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The Connection Between Senior Photos and Boosted Self-Confidence

There's a real connection between senior photos and boosted self-confidence. I photographed Mia, a Westerville North high school senior, three times this year. And each time, she mentioned how much her self-confidence increased.

Self-esteem is tricky for teenagers. They’re inundated with social media, filters, and now AI images. I feel empathy for what they’re up against. And I also feel thankful to create positive experiences with my senior clients.

In this blog post, I’m sharing examples from each of her sessions, and you can see the transformation firsthand as her series progresses.

Whether you’re camera shy or outgoing, Mia’s experience will provide insight into a few things:

  • What it’s like working with me as your senior photographer.

  • Help you decide if having a multi-series senior photoshoot experience is right for you.

  • Show you how professional photos can boost your confidence and self-esteem.

collage of senior photos showing that professional photos increase confidence

But first, let me introduce Mia, a senior at Westerville North High School.

Meet Mia - Westerville North High School Senior

When I think of my time as a photographer and teacher, a handful of students come to mind regarding their thoughtfulness. Mia is one of those people.

She’s one of the nicest students I’ve ever had in class and always thinks of others. In fact, she even organized a birthday gift for me last year after only being in my class for a few months.

Mia became an unofficial ambassador for my studio as we crafted three different senior photoshoots together. I’m excited to share her sessions and show you how she felt more confident in each new session because it translates so well into her photos.

high school senior portrait of westerville north high school studen wearing Xavier University sweatshirt

Best Friend Studio Senior Portraits - Session One

For Mia’s first session, we worked in my studio for a blog I was writing. She and her good friend, Abby, helped me create behind-the-scenes photos to show what it’s like working with me. My studio is small, as you can see in these photos, but it’s perfect for the type of work I produce.

Even though Mia and I knew each other before her first session, she still had some pre-shoot jitters. This is completely normal - for everyone.

I always remind clients that being nervous is 100% normal. But you'll be more comfortable as we go through poses and expressions. And that’s exactly what happened in Mia’s case, too.

By the end of her first senior session, she talked about how much she loved her new photos and mentioned how they had boosted her self-confidence.

westerville north high school senior photos in studio - portrait of girl with long curly hair in front of dark grey backdrop

two photos of senior girl showing that her professional senior photos increased her self-confidence

three photos of senior girl showing that her professional senior photos increased her self-confidence

Now, onto session two, which was all outdoors.

Senior Photos at Inniswood Metro Park - Session Two

Inniswood Metro Parks is one of my favorites in Westerville, Ohio. It looks different year-round, so every season provides a different aesthetic. It was the perfect spot for Mia’s second session, which I would consider her “official” senior photoshoot.

For this session, Mia wanted an outdoor summer vibe. Even though we shot in September, thankfully, the weather cooperated. She did a great job styling this session to fit the casual vibe she wanted and also did a great job in all her sessions with her hair and makeup styling.

Something to note for your senior photos is that hair and makeup styling doesn’t have to be overdone or complicated. We want your photos to look true to who you are. With a little retouching (that I do for everyone), your final images look polished while keeping your natural beauty at the forefront.

three photos of senior girl showing that her professional senior photos increased her self-confidence

two photos of westerville north high school student at Innis Woods Metro Park

westerville ohio senior photographer at Innis Woods with senior girl posing beside bench and ivy

I could tell Mia began embracing her time in front of the camera during her second session. She was more playful and had no problem following my posing and direction. When clients are comfortable during their sessions, creativity can run wild. That’s when we get fun, unique shots like this image below.

Celebrating High School Graduation and College Beginnings - Session Three

For Mia’s final senior photo session, we returned where it all began - in my studio with her and Abby.

We started with celebratory photos in a graduation cap and gown. This robe isn’t hers; she borrowed one from a friend’s older sibling, and it turned out great!

If you’re concerned that your graduation gown will look too bulky, I get it. They’re pretty over-sized. But with the right poses, we can make the photos look amazing. We did an open-front gown with a nice dress underneath for Mia's photos.

senior photos of girl in red cap and gown and white dress underneath
Mia is giving off serious confidence in these photos, and I love it!

westerville ohio senior photographer

best friend senior session in westerville ohio

To wrap up her last session, we finished by celebrating her college of choice, Xavier University, with some school merch shots.

high school senior portrait of girl wearing Xavier University sweatshirt

senior photo of two girls in college merch shirts, one is OSU the other is Xavier

Xavier is highlighting their incoming Freshman with social media shout-outs, and these photos were perfect for Mia’s submission. Here’s their post about Mia on their school's Instagram page.

Senior Photos as Networking Photos

As Mia heads off to college in the fall, she’s using many of the images we created this year to network and introduce herself to people in the next steps of her life. A few seniors I photographed this year are using their photos for similar reasons.

Seniors are now strategically considering how their images can be helpful as they transition into college, join the workforce, and establish professional networks. One senior I worked with even used her senior photos for college applications and put them on business cards. Such a brilliant idea!

two photos of high school senior girl using photos for networking purposes as she starts college

Did You See The Confidence Change Through Mia’s Senior Sessions?

Mia’s photos tell you everything you need to know about the connection between professional photos and the confidence they provide. She went from being nervous in her first shoot to giving “I’ve got this!” expressions in her last session.

series of three images of westerville north high school senior girl

graphic testimonial from high school senior about how her senior photos helped improve her self confidence

If you’re ready to celebrate your senior year, please send me a message here. I’d love to learn more about your vision for senior photos.

To view more of my senior photography work, connect with me on Pinterest and Instagram.


Aaron Taylor is an award-winning senior photographer in Westerville, Ohio. He specializes in senior photography for students all over the Columbus Metro Area.


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