Childhood Memories Friday: Senior Pictures

Childhood Memories FridayThe other day, I was looking through old photos and came across a treasure trove:  a pile of senior pictures. I don’t know if this is still true, but when I was in high school, senior pictures were a rite of passage. Usually taken the summer before senior year, senior pictures captured us (hopefully) at our best; frozen forever in the fashions and hairstyles of the day. Senior pictures were usually quite pricey (I remember exclaiming with classmates that each wallet-size could cost one dollar!).

So here, for your viewing enjoyment, some vintage 1980s senior pictures:

senior pictures 1980sAh, Craig models the preppy look. The navy and kelly green; the striped belts and the little Lacoste alligator on shirts – yes, it was the ’80s. Good times, good times.

Cheryl is sporting one of my favorite styles of the era:  the piece of ribbon tied around the neck, displaying one’s countenance like a lovely gift. I probably had ribbons in every color.

And Star demonstrates the double-exposure photo with the rose. I think most all seniors in my small town probably went to the same photo studio, and the “rose pose” was apparently de rigueur. I have one myself, but honestly? Just looking at it is embarrassing. I mean … who in real life picks up a rose and looks at it wistfully?

senior pictures vintageFirst we have Kari, sporting that fashion staple of the 1980s, the jumpsuit. I had a couple, and I remember what a pain it was to go to the bathroom in one of those things.

Then, David and Marsha remind us of the large glasses frames popular at the time. Actually, I’m thinking my husband still has those glasses. What can I say? He doesn’t like change …

And Marsha also is modeling the Farrah Fawcett, feathered hair so ubiquitous in the ’80s. Blow dryers were a must, along with a wicked flip of the wrist while styling.

But wait – there’s more!

senior pictures 1980sThere’s Denise, posing with a teddy bear. My kids aren’t yet old enough for senior pictures, but I’m somehow doubting that too many of today’s teens pose with stuffed animals. Is this yet another example of a simpler (although seriously style-challenged) time?

And I had to show Laura because of the perm she’s rockin’. I had similar perms for years, until my sisters begged me to stop looking so ridiculous sometime in the late ’90s. Honestly, I still miss them since I liked the curly hair. Somewhere, I heard it said that the style when you are in high school/college becomes your ideal throughout the rest of your life. The key is not to become stuck there.

senior pictures 1980sAnd since it’s not fair to critique others without putting myself up too – here I am. I remember specifically selecting that fair aisle sweater because it seemed timeless – and in retrospect, yeah, that was a good decision. The next pic shows me in a beloved Gunne Sax dress (although I bought this one, I had Gunne Sax patterns as well and made several). I’m sitting in another popular setting – the wicker chair next to the colorless weeds. Clas-say, no?

Finally, we (or I should say, “my parents”) paid extra for me and the photographer to go to the home of someone with a fancy grand piano, so I could be captured fake-performing. I thought this was very neat.

I’m wondering if senior pictures have evolved in the intervening years. With the advent of digital photography, I’m thinking anyone with a decent camera and access to the internet could take and order some pretty decent senior pictures from Shutterfly – those of you who’ve had seniors, is this true? If so, it would be great to know of a trend that actually cheaper now than it used to be.


6 thoughts on “Childhood Memories Friday: Senior Pictures

  1. I think you made good choices in your senior pictures. They still look so nice to me!

  2. Your posting on senior pictures is a hoot! In my heyday you got only one pose, which was rather formal with no frills or individuality. I did wear a cashmere sweater that would be OK today, although I haven’t seen one quite like it in 50 years.:)
    Frankly, I like your senior pictures the best…especially the grand piano one. If I remember correctly, mine only cost around $50 in all. I happen to know that my grandchildren paid from $700 to $1,000 for theirs! Christie spent the most because all of the extras that “everyone just had to have”.
    The boys had pictures with the family dog and cars in the background along with the more traditional shots. All in all there were probably 20 shots or more for each kid, with a sitting that lasted 1 – 2 hours (a few outfit changes included).
    Funny how graduation from college is just another day with no big hoopla! And definitely only family digital pics taken by various family members.

  3. Pshht, I’m taking my own senior pics! For free! I gotta save up for that Nissan Leaf.

    And did you just say wicked?!

  4. Oh my goodness!!! Cheryl and Kari – exactly as I remember them! And, your sweater IS timeless 🙂

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