What were you doing in 2004 and 2005?

That’s when this year’s high school seniors were born. In 2004, a gallon of gas cost $2.10, Green Day and Tears for Fears were all the rage, and NASA’s Spirit rover landed on Mars. And the Boston Red Sox won the World Series for the first time since 1918 to cheers heard all across the country.

In 2005, gas prices jumped to $3.18. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Star Wars Episode III Revenge of the Sith, and the Chronicles of Narnia were all blockbuster hits. YouTube was founded. And in August of that year, Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, wreaking devastation by breaching 53 levees, flooding 80% of the city, and taking the lives of over 1,700 souls. Her recovery would take years.

Although we still have natural disasters and technological advances, times have changed. The Class of 2023 has lived through a global pandemic, virtual classes, the launch of Meta, inflation, lawlessness, riots, and a culture that looks very different from the one they were born into 17 years ago.

This generation is the most photographed generation—yet they don’t actually know what they look like. Did you know the “selfie” camera on your phone is lower quality than the lens on the backside of your phone? Throw in weird angles, bad lighting and goofy expressions and it’s safe to say that this generation has a very skewed perception of how they really look. No wonder self-esteem has tanked.

Most seniors have their pictures taken because they have to: they need them for the yearbook or graduation announcements. They do it for mom (who is grateful for the excuse to get them in front of a camera, but frazzled by the hassle). But consider senior portraits more than a have-to: think of it as a chance to gift your senior with an accurate portrayal of who he or she is. Authentic, professional photos can capture that rarely-seen smile, that quirky fashion sense, or a playful personality. It’s the chance to portray your son in a light that builds confidence and breathes life into him. It shows your daughter how unique and beautiful she really is—something you’ve known for a long, long time. And it’s a chance to freeze time before the next chapter begins…

Do you know a rising senior? Gift him or her with professional photos. It’s a gift that will gain value year after year—