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  • Writer's pictureLarissa Clark

What do I do if my senior does NOT want senior pics? | Loveland, CO Senior Portrait Photographer - Larissa Elizabeth Photography

"What the heck do I do if my senior is so not interested in getting their picture taken and doesn't want to do senior pictures at all???"

Well, first of all, just know they are not alone! Throughout the last ten years of doing senior portraits, I have seen a variety of different reactions to getting senior photos done. And while there are many seniors out there who are really looking forward to the process and have been dreaming up what they want to wear and what it will be like, there are also so many that are pretty much dreading the whole experience.

Being able to connect and design a senior session with someone that has lots of great ideas and excitement for the session can be a whole lot of fun. But I will also say that helping a senior realize their session doesn't have to totally suck is also just as satisfying. And over the years, I have gotten pretty good at that process and helping seniors have at least a little bit of fun at their session. (I don't mean to brag, much, but more times than not, my more hesitant seniors actually are a little bummed when the session is over because it was more enjoyable than they thought it would be!)

So what is this wizardry that makes even the most resistant seniors not only smile for the camera like mom wants but actually feel comfortable being themselves at their session?? Well, I think it comes down to a couple simple things that can really make a big impact.

Fort Collins senior photos with senior in urban alley with bass
High School Senior Musician in Fort Collins

(1) Include the senior in the design process.

I have noticed that the fear that most reluctant seniors have is that they will look or feel awkward or the pictures won't feel like "them" at all. It might seem like stepping in and planning the session for the senior would help remove the fear but I have found that including their ideas and interests breaks down the walls the quickest. My process loops the senior into the conversation about what to wear and this can really help ease fears. I encourage my seniors to pick one look that is just really comfortable and something they love. I say that if they would never wear it school or to hang out with their friends then it probably isn't really "them". If mom wants it, we also do a second look that might be a bit more formal, but it's that first outfit that helps them feel authentic. When we start off with the most authentic look, we can really shed the fears and embrace who the senior is at their core. And this results in images that are so them and a safe place for the senior to relax and enjoy the process.

Senior photos in Fort Collins Horsetooth
Fort Collins Scenic Senior Portraits

(2) Keep it simple

Another fear some seniors have is that they feel like they have to do some huge production for their session or come up with some grand plan. And while some seniors do this, if it's authentic to who they are, it can really feel way better to just keep it all a bit more simple. A couple outfit options and a location or two can provide that "just right", Goldilocks sort of middle ground where we are able to showcase who they are as a senior without making it all a big production. This can really help the session go smoothly, feel a bit easier, and just be a great experience overall.

senior photographer loveland colorado urban senior pictures
Urban Senior Portraits Loveland Colorado

(3) Find someone that makes your senior feel comfortable

This one may be a bit obvious but who you choose to photograph your senior really does matter. Some photographers are pretty hands off - you may only email back and forth with them and then they are there at the park to take pictures without really knowing who the senior is. And while that may work for some, I have found that a process that allows for me to know your senior, talk with them, even just connect really quick as we plan the session, can have such a big impact overall. Regardless of the process the photographer has, make sure that your senior feels comfortable with them and that will really help it all go smoother.

Fort Collins Senior Portraits Senior Drummer urban session
Senior Drummer with Personality

Over the last 10 years, I have found that these three ideas really can make a big impact for a hesitant senior. And through developing my Ultimate Senior Portrait Experience, I have found a lot of success in not only helping resistant seniors have a good time at their session but also creating images with them that are authentic and ones that they really love. I would be honored to create with your senior and help you all make senior portraits a really positive experience. If you are wanting more details, you can head over to my contact page to fill out the form there and I will reach out with more information. Or feel free to send me an email and we can chat more,

Thanks so much for reading and I look forward to chatting with you here soon!


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