September 21, 2016

Face Forward | Choosing Your Senior Yearbook Photo

Choosing Your Senior Yearbook Photo

When I was a kid, I hated when the summer was ending.  But now that I am a High School Senior Photographer, I love it.  It is a crazy busy time of year, but so much fun.  I get to meet really great people and create beautiful photographs for their families.  After the session is over, the difficult part comes in to play–which Senior Yearbook Photo to actually choose.  Each school has different requirements.  Some schools require the traditional “drape” shot for girls and a suit and tie photo for the guys.  We do those here all the time at the beginning of the session if that is the case.  Some schools don’t actually require it, but the kids want it anyway.  I am always happy to honor that request.

Shenendehowa Senior Yearbook Photo
This would be a great choice for the yearbook–head and shoulders shot with no distracting elements.  However…
Sophia’s school requires “The Drape” for the yearbook, so this is what she submitted.


Shen High School Yearbook Photo
Will’s school requires a traditional Senior Portrait. He is very handsome in his suit.
Senior Portraits Shenendehowa
But we also did some Lacrosse photos for fun.

The majority of the schools in our area require a vertical head and shoulders shot for the yearbook.  In our sessions we do that, but also mix in full length, three quarters, vertical, horizontal and tight crops to give our clients a variety to choose from for the personal prints they order.

Senior Pictures Saratoga
Same pose, one  is just horizontal and one is vertical.  For the actual yearbook the bottom image would need to be cropped a little bit tighter for head and shoulders.

Clients ask me all the time why the Senior Yearbook Photo needs to be head and shoulders.  It is really a matter of practicality and decent design.  The actual image size in most yearbooks is kind of small–2×3 inches or less.  If you put a full length image in that size space, your head will be roughly the size of a bloated tick.  Not good if you want people to remember your face.  Design wise, it would be disruptive to the flow of the page if everyone submitted images of all different crops.

Saratoga Senior Yearbook Pictures
My favorite image from this session is on the right. But the size of Jake’s head would be too tiny for the yearbook.  It is also a horizontal.

Lots of schools do not want props in the yearbook.  Again, these could potentially be distracting elements on the actual page in the yearbook.  I actually love a simple, classic look for a Senior Yearbook Photo choice.

Cheerleader Senior Picture Saratoga NY
I love this photo of Gabby in her cheer uniform.  But the poms might be a distraction on a yearbook page.
Senior Pictures Adirondacks
I love the tones and colors in this image.
Senior Portraits Upstate NY
I love the simplicity of this image.  There are no distractions from Amanda’s beautiful smile.
Senior Yearbook Photos
I love, love, love this, but it is a definite no for the Senior Yearbook image.
Saratoga Senior Pictures
This is a no for the yearbook because it is horizontal. So I also made sure I shot a vertical with a tighter crop.
Senior Pictures Saratoga
While I LOVE the fact that we actually ran into a woman with a baby Kangaroo at the park, he would be a distraction in the yearbook. LOL.

For Senior Portraits, I prefer simple, classic clothing.  This is because it is a photo that follows you for quite some time.  For example, your mom will probably have it displayed in her house forever.  So you want to be able to look at it and not say, “Wow, what was I thinking when I chose that monstrosity.”  Lots of times the things that really tend to “date” photos are prints, shoes, glasses, super trendy styles.  You can do a few images like that, but choose at least one classic outfit.

Senior Year Photos
Erin Kate’s dress was perfect.  A V-neck is really flattering for most people, and the color is great.

I could go on and on.  But I am sure you get the drift.  Go with simple, classic styles for the yearbook and follow the guidelines the school gives you and you can’t go wrong.

Did you enjoy this article on Senior Yearbook Photos?  You might also enjoy reading this article on Senior Portraits.  Are you late getting your Senior Portrait taken?  Don’t fret–we still have time.  Call 518.584.4237 or fill in the Contact Form.