Of all the things you will pay for senior year, the one thing that will outlast them all are your senior pictures.

In fact, when senior year is over, where will the memories be? In pictures. But, here’s a sobering thought; most of those pictures will only exist on a phone, if at all, with many of them disappearing into the dark hole of Snapchat. And as we upgrade our phones again and again, memories will get lost or forgotten. It’s just inevitable. There’s nothing tangible. It’s been said that this is the most photographed generation, that will never have anything to show for it. Nothing in print. No permanent legacy. A forgotten generation.

All of this is hitting me personally this morning, from our family vacation. It has made me think hard about why and how I serve you as a photographer. My family has taken this vacation every year since I’ve known my husband. It is our “official beginning to summer”. My son grew up on these lakes and learned to drive a boat here. My oldest daughter made her Dad super proud when she caught her first fish, and then became “hooked” on fishing with him. It’s only my baby girl’s second summer here and I am so excited to have this be a part of her childhood as well. We light fireworks off the dock for the 4th of July and at the same time watch all the other houses around the lake do the same. In our busy life at home, this vacation is our constant. But just recently, something happened that made me realize how much we take this simple trip for granted: this may be the last time we ever get to be here and it’s hitting me a bit hard. I’m sad that my girls won’t grow up taking the boat to the restaurant for breakfast or fishing until 10:00PM (because the sun sets so late here). 

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“There’s nothing tangible. It’s been said that this is the most photographed generation, that will never have anything to show for it. Nothing in print. No permanent legacy. A forgotten generation.”

Before our 11 hour drive out to Michigan, I was so busy trying to pack and work that I didn’t have time to think like I am now. I went back and forth with myself about taking my “big” camera and ultimately decided we didn’t need to pack another bag. Especially since, “I always have my phone on me anyway and I’m always snapping pictures with it”. Ugh.

….One. Extra. Small. Bag.

Now, I am so angry at myself. It’s  hitting me that I don’t think I will have the opportunity again to do what I do with a real camera; intentionallyimmortalize the family memories we make here. iPhone pictures were “good enough” until I realized that I wouldn’t have the opportunity again. Now I can’t believe all I have is my iPhone to capture the memories from this trip. Let me tell you, there is no comparison. I’m so angry at myself for not taking my camera.

So, sitting here thinking about all of this made me realize something so important; I would have told you to take the good camera, just like I ask you to entrust me with immortalizing this moment in time for you and your child. 

As parents, we have to juggle the cost of things: time, money, resources. It can be especially difficult when there are so many costs coming at us at the same time like they do senior year. We look at all the costs as “immediate costs”: SAT registration, college applications, prom, yearbook, senior pictures. But, the problem with this is that only one of these is meant not only for right now, but more so, for later. To capture, intentionally who your child is right now, before they are onto adulthood. Before the SATs and college applications take them to their next phase of life and after all the new clothes go out of style and are given away. Because portraits are not for the “right now”, they are for the “later”. And it’s hard to see that when you are in the “right now”. 

We take so many pictures these days and our teenagers they take 10x more pictures than we do on a daily basis. But, a series of portraits is different. My job is to intentionally photograph your son or daughter. To get to know you and them. To provide them with an amazing experience that allows them (and you) to not have to worry about “how the photos will come out” or “how they will look in them”. To smile genuinely, to move freely and laugh authentically. To capture them on their best day in the most authentic way possible. They see thousands of images daily on social media that they compare themselves to and I can guaranteethat you both will love the experience and portraits that I deliver. Why? because, I do everything in my heart and soul to make sure of that.

What I do best is to capture all of that “right now”, and put it in print for you to have later. No, I don’t just throw all these memories onto a disk to be printed on 0.99 drugstore print paper or Groupon’s canvas “deal of the day” that will fade over time. These deals have their place, but it’s not in Portraits. (digital prints today are made for TODAY: quick turnaround, cheap ink, non-archival printing) For my portraits, I believe in quality over quantity because these portraits are a piece of your family history; your legacy.

In my 8 years as a professional photographer, I’ve intentionally sourced the best print labs and products to ENSURE that these memories will be printed brilliantly in color, best in quality and archival for years to come. To ensure that they are there for the later. The same print labs I use to print my own family memories.

We all make stupid decisions sometimes.

I believe in this SO MUCH, yet here I am kicking myself for not taking my camera to intentionally, beautifully capture this time and place with my family. We all make decisions we regret and I’m angry at myself that my real camera is 1,000 miles away and I have to rely on my iPhone. So angry with myself that I couldn’t go back to sleep this morning. 

So maybe it costs a little extra for a meaningful and professional experience. Maybe it’s extra time. For me, it was an extra piece of luggage.

Whatever it is, just do it. You will never regret having brilliantly colored prints that don’t fade and not having to worry about corrupted or lost digital files when you need them. Set the extra money, time or space aside to make sure that your portraits are intentionally, carefully created and last forever. This is how and why I serve you and your family as a professional photographer; the same way I should always remember to serve my own.❤️

Senior Sessions start at $150 with no minimum print purchase. Want to know more? Send me a message.