Every year I get a flood of inquiries for senior pictures in early September. But that is too late! Hopefully this blog post will help you decide which season is best for you and how early you need to book to ensure you get your perfect season!
Know Your Yearbook Deadline
Let’s start with a few tips. Most high schools in the Portland Metro area accept images from professional photographers for your yearbook. I say most because there are a few private schools that have formal portraits taken at school. No worry, if you don’t have a yearbook deadline then you can do your senior pictures any time of year! How great is that! But if you are like most high schoolers, your school has a deadline that you’ll need to submit your image. I do this for each of my seniors to ensure that they get there on time and in the correct format. Don’t know when your yearbook deadline will be? We can estimate. Most schools have a deadline around the same time every year. Check the school’s calendar to see when it was for the previous class and you’ll know approximately when you need your image turned in.
What date to book
Now that you know your approximate deadline, let’s do some photographer math. I promise it isn’t too hard! Let’s say your yearbook deadline is October 30th. October and November are when most senior pictures are due btw. You’ll want to count back at least 4 weeks. That gives time for a possible reschedule, the rain always comes back in September, and time for editing. I usually need about a week but during my busy time of year it might be two weeks.
Which months will work
If your deadline is October 30th, you count back 4 weeks, then you know you can book your senior pictures for early September, August, July or June. Each of these months will give you a slightly different backdrop. It’s the wonderful thing about Oregon! June feels too early right? But if you want green grass and flowering trees or the rose garden…this month is perfect! July can be just as green and a great time of year if you’d love to go to a lavender farm. August is the perfect month and my busiest by far. It’s right before school starts, the weather is always warm and if you’ve wanted a wheat field, this is the month for you! September is when everyone else realizes they need senior pictures and you’re back in school. This means fewer days available and most photographers are busy with senior and family sessions. Don’t wait to book until September!
When to book
Here’s where things get tricky. Most of my seniors book in May and June for their summer and fall dates. By July 1st I rarely have dates left. If you really want fall pictures, you can’t wait until fall to book. If you really want any specific time of year, you need to book sooner than later.
Off-season senior pictures
Maybe you don’t care about your yearbook deadline or you are one of the lucky ones that can do them whenever? Senior pictures can be taken any time of year! Jan, Feb, and March are best for winter, snowy pictures or in the studio. April, May, and June are perfect for spring flowers but rain could be a factor. July, August, September are the prime months for senior pictures. October, November, and December can be wet and cold. Plan ahead for a backup date or plan to be in the studio.
What is right for you
Whichever month you choose, or get stuck with because you’ve run out of time, what matters most is how you feel. Your senior pictures are about you and your accomplishment of graduating! I hope you feel amazing on your senior portrait day, that you have so much fun with your photographer and LOVE your images. This time of your life is so special and goes by so quickly. I can’t wait to create amazing images for this next class!