Why Create Senior Portraits & How to Prepare

A common question today is “Why.”

If you are a parent of a teen who will graduate at the end of their senior year you may ask yourself, “Why would we want Senior Portraits?”

Capturing the Milestone

This is a milestone in your family’s life — your teen is ending their youth and beginning adulthood. Whoo boy, that’s an important time of transition.

When you have professional photographs created, you are telling your teen they are important, worth the time and money to prepare for creating images that will last for generations. These portraits will be on the wall of your home, on your office desk, or in an album. They’ll be given as gifts for extended family and friends, announcements of their graduation celebration, and will travel with your graduate as they begin their new life journey.


Look at the differences in these teens. Senior portraits showcase personality and style. Professional portraits show who your teen is at this specific time in their life and what’s important to them.

As a parent of a teen, you may want to talk with them about their session and how best to showcase who they are. As a client, I help you with this. Here are a few questions to get you started:

  • What best represents you this year?
  • What clothing and accessories say, “This is me!”
  • What style represents you:  Casual, semi-formal, formal?
  • What location is important to you?
  • What items do you want to include with your portrait?
    • A sports item, jersey, jacket; a favorite book; your musical instrument; your artwork or art materials; your pet?

Many parents ask if they have to make their teen smile.  Smiling comes from a thought, then a feeling of joy, expressed in the eyes.  Some teens smile, some are more pensive.  Most teens are not immediately comfortable in front of  a camera.  As I get to know your teen and build rapport, setting them as ease, their portraits will capture who they truly are — smile or no smile.

Another question you may have is, “Do I come to the portrait session?”  The answer is: whatever makes your teen most comfortable.  Some prefer to have you with them, some prefer to come alone or with a friend.  

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I’m often asked by a parent, if we can include a few portraits with the graduate in their cap and gown.  Of course we can!  Some teens welcome the idea, others cannot understand the need and don’t want to include them.  A discussion with your teen about what is important to you can go a long way.  “It’s important to me to have a portrait with you in your cap and gown.   Will you do this for me?”

When is a Good Time?

Spring or Summer is the best time for the Senior Portraits for the teen entering their senior year in the upcoming Fall. You can celebrate your teen all year with their portraits proudly displayed in your home. Importantly, these portraits can be used in their final Year Book.

If you haven’t had your teen’s portraits created and they are in the final months of their senior year, the time for their session is as early in Spring as possible. These portraits will be used for your home, as gifts and the “Save the Date” celebration announcement.

An Invitation

I would be honored to capture images of your teen, as they are rounding the corner into adulthood. If you would like to discuss this important milestone, or are ready to schedule a session, feel free to call me. I’m always happy to talk with you!

For Senior Portrait Ideas, check out my galleries here: > Portraits Ideas

I am a Southern California based Portrait and Fine Art Photographer who sees the world a bit differently.

You can view more of my work here > Donna Edman Photography.

If you’d like to schedule a session or chat about your teen’s Senior Portrait experience, call me! 
(714) 746-2418

Together, we can capture YOUR FAMILY’S LIFE, One Image at a Time!

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