Senior portraits miss meaning of senior year

Maeve Plunkett, asst. opinions editor

For seniors, there are so many demands to be met before we leave, one being driving to Deerfield for your senior portrait. This requirement has absolutely nothing to do with the spirit of senior year and is a waste of precious time.

I know that parents and families want to have a nice picture of their kids before they go off after senior year and do whatever they might do. But why do they want the posed photo in front of a blue screen?

That stock photo has nothing to do with who you are and what you are and what your high school experience has been. It takes away all of your individualism and makes you just another face on the page. No number of “personal objects” can bring your personality into that studio.

When my parents bring a picture of me to work or to show me to their friends (not sure why that went on way past the time I was a cute little toddler), I want them to have a story with that picture. I want them to talk about how I climbed a mountain or lived in another country for three weeks or helped to build a mock refugee camp for my school.  

Of course I want a picture with my cap and gown, but I want that picture to be true; I want it to be real that I am graduating. I want it to capture the accomplishment when it’s finally been done. Then, I will stand proudly for a true senior portrait, and I will mean the smile on my face.

Senior year is about finishing high school and finding out what you’re going to do next. It’s about savoring the friendships you’ve built and opening yourself to new ones. It’s about being the person you’ve looked up to for three years.

Take pictures, take hundreds because it promises to fly by. But don’t take them in front of indescript generic backgrounds.

Take them on your adventures. Take them with your friends. Take them of the things you’re going to miss.

The pictures, which I will look back on and remember my senior year by, are not going to be ones I took with a stranger in a studio at the end of summer. They probably won’t even be the one on my ID picture from book sale.

The pictures I’m going to plaster up in my future dorm room, the pictures I’m going to laugh about when I get together with (by then) old friends, the pictures I want to have are the ones I take when the moment matters. It’s not about how my hair looks or the Photoshop to cancel out any (God forbid) acne.

Football games and Homecoming, acceptance letters and May day decisions, senior sunrises and getting to know those people you have’t yet, this is what senior year is about for me.

Pictures tell stories, stories about our lives. A stock graduation photo tells the story that I graduated. Whoop-di-do.

There is so much more to everyone in this building’s stories. So much happens during the years we spend in this building, some of it good and some of it bad. Nonetheless, it’s something, something that a studio portrait won’t describe.

From here on out, you get to tell your story and decide what parts of it go in the scrapbook and what parts are left behind. How will you define your time here? With a picture commemorating your leaving, or pages full of the moments that mattered to you?

For me, It’s about the memories that are behind the pictures, the late night conversations, the chanting “seniors seniors *clap clap clapclapclap.*” That is worth far more than a picture with a blue background.