When Should I Have My Senior Session?

When to have your senior session is an extremely common question.  Most often I hear it from parents who are learning quickly that senior year goes by in a flash, and soon they will be watching their graduate tossing that graduation cap in the air!

If you are a reader, you can read the bullet points below this video.  Or, listen and follow along with the bullet points to guide you.  If you have a super busy & involved senior or a question that I don’t address, contact me to set up a time to chat- I’d love to help you troubleshoot and find the best time for your session!

When to Have Your Senior Session

Things to consider when planning the *when* of your senior portrait session:

One thing I forgot to mention while filming this video is college applications!  If you/your senior is/are applying to several colleges/universities, this is a time consuming and often stressful process.  Typically it happens in the fall, but it varies from school to school.


When during the week:  weekday vs. weekend?

The advantage of having a San Diego senior portrait photography session during the week (Monday through Friday) is that popular locations around San Diego (Balboa Park, downtown, Little Italy, any beach, etc.) are often more crowded on Saturday and Sunday.  Not battling crowds in any location is always a plus.  If you do opt for a weekend, keep in mind that we will likely have crowds and parking issues to contend with, which can take away from shooting time.

Weekend Sessions

If your session needs to take place on a weekend, I only shoot on Sundays, and these sessions book up fast (and first).  If you know already that you simply must have your senior photography session on a weekend please book soon!

What time of day?

My preferred time of shooting is either early morning or late afternoon/evening.  This results in more flattering light, more options for backdrops (open areas are often difficult to shoot in mid-day) and better temperatures during warmer times of the year.  Do consider if you will want professional hair/makeup done as well- often it’s easier in terms of timing to have your session in the second half of the day to allow for these services.

 Other Factors to Consider

What time of year do you like best?  Fall/Winter?  Spring?

• “Fall” in San Diego is a relative term, and in east county can be quite warm.

•  Weather can be a factor; Spring can be rainy, and we’ll need to entertain the idea of rescheduling due to rain.


If your braces are going to be removed, best to wait until they are off.  If you will have braces during your entire senior year, we can look into retouching and removing them (this offering does incur additional costs).

Sports/Extra Curricular Activities/Jobs and work schedules/Etc.

Consider your “busy times.”  If your schedule is jam packed in the Spring for sports, but your fall is wide open, schedule your session when you are more relaxed and have less going on.

Special Events

Maybe you have another event that you need a specific portrait for (East County SPRITES, as an example).  Please let me know when scheduling your session if you have any special deadlines or product needs.

Travel Plans & Holidays

If your family has any trips planned, keep that in mind as you look at your options.  I do not schedule or take on work when my kids are on vacation other than a few sessions over their winter break if our family’s travel plans allow.

Finals/Tests at School

Some kids are great studiers and testers (I wasn’t!) but do look at their testing schedule and try to avoid a session immediately after finals week.  Just in case they do need to study hard, they will be tired .

How Late Can I Schedule My Session In the Year?

The third week of April is the latest I will shoot in order to allow time for editing, presenting your gallery, retouching, and any design work.  Don’t stress yourself out!

When can I schedule my session?

Now!  Take advantage of spreading out payments, and rest easy knowing that you are on my calendar, your session is planned and you’ll have something to look forward to!

Have you ever wondered what it’s like during a senior session?  Fun, that’s what!  But to help you see what it’s like, I recently made this video to give you an idea of how much fun they are!  Here are recent sessions with Shauna in Downtown San Diego and Alex in Torrey Pines to give you a good idea. Don’t forget to get in touch soon so we can discuss how much fun we’ll have for YOUR senior session!

Natalie Chiles Promo Video

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