kara hendricks

Gilbert, Chandler, Mesa, Queen Creek, Phoenix, & Scottsdale, AZ


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This blog is full of tips, information and behind the scenes stories. I love serving my community with images that are true to the personality of the senior! So you get a peek at what tools I use to help my seniors and headshot clients feel comfortable so they get the outcome they want.

photographer for SENIORS


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June 11, 2023

High School Seniors


High School is a time of laughter, tears and lots of memories that we will hold dear forever. Finding the right photographer to capture the essence of the senior is the goal of both professionals but the approach for each differs. You receive information in the mail early in the summer announcing your child’s appointment for the yearbook photo and they also offer extra pictures with outfit changes, so should you pay for those services, or should you look for an independent photographer?

Did you know you can have your child’s photo taken for free from the Yearbook Photographer? If you don’t purchase the other sessions, you can just do a quick picture for the yearbook for FREE.

TYPE OF PICTURES: The Yearbook Company collaborates with the school to represent the spirit of the student body and takes portraits of clubs and sports.  These portraits are usually very quick as they are only there at the school for a limited time and mostly take portraits with the students looking at the camera. They don’t have time to fix everyone’s hair and make sure they have a sincere smile. If you purchase an extra photo session, it will be mostly quick, posed portraits.

Your independent photographer takes the time to get to know the senior as they plan the photo session and the result is the senior feels comfortable and less awkward once the day of the session is here. During the session, you will have time to relax, have fun, try many poses and as a result you will get a variety of images to choose from.

ARTISTIC FREEDOM AND STYLE: The Yearbook Photographer follows specific guidelines to meet the requirements of Yearbook format and represent the student body as a whole, therefore there is a limit of space to get multiple pictures of each student. After you have a session with them, they will most likely charge you for any editing (blemish removal, etc.)

On the other hand, the Independent Photographer has more artistic freedom and flexibility to create unique images during that 1 – 2 hours of the session. Independents often go beyond the limits of the traditional yearbook photography, offering images of your senior in candid moments showcasing their personality. Also, any basic editing is included!

PROFESSIONAL SKILLS: Often the photos are taken by students who are part of the yearbook staff and there are group portraits taken by professional companies. These are often people who are starting out in photography, gaining skills by working for a yearbook company and may be considering being a professional photographer.

An Independent Senior Photographer who has specialized in this type of photography for many years, provides a one of a kind experience from start to finish, taking the time to get to know the senior and what they are envisioning for their senior session. This type of photographer will usually allow multiple locations, multiple outfits and provide expert styling advice to assure that the senior stands out and looks their best. Many times, they invest in classes, coaching and workshops to keep their skills fresh and modern.

Looking for a senior photographer and don’t know what questions to ask? See my blog for the top questions:

The Yearbook Photographers have a role and they do a great job. If you want a variety of posed and candid photos that show the many sides of your senior like sports, music, hobbies, clubs, etc., then going the route of the independent photographer is the way to go. This is a time to celebrate your senior and those pictures will be the best keepsakes for many years to remember the journey your senior had.

Let’s tell your senior’s story! Go to www. and contact me to tell me what your vision is!

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