Hey, mom of a high school senior! Congratulations! You’ve made it to the last year of high school. Graduation is on the horizon. College, gap years, vocational programs, and full-time jobs are within reach.
One of the hallmarks of senior year is senior portraits. Graduating from high school is a big deal and should be celebrated. Besides all of the academics that are part of high school life, there’s figuring out what you like, getting involved in activities and sports, and navigating social circles. It’s a lot.
If you’re a first-time high school parent getting all your ducks in a row for senior year, you may be thinking about senior portraits for your student.
I’m breaking down the basics of senior pictures from my perspective as a photographer.
Why should you take senior portraits?
High school graduation is a major life milestone. It marks the end of childhood in many cases. For some families, it means their students will set off on their own soon. For other families, it means their student will be going to college or a technical program. It’s the closing of a major chapter of life.
With that being said, high school senior portraits commemorate this moment and are a great way to remember this time in your senior student’s life. Parents often see this as the culmination of their student’s achievements and a way of signing off on this chapter of life.
If your student is moving out and going to college, having a senior portrait is a great way to still see your student every day.
When is the best time to take senior portraits in Collin County?
The best time to take senior portraits in Collin County is in the fall and the spring. Because it’s Texas, it’s too hot to take senior portraits over the summer, and usually too cold (at least for Texans) to take them in the winter. Nobody looks good when they’re sweaty or when they’re shivering from the cold. However, it really is possible to take senior portraits all year round.
As a photographer, my personal recommendation for when to take senior portraits is between September and December, and then again between March and early June. Some things to take into consideration are school schedules, sports schedules, and activity schedules. It gets really busy during senior year, and senior portraits may get put on the back burner—and then it’s too late.
When it comes to the weather in North Texas, the ideal months for senior portraits are October or April. However, because Texas is Texas and the weather is unpredictable, it’s always a good idea to watch the weather patterns. But if you cannot schedule during these months, don’t worry. The photographer you work with should be able to make it work any time of year.
When should I schedule senior portraits in Collin County?
In most cases, senior portraits are photographed any time between the end of junior year through the end of senior year. For example, the Class of 2023 will have their photos scheduled during the fall of 2022 and through spring 2023. Some families who are on top of things schedule them this summer, but many seniors choose to wait until senior year starts because they may change their style.
Every high school varies in whether they accept your own personal senior portrait or the contracted studio senior portrait for the yearbook, so make sure to check with your high school to see if you have a photo deadline or not. If your high school only accepts the contracted studio photo, then you have more flexibility for when to schedule your senior portraits.
Where can you take senior portraits in Collin County?
When it comes to the location of your senior portraits in Collin County, there are a lot of options. You have to think about your preferences and if you’d like a natural setting, an urban setting, or an indoor studio setting.
Nature Settings for Photos in Collin County
Central Park in Frisco
Erwin Park in McKinney
Urban Settings for Photos in Collin County
How much do senior portraits cost?
Prices will vary from photographer to photographer when it comes to senior portraits. However, to prevent complete sticker shock, here is the range for DFW:
For senior portraits in Dallas and surrounding areas, you’re probably looking at a starting point of $300 and upwards of $2,000. Some photographers have a session fee that covers the time of the session and does not include any products. Other photographers offer all-inclusive packages that include the session and some products. As you can see, there is quite a range, so be sure to do your research, set a budget, and find a photographer who works for your parameters.
How do I find a senior portrait photographer?
My first recommendation is always referrals. Ask other moms who have gone before you, who have recently had senior portraits taken of their child. Having a personal referral means you have at least one stamp of approval.
Next, search on Google. You can search “senior photographer near me”, “senior photographer in Collin County“, or “senior photographer in Plano/Frisco/McKinney/your city.” Be sure to check out the photographer’s website and portfolio. Contact the photographer to get more information. I highly recommend a phone call or Zoom call to actually discuss details and get a feel for the photographer’s personality.
Finally, it’s a great thing when you have buy-in from your student. Typically, girls will have way more participation than boys, and they may have an opinion or referral from a friend who had their senior portraits taken. In my experience, boys get their senior portraits taken to appease their moms.
So, there you have it. Those are the basics of senior portraits. Right now is a great time to start researching for the fall or the spring. The more lead time you have, the more time you have to choose outfits, and locations, and pick an ideal date for their busy senior year schedule.
All photos by Catie Ronquillo Photography