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Senior Snapshots

For many students, senior year is characterized by getting the perfect senior photos. The Dart looks farther into the phenomenon.
Hadley Folscroft class of 2024 poses with a flower in her hair, photo courtesy of Tricia Baska

“Senior Sunday!” reads yet another Instagram post as high schoolers everywhere are hustling to get pictures done for their big senior year. Two photographers connected to STA recently gave their take on the annual craze.

Senior photos are portrait pictures that seniors in high school have taken for their last year of traditional education. Though these photos have always existed, social media has highlighted the prominence of getting them taken in a senior’s life.

“Senior photos are capturing this special time of life where you transition from childhood to adulthood,” photographer Tricia O’Connor Baska said. She is the mother of STA student Stella Baska, owner of Snap Photography and has been taking photos for 15 years.

Lilly Reynolds-Andrews, a senior at St. Teresa’s and a photographer, has also been getting experience taking photos through digital photography, newspaper and yearbook.

“I have taken seven people’s senior photos,” Reynolds-Andrews said.

These portraits can be very stressful to seniors for a number of reasons: the social pressures of posting pictures, finding the right outfit, having perfect hair and makeup and finding a beautiful location can all contribute to the anxiety.

Another stress felt by both seniors and photographers is scheduling.

“Being a senior, it’s really hard because for a lot of photographers, this is their job, but I also am going to school and trying to manage my social and family life,” Reynolds-Andrews said. “So trying to balance everything while also getting photos done is super challenging sometimes.”

For Baska, her biggest stress is making sure her subject is comfortable.

“Sometimes, when I feel like somebody doesn’t feel pretty or handsome, making sure that I make them really comfortable can be hard,” Baska said. “I’ve photographed kids with autism or special needs, and you just want them to feel like you are there for them.”

However, the stresses of taking photos all amount to the best things about being a photographer, according to Baska.

“I think that these kids are young, have energy and everybody’s so unique,” Baska said. “So, finding that serendipity that comes along with their personality is my favorite part.”

Since Reynolds-Andrews is also a student at STA, she gets to meet and know her peers through photography.

“I love meeting new people and it’s a lot of fun when you don’t know them,” Reynolds-Andrews said. “I’ve met so many new friends and so many people.”

The photographers also have advice for those students reading, who might not be prepared for the mania of senior photos. Coincidentally, they gave very similar guidance.

“Reach out to a photographer that is your vibe,” Reynolds-Andrews said. “As much as I want everyone to come to me, go to somebody that you feel like is good for you. My mom’s a photographer and I didn’t have her do my pictures.”

Baska also talked about matching “vibes” with a photographer.

“Go with somebody who makes you feel comfortable,” Baska said. “This is about capturing your personality. Whether you’re a super social person or a very shy person, find somebody that makes you feel like yourself.”

There are many ways to reach out to a photographer: via Social Media, phone number, website or email.

Baska prefers her website or number for communication.

“I do use some social media but I’m not exactly up to speed with that,” Baska said. “They can use my website, which is, can text me or call me.”

As for Reynolds-Andrews, she uses social media for contact.

“If you have my number you can text me, but if you don’t, usually DM-ing me on my personal or photography Instagram account is the best way,” Reynolds-Andrews said.

Whether Reynolds-Andrews, Baska, or another photographer is taking portraits, the most important thing is to make the student in the picture feel confident and proud of how far they’ve come.

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About the Contributor
Stella Baska
Stella Baska, Staff Writer
Hey, Vogue (or a smaller, equally good publication)! My name is Stella Baska. I’m a sophomore and this is my very first year on The Dart. I love reading, playing sports and watching sitcoms, my favorite being “New Girl” or “Community.” My go-to coffee order is an iced latte with lavender syrup, which will be a necessity in my next year of being a staff member. Have the best day!

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