Senior season is ramping up! So this is a great time to talk about what you might want to consider including in your senior session. A question I often hear is: “Should I use props in my senior pictures?” I absolutely say yes, but ONLY if they have meaning to you or help tell the story or who you are. Props can take many forms, so let’s talk about “Why Use Props in Your Senior Pictures”.
Props don’t have to be items you bring with you, they can be the location you’re being photographed at. Your elementary school can be a nod to just how far you’ve come and how much you’ve grown since you first started this school year 13 years ago as a Kindergartner. Maybe the property of a family member or friend has so many special memories you want to include the location in your senior pictures. This can be anything to have pictures taken in their yard; to you shooting some hoops on the court where you have for so many years, while I capture you doing your thing. Taking pictures in your sports gear, on the field is always a winning way to capture your years in sports.
If you know anyone who is an Eagle Scout, you know they have done a tremendous amount of work to earn that honor. Not only have they spent years learning and working to earn merit badges, they’ve spent years in troop leadership positions. And of course the most well known component of becoming an Eagle Scout, completing an Eagle Scout project. The Eagle Scout here is my own senior, who would rather do another Eagle Scout project than have his picture taken. 🙂 I’ve included Eagle Scout project locations in senior and even engagement sessions!
Sports gear is the prop I most frequently see included in senior pictures. If you’ve enjoyed playing a varsity sport in high school, you have put years and years of work into honing your skills, likely formed lots of close friendships and made so many memories during that time. Odds are your time in your sport has significantly shaped who you are. Those are all perfect reasons to include your sports into your senior pictures, in big or small ways. Like I mentioned above sports are the perfect opportunity to incorporate more than one kind of prop into your images. When you dress in your sports uniform and gear on the field where you played, it like a home run, touchdown or slam-dunk of a senior picture! Ok, I’m being a little goofy, but seriously, everyone always loves these images!
They practiced balancing the tennis balls with the words and year written on them ahead of time! One of my most prepared senior ever! I just want to take a moment to say her session was SO MUCH FUN!!!!
Pictures of all props, that you use on a regular basis are a great addition to an album, like in the cheer spread below.
Maybe you aren’t on a school sports team, but hopefully everyone has gotten involved in some activities they’ve enjoyed during their high school career. Those are just as important to you, as the sports are to the athletes, so let’s capture at least a few images of that side of you. If you’re dancing on pointe you have spent close to a decade training your muscles and learning the steps, to be able to even consider putting on those pointe shoes. Disclaimer: Having a veteran ballerina myself, I know ballet is hard physically demanding sport, in both strength and endurance. I’ve included it in activities instead of sports because it is not an organized school team. Absolutely no offense or slight meant to amazing dancers! I could never do what you do, and have an unused New York City Ballet workout DVD to prove it. 🙂
If you are marching in the high school marching band, you’ve likely spent the last 6 years learning to master your instrument. And then there’s the countless hours of learning how to truly march, find your dot, and stay in step and on beat with everyone else! To top it off generally you make it look easy! Marching band flunkie here, it is NOT!!! Mixed in with all the learning and hard work, I hope you’ve also had tons of laughs, fun and made many memories with good friends. So why not celebrate this part of you in your senior pictures?
Whether it’s a ballet leotard, show choir dress, scout or band uniform, we can find a way to incorporate these into your pictures even if you aren’t wearing them. And everyone loves the pictures where you combine all your favorite activities in one pictures!
This is what 13 years of ballet costumes looks like. I adore this young lady who grew up dancing with my own ballerina.
Want to include trophies in your pictures? Check with the director in charge of your activity for special permission.
Legacy isn’t’ something I get to incorporate into senior pictures very often, but it can be so meaningful! In the pictures below the young man’s senior pictures were taken on his families property with his grandpa’s tractor. We didn’t’ do lots of pictures with the tractor, but the few we did portrayed his connection to his grandpa and his family land in a subtle way, while keeping him the focus.
The young lady below shared a love of lipstick with her late grandma. Her using her grandma’s mirror to get ready and using it to apply her lipstick, made these photos so special! Mom was even tearing up a bit, and to be honest, so was I! I loved being able to capture these images for her!
My own Eagle Scout has always loved wearing his Dad’s beret his own Scouting days. Saluting the flag is only natural, with his scouting background, 2 grandpa’s with military service and 2 great-grandpa’s who served in World War II. It was completely a bonus that his first job was at this very spot, and he regularly takes this flag up and down as part of his job.
No matter what you include in your senior pictures it’s important it helps tell the story of who you are at this pivotal point in your life. So the biggest factor in deciding “Why Use Props in Your Senior Pictures”, is if it’s important to you. So your favorite Mud Love bracelet-yes! Your favorite Bible verse, that helps you get through tough times–yes! Your favorite 4-H project or hobby, that just happens to be part of your future career-yes! The mission trip that helped our grow your faith, while also being a ton of fun-yes! Your Bible itself–100 times yes!
What every makes you uniquely you, that points to the real authentic you–yes!
God knew how much I needed that verse in front of me at that time in my life. Thank you so much sweet young lady for sharing your favorite verse!
A career in the making…..
Another career in the making…. If you haven’t heard him sing, he is amazing!
I love this girl’s heart! She is so encouraging to everyone around her!
It’s time to celebrate you!!!! Grab a parent and a sibling or friend if you like and bring them to your session! They are great at bringing out genuine smiles, and can help carry those props! Wondering what to wear for senior pictures? Check out What to wear for senior pictures
Follow the link below for the details of the real. authentic. YOU. senior experience.