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5 Tips to Make Your Senior or Graduation Session Stand Out

Looking for some ideas or pointers for your graduation photos? All the blood, sweat, and tears you've put into the last 2, 4..8 or more years of your journey are more than enough reason to celebrate yourself, your hard work, and commitment. If you're in the Knoxville area, I'd love to connect with you, to memorialize this special time of your life. If not...I travel. Haha! But really, here are some fun ideas and tips to make your graduation session pop.


Not to make this some sort of sob story, but I don't have any photos of my graduation. None. It was actually a really special moment for me, looking back on it. I was asked to read a poem I had written as one of the speeches, and got to sit on stage. It was the last big life event my grandmother was a part of, before she passed, as well. However, for over ten years, this hasn't bothered me or even crossed my mind. I hadn't thought about my graduation...since my graduation. It wasn't until a few weeks ago, during a conversation, that it really dawned on me that no one took my photo. No one took my picture. There was no professional makeup, no special dress, no dinner afterwards, no pictures. It sank it a little bit, I will admit. I mean, you spend 12 of the first 18 years of your life building up to this moment. you SHOULD be celebrated! You made it! Every graduate deserves a whole section in the stands, full of people willing to completely ignore the "save the applause for the end" rule and cheer for you as you cross the stage! You deserve a crazy adult lurking somewhere around the stage, trying to find the best angle to capture "the handshake". You deserve to hear, "THAT'S MY BABY!!!" coming from somewhere in the distance. At the very least, you deserve for an overly sentimental mom of two, with a camera, to live vicariously through you and plan a unique-to-you graduation session experience. CELEBRATE YOU, GRADUATE!

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Okay, so, of course, your photographer should have the ability to make you feel relaxed at at ease; but nothing beats to energy a bestie brings. They have all the inside jokes, for one! How many times have you simply made eye contact with a friend and busted out laughing? If you know, you know! You can have them tag along for behind the scenes help and vibe boosts, or you can always have them join in on the fun with you. Extra points, if your bestie happens to be graduating with you, from the same place, like these two.

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This rule was so important, we had to reiterate it. Who are you, right now? Show that person off. 10, 20, 30 years from now, as hard as it is to imagine, the person you are today will be a challenge to remember. Are you into sports? Art? Dance? Show off that side of you, to allow a better picture of who you are at this stage in your life. Think outside the box!

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Okay, maybe don't make it ALL about you. Why not include your LO--they played a huge roll in your journey to graduation day! Your kids ride the rollercoaster of higher education with you, even when they don't realize it. In a lot of cases, our minis are the inspiration and drive we needed to continue expanding as individuals.

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If your photographer doesn't mention or ask about doing a headshot, ask for one. You may need a headshot for your job search profile or resume, for school projects, portfolios, you name it. You might as well get one, while you're dressed, eh? Your makeup is done, hair is done. Just take a cute blazer to throw on, if you need to.

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The job, the college, the trade you're headed for, incorporate it in your session, somehow. Years from now, it may be really interesting to look back on those first steps into the world. Everyone walks a different path in life, be proud of yours. Whether you're traveling for a year before school, working from home, starting or expanding a business, or started or expanding a family--celebrate this next chapter


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