really into the idea of having a summer senior picture session, I’ve got a couple of tips you can use to try to get them on board. With kindness, of course!!

Let them get involved in the planning stages.

Being involved in planning is an amazing way to make sure that your teen is into the idea of getting their photos done. Teens have so many things that are outside of their control. From school assignments, to extracurricular schedules, they’ve got a lot going on. And they’re about to enter a big ole land of uncertainty, when things are suddenly IN their control after graduation. Big stuff, right? Well, their senior pictures are a great way to give them some involvement (aka control) in the things going on in their life. So let them help!

Talk to them about the things they want to do, and things they don’t want to do. Do they want pictures at their favorite place? What about some headshot style images they can use for job applications or scholarship apps? Or, are they more focused on having a super cool pic to use in their senior yearbook? All of this boils down to one thing: talking to your teen.

brothers in matching navy polo shirts during Minneapolis Fall Mini Sessions

Remind them that the session will be ALL about them!

When you’re talking to your teen, if they’re not super into the idea of having a session, remind them that it’s all about them! And that if they really don’t want one… they don’t have to. That’s hard, I know. I get it. As a parent… yeah. Fill in the blanks. But the point I’m getting to, is they might warm up to the idea if you remind them that it’s not something they’re being forced into. It’s all about them! The session itself: about them. The plans for where to shoot: same. And the outfits they wear? Within reason, also all about them!!

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

Make sure that you choose a photographer you think they’ll get along well with.

Choosing a photographer that your teen is going to get along with is a huge part of ensuring that your soon-to-be-graduate is excited for their senior picture session. It goes SUCH a long way to making them feel comfortable, and being their badass self during the session! Try looking at photographers’ portfolios with your teen, and talking about what they want out of their session. If your photographer posts any reels or behind the scenes content on their social media, try to take a peek at those too! That way they can see how things will feel when they’re working with the photographer on the day of their session. The best way to feel comfortable going into a session is knowing what’s going to happen there, and behind the scenes content can help make sure they know what to expect!

Talk through what your teen wants!

Look, I get that senior pictures are important to you as a parent. I’m a parent. I’m going to want them for my kiddos too. And it’s going to be important to me that they’re the focus of the session, and that they’re excited to take part. I mean, my sons are pretty used to being in front of the camera at this point (given that I’m pretty consistent with shoving my camera in their faces LOL) but the point I’m making, is their senior pictures are going to be important to me. But like I mentioned earlier, that session? It’s not about what I want. I mean it is a little, but it’s MOSTLY about what THEY want. And for you… it’s about what your TEEN wants. You’ve got to get comfortable with the idea that this is about them, and so when you’re planning? Talk to your teen about what THEY want to do at their session! And not just about the planning of the session itself, we talked about that above. I mean how they want to FEEL. Do they want to get all glammed up and spend time in the studio? Amazing, we can make that happen. Are they into a more casual vibe and they’d rather spend time outdoors checking out all of the murals downtown? Also totally a vibe that we can achieve at Jessica Strobel Photography. But you won’t know which one they’ll be excited about until you TALK to them about it! So…… talk things through with your teen!

Best friends posed against a pink backdrop for Minneapolis senior pictures

Let them know that if they don’t like the photos, you’re not going to embarrass them.

This is a big one, parents. You need to be SUPER clear with your teen that if they don’t like the photos (I mean, they’re GOING to like them, so it won’t be a problem, but follow me here!) that you won’t use them to embarrass them. Teens are all about image. It’s 2024, and it’s just a fact. We’re stuck with it. And so it might be that your teen isn’t into the idea of having senior pictures done because they’re concerned that it’s going to be an embarrassing experience overall, and that’s fair. I mean no one wants pictures of themselves floating around on the internet that they consider to not be good pictures of them. You wouldn’t, right? So make sure your teen knows that you’re going to respect it if they request that they don’t use the images.

Still worried your teen might not be into having a summer senior photo session?

If you’ve tried talking to your teen, and you’ve tried getting them involved in planning, and you’ve tried ALL the things… then it might be time for more drastic measures. AKA, a conversation with me. So if you’re struggling to get your teen on board with a session, and you’re worried they won’t be themselves for their sitting if they’re not INTO it… we should talk. We can come up with a plan that makes EVERYone happy, including your soon-to-be-graduate!

I’m always open to anything that makes your life simpler.

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