Posted December 4, 2014 by Adam Hofmann

Your senior year will be full of momentous occasions, including your senior pictures. From touring university campuses to enjoying your final football games and dances as a high school student, your weekends and afternoons after school are sure to be packed. As you start planning your schedule, remember to leave plenty of time for everything related to your portraits.

The Best Time of Year to Take Senior Pictures

Senior Photography by Carolyn Schneider

The summer after your junior year is when senior picture season officially starts. Although it may seem too early, it really isn’t; this is the best time to start looking online for a local photographer. Plan to spend a couple of weeks going through your options and talking with a few different photographers about what you want to see in your pictures. They’ll also have questions for you, and may give you a questionnaire to determine whether or not you’re a good fit for each other.

The Best Time of Year to Take Senior Pictures

Senior Photography by Carolyn Schneider

Once you’ve secured a photographer, the two of you will start discussing the art direction you’d like for your senior portraits. This means deciding on an aesthetic, booking a venue, and of course, going shopping for your outfits. It’s a good idea to have you outfits – including shoes – selected at least two weeks before your photo shoot. This way, you’ll have time to wear your new clothes and shoes to make sure they fit comfortably.

Speak with your photographer about any makeup artists or hairstylists on their team. If you like their work and they have an open schedule, booking your trials with them will be a lot easier and less frustrating than getting these appointments done elsewhere. However, if that’s your only option, make sure to schedule your appointment so that there’s about an hour between it and your photo shoot. This time will act as a buffer between appointments in case you run into traffic or you have a hair emergency.

The Best Time of Year to Take Senior Pictures

Senior Photography by Melanie Monroe

If you can, book your photo shoot in the months between the start of the fall semester and the holiday season. Once you return from winter vacation and begin your final spring semester of college, finding the time to go shopping for your senior pictures, book a venue, actually take your photos, and schedule any potential re-shoots will be difficult. Plus, you’ll want to have your graduation announcements ready and printed by spring. And if your photographer doesn’t partner with a graphic designer and print shop, you’ll need another few days to select a printer.

Also, be aware of any yearbook deadlines. Don’t wait to ask about when you should submit your senior photos. Be proactive and do this as soon as possible. Remember there’s always a chance that your yearbook committee will need to review your class’s senior portraits and possibly ask for resubmissions if outfits or other criteria don’t match your school’s standards.

While all of this may seem daunting, rest assured that your photographer will be aware of the time constraints you’re working with, and will be able to give you any advice about specific questions you have about the timeframe for your senior pictures. After all, if they’re experienced, they’ve dealt with their share of tight deadlines.

About Adam Hofmann

Adam is the Head of Marketing for SmartShoot. He looks after all things content marketing, SEO, social media, customer acquisition and growth. When he's not geeking out at the office, he's off on adventures taking photographs of the world.

Keep in touch: @smartshootinc

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