Do you remember your senior photos? Why your senior year is a milestone, and why it deserves portraits

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Up until recently, senior photos have been just kinda of.... meh. I remember getting mine done in 2005 - our school forced us to go to one particular photography studio (how do I get THAT gig?!), and we could have the laser background (I KNOW you know what I'm talking about), or the textured grey. My photographer was particularly fancy and put a gel over his light, making it pink to match my shirt. If you were willing to be a candidate for further awkward torture, you got to change outfits, sit on plastic columns, prop your elbows up on other strange posing furniture, and try to look awesome in front of the airbrushed grapevines and stone bridges. I was even nice enough to include my old senior photo here for your amusement.

Even though I hated all the other poses and I thought the whole experience was tacky, it was a still a milestone. I have very clear memories of this day, and I'm especially glad that I do because it was my dad who took me to the studio. He wasn't much of a fuss-over-your-looks kind of person, but I remember him helping me carry my large cumbersome instrument up the narrow studio steps, and I remember the short, vague compliments he offered that really meant the world to me, especially now that he's gone. 

Your senior year is the last year you spend reveling in "life as you know it." It's when you will make amazing memories with your friends that you see everyday, because soon, you won't. It's likely the last time you will live at home - and if you're still living in your parents basement at 27, it will never quite be the same as it was when you were in high school! This year is so formative in who we will become. I often think that forcing an 18 year old to choose a career path isn't exactly fair. Sometimes I feel guilty for not using my English degree, but I didn't know what I wanted, nor had the formative experiences I needed, when I was 18.

Senior year is one of the last years, at least for a good long time, where everything still makes sense. Where you have a good idea of who you are, and how you fit into the world. Most times it's when you are in top physical shape, too. And if that in itself doesn't deserve a portrait session, what does?! Looking back on your senior photos should be a way to remember your interests, your passions, your style. That's why it's so important to me to capture the personality of my seniors, to take them to places special to them. It's "the glory days" for sure, and I just love making sure every sweet facet of it is remembered!

Dylan, who I had the pleasure of photographing last week, is headed to Penn State to study computer science. An avid nature lover, he requested that a part of his session take place in an incredible forest and beside a beautiful stream on property that his family owns. After capturing memories in a place where he has spent so much time fishing, camping, and building structures that would make any boy scout jealous, we got some more "fancy" photos around town. I just love how a totally different location can change the entire feel of the shoot! I hope you enjoy the may sides of Dylan in these highlights below!

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