Photographer in Columbia Missouri at KatFour Photo
Photographer in Columbia Missouri at KatFour Photo

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Planning Your Senior Photos

Senior photos are such an important and memorable occasion! A fantastic way to commemorate the end of your schooling and to celebrate all the things that make your experience uniquely yours.


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Despite the fun and excitement there can also be a lot of questions. When should you have your photos? And when do you schedule them? How long does your session need to be? What should you wear? And what should you bring? How do you pick some fun locations? And can friends, family or pets come along? So many things to plan! I'm here to help you with each and every one!


KatFour Photo | Columbia MO Photographer | Photography in Mid MIssouri | Senior Photos Columbia MO

When to have your photos?

There's a few great options for timing your session. It really depends on 2 things: what you want the backdrop to look like and when you plan to use the photos.


If you want a green, bright, vibrant background then the best time to have your session is in the summer from late May through September. By early October you start seeing colors turn a bit more warm and before May the colors aren't in full bloom yet. While summer can be hot there are some great options for your summer session. Check out this post on Summer Sessions for some fun ideas!

KatFour Photo | Columbia MO Photographer | Photography in Mid MIssouri | Senior Photos Columbia MO

If you're hoping for warm, colorful oranges, reds and yellows then fall time is the time for your session and you want to schedule sometime late October - mid November. This timeline is a bit tighter and harder to predict, but the color and warmth can be worth it! Make sure to schedule these with a bit more notice so that you have plenty of opportunity to get the right spot. If you're looking for Fall Session ideas read up on this post!


KatFour Photo | Columbia MO Photographer | Photography in Mid MIssouri | Senior Photos Columbia MO

Either way, schedule your session between your junior year and the start of your senior year. This time allows you to have your session and get your photos edited and delivered in time to get wallet prints, invitations to your graduation, and anything else you may want do with your photos throughout your senior year! As you're planning your session and have picked out your location, consider the time of day to schedule your session. This post gives you tips on choosing the time of day.

KatFour Photo | Columbia MO Photographer | Photography in Mid MIssouri | Senior Photos Columbia MO

How long should my session be?

The length of your session will depend a lot on your preferences for the session. Here are a few tips for narrowing down how much time you'll need to make sure you have all the photos you're looking for, but don't waste any time! If you're planning on only 1 outfit and 1 location, a thirty minute session would be perfect. It will get you enough photos to capture your personality, a hobby or two and some great portraits to print.


KatFour Photo | Columbia MO Photographer | Photography in Mid MIssouri | Senior Photos Columbia MO

If you're planning on 2 outfits and 1-2 locations and only a couple of props, you'll want to opt for an hour session. This option allows you to fit in some variety and get some unique photos that showcase the things you love, but keep the time relatively short.


KatFour Photo | Columbia MO Photographer | Photography in Mid MIssouri | Senior Photos Columbia MO

If you'd like 3 or more outfits and 2 or more locations and have several props planned, you'll want to set up an hour and half to two hours. This option offers you the most time to get a large variety of photos with all of the things that are important to you included.


KatFour Photo | Columbia MO Photographer | Photography in Mid MIssouri | Senior Photos Columbia MO

What should I wear?

Planning what to wear for your session can feel stressful, but it shouldn't! You want to find something you feel comfortable in. Check out this post on planning your outfits. If you're only planning 1 outfit, plan for a something semi casual. You want something comfortable, but that looks like something you would wear.

KatFour Photo | Columbia MO Photographer | Photography in Mid MIssouri | Senior Photos Columbia MO

If you're planning on 2 outfits, plan for a casual and a dressier outfit or a dressy outfit and an outfit that showcases a hobby or interest.


KatFour Photo | Columbia MO Photographer | Photography in Mid MIssouri | Senior Photos Columbia MO

If you're thinking about about 3 outfits, include one of each. Something casual, something dressy and something that shows off your interests. Consider these tips for planning multiple outfits at your session.


KatFour Photo | Columbia MO Photographer | Photography in Mid MIssouri | Senior Photos Columbia MO

Should I bring props?

If there are things that have been important to you during your high school career you should definitely consider bringing them! This can include sports, art, music, books or anything else you love to do!


KatFour Photo | Columbia MO Photographer | Photography in Mid MIssouri | Senior Photos Columbia MO

Let's talk about what's most important for you to remember and figure out the best way to tell the story of your favorite school activities.


For prop ideas check out my prop guide!


Who can come along/be involved?

If you'd like to celebrate your family, friends, furry best friend for their support as you navigate your last year of high school, bring them along and include them in your session.


KatFour Photo | Columbia MO Photographer | Photography in Mid MIssouri | Senior Photos Columbia MO

If your furry best friend is an important part of your time in high school, bring them along to your session. You'll want to bring treats and a friend or family member to help manage them. Want some tips on including your pets? Check out this post!


KatFour Photo | Columbia MO Photographer | Photography in Mid MIssouri | Senior Photos Columbia MO

If your family or friends are able to join, invite them to be a part of your photos. Grabbing some photos with the people you care most can make your session that much more fun, special and uniquely yours.