Elaborate senior photos allow students to live out their fantasies in yearbook

HUMBLE, Texas -- For her senior yearbook photo, 17-year-old Carlee Hebert skipped the studio and headed to her backyard pool.

"Just the experience of that photo shoot is something that's really special," Hebert said.

Many high school senior portraits have become a digital "Disney World."

Like Frisbee? Want to be a princess? Or Batman? In a flash, you are.

Photographers Christine and Jeff Tonkin own Digi Smiles. Their studio near Houston focuses on graduating seniors.

"We want to make sure that we're not just getting pictures, but we're also getting something that would make them say, 'Wow. You captured my personality in a most unique way,'" Christine Tonkin said.

"And I really wanted to... capture everything from senior before she closes that chapter and moves on to the new chapter in college," said Carol, Hebert's mother.

Elaborate yearbook photos are a trend in more than 20 states. Kids bring their personalities; Parents bring their credit cards.

Tonkins' typical family spends $2,000. Some have spent more than twice that.

"You can't have that time again. But we'll always have the pictures," Tonkin said about the price tag.

Lots of families feel the same way. Digi Smiles has started booking senior portraits for the class of 2019.  

  • Mark Strassmann

    Mark Strassmann was named CBS News Transportation correspondent in August 2011. He has been a CBS News correspondent since January 2001, and is based in the Atlanta bureau.