Milestones are something that I consider often, as a photographer and a mother. I remember the milestones of my own little ones, like newborn photos and those blurry first days in the hospital. Then come those toddler years, and then school photos, replete with missing teeth, pigtails, glasses, or braces. In between, snapshots with friends, and maybe a yearly family photo or two. So, why is the senior year so important? Typically, senior photos are the last professional photos before a wedding day (yes, I am serious!), so I cannot underscore enough how monumental they are...the time does not come back to us. The era of high school is brief and beautiful, and over far too soon. I also know that senior year is full of so many opportunities to spend money (cringe), and often, parents try to pinch pennies in every area that they can. Oh, how I understand this as a mom...I know that graduation expenses, that gorgeous cap and gown, announcements, parties, and college visits (not to mention college itself) can empty your wallet faster than you can imagine. But I beg of you this: please don't skimp on senior photos for your son or daughter. Your friend or your cousin may have a "fancy new DSLR", and you may be tempted to just let them snap a few photos.
I will admit that I am not the typical photographer, in that I didn't pick up a camera years and years ago, and fall in love with it. I loved taking pictures, but did not make the point to get professional pictures more than a couple of times in their (my three boys) lives. Senior pictures were not a “thing” yet in the rural area we lived when my oldest graduated. We had a friend who was just starting out and she did take some senior pictures for me, for which I was so grateful for, especially in hindsight (remember this was not a “thing” where we were) Not to mention, that money has always been an issue for our family, and this was just not deemed as a necessity. As their childhood and adulthood continued, I really understood the importance of printing photos as well. We never race back into the fire for a precious USB or CD, we race to the albums, the scrapbooks, and the framed photos. This is because of technology changes. Could you even imagine trying to get things off a floppy anymore without it becoming an ordeal? But a print in your hand or off the wall is what becomes a true heirloom.
Think of senior photos as building your legacy, one image at a time. Senior year is irreplaceable, and so is the experience of senior portraits!