For parents senior year seems like it’s comes in the blink of an eye. For the senior it feels like it takes forever. No matter how fast of slow you feel like senior year has arrived, for you or your graduate. There is one thing that we can all agree on. There is so much confusion and lack of communication by the school on the things that parents need to know about senior year and graduation.
Allot of high schools and districts fail to educate their parents on the things that they need to know about, during senior year. Which turns an already stressful time into a year of hustle and bustle with allot of stress added on the top.
So let’s dive into what is your school not telling you during senior year.
Every year Jostens or another competitor company will visit thousands of high school campuses across the US. Taking orders for cap/gowns, announcements and tassels. But what isn’t the school telling you about this ? If your school doesn’t change colors every year or rotate colors for girls/boys. You can re-use gowns if you have more than one child that has graduated from the same school. If you are tight on money, check your local town FB group/parent group or thrift stores for cap/gowns that were unwanted by the previous class. Allot of gowns are worn for one night and gotten rid of over the summer.
You do not need to purchase a tassel from Josten’s. Tassels of all designs are available for purchase on Amazon, starting at $7.99 . (https://amzn.to/37fxIur)
Some schools allow your graduate to decorate their cap as they want for graduation night. However, make sure to check with your school first before decorating your cap. As violation of the school’s graduation rules can get you or your graduate bared from participating in the graduation ceremony. Which would be very disappointing, after all the hard work that has been put in !
Photography seems to be the most confusing part of senior year for most parents and seniors. Let me help break down the confusion !
First thing to know is that, you can hire your own senior photographer. You do not need to use the schools “senior” photographer . Most times the school’s senior photography company will take a few in studio poses of your senior on a basic background. Then they will try to sell you different packages based off of the number of poses. The poses will be very generic and “stuffy”. This is not the type of senior session that your senior is looking for. The only pose you really want from that session is going to be the studio cap/gown photo. As the company covering the graduation ceremony will typically not take a studio style cap/gown photo of your graduate. You will want the posed cap/gown photo when you look back. Do not let the “senior” photography company pressure you into buying more than you want/need. You are not obligated to purchase from them. They only make money when you purchase. The school is also typically entitled to up to 10% commission on all orders placed through the senior photography company. So, the school wants you to think that you have to use that company for your senior portraits. But that isn’t true !
Some schools will still have the school photography company take your graduate’s photo for the yearbook when they are at the school photographing 9-11 grades. Once again, you are not obligated to purchase that photo. This is a service provided to the school and yearbook by the school photography company. However, some schools will allow the “senior” photography company to be in charge of capturing the photo that is used in the yearbook of your graduate. To find out which applies to your school, reach out to your schools’s yearbook advisor.
In your community you will find many talented senior photographers that work with 100’s of seniors each year and know what type of session your senior is looking for ! Utilizing a personal senior photographer will allow you and your senior to have a session to look back on that highlight’s your seniors esthetic, goals and activities. Senior year is an important milestone in the life of each senior. That is why it is important to have a personal senior photographer, capture your graduate’s senior session. On top of capturing the senior session. Senior photographers can also create thank-you cards and graduation announcements that are different from those offered by Josten’s . We spend our time working with seniors and learning what things are in. What seniors are interested in. What type of locations your senior is interested in. That is why it’s important to hire a personal senior photographer to capture the last session that your graduate will experience, until the next family session or until they get married !
If you are worried that a personal senior photographer will be out of budget. Shop around as there are lots of different price ranges for photographers. If you need to stay with a smaller budget, ask about a mini session which typically lasts up to 30 minutes.
I hope that some of this will help you navigate the waters of senior year !