Saturday, July 9, 2011

Senior Portraits - A Planned But Not Quite Planned Expense

In August, Princess Penelope will start her Senior year of high school. Along with that we will have expenses for graduation announcements, cap & gown fees and Senior Portraits. Her appointment to get the pictures taken was a couple of weeks ago. Yesterday, before she left town, we picked up the proofs. Between the formal portrait, studio casual pictures and outdoor casual pictures, there was an inch thick stack of proofs to go through. I had originally planned to only order the formals, but there are several of the casual pictures that are simply phenomenal, so I've changed my tune a bit.

However, with these phenomenal pictures comes a phenomenal price. Wow. Just wow. I'm really torn... while I had anticipated that the portraits would NOT be cheap, I sorely underestimated the cost. And I sorely underestimated how many of them I would want. AND I didn't realize that I would have to place my order a week from Monday. A 50% down payment is required when I place the order.

I really really really have some big decisions to make. And some serious number crunching. Sigh.


  1. Is there a way of ordering a collage of poses? That way you can still have the picture, and not need to get lots of copies?

    How about her Dad? Is he willing to help with this expense?

  2. You can do that, but most of their "collage" offerings look kind of tacky. And then of course, I have to get the formal ones for my Mom, and my Dad and my almost 90 year old grandmother.

    I did talk to her Dad and Step-Mom (and his Mom) and they are going to purchase the ones they want themselves. I'm actually going to be near their house on business this week, so I'm going to swing by there and let them look at the proofs then.

  3. Well, this is a one time thing. Just don't go crazy!!!

  4. Sass,
    I've done this twice before, and the bottomline is I've only framed ONE picture for each of my daughters. I went crazy with the first, and knew better with the second. My girlfriend used the school's photographer for the formal, but took her senior pictures elsewhere and saved nearly 75%. They came out great too.

    Senior year is going to be very expensive. You will need to pick and choose what to spend your money on. College applications are also around $50.00 an application, then there are senior fees, senior prom, after grad party, well, you get the drift.

    Hang in there. You will get through this! :)!

  5. That's why I have to do the number crunching very carefully. I know what I need to order of the formals, its the casual ones that are throwing me for a loop! There are two of those that I absolutey adore, so I have to be careful. I can't afford to go crazy!

    And one bright note, we received an email from her "first choice" school and we can apply on-line with the application fee waived as long as we do it by the end of August! So, I'm pretty excited about that! Now, to get all that stuff together!

  6. I've been thru the Senior Year thing 2 x so far(#3 kid will be there in 2 more years).
    We opted to NOT buy any Senior pics. Seriously ridiculous prices! Our school district is contracted to Herf Jones here. HJ also takes individual photos at the Grad ceremony...we can buy a shot of the kid being handed the diploma and/or a still shot after they leave the stage. We opted to buy the still shot and these 2 pics are alot less than what they charge for the Senior portraits.

    We also don't buy any of the 'stuff' from the HJ catalog except for the basic invites. This whole Senior Year business is one bigtime racket determined to suck every last nickel out of parent's pockets!

    Good deal on the free application deal! Some schools will waive the fee if you apply when you go to visit the campus too.
    Make sure you get your FAFSA filled out and submitted asap come 2012.

    You might want to check out a great book by Zach Bissonnette, called "DEBT-FREE U". Lots of tips and ideas to help you save money from applying all the way to graduating college.

  7. I've heard about that book! I may need to see about acquiring it! I'll definitey be purchasing the portraits --- I love the timeless look of the drapes and they are really good. I am forgoing a lot of the other "stuff" though.

    When the class ring catalog came home, Princess and I decided against a traditional class ring even though most her friends were getting them. We, or rather, I, opted instead for a ring that she would actually wear again after high school and I had "2012" engraved inside the band. The symbolism is there, and the cost was equal to roughly what I would have spent on a class ring, but its a much prettier and higher quality piece of jewelry AND she'll actually wear it after high school. She was pretty surprised to find that under the tree last Christmas!