These days, there are plenty of paths you can take after graduation. College has always been a more traditional route, but many seniors have alternate plans, such as trade schools, entering the military, taking a gap year, or working full time. Although society would have you believe these aren’t as glamorous or important as a college path, I believe every senior has their reasons as to what they choose, and why. I love meeting all the seniors I get to work with, and hearing about the future ahead of them. But many seniors seem embarrassed, or even shy about a path that doesn’t include college, or is a community college. I want you to know that EVERY senior deserves amazing senior portraits, and your journey is just as important. Here are some tips for my graduates who are excited about a different kind of future:
- If you’re not attending traditional college, or you didn’t get into the school you dreamed of: Sometimes, financial reasons or academics prevent you from getting in your dream school. If you’re an athlete, sometimes injuries sideline you from the big dreams you had before graduation, and it can feel like your future looks very different from the one you had imagined. Remember that a change of plans doesn’t diminish the amazing things you’ve already done in high school, or the memories you’ve made. It’s okay to grieve what might have been, but be proud of what you’ve done and the life you’re still building.
- It’s okay if your sessions doesn’t include a college shirt or banner: Many of our seniors include college items in their sessions, like tee shirts flags that show their school spirit! If you’re feeling strange because you aren’t attending a traditional college or are choosing an alternate path, don’t feel like you can’t bring that up to me. I’d love to hear about hobbies, your trade school, or military aspirations, and figure out how we could include those instead.
- Your senior year is still incredibly special: You won’t ever get this year back, so don’t let your fear of people’s opinions color what memories you get to create. Be proud of the things you are going to do after graduation, and rest in the fact that the choices you’ve made are the right ones for YOU and your family. ‘Comparison really is the thief of all joy’, and it’s important to treasure and hold onto the people around you before graduation. Although you may not be attending college or leaving for college, your relationships will shift and change due to it being a different season of life soon, so make them matter. Invest in your people, and create lasting relationships that will withstand the test of time.
- Senior portraits are for everyone: Many people view senior portraits as the bridge to college, but really, they are the bridge to whatever step that’s next in your life. When I meet my prospective clients, I get to know them, their likes and dislikes, and help shape a session that will show off the many facets of their personalities. I’ve had clients bring pets, instruments, and cheerleading poms to their shoots, and so, if you have something in mind, let me know!
If you’ve been putting off your senior session because of your college decision, please don’t. You are worthy of a shoot that shows off your uniqueness and your drive, and I’d love to be your senior photographer.