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Hey there, parents!

As someone who recently had an amazing photo session with my daughter, who is just about to enter high school, I can’t emphasize enough how fun it was to capture these early, just before high school moments. I decided there was no reason to wait until senior year for professional photos. Here’s why getting those shots now can be such a joy and create lasting memories.

The Freshman Year Fun

Think about it: your child is stepping into high school, a whole new chapter of their life. Freshman year is filled with excitement, nerves, and a ton of changes. Documenting this moment is like capturing the start of an epic journey. When you look back at these photos in four years, you’ll be amazed at how much they’ve grown and changed.

For us, the photo session was an absolute blast! My daughter and I laughed, joked around, and she even showed off a brand new dress, some favorite jewelry, and styled hair. It was a perfect opportunity to bond and celebrate this new beginning together. Plus, the photos turned out gorgeous. I can’t wait to compare these to her senior photos in just a few short years!

Now…I have to admit. It was not easy to convince her to do this with me. I had to recruit a friend to help me. The friend is a senior who I’ve photographed many times before and is a natural in front of the camera. I knew she would be the perfect person to help convince my daughter to do this.

First thing they did was go shopping for the perfect dress! And guess what…they found it! Finding something your child is comfortable wearing is so important. It doesn’t have to be something new, especially if they don’t love to shop. But in our case, shopping might’ve been my daughter’s favorite part of the whole session.

A Fun Way to Compare Growth

Imagine having a beautiful collection of photos from each year of high school. You can see how your child evolves not just physically, but in their style, interests, and personality. It’s like having a visual diary of their high school journey.

We plan on making this a yearly tradition. At least I do, and I’m hoping she’s on board with it. Each summer, before school starts, I plan to have a mini photo session with her. It’s a wonderful way to mark the end of summer and the start of a new school year. Plus, it gives us a chance to reflect on the past year and get excited about what’s to come.

Make It a Group Thing!

Why not make the experience even more fun by involving some friends? Grab a few of your child’s best buddies and make it a group photo session. They’ll have a blast posing together, and you’ll end up with some fantastic shots of their friendships. These are the people who will be with them through the ups and downs of high school, so capturing these relationships now is priceless.

For this first session before her freshman year, I wanted some pictures of just my daughter, so we went alone with the senior who helped me guide her on how to pose. It was nice just to have someone who had done a few sessions with me before who could help her out. Sometimes, it’s easier to take suggestions from a cool senior instead of from your Mom. You know?? And they ended up posing for several photos together. It was so fun and the pictures of the two of them turned out so cute.

Now that we made it through our first session, I’m hoping that my daughter will invite some of her closest friends to a session sometime soon, so they can coordinate outfits, come up with fun poses, and just have a great time being themselves in front of the camera together. I know that photos of them together will radiate joy and friendship, and I know they’ll cherish them for years to come.

Tips for a Great Early High School Photo Session

  1. Choose Meaningful Locations: Pick spots that are significant to your child. Maybe it’s their favorite park, a cool graffiti wall in town, or even your backyard. Or…pick a new place where you’ve never been. Let your child lead the way! A good way to find locations is to follow me on instagram (@paulamasonphoto) and see where others are taking pictures. Or, just get out there and look around.
  2. Be Creative with Outfits: Let your child express their style. Whether it’s casual jeans and a tee or something more dressed up, make sure they feel comfortable and confident. Don’t skip a photo session because you don’t have a shiny new outfit – even if your child is in shorts and t-shirts, you’ll be glad you have the pictures to look back on.
  3. Incorporate Props: Sports gear, musical instruments, or even a favorite book can add a personal touch to the photos. Whatever they are into at the time of their session! Chances are, what they bring their freshman year will be different than what they bring their senior year!
  4. Have Fun!: The best photos come from natural moments. Encourage your child to relax, be silly, and just enjoy the session. Even if your bestie is not in the pictures with you, feel free to bring them. Sometimes just having a wing-man with you as moral support helps you feel more confident at your session!

So, don’t wait until senior year to schedule a photo session. Start now, and enjoy every moment of documenting your child’s high school or middle school journey. These photos will become cherished memories, and you’ll have so much fun comparing them year after year. As always, you can find me over at Paula Mason Photography. Let me know how I can help you!

Until next time…

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