Senior Pictures. A Splurge or Not?

That is the question……

Now I am just trying to find the answer.

I just came across this website that mocked all the senior picture poses from years gone by. You know what I’m talking about. Leaning against a ladder, like it’s something you do every day. Or snuggled up against a wall, because that’s what we did in the ’80’s.

Senior picture ideas have come a long ways since I was in high school and thank goodness for that.

One reason they have come so far is that more and more kids are picking up digital cameras and messing around until they get the shot they want. I have so many pictures of my daughter. Even the one at the top is a self portrait that she took with my iPhone, you should see what she can do with a real camera.

There are 2 ways to do Senior pictures.

  1. Hire a professional with the starting price of about $500
  2. Hire a teen that has taken on the love of photography.

My daughter really wanted professional pictures taken. And I understand, but once I started looking around I was pretty bummed about what you get in a session/package.

  1. Only 2 outfit changes (not a lot for a girl)
  2. The cheapest package only contained about 5-6 pictures. I am sure if you upgraded you could get the disk with all the pictures, but at $500 for the smallest package, I didn’t want to look any further.

Problem with #2 in our house is that our daughter is just that, the photographer. She has done senior pictures for her friends and she has even helped shoot a wedding. I know her stuff is amazing, so why would I hire a professional.

All I would have to do is talk her into it and have her find a friend to pull it off.

Because this is for her I approached her with the idea of doing her own. She would have so many more outfits, she could do them at any location and more if she wanted and order any pictures she wanted.

She left upset…

Then came back with a great proposition.

  • She found a friend to help her do her senior pictures and asked if I would give him a little money to help. (He’s done some senior pictures for friends as well.)  I agreed to that, simply because my daughter also charges to take senior pictures. Not much, but once you take time to edit them and put them on a disk, it’s time consuming, not to mention the photo shoot itself.
  • Then she asked if I would buy one special outfit for her senior pictures.


I didn’t just come to this whole decision completely on my own…

I have friends who have kids older than my kids. They have gone before me, if you will. I asked them what the right thing to do was. They both said, “don’t spend a ton of money, just get some good pictures.”

Senior pictures are important. They should not be skipped, they should not be avoided. But… they are not the end all picture that you will have of that child. I know for a fact that my daughter will continue to photograph her and her friends, capturing memories and making for much better pictures.

I will keep my ’80’s pictures of me standing next to an old wooden fence (in a studio), but they won’t be quite as special as hers.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Should we as parents be spending $500-$1000 on senior pictures for our kids?


Linked to Frugal Friday