You need senior portraits

No seriously you do

Every year I see the same patterns around high school seniors with so much talent and aspiration. Who’s telling their stories? Joe Schmoe down at Sears portrait center with the backdrop from 1980. Sorry if that offends you, but I seriously don’t see the return on that investment. A photo should tell a story about the subject. What type of story are you telling? Generic side lighting (sometimes overhead) against a weird textured background with a few options for green, blue, red. Hopefully you get the picture now, but hopefully you don’t have them.

We can do better for seniors, and I think for the seniors who may be reading this, I’m sure you’d like much better. Who doesn’t want imagery that looks like it belongs in Vogue, or ESPN? High school is a huge footprint in our lives. It sets a basic foundation for who we are about to become as we enter the real world. Whether it be college, sports, friends, our travels. We want to be able to show off amazing photographs filled with the story of where we came from. High school is a big chapter in life, whether you hate it or not there is a story to be told.

So why are we still seeing these generic portraits in the year books? At least for the most part, only a few people seem to feel privileged to professional photoshoots. It shouldn’t be this way.


I couldn’t make a better case for these boys and girls. Athletes who have professional/creative portraits are boosted in confidence (I know, I was one of them). They have images to add to there portfolio when they venture off to explore the professional world, be it management or coaching, hopefully on the field/ice/court. A photograph to remember how far you’ve come in your endurance and a pure memory of the moments you shared with your friends/teammates.


I’m not a musician, but I do love music. Those who play an instrument, carry with them a passion that is hard to deny. It takes dedication and sacrifice to perfect their craft, much like athletes. What if we were to take an young lady or guy who plays the cello. Place them on stage with a seamless curtain, assemble a simple off camera flash to light the subject as if he/she is the star. It’ll be hard to forget the emotions of this musician many years to come when they’ve progressed in their career.

What about the teenagers who don’t know where they are going? Not sure who they are yet

Perfect, what better than a subject that is still looking around for what they truly feel passionate about. This is the person to watch out for, they may end up starting the biggest Silicon Valley startup in the next decade (hopefully the money doesn’t dry up). Maybe they will be ahead of the threshold of their contemporaries! But the best part about boys and girls like this, they tend to be more transparent as a subject. They will open up more than most and the opportunity to tell their story becomes vivid!

You only have one life to live. That does sound cliche, but it’s true, and I mean that in a general sense without dropping in any religious debates. The boring flat lit images that have become so ‘standard’ in today’s world are slowly breaking away. There are better options to go with. Not to mention, senior portraits are fun.