Senior photos lead to projectile memories

August 16, 2012|Lisa Prejean

I distinctly remember trying to decide between a brown wrap and a rust wrap. The photographer was so nice. She allowed me to wear both. Not at the same time, of course. After all, this was a senior photo that would be published in the high school yearbook.

The memories from that day came flooding back as I browsed through catalogs of poses and backgrounds for my son’s senior portraits. We were in the waiting area of a local photographer’s studio, surrounded by photos of teenagers ready to face the world.

Was this a moment in time, lending itself to nostalgia? Oh, yes.

There was that shot from the front in the brown wrap. And the over-the-shoulder glance in the rust wrap. Was that me? Oh, it seems like another lifetime.

Like most moms, my thoughts have been consumed by the needs of my children for so many years that it is hard to remember life before kids.

A camera flashes and my vision blurs.

I think I see a little boy’s Christmas outfit partially covered by his daddy’s hand. The hand was strategically placed so the newly acquired spit-up stain would not show.

Why do photographers overbook at Christmastime? Little ones are bound to mess up their outfits while waiting. It has happened to us so often ....

My son’s voice brought me back to the present.

Which background did I like for the casual shot? Any preference for the music one? How about the sports-related one?

Choices, choices, choices.

When I was in high school, we didn’t have so many options for our senior portraits. We just got the shot for the yearbook, and that was that.

I’m glad my son knew that we had to bring half our house with us to the photography studio. He had three changes of clothes, extra ties (just in case) and props. It was quite an elaborate setup.

Just a few days later, proofs were posted online. We could view all the photos from the comfort of our home.

When I was a senior, we had to schedule an appointment to return to the photographer to view the proofs.

There weren’t as many portrait size choices then, either. We chose wallets, 5 by 7’s, 8 by 10’s. That was basically it.

Today, graphic design programs make it easy for photography studios to create digitally matted custom framed collages and collections.

As we were selecting photos from the proofs, my mind drifted again. I gazed at my son and wondered how he grew to be 6 foot 2 inches tall.

It seems like he should still be in that Christmas outfit, secure in his father’s arms.

Curious. We didn’t see that pose in any of the albums. Some memories are best left in the past.

Lisa Tedrick Prejean writes a weekly column for The Herald-Mail’s Family page. Email

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