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Your furry family members are an important part of your life, so it only makes sense that you’d want to include them in some of your senior photos (if not all of them).

To make this a fun experience without sacrificing the quality of your photos, here are a few tips to read through before your session.

- How does your pet generally behave? Before you choose a photographer and a location, consider what your pet is like. Are they fine around new people? Do they hate being held? Can you easily travel with them in a car? Knowing your pet’s personality and behavior will help you better plan your session.

- Bring someone along with you. Since your pet might not be in all your photos with you, bring someone along who can manage your pet in between shots.

- Have a carrier or leash with you. Depending on where your shoot will take place, it’s important to bring a carrier or leash along with you. This will prevent your pet from running away and putting themselves in harm’s way during all the excitement.

- Bring some treats. If your dog responds to treats as a reward for good behavior, bring them along to your session.

- Think twice about the location. The location you pick should fit in with your pet. If you know that your dog would go crazy in a setting where there’s a lot to do and see, you may want to have your shoot at home or in a quieter park instead.

- Schedule a grooming session. In the same way that you want to look good for your senior photos, your pet should look good too. Schedule a grooming session the day before or the day of your shoot.

- Choose the right outfit. Find an outfit that matches your pet. For starters, your outfit should be easy to move in and not show hair or dirt easily. You should also find a way to match your outfit to your pet’s collar or bow – whatever you choose to dress them in. It’s best not to opt for wacky pet outfits as this could the focus off you.

- Relax into it. You never quite know what might happen during a photo session with a pet so it’s best to simply have fun and go with the flow. Not every photo with your pet needs to be perfect.

When you think of photo sessions with a pet, you may be thinking cats or dogs but remember that you can include any type of pet you want to. You may just want to check with your photographer whether there are any pets they haven’t or would prefer not to work with.

Confidence and a touch of attitude can really take your senior pictures to the next level. The more comfortable you are in your own skin, the more memorable your photos will be, and it all starts with your body language.

Research shows that your posture and body language affect your brain. This means the more confident your stance is, the more powerful you will feel in your senior photos.

Enter the power pose.

A power pose is any pose that exudes confidence. Examples include:

- Standing with your hands behind your head

- Posing with your hands on your hips (think Wonder Woman)

- Leaning back in your chair with your hands behind your head

- Standing tall in a wide stance with your arms crossed

- Raising your hands in a V shape and your chin lifted (think victory)

Practicing Your Power Poses

If you have never used a power pose before, practice at home in a mirror prior to your shoot. You may feel a bit awkward at first, but you will eventually feel more at ease. Plus, practicing beforehand will leave you feeling even more confident in front of the camera, which is exactly what you want.

It’s also recommended that you let your photographer know about the poses you want to use during your shoot. This way, they can work with what you want to achieve, and they can provide you with some additional suggestions.

The good news is that these poses are something you can take into everyday life after your senior session too. You never know when you might need to take headshots for a job or an interview later in life. In fact, you can strike a power pose anytime you need to feel more confident for the day ahead.

Senior photos have become the norm, but this doesn’t mean you need to schedule a photo session if you don’t want to. Before you make a final decision though, here are a few things to consider.

You need to take a yearbook photo anyway. Yearbook photos are generally plain and boring, so why not take a photo you will actually like looking at and that truly represents who you are.

The photoshoot is just for you. This might be one of the few times (or only time) you will be the sole center of attention during a photoshoot. Throughout your life, other people will generally always be part of your professional photo sessions, but your senior session is just for you.

This is a major milestone. Your senior photos mark a massive milestone in your life, one that deserves to be celebrated. By not taking these photos, you might regret it later on in life when you want to reminisce on your high school days.

You can use them at your graduation party. If you’re planning to have a graduation party, photos of your entire school career make for the perfect décor. The collection won’t be complete without photos from your senior year though. You can even use one of the photos to create your invite.

They make for great gifts. Professional senior photos are the ideal gift for your parents and grandparents. They’re already proud and certainly wouldn’t mind being able to show you off in their home.

It’s a fun experience. If you’ve never had your photos taken by a professional, get ready to have a fun and positive experience. This is the ideal time to capture who you are in your senior year. Plus, you get to decide on your outfits, location, and the style of your photos. Your senior photos offer a fun and unique way to express yourself.

In the end, scheduling a senior photo session makes the most sense and once you see the results, you’ll be glad you did it.

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