I remember my senior year, because it was the best year from all of my childhood years... skip day, prom, varsity soccer and of course the cute boys:) Although it was over ten years ago from when I graduated, I remember going to the school during the summer right before my senior year to have my portraits taken for the yearbook by the school photography company. I couldn't wait to get them back and see what I had to choose from!
I was so disappointed when my proofs arrived. I thought they were boring, dull and mucho, mucho cheesy! I even had several photos that were improperly lit. It was scary to think that those photos were all I had to remember my senior year by, until I started receiving mailers from a local studio, John Barfield Photography. The seniors shown on his card were very relaxed in their posing and I was drawn to all of the outdoor options that were offered.
I thought I was going to have to beg my dad to let me take my senior portraits again at John Barfield, but boy, was I wrong. As a teenager, I never really wanted to have my pictures taken. So, when I asked to have professional portraits done at a studio that I liked... my dad was more than happy to take me! (In fact, he may have literally dragged me there.)
My experience at John Barfield was so different than the one I had at school. The session with my photographer was much more personal. He took the time to get to know me and help me relax in my photographs. I walked around to different set ups and backgrounds rather than standing with the "good old" SENIOR block and doing all of my photos with the same backgrounds. The results... well, they were far better than I ever expected. There were no forced and uncomfortable smiles like the ones I gave to my school photographer, and I could never have asked for more variety. (He even captured a beautiful "serious" look... and I never liked that look on me.)
After my experience at John Barfield's studio, I realized something. Portraits are much more than just taking pictures. It is about the experience that you have at the studio and the relationship that cultivates with your photographer. There is also a higher level of customer service that customers receive. Rather than "getting you in and hurrying you out," a professional studio will set aside ample time to help you make all of the important decisions regarding your session and photography. All of these things combined, are why it is important to mark this milestone with professional portraits. Anyone can take a picture. But a picture is just not good enough for your senior year. Choose a professional photographer to take great senior portraits!
P.S. I was able to get my hands on a few of my senior portraits. The images below are used with the permission of John Barfield.