Okay Parents! Your child is a junior and going to be a senior!! Say it isn't so! I know, I have thought that twice and it was back to back. I didn't think that out when I was having kids! I thought I was prepared because, well, I had been helping parents go through it for 10 years doing senior portraits! Then, in 2016, Rock Canyon dropped a bomb on us. They were choosing ONE studio for everyone's portraits! I couldn't believe that the time had finally come for my oldest son's senior photos and I couldn't submit it myself after doing dozens of others seniors!
Fast forward 3 years. You CAN use the photographer of your choice. You DO NOT have to go to the one studio the school chooses. How do you do this? Well, you can go to the FREE DAY at school which has always been the last Tuesday in September and the first Tuesday in October during ACCESS Class. That image will be submitted into the yearbook FOR FREE! Use your professional and favorite image for the SENIOR AD PAGE. This is pricey, but the funds go to the school and you can really write something special to your senior.
TAKE A LOOK AT THE SIZE OF THE SENIOR YEARBOOK PHOTO
So figuring you are Generation X (1965-1978) and have a Generation Z (1996-2010) ready to think about Senior Portraits, you will see that doing the FREE day at school, gives them the required yearbook photo. My yearbook, the obvious black and white images, had 15 images per page. My son's had 38 images per page! They measure only 1" wide where as ours were 2" wide and 2.5" tall.
So, what I have realized is their photos are so small they look the same anyway since they all have the same backgrounds from the one studio or outside of the school on the free day. No big deal.
WHAT ARE SENIOR AD PAGES ANYWAY?
Senior Ad Pages are a way the school and the yearbook allow you to give your child a chance at being noticed in the yearbook and hopefully feel loved and special. You buy a 1/4, 1/2 or full page for a pretty penny and get to add some photos and write a note to you son or daughter. This is where you can really show your favorite images or use the image from their senior photo session. The first round is open in October and the deadline is Dec. 6th. They raise their prices by $50 for each deadline so have your letter written out in September and ready to type in to the Josten's website in October. The school will have the info on their website.
I was so happy that my mom wrote me a note in my yearbook. She was the quiet type so I wasn't sure she would do that. I love that she wrote in French. Feeling loved is no understatement. Little things like this all add to kid's self-esteem.
My Thoughts As A Parent And Photographer.
Here is my personal suggestion. Call the photographer of your choice for these special portraits. Call in March or April. Don't wait until the middle of the summer.
Have your child go to the first free senior yearbook photo day at school. Done.
They submit the image, you get wall portraits or albums done by the photographer you choose.
Spend time and money on the Senior Ad Page. They will appreciate it and always have that note you gave them with some rocking photos of them.
Thank Your Child's Teacher.
It was fun to open up my old yearbook and see my mom in there! She was the Spanish and French teacher. Not everyone liked her because she was tough and expected a lot from her kids. I saw her work late night and get up at 5 am every morning. She loved her garden and time in Maine in the summer to decompress. Teachers need that time off in the summer. Can you image being with kids all day long? Teachers are saints!
I hope this helps you think about the senior portrait experience that will eventually happen to us all as parents. I know you are thinking, "Weren't we just in high school? Am I old enough to have a kid ready for college?" I am sure there is enough typos in this that you are thinking I should go back to high school!
Summer before senior year is exciting. Plan a head!