The importance of senior portraits: traditional or modern

Senior Advisor Christopher Remaley in front of his “wall of seniors”’. Remaley has created this wall over the years he has been at Athens, on this wall are pictures of his favorite seniors.
Senior Advisor Christopher Remaley in front of his “wall of seniors”’. Remaley has created this wall over the years he has been at Athens, on this wall are pictures of his favorite seniors.
Photos by Crystal McCabe

Every high schooler can’t wait to make it to senior year. It’s the most crucial and exciting part of a high school experience. An important aspect of senior year is taking senior portraits, and many seniors are talking about taking their portraits. When it comes down to taking senior portraits, many already have ideas of how they want them and what they’re going to wear. 

A majority of schools give seniors the option to take their pictures in casual clothing– considered as modern-day portraits– whereas other schools make the seniors take the traditional portraits with the tuxedo and drape, and some schools offer both options. During this time seniors are opinionated about their photos and how they turned out.  

One person who is most excited about this year’s senior portraits is the Athens Drive senior advisor Christopher Remaley. Remaley has been helping the seniors with all the important information they need for graduation for years.


“My favorite thing about looking over the seniors is celebrating the end of this chapter of their lives. This is my sort of ministry and it’s a way to pour into kids before they leave Athens Drive High and go out into the real world. This job allows me to give wisdom, and guidance and teach life lessons to seniors,” said Remaley.

Remaley prefers modern over traditional senior portraits, he believes that traditional make it look as if the senior is stuck in the olden days. 

“The old-school portraits look artificial and bland, while the new-school is bright and lively. It’s like night and day,” said Remaley. 

 Athens Seniors were surveyed on traditional versus modern portraits and rated them based on how satisfied they were with their portraits from this year on a scale of 1 to 5, one being the most satisfied and five being the least satisfied.

“I think that traditional looks more consistent and professional;  I wasn’t satisfied with my portraits so I give them a 2 out 5,”  said Senior Leilani Willams. 

Senior Gracia Ameka prefers modern or traditional portraits, Ameka loved the outcome of her portraits this year she gave them a 5 out of 5. 

“I would rather have modern over traditional because it adds more personality to the portrait. Modern allows students to dress the way that’s most fit for them, which is a must,” said Ameka. 

50% percent of students choose both traditional and modern portraits, and the others choose traditional or modern.

“I like both, I wish we could have done both and have both next to each other, I would rate my portraits 4 out of 5,” said Senior Austin Monarch.

Most seniors wish that they had the option to take both traditional and modern senior portraits. They like the professional look of the traditional but also love that they can spice things up with modern-day portraits. 

A majority of the seniors chose modern-day portraits because they make the personalities in them pop, making them memorable and more exciting for them to look back on. 

Both portraits are great options for seniors to feel appreciated.  For those who can’t choose between traditional or modern, here’s what can be done to make everyone satisfied with their portraits.

Seniors can choose a meaningful background, find a photographer that they feel comfortable with, bring a trusted person with them, ask for others’ opinions, pick an outfit that shows the real them and be themselves. 

“If you don’t like your portraits, get a photographer that you know and trust and find backgrounds that fit you personally,” said Remaley.

More to Discover
Our Goal