As I’m writing this blog post to you, I am also a mom of an upcoming senior myself.
I’ve had the idea for this post for a long time, but I kept putting it off. I guess I didn’t want to face the reality either. But we are here, whether we like it or not. And we will do this together. Last first day of high school, last birthday at home, last homecoming dance, last varsity game. I’m trying to hold it all together as I type this just thinking about those moments to come.
When I first outlined this post (long ago) it was full of tips and tricks for getting ready for senior portraits and senior year. Now it has become much more personal (be sure to read to the end). But I will still include them for sure, mostly as bullet points, because I’m a list-making sort of girl :)
Schedule tests early so there is time to retake if necessary
Last ones are in the fall of their senior year
Make a list of college choices
How much does it cost to attend?
What are the admission standards?
How far is it? Car or plane? Logistics are pretty important.
Slow down the spring of junior year
Get recommendation letters from teachers
Enjoy spring break together as a family
Set some goals and a timeline for the next year
The summer before senior year
Get those applications in and essays written.
Ask for recommendations if you don’t already have them.
Help your kiddo make a senior year bucket list and try to make those things happen.
(Here’s something I do know a little bit about! The other stuff, I am learning right along with you. Haha!)
You’ll be on the list for the school’s contract photographer.They will send a postcard / paperwork or give you a call to schedule an appointment for the yearbook photos. This is for the drape or tux shot. Depending on your school, this shot is mandatory and the only one the school will accept for the senior section of the yearbook. You may also be asked to book casual photos. This part is not mandatory. You have a choice in who you will hire to create your child’s senior portraits. I wrote about how to choose the right photographer for your senior portraits here. Be sure to read over that if you are confused by this at all.
Schedule your custom senior session early. Professional photographers’ schedules will book up fast for the summer and fall. The nice thing is that you aren’t on anyone else’s timeline. These are for you and your walls! Take your time and do them right. This only happens once and it’s worth celebrating such a huge milestone in your child’s life.
Before they leave for college . . . hire that same professional photographer (because you guys will already be comfortable around them) to capture some family portraits. You’ll cherish these.
Gather the baby pictures. You will want them for your yearbook ad if you choose to purchase one. You’ll want to have some displayed or in a slideshow at their graduation party too.
Document their senior year. I’m sure you already do this since we all have a camera in our hands or back pockets now anyway. But be sure to capture the little moments in between too. You can create a memory book from Print Studio right from your phone. My favorite product they have is their posters. I think these would be so cool for your kiddo’s dorm room.
Life Skills (just some good things to know before they are off on their own)
Deposits / Withdrawals / Budgets
Cooking simple meals
Flat tires / roadside emergency skills
Talk to them about failure, how you’ve failed and why it’s ok
Soak up every moment
Family dinners, even if it’s pizza on a quilt in the living room.
Sit on their bed at night. Listen more than you talk.
Go for walks with no purpose in mind. Just let conversations unfold.
“Date” nights. Take them out. Spoil them a little.
Big weekend breakfasts together.
Give them big hugs & forehead kisses, just because.
I say all of this because I am living it with you. Life is a whirlwind at times, but it doesn’t have to be. Let’s slow down & savor these moments we’ve been given before they slip away.
If you're the parent of an upcoming senior in Forsyth County, Georgia or the greater Atlanta area I would love to talk to you about creating your child's senior portraits. At Jena Golden Photography we love working with seniors and their families in this crazy emotional and exciting time of life. To book a custom senior session click the button below or give me a call at 678.565.8101 so I can help walk you through the process.