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Trends and tips to prepare your teen for their senior photos

Students are booking senior photos early. Here’s why.
Students are booking senior photos early. Here’s why. 03:46

CHASKA, Minn. — The school year hasn't even ended yet, and next year's graduating class is already booking their photo shoots for senior pictures.

Waconia High School junior Keagan Cruzen is getting his senior photos taken early after hearing that senior year goes by fast.

"Some of my friends actually were kind of in a rush at the end of the year to get there's done, so now that I've got mine done I don't have to really worry about it at all," Keagan Cruzen said.

His mom Angie is already finding her senior-year emotions.

"I have cried a couple of times today (laughs)!" Angie Cruzen said.

The trend is to book senior photoshoots earlier to avoid conflicts and stress.

"I kind of just wanted to get mine over with," Keagan Cruzen said.

Photographer Lynn Laumann has seen it all over 25 years.

Derek James in 2024, and his 1998 senior portrait WCCO

"We need the yearbook shots and the parents want the typical shots, but the kids really like the candids now," Laumann said. "They want to look natural, they want the funs ones where they look like they don't know they were being photographed. Girls love the laughing pictures and then the black and whites."

Laumann offers these tips to parents and students before booking:

  1. Find a photographer with a style that suits you and make sure they communicate with you often and answer questions. 
  2. Look into total costs. Ask if there are additional charges outside of the sitting fee like retouching and getting digital files.
  3. Consider school deadlines. They can vary from October to March.
  4. Have a conversation so students and parents both get photos they like and want.

"I definitely wanted it to be like sunny out and just like casual as possible," Keagan Cruzen said.

"Just wanted something to be timeless, and that we can have on the wall for years to come," Angie Cruzen said.

Not all photos stand the test of time, like mine from the class of 1998. If leaning on a tree in a striped shirt isn't it, what makes a great senior photo?

"The photo that they like, and the mom likes that captures where they can look at it and go, 'That's me,'" Laumann said. "The background doesn't matter, it doesn't have to be on Stone Arch Bridge. It just has to be a picture that captures who they are and their personality."

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