What do Senior Portraits have to do with Personal Branding?

senior portraits as personal branding with lifestyle photography


When was the last time you went and looked at your senior portraits?

If you are of an age where you now have kids in high school, I’m willing to bet they looked something like this.

Senior portrait

Wow – have things changed!

Static, studio shots with a limited range of posing options have been replaced with lifestyle photography that reflects the personal aesthetics and interests of the senior. Long gone are any real “rules” about what a high school senior can use as their yearbook portrait. 

These days the entire experience has morphed into something more akin to a personal branding photoshoot… and I tend to approach them in that way.


For a few reasons. 

First, it provides an opportunity to capture the client in environments where they feel most comfortable and connected. It is, after all, a historical document – something that when looked back on by future generations will tell a story about who that person was at that point in their life. I can’t help but imagine how amazing it would be to see images like that of my own mother and father. It would provide so much insight into their personalities!

Also, I know that this is likely the first time they’ve properly been in front of a camera (excluding selfies and family pictures of course), and it’s an opportunity for them to get comfortable with the idea of telling their own story visually.

I always make sure to take a few images during senior sessions that would work well for things like a LinkedIn profile pic, a college application, and classics that could work brilliantly for their “about page” on their future website should they be the entrepreneurial type, or a headshot they can immediately provide if they land a job after high school that requires it for the team page of that business’s website.

Senior portraits document a time of transition – from childhood into adulthood.

It’s a bittersweet time in many ways, and I find it so fun to capture both sides of that …the child they’ve been, and the dreams they have for their future.

It’s a chance for them to be captured for the first time as just themselves…as they see themselves – not as someone’s daughter or son, or sister or brother. 

Suzanne Rothmeyer

It also gives them the chance to be a creative director – to take an idea and flesh it out with thoughtfully chosen locations, wardrobe, and aesthetic. 

They get to take control of their story. 

While I’m of course there to help and guide when needed, I encourage them to really participate and make it their own so they really see themselves (or maybe how they most want to see themselves) in the images. 

All of these are great reasons to make a thoughtful choice around your child’s senior portraits. They can serve as so much more than just the inclusion in the high school yearbook! 

They can be a valuable resource for them to use in practical and creative ways in their journey into adulthood. 

If you’d like to find out more about my senior sessions, click here to send me a note! I’m happy to answer any questions you might have. 

You can also see examples of my senior pictures here.

PS. Be sure to find out what your high school’s yearbook deadline is – my August is almost booked, and September will be soon!

What do Senior Portraits have to do with Personal Branding?

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