Shortly after my daughter graduated from Monroe High School in 2007, I posted about all the photo opportunities that come up during a high school senior year.

I knew ahead of time that we had to be very picky about the multiple photo occasions that come up during senior year. But there were some photo opportunities that took me by surprise. Here’s the list for those you who need a review:

  • Formal yearbook photo. If you get only one photo taken this year, it’s this one. (The class of 2009 will have yearbook photo shoot deadlines very soon, if not already.)
  • Informal senior photo. This is a very popular trend – athletes wearing their letter jackets, the “glamour shot,” the musician with her instrument. These poses showed up occasionally among my high school friends in the 1980s, and today’s students often expect it. Some yearbooks allow seniors to submit both their formal and informal poses for publication.
  • The family portrait. Some studios suggest this as part of the senior portrait shoot. Maybe you don’t have a recent formal picture of the entire family. Why not take one before the senior moves out to college or away from home? Hmm.
  • Team or club photo. I was in show choir, concert choir and marching band during my senior year – and have all the studio photos to prove it!
  • Homecoming, Winter Homecoming / Winterfest and Prom. You have never seen that boy in suit, much less a tuxedo. Need I say more?
  • Class group photo. There’s the pose where everybody is smiling very nicely; and the pose where everybody is goofing off. The chances are very good both will be available for purchase. (Where’s Waldo?)
  • Girl Scout Gold Award / Boy Scout Eagle Award formal poses. The awards ceremony doesn’t always coincide with senior year, but it did for us. And the Girl Scout Gold Award picture was the best studio shot my daughter posed for all year.
  • Newspaper photos. Senior year is when your student is most likely to be photographed by the newspaper for occasions such as all-region sports awards, special events and feature stories. It does cost about $10 to purchase a 5 by 7 reprint from The Monroe Evening News. But the picture service makes very good quality prints. (I have purchased such a photo and was very pleased.)
  • Graduation day. Given the fact my personal camera was acting up at graduation, I was glad to have the option to purchase a professional picture from the ceremony.

Now … how do you keep these picture packages from exploding your wallet?

Ask the relatives and friends before you place the orders what pose or image they want to remember the year by. To keep your costs down, you could also ask the relatives to purchase their own prints or decide to pay for the expense as part of a birthday or Christmas gift.

Then order only the exact number of pictures you need from each occasion.

The only photos for which you need any extras are about 10 to 15 wallet-sized formal yearbook poses. These are the photos you will be submitting to scholarship committees in the spring and summer should your student win any scholarships and awards. (If you don’t want to include that packet in your original yearbook photo order, keep the phone number or web site for the studio handy so you can place such an order in a few months.)

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