Senior Portraits With Dogs

I still cringe whenever I see my senior portrait.  It was a studio shot, and because I had braces (which I loved), the photographer wouldn’t let me smile naturally. Instead, I have a generic senior portrait that doesn’t accurately reflect who I was at the time.  

That’s probably why I appreciate that senior portraits have evolved into something amazing.  Although many yearbooks still require the studio headshot, so many photographers include a lifestyle session which reflects the senior’s personality.  I’ve seen senior portraits of students on the athletic field,  playing musical instruments, and creating art.  Naturally, my favorite photos, are the ones that include their dogs.

It is common for families to add a dog to the family when a child is in elementary school and they grow up together.  It makes perfect sense to include a dog (or other pet) in the lifestyle portion of senior portraits.

 Here’s a small smattering of seniors and their dogs from different senior portrait photographers.

Of course, dogs aren’t the only pets who should be in senior portraits.

Fashion trends come and go, but the love between kids and dogs is timeless!

I think portraits like these are something to be treasured forever! 

Did you have your pets in your senior portraits?  

20 Comments

Kate says:

Some of these photos are amazing! I love the winter one with the weimaraner. I do have a couple senior pictures with my cat and dog, but they are indoors in a studio. I love the natural outdoors versions you have posted above.

I love these! I sadly didn’t have my dog in my senior portraits, but I did have my first car (a Volkswagen Beetle). I bet parents would especially appreciate and hold onto senior portraits with the family pets in them. That would make it extra special and sentimental.

    Beth says:

    A special car is a great thing to include in your senior portraits!

I can so relate about your senior portrait! I also had braces and the smile was not the greatest. I would have very much preferred having my photo with my cat. These portraits will be cherished.

Senior portraits have really changed since I was a senior. Our portraits were taken in the library with a backdrop behind us. I wish I could have had a portrait with my pet at the time.

Patty says:

You don’t want to know what they were like in the dark ages when I graduated High School. You look beautiful in the photo with your dog.

    Beth says:

    My senior portraits were taken in the dark ages too!

What a treat of a post! Thank you for curating a selection of such happiness and joy. Professional photographers have such skill and capture so many precious moments!

These are wonderful photos! For teenagers, dogs are often the only one who doesn’t annoy them at some point in their day, so it makes a lot of sense to include them in the senior photo!

    Beth says:

    That is a great point!

Honestly, I had never thought about adding the family pup or kitty, or bird, etc., to a child’s senior portrait session! I don’t know why – probably because mine was done at a time when they were all canned and unnatural. What a lovely idea – and it would be fabulous if this idea took hold with senior graduating classes and critters up for adoption – as an additional thing, maybe help get the word out! Thanks for sharing this – it’s made me think of some creative outreach that I’ll need to explore 🙂

I LOVE the idea of the lifestyle shots especially with pets. Our senior portraits and even my daughter’s were rather uniform and dull. Just a gorgeous selection here and great memories for the kids.

Sandy Kubillus says:

Lifestyle portraits seem to be a much more natural way to take photos and much easier to remember someone by what they were doing. I wish they did these when I was in high school!

Oh my gosh! I love this so much! I wish I had thought about doing this when I was in high school! That’s amazing!

Oh my gosh, I LOVE these. What a great idea to take photos of seniors with their pets.

If only my senior portrait could have been something like this. My senior picture was ridiculous. They had me hold my hand up in the air – no idea why. So basically it was my head and then my hand held up randomly. I can hardly stand to look at it.

    Beth says:

    I understand your pain! (And I also really want to see that photo.)

Aww! When I was in high school, I got my senior photos done with my kitty, Punkin. We were originally going to do indoor and outdoor portraits with him, but he actually broke out of his collar and ran into the woods a half hour from home! We ended up finding him after calling for him for HOURS which is incredible in itself. We went back a week or so later and got just the indoor portraits done. 🙂 He died earlier this year so those photos are a wonderful memory for me.

    Beth says:

    Oh, that must have been so scary, and such a relief to find him! I’m glad you have those precious photos!

Jordyn Sifferman says:

Oh my gosh these senior portraits with pets are SO cute. I’m not a senior but I would love to get cute photos of (or with) my dog but he’s SO camera shy and hard to photograph!

    Beth says:

    I highly recommend you try it with a photographer who specializes in pets too. You’d be amazed at what they can do, even with shy dogs!

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