Are Senior Pictures Worth It?

When today’s rising high school senior has been photographed and documented with countless selfies and digital pictures taken by dozens of friends and family members’ phones over the years, it’s understandable that you might be wondering, “Are senior pictures worth it?” and “Do I really need to get senior pictures?

Are Senior Pictures Worth It?

Here are three important questions to ask yourself when you are trying to decide if senior pictures are worth it.

1. Do you have beautiful photographs of your senior alone?

We all need a few great photographs of ourselves throughout our lifetimes, for the people we love but also for ourselves! It’s a visual record of our story, who we are at certain points in our life.

Senior year is unquestionably an important transitional phase of our life. Seniors stand on the precipice of adulthood, of independence, of the great adventure of life where THEY will begin calling most of the shots and not their parents. Senior pictures capture who they are at this important moment, for their parents but also for their future selves and their future loved ones. And their future biographers 🙂

are senior pictures worth it

2. Does your senior want to have senior pictures taken?

If your senior is interested in having senior pictures taken, all the more reason to do them! It’s the perfect way to celebrate their accomplishment of 12 years of schooling!

Furthermore, the senior portrait experience can be very special for seniors and those who accompany them. I’ve had grandparents treat the graduating senior to portraits, as well as beloved aunts. You can add on professional hair and makeup to really make it special. And you can jump in a few photos yourself!

If your senior is resistant to having portraits taken, it’s worth evaluating that against your own desire for nice photographs of your senior, and the fact that years from now your senior might wish he had some decent photos of himself from this time.

You can also try to find a photographer that offers quick and easy mini-senior sessions, or that is willing to pull out your senior for a few individual photographs after a family portrait session.

Another tact to take is to listen to your senior’s objections and try to find a photographer who accommodates them. If your senior hates the idea of professional hair and makeup, honor that and find a photographer who will retouch any acne or skin blemishes or flyaway hairs without adding on an additional fee. If your senior wants to wear something that you HATE, find a photographer that allows several outfit changes and let your senior choose all of the outfits except for one.

3. How will you use the senior pictures?

Are senior pictures worth it? I will be the first to tell you that spending a lot of money on senior pictures only to download them to your computer and forget about them is NOT a good use of your money. The photos need to be USED!

You can use them in year book ads. Senior slide shows. Holiday / Christmas cards. As gifts for grandparents, godparents, and other relatives. To print and frame inside your home. To create a memory album for your child – or for you! In your senior’s graduation announcements.

You can use the images for thank you notes. To enlarge and display at your senior’s graduation party. For your senior to use as headshots on LinkedIn and other social media platforms. As images for sorority rush or for college freshman directories. In future wedding slide shows. And as images cherished by future generations.

Bonus Question: What is your budget?

If you are lucky enough to not have budgetary constraints, then all the more reason to treat your senior to a senior portrait experience!

Every family has unique budgetary constraints, and as someone whose husband got downsized out a job a couple of times, I know that budgetary pressures are real. If this is true for you, you might need to spend more time researching photographers but senior pictures are still a possibility.

Some top professional photographers like Goodhart Photography offer pared down senior sessions for busy seniors, reluctant seniors, and seniors on a budget.

And new photographers often have lower rates — you may have to scroll down to the 4th or 5th page of google to find them, but they are there.

And as another option, you try to take your photographs of your senior yourself, or perhaps see if you can find a hobbyist photographer to take some photographs. In fact that is how I started my business, back in 2009 I was a hobbyist photographer and our babysitter asked me to take her family’s portraits and the rest is history!

So Are Senior Pictures Worth It?

I will admit I’m biased, as a senior photographer, but yes, I do think it is worth the time, effort, and money to take senior pictures! I know how meaningful these images are, and how much more precious they will become over time.

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