Low Cost Senior Pictures

by Sheryl Simons


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Senior picture prices are absolutely outrageous! I've always tried to think outside the box, so when my son was ready for his senior pictures, we were ready.

I have a good quality camera, but many cameras will work. I took several different poses. I shot a whole roll of film just of him. We used a few different backgrounds and tried several different shirts. We took the pictures of his waist up. I then had the pictures developed and we choose the best ones. I then had several 8x10s, 5x7, and wallet sizes made at a local photo shop for $60. That's right $60, not $600! The turned out excellently. Everyone was amazed that they weren't taken professionally.

I treasure these pictures. I saved quite a few bucks and took them myself which made them special.

What did we have to lose? If I didn't like them, we could have still gone to a professional. The only difference is that there was not that little gold lettered name in the corner!

Here are a few pointers for making this work for you.

  • Morning or evening light is the best. Try to use natural outdoor light.

  • Flashes can cause red-eye.

  • Don't have your son or daughter looking into the sun. This will cause squinting.

  • Fall colors make a good backdrop. Look at the background to make sure there is not a tree or other object growing out of your child's head.

  • Try not to have a 'busy' background. We have a garage that is sided in old barn wood. This made a wonderful background. Bushes, or even a plain sheet tacked up somewhere, can work. Try several colors for the best results.

  • Have your child look toward the camera and focus a bit to the right or left of the camera, for variety. A small but open mouth smile usually works best.

  • Use a small wooden chair for a seat and you can use small props such as a dog, football, etc. A child might even want a horse or other favorite thing in some of the pictures. What ever you use, your child needs to be the focus of the picture.

Even if you don't like the pictures, you will have some nice photos of your child to remember their senior year!


Sheryl Simons lives in Northern Michigan and loves gardening. She has three kittens and a '51 Chevy sedan. She and her husband Richard love to attend car shows, auctions and flea markets.

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