With senior year activities still circled on the family calendar and the alarm still set to play Pomp and Circumstance as soon as the sun rises on graduation day, this spring certainly hasn’t delivered the final semester high school seniors expected. And to top it off, they might not get all the senior photography experiences they were hoping for either (even if the main portrait sessions have been done).

In this uncertain time, when your senior photography clients may be feeling disappointed about missing out on milestones, a little encouragement and support will go a long way. Here are four ways photographers can infuse a little joy into the lives of their high school senior photography clients during this strange time in history.

p.s. Even if you aren’t a senior photographer, these tips might be helpful in providing support to your clients.

1. Send your clients a heartfelt note.

Before graduation, I always send a handwritten note to my seniors. I start with a quote or music lyric and then add one or two lines reminding them that I believe they are going to change the world. If you don’t feel comfortable sending a handwritten note right now, you can create the same impact with a quick email or direct message letting them know that you’re thinking about them. Or, use Photoshop to create a card or tweak a pre-made template from a mobile app like Canva or Over to send to you clients.

This unexpected sweet gesture will be welcomed and will bring a smile to your senior clients’ faces.

heartfelt note to senior client

2. Create a mobile app for your clients to share.

I include a mobile app in many of my senior photography packages. I call it “today’s brag book” for the screen generation. Several companies — Sticky Albums, Smugmug, Shootproof and Pixieset — offer these albums as standalone products or as a part of subscriptions.

If mobile apps are a part of your current packaging, consider going back to the cutting room floor for the funny outtakes. Seeing these gems might just supply some much-needed laughter to your client’s day.

Mobile app for teen girl senior photos

3. Make a slideshow of their images.

You don’t have to be super tech savvy to put together a video slideshow. Several easy programs exist that allow you to start making videos for free, including iMovie and InShot. Or you can pay a fee for Animoto, LumaFusion or Premier Rush. Already doing videos? Try including the outtakes!

If you’re not sure how to do videos or just haven’t had time to learn, this might be a good quarantine photography project for you. Look for upcoming workshops and breakouts, like Filmmaking for Photographers from Click Photo School, or search through the Clickin Moms and Click archives for resources to guide you. And, of course, there is always the University of YouTube! Whatever course you take, it’s a great way to gain a new skill while sending joy to your clients. Win-Win.

Senior photo of a teen girl and her dog
Senior photo of a teen girl

4. Hold “rewind” sessions when it’s safe to do so.

While we do not know when this pandemic will end, we do know it will. Once you see the light at the end of the tunnel, share plans to offer a “rewind” themed mini session. For example, did senior prom get called off? Then have your senior photography clients glam it up and meet you for a 30-minute prom night session.

Try partnering with a local dress or formalwear shop that’s just re-opened to help generate business in your local community. Make it fun and then capture some beautiful images.

Senior photo of a teen boy

As social distancing continues, we are all thinking outside the box and looking for new ways to stay connected with our clients, friends and family. I hope these ideas might help you do just that. Stay safe and healthy.