Boys senior pictures in Albany Oregon

Senior pictures with your boyfriend/girlfriend during your senior portrait session is a common request from many of our high school seniors.  Unfortunately parents often don't want the significant other to join in.  While we are shooting pictures for the high senior we also have to remember that it's the mom and dad that are paying the bill and this gives them just a bit of say in what we photograph.  So how do you solve this little stand off without causing a civil war with in the family? We look at both sides of the issues and we compromise.  So in the spirit of compromise let's take a look at both sides of the argument.

How do you solve this little stand off without causing a civil war with in the family?

Let's start with the most common reason high school seniors want to have their boyfriend/girlfriend in the photo.

You never want to forget your first love.  All of us have that one person from our high school days that we will never forget.  Let's face it, you never fall as hard as you do the first time you're really in love.  It's a powerful and beautiful feeling that we hang on to for a lifetime.  Wouldn't it be nice to have a professional portrait to commemorate that love forever? 

Now the most common argument parents have against their senior being photographed with their boyfriend/girlfriend.

"What happens if you break up?".   Truthfully the parents have a valid concern.  We've had a few issues where the couple has broken up days after the photoshoot.  The parents called us in a panic because a significant amount of photos in the album were of the "happy" couple and now their order need to be changed.  If we catch it quick we can change the order but once the album or photos are loaded onto the FEDEX truck there's not much we can do except reorder, at the parents expense.  

And now here's MY issue with photographing boyfriends/girlfriends of our senior portrait clients. 

The significant other will make the senior feel self-conscious. It's really hard to be natural in front of the camera when people are staring at you. It's harder when your significant other is staring at you.  Trust me I've seen it.  Rather than connecting with me (the photographer) the senior is always looking off camera to their boyfriend/girlfriend for assurance.  This not only makes it harder to get natural looking shots, it also makes the photo shoot take twice as much time.  

Does this mean we are against photographing our high school seniors with their significant others?  Of course not!  It just has to be done the right way.  We basically treat every boyfriend/girlfriend as a special guest star on our photo shoots.  We have them show up halfway through the shoot, do a cameo appearance and then go home.  Nope, they can't stay.

Lastly and more importantly, it gives our senior clients a portrait of a major part of their lives. 

That way we're not wasting precious time creating huge amounts of photos that may not even be wanted if the couple breaks up.  It also give us the ability to make our seniors as comfortable as possible in front of the camera without having the significant other making our subject nervous.  Lastly and more importantly, it gives our senior clients a portrait of a major part of their lives.  20 years from now our senior clients will have a professional portrait of their first love.   To me it's worth taking a few extra minutes to create a keepsake for my clients that will be cherished for a lifetime.  

Boyfriend senior portraits in Albany Oregon

So I really hope that I've given you some food for thought on the subject of including boyfriends/girlfriends in your senior portraits. Ultimately the decision is up to our clients. But should you decide to include your boyfriend/girlfriend in your senior portrait photo shoot just know that we are happy to do it in a way that will make both the student and the parents happy.

Schedule your senior portraits with or without your Boo by clicking here

Thanks for reading and I hope this helps,
Daniel Troutman
Troutman Photography



Daniel Troutman
Albany, OR
Daniel Troutman, an internationally published photographer, started his career in 1999. He began as a staff travel photographer, and now runs a retail studio in Albany, Oregon. His images have been published by some of the largest agencies in the world, including Newsweek, VH1 Music Television, The Food Network and Best Western Hotels.