As a senior portrait photographer based in Ripon, CA, I often get asked about the best time to take senior portraits. If you’re the parent of a senior, you know how wonderfully busy this time can be, and you have to plan ahead to fit everything in! 

While the ideal time for senior portraits may vary depending on the senior’s schedule and your family’s preferences, there are a few things to keep in mind when deciding on the timing.

Your Senior’s Schedule 

First, it’s important to consider your student’s schedule. Seniors are usually busy with schoolwork, extracurricular activities, and social events throughout the year. It’s best to avoid scheduling senior photos during times when your student is swamped with commitments, as this may lead to stress and overwhelm. Instead, try to choose a time when your senior is relatively free, such as during school breaks or after the busy sports season. 

I’d sit down with your teen and ask them about the times they believe they will be the most busy and stressed. Remind them about commitments like the school play, championship season, internships, social events, and exams. Work together to come up with a time that looks relatively light and try to book your photo session for that window.

The Summer Before Senior Year 

The summer before senior year is a popular time for senior portraits. This is because most seniors have completed their junior year of high school and are relatively free during the summer break. Also, the warm and sunny weather during the summer months makes for great outdoor shots, and there are plenty of beautiful locations in Ripon, CA, where you can take amazing senior portraits. 

By the way, if you need ideas on that, I’m happy to help brainstorm! I’ve photographed dozens of the best locations in the Ripon area, and I can recommend locations that will give us the best look and light for stunning portraits.

Another thing to consider is the time of day when you schedule the session. The best time for outdoor photography is often during the golden hour, which is the hour just after sunrise or the hour just before sunset. During these times, the light is soft and warm, which can create a beautiful, flattering effect in your senior’s photos. Summer provides long days and late sunsets, which allows for plenty of time for that warm glowing light.

Planning Your Custom Senior Session 

However, there may be reasons to photograph at a different time if we have a very specific look and feel in mind, so that’s another detail we can discuss at the time of booking. My goal is always to give you customized images that really reflect the personality and style of your senior, and I love the creativity that task requires, especially if it means thinking outside the box and doing things just a little bit different at times. This is a collaborative effort, so we’ll communicate up front and enjoy brainstorming together to plan the ideal session for your senior.

If your family is out of town all summer, fall may be a better choice for your teen’s senior portraits. Fall temperatures are mild and the foliage provides warm, earthy tones for your portrait backdrops.  If your senior plays a fall sport, it may be better to schedule the session in the spring. This will give you enough time to get their graduation announcements mailed out and images printed for their open house. 

Moreover, springtime in Ripon, CA, is beautiful with its lush greenery, almond blossoms, lavender blooms, beautiful parks, and mild temperatures. This can provide a great backdrop for their portraits.  

Central Valley Senior Photographer 

The best time to take senior photos in Ripon, CA, depends on your family’s unique schedule, activities, and preferences. Scheduling the session during the summer is ideal and often avoids the busy senior-year activities, which can make for a stress-free and enjoyable experience in many cases. Still not sure? I’ll help you figure out the ideal time and work through all the details with you. 

You can lean on my experience as we plan for a fun, unique, and relaxed session for your child. The next step is simple: contact me at Rachael Venema Photography to schedule your senior portrait session today!

Contact us today to schedule your family portrait session!

(209) 456-9353 or hello@rachaelvenema.com

or click the Contact link at the top of our website.


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