santa barbara portrait photographer

High School Graduate Photos

Over the years of photographing high school seniors I’ve had so many students and families realize the importance of documenting this ‘growing up’ milestone. Somewhere around age 12 kids and parents don’t often interact with each other in photographs. Annual family sessions don’t keep happening annually, and all the ‘memorable moments’ seem to happen separately from each other, and thus, the family camera is not pulled out as much. Granted, teens are taking their own selfies with filters and posing with friends…parents are still trying to grab a shot now and then but are often greeted with hands covering faces or silly expressions, pulled faces or my favorite ‘the death stare.’ A high school senior portrait session is much more than a yearbook photo. It is a culmination of a forming identity and a display of newfound maturity. It is often the last ‘formal’ photograph created until wedding photos or corporate head shots. I’ve had many students return to me to purchase photos from our senior session for graduation announcements, college applications, press releases for awards earned, publications in college etc etc. It’s more than a yearbook photo, it deserves more than an iPhone snap or mall kiosk, or even a photo from Dad’s big-camera-with-the-lens-that-changes-and-everything. Even at 17 or 18 years of age, teens are still more receptive to working with a professional. And at 17 or 18 years of age, parents belong IN the picture with their youth, not behind the camera. Next time it happens could be in wedding photographs. yikes.

Here are a few favorites from my recent session with Josh. I was delighted to have his mom jump in for a few photos!

high school senior photographer Dena Robles
outdoor teen boy head shot photos
Class of 2020 graduate portraits

Josh was photographed at Reeds Lake in East Grand Rapids Michigan by Santa Barbara based senior photographer Dena Robles. His session was shot on Kodak Portra 400 film with Contax 645. Senior sessions are still being offered in both West Michigan and Southern California. Please email dena @ to book your session