Looking back on my own children's senior years, I am grateful for each milestone they reached that helped make them ready for the transition to college. It may seem trivial in light of a worldwide virus, but each of those closing senior moments, that are being missed by the Class of 2020, prepared them to be ready to move on into the world as independent adults. As my kids would say, those events - senior nights, state tournaments, scholarship programs, proms, senior banquet and graduation itself, help them close the yearbook. These same events gave us as parents a feeling of pride and accomplishment. We did it! We got them safely to adulthood. We look back on those days and smile at the memories, the pictures, the Facebook comments and Instagram posts. My prayer is that the class of 2020 finds ways to have closure for their senior year and is capturing this experience. For parents, continue to celebrate your senior. Be creative and be sure to document. You will want to have memories that make you smile, not memories of what was lost. Who knows, maybe the Class of 2020 will be the ones who truly make a difference in our world!
I had the honor of shooting photos for one of my closest friends this year. Her daughter had a clear direction on what she wanted for her pictures and that included incorporating props. I have not used a lot of props in the past, other than for sports shots, but I liked the added elements.
For her shoots we used an instrument, flowers, books, cap and gown and a sign. The props added some color and a touch of whimsy. They also gave her something to do with their hands and made her feel more comfortable. Most importantly, it helped tell the story, which is what senior photos are all about!
Props help you be creative and individualize the shoot. Don't be afraid to use them.
I am sorry to report that I have not been successful at offering free photo shoots for seniors. Despite promoting ScholarShots to several schools, I have had no takers. Is it really that hard to give something away?
I am not yet defeated. I will regroup and market in different ways for the next summer/fall. I know there are people out there who can't afford the high cost of senior photos.
If you are reading this, please help spread the word! I don't want anything in return, simply trying to give back.
I finally finished my website and went live on Feb. 25. I ordered business cards today and plan to officially launch ScholarShots this spring. I am excited to offer my talents to deserving high school seniors and hope at a least a couple are willing to take me up on my offer.
I decided to build ScholarShots because taking senior pictures is one of the milestones for teens as they begin that transformation from child to adult. It signals the beginning of the end of high school and the start of an unlimited future. I know from experience that senior year can be expensive and that professional quality photos can be cost prohibitive. However, all seniors deserve to have pics to post to Instagram or Facebook and share with friends and family. The mission of ScholarShots is to provide that senior experience.
Taking pictures is a hobby for me, but it is more than that. It is a way for me to express my own creativity and to try my best to capture a lit bit of the beauty in this world -whether that be people or landscapes or a perfect North Dakota sky. It is also a way for me to connect with people and hear their stories. If you or someone you know deserves to have their senior story captured, send me a message on the contact page. I look forward to blogging about my shoots and the lessons I learn along the way.
Author: Lee Ann Barnhardt
My plan is to document each senior photo shoot and share a few lessons about photography and life. Each time I shoot, I learn a little something more about lighting, settings and posing. I also learn about my subjects and their hopes and dreams for the future as they begin senior year. I hope to capture a bit of those dreams in my images and to play a small role in helping them come true.