The New Portrait: Why High School Seniors are Breaking Away from Tradition
By: Theresa Weston, Partner, Carrie Weston Studios
Today’s seniors are looking for a fresh alternative to their senior portrait—a photograph that embodies who they are within this moment in their lives. After all, in a world driven by social media and the here and now, why would the senior of 2013 be interested in the boring, outdated pose? You know the one with the gray backdrop that looks exactly like your grandparents, grandparents hanging on the wall.
The change is in that all senior portraits don’t have to look the same, in fact they
shouldn’t. A senior portrait should catch the essence of who this young adult really is at this moment in their life. Whether they are a runner; a musician; gothic; preppy; an artist; a reader; a writer; a fashionista… whatever their style, whatever their personality, the bottom line is that everyone is DIFFERENT and their portrait should be too.
My sister, currently a freshman in college, refused to let my parents purchase the traditional photograph. Instead, she sought out a photographer and ensured she had a shoot that showcased her personality: an artist, a singer, a performer…she went up on the stage with a microphone and her instrument and hanging on the wall at my mother’s is just that…Catherine Weston, holding the microphone for all eternity. So what should you look for when booking your photo shoot?
- Meet with the photographer. Make sure that the photographer has experience with senior portraiture—there is an art behind posing, lighting and selecting the right scenery, make sure they’re credible.
- Have a conversation. Let the photographer know exactly what you’re looking for…are you looking for a shoot on the beach, with family, in the City? Having an idea about what you’re looking for before meeting with the photographer can help eliminate hidden fees and ensure that you’re shoot is moving in the direction you want it to.
- Ask about make-up and styling (this goes for the men too!). In specific lighting with a strong flash, you want to make sure your eyes pop and your teeth shine…ask if the photographer will be providing you with a licensed stylist—understand that the images online and in their marketing material more than likely had an artist in the room.
- Social Sharing. How easy will it be to see and post your pictures?
- Printing and packaging. Always ask about what type of printing and packaging is offered—with a true studio, you will not be forced into the traditional packages of wallets and 8×10 prints—you’ll have the freedom to print on canvas, posters and receive custom framing.
Considering the shoots I’ve had the privilege of going on, it makes me jealous that I don’t have a picture of myself at 18 on the track to show my kids. I hated dresses, I hated make-up and straightening my hair, and that’s exactly what’s hanging on the wall in my living room—someone else, which will be the monumental image for generations in my family to gawk at.
Gone are the days of the traditional…these young men and women are about to embark upon the world—it’s time their images resonated just that.
Theresa Weston is a national award winning marketer who is a partner at Carrie Weston Studios. With years of marketing experience, Theresa is adept at understanding client needs, working within budgets and turning a creative idea into a reality. She co-founded Pandora Marketing Consultants and Carrie Weston Studios with her partner, Carrie-Anne in 2011, and has since then won numerous awards and has been featured in several local publications. As a second-shooter and adept at thinking on her feet and multi-tasking, Theresa is responsible for ensuring all shoots run smoothly and those candid, memorable moments are caught on film. For more information, visit www.carriewestonstudios.com.