When Do You Take Senior Pictures?

When Do You Take Senior Pictures?

Most parents start thinking about their child’s senior pictures around the time their junior year of high school starts. That’s about when you should start planning too!

There are many things to consider when it comes to senior pictures. The most important thing is to make sure you book your photographer early! Senior picture season is very busy, so if you wait too long you might not be able to get the date or time slot you want.

Senior pictures are an important milestone in every high schooler’s life. They’re a way to capture this moment in time before everything changes and they head off into adulthood. So when do you take them? Keep reading to learn more about the different options and what will work best for you.

When to Take Senior Photos:

1) Spring

This is the most common time to take senior photos. If you want your pictures in the yearbook, this is when you need to take them. Many photographers book up quickly during this time, so it’s best to schedule your session as soon as possible [1].


If you’re planning on applying to colleges with an Early Action or Early Decision deadline, most photography experts recommend taking your senior photos during the summer after a junior year or the early fall of senior year. That way, you’ll have plenty of time to use them for your applications.


  • Get your pictures done as soon as possible! You won’t have to worry about them later in the year if you do your photographs early in the spring of your junior year! or, if you don’t want to do them earlier, you can wait until summer break or even the early fall of your senior year;
  • Warm weather. This is also a great time to take photographs outdoors! The weather is starting to warm up and there are plenty of flowers blooming;
  • A beautiful landscape with blue skies, delicate flowers, and lush vegetation! The warm weather comes, and now is the time to get your yard ready. Spring is when everything starts to flourish, with gorgeous fresh greenery and flowers! Everything is so green, which makes for great photographs! In Holland during Tulip Time, the tulips are in full bloom while trees flower profusely;


  • You might not have as many clothes options if you take your photos too early in the spring. You might still be wearing winter clothes, which could limit your wardrobe choices for your photos;
  • In the spring, there may be unexpected rain or storms;

2) Summer

Summer is the second most popular time to take senior photos. Many students want to take advantage of the warmer weather and longer days by doing their photoshoots outdoors. This can make for some beautiful pictures, but there are a few things to keep in mind [2].

The heat can be a bit much, especially if you’re doing an outdoor shoot. Make sure to drink plenty of water and take breaks in the shade if you need to. You might also want to consider doing your shoot earlier in the day or later in the evening when it’s not quite as hot.


  • The weather is warm and you can wear lighter clothes;
  • You have more time to do your photoshoot because there are no school activities;
  • There are more daylight hours so you can do your photoshoot any time of day;


  • It might be too hot for some people to be comfortable outside;
  • There might be bugs or other insects that could ruin your photos;

3) Fall

Fall is a beautiful time of year, and many students want to take advantage of the stunning scenery for their senior photos. The leaves are changing color and the air is crisp, making for some gorgeous pictures.


One thing to keep in mind is that the days are getting shorter, so you’ll need to schedule your shoot accordingly. You might also want to bring a jacket or scarf along in case it gets cold.


  • The leaves are changing color and the scenery is beautiful;
  • You can wear jackets or scarves which can add variety to your photos;


  • The days are shorter so you have less time for your photo shoot;
  • It might be cold outside;

4) Winter

Winter might not be the most popular time to take senior photos, but it can still be a great time to get some beautiful pictures. The snow can make for a stunning backdrop, and you can even play in the snow if you want [3]!

Just keep in mind that it might be cold, so dress accordingly. You might also want to bring along a thermos of hot cocoa or coffee to keep warm between takes.


  • The snow can make for a beautiful backdrop;
  • You can wear winter clothes which can add variety to your photos;


  • It will likely be cold outside;
  • There may not be as much daylight because the days are shorter;
So, when should you take your senior photos? The best time is whenever works best for you and your schedule. There are pros and cons to each season, so just choose the one that sounds the most appealing to you. And don’t forget to have fun! This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so make sure to enjoy it.

Tips for Taking Senior Pictures At Home:

  • The location. The location of your photos can say a lot about your personality. If you’re more laid back, consider taking them outdoors in a park or natural setting. If you’re more glam, maybe an urban setting would be better. Or if you have a hobby or activity that’s important to you, incorporating that into your photos is always fun;
  • Timing. Once you’ve decided on a photographer and location, it’s time to start thinking about when you want to take your photos. The spring of your junior year or the fall of your senior year are usually the best times, as the weather is usually pretty good then. But it really depends on what type of photos you want and what will work best with your schedule;
  • What to wear. This is probably the most important part! What you wear in your photos should reflect your personality and style. If you’re not sure what to wear, ask your photographer for some guidance. They usually have a lot of great ideas;
  • Hair and makeup. Again, this is all about reflecting your personality. If you normally don’t wear much makeup, then don’t go overboard just for your photos. The same goes for hair. Just make sure you look like yourself;

Should You Hire a Professional Photographer to Take Senior Pictures?

You want to make sure you choose a photographer that you feel comfortable with and who will be able to capture the type of photos you want. Ask around for recommendations or look at online portfolios to get an idea of each photographer’s style.

Should You Hire a Professional Photographer to Take Senior Pictures?

Poses are where things can get a little bit awkward. But don’t worry, that’s why you have a photographer! They’ll help guide you into natural-looking poses that will flatter you and help you feel comfortable.

When Do You Take Senior Pictures: A Comparison of Indicators

Senior pictures are an important milestone for high school seniors, capturing their final year in school before embarking on new adventures. The timing of taking senior pictures can vary depending on different factors. In this table, we compare various indicators that influence when senior pictures are typically taken.

Indicator Early Fall Mid-Fall Late Fall Spring
Weather Warm and Pleasant Cool and Colorful Cool and Fading Varies, Fresh and Lively
School Schedule Starting School Year Mid-Semester End of Semester Before Graduation
Scenery Green and Vibrant Fall Foliage Fading Leaves Blooming Flowers
Outfit Options Summer and Fall Attire Fall and Layered Outfits Fall and Winter Wear Spring Outfits
Booking Demand High – Peak Season Moderate High – Fall Demand Varies, Book Early

The table compares different indicators that influence the timing of senior pictures. These indicators are as follows:

  1. Weather: The table shows the general weather conditions during different times of the year. Early fall offers warm and pleasant weather, mid-fall becomes cool and colorful with the changing leaves, late fall features cooler weather with fading foliage, and spring varies but often presents fresh and lively conditions.
  2. School Schedule: This indicator highlights when seniors are typically occupied with their academic commitments. Taking pictures at the beginning of the school year, mid-semester, end of semester, or before graduation can affect their availability.
  3. Scenery: The table indicates the appearance of the surroundings during different seasons. Early fall showcases green and vibrant landscapes, mid-fall displays the beauty of fall foliage, late fall exhibits fading leaves, and spring features blooming flowers.
  4. Outfit Options: Different seasons allow for various outfit choices. Early fall and summer attire, fall and layered outfits, fall and winter wear, and spring outfits are the options available during each respective period.
  5. Booking Demand: The demand for booking senior picture sessions can vary throughout the year. Early fall and late fall witness high demand, mid-fall experiences moderate bookings, and spring bookings can vary, often requiring early reservations.

Considering these indicators, seniors and their families can make an informed decision about when to schedule their senior picture sessions to ensure the best experience and results.


Why do you take senior pictures?

Senior pictures are a way to capture this moment in your life. It is a time when you are finishing high school and about to embark on your next adventure. Taking senior pictures is a tradition that has been around for many years.

Some people take them before they graduate so they can have the pictures to look back on, while others wait until after they walk across the stage to receive their diploma. No matter when you take them, senior pictures are a way to remember this milestone in your life.

What time of day is best for senior photos?

In the evening, the lighting is warm and flattering. In most cases, the illumination is quite bright and vibrant. Depending on the session’s location, you may be able to observe vivid colors from the setting sun sinking through trees as it gets low in the sky [4].

When should grad photos be taken?

Your graduation photos should be taken after you have received your diploma, but before you leave the stage. This way, you will be able to capture a photo of yourself in your cap and gown with your diploma in hand.

If you are taking photos at the ceremony, make sure to line up early so that you can get a good spot. Once the ceremony is over, quickly walk over to where the photographer is set up and smile for your picture!

Can you take your own senior pictures?

Yes, you can take your own senior pictures. However, it is important to keep in mind that professional photographers have a lot of experience taking photos. They know how to capture the perfect photo and make you look your best.

If you are planning on taking your own senior pictures, make sure to do your research beforehand. Find out what time of day will give you the best lighting and choose a location that is meaningful to you. Most importantly, have fun with it! These pictures are meant to represent this exciting time in your life.

Should I tip my photographer for senior pictures?

It is not necessary to tip your photographer, but it is always appreciated. If you are happy with the service that they have provided, a tip is a great way to show your appreciation.

Tipping is not required, but it is a nice gesture if you are happy with the service that you have received.

Keep in mind that photographers typically do not charge for senior pictures unless you purchase prints or digital copies from them. So, if you decide to tip your photographer, make sure to do so after you have received your photos.

Where should the sun be when taking photos?

When photographing a house, placing yourself in the sun’s path works best for landscape or action shots, but if you use it with portraits, keep in mind the following things. The technique of obscuring the sun behind your subject to make it stand out can be known as backlighting.

First, the backlit photo creates a natural vignette around the subject.

Second, if your exposure is not correct, the sun can become a giant hot spot in the photo and wash out all of the details of your subject.

For these reasons, when photographing people, it is generally better to place the sun to the side or behind you so that your subjects are not backlit [5].

Is 10 am a good time to take pictures?

The optimum time to shoot photographs of couples is in the early hours after sunrise and before sunset. Within that timeframe, it’s preferable to take pictures after the morning golden hour or before the evening “golden hour”.

For most people, the “golden hour” occurs between approximately eight in the morning and nine in the evening.

During these hours, the sun is lower in the sky (which casts a softer light) and creates a natural vignette around your subjects.

The shadows are also shorter during these hours, which can help to slim down your subjects and minimize blemishes or imperfections [6].

While there are some general guidelines to follow when taking senior pictures, ultimately it is up to you when you want to take them. Talk to your photographer about what time of day would work best for the type of photos that you want and pick a date that works for both of you.

When is the ideal time to schedule senior pictures?

The ideal time to schedule senior pictures is during your senior year of high school, typically in the months leading up to graduation. Many students choose to have their senior photos taken in the fall or spring, but it ultimately depends on your preferences and the photographer’s availability.

How far in advance should I book my senior photo session?

It’s best to book your senior photo session several months in advance to ensure you get the date and time that works best for you. Photographers tend to have busy schedules, especially during peak seasons, so early booking will help secure your preferred slot.

Can I incorporate personal interests or hobbies into my senior pictures?

Absolutely! Senior pictures are a great opportunity to showcase your personality and interests. Feel free to bring along props, outfits, or items that represent your hobbies, sports, or passions to add a personal touch to your photos.

What should I wear for my senior photo session?

Choose outfits that reflect your style and make you feel confident. Solid colors or simple patterns often work well for portraits, and it’s a good idea to avoid clothing with large logos or distracting graphics. Don’t forget to bring a few outfit changes to add variety to your photos.

Where should I have my senior pictures taken?

There are various options for locations, such as outdoor settings like parks, urban areas, or even your school campus. Additionally, some photographers may offer studio sessions. Think about the kind of backdrop that suits your personality and style best.

How long does a typical senior photo session last?

A standard senior photo session can last anywhere from 1 to 2 hours. The duration may vary depending on the photographer’s package, the number of locations, and outfit changes you have planned.

Can I bring friends or family to be included in some of the pictures?

Of course! Including friends or family in a few shots can make the experience even more memorable. Just make sure to inform your photographer beforehand so they can plan accordingly and capture those special moments for you.

What if the weather is bad on the scheduled photo day?

If the weather doesn’t cooperate, don’t worry! Many photographers have flexible rescheduling policies to accommodate unforeseen circumstances like bad weather. They will work with you to find a new suitable date for your senior photo session.

How long after the photo session will I receive my senior pictures?

The time it takes to receive your senior pictures can vary from one photographer to another. It typically takes a few weeks for the photographer to process and edit the images before delivering the final results to you.

Can I request specific edits or retouching for my senior photos?

Yes, most photographers offer basic retouching services to enhance the final images. If you have specific requests for edits or retouching, it’s a good idea to discuss them with the photographer before they begin the post-processing work.

Useful Video: Beginners Guide: How to take better outdoor senior photos


  1. https://www.gracefullymadephotography.com/blog/when-to-take-senior-pictures
  2. https://catieronquillo.com/faq-best-time-take-senior-portraits/
  3. https://www.tgfoto.com/when.html
  4. https://www.stevencottonphotography.com/2020/02/06/the-best-time-to-take-senior-portraits/
  5. https://www.pictureframesexpress.co.uk/blog/photography-posts/5-tips-for-taking-photos-in-the-sun-basics-of-photography-series-part-4/
  6. https://improvephotography.com/51198/best-time-day-take-portrait-photos-natural-light/