When should I schedule a senior session?


Mar 18, 2023

Senior season is upon us! Have you been wondering what month to schedule a senior session? First know- different photographers book out years ahead of time! Once you’ve decided who to use, inquire early! Senior sessions book quickly, especially since senior season competes with prime family session season.

If you’ve reached out to me to schedule a senior session and are trying to narrow down what month to book- here are a few tips to remember when selecting your date.

  1. Yearbook pic due dates. Some yearbook photo deadlines are earlier than you expect! (I often have October 1st as a submission deadline.) Senior photos often take up to four weeks to complete editing. Once I’ve sent you your gallery, you can select up to 4 photos that I will resize with your district’s specifications so that you have a couple of options with the crop used for the yearbook. Please schedule your senior session with plenty of time for editing, final selection, and submission to your yearbook.
  2. I ask that at least one parent or guardian be along during the session. Sometimes that parent will be an extra set of hands to carry wardrobe or accessories, and although we live and shoot in a community that I consider safe, it also makes me more comfortable knowing there is an adult parent/guardian present for safety reasons. Please select a date when a parent or guardian is available.
  3. Often, people ask if they can grab a full family photo while their senior has their session. The answer is YES! Absolutely! I like to do this at the beginning or the end. Often your senior is the most natural in front of the camera without a full family audience. If you’d like me to grab a couple of family shots, sibling shots, and parent shots, it seems to work well to have the whole family meet at the first or last location for the full family shot, giving your senior a little more time without the entire family present for the rest of the shoot. If you wish to include the family- please select a date when everyone is available.
  4. I schedule seniors on weekdays (versus weekends). Fewer people are out and about, so fewer people are in the background. Also, we avoid events that may be happening on the weekend in selected locations. Plus, with fewer people out, your senior has more privacy during the shoot. That said, if you need a weekend date, we can make that happen.
  5. Senior sessions can range from 30 minutes to 2 hours! We make a plan together for how many outfit changes and locations we hope to shoot. I limit the number of locations to two if they are far apart. Possibly three if they are close together (or on route between the first and second). I aim to schedule your shoot for no more than 2 hours. Once you know how many outfits you will have and how many locations/backgrounds you hope to include, we fine-tune a plan for where to start and end and what our estimated timeline will be.
  6. Locations! Although my favorite places and spaces photograph well, I LOVE when your senior gives input on where they would like their photos. Often seniors are the most natural in front of a camera in their favorite spaces! If your senior has a location idea- send it over! I have ideas that I would love to send you too. I would love it if your senior could help review them to decide. We can do a combo of their favorite spaces and yours. When you schedule a senior session- aim to do it when your senior’s favorite location is at it’s prime.
  7. Month- Wisconsin has many looks! June has soft greens, July and August have bold, vibrant greens and often wildflowers. In September, the greens of Wisconsin start to warm up and mellow out (which I LOVE), and you may get some color on the trees in October. When picking your senior session date, if you select a location, consider your favorite season in that location.
  8. Braces! Often families try to schedule a senior session for after braces are removed. If they won’t be off in time- consider a second session or a cap and gown session.