Everyone deserves a senior photo. A simple concept, but something that does not happen. While working as a paraeducator in the Severe Special Needs (SSN) classroom of a local high school I learned that the majority of our students do not have a true senior photo take for the yearbook, they are left with their ID photo acting as their yearbook photo, mixed in with all of their fellow senior classmates, who do have a unique senior photo. This concept made me unhappy, as everyone deserves the experience of a fun, professional, senior portrait session. It is not just about having the photo in the yearbook, it is about the experience that comes with having a professional photography session dedicated to you, dedicated to showing what makes you you and sharing that with the world! As soon as I shared this knowledge with my husband, we knew what we had to do. We worked with the SSN teachers at my school, and we set up a day where my husband took our portable studio to the school, my fellow paras took time to do hair and make up for prior to the session, and it turned into an incredible day all about the girls and making them feel special for being seniors. To be honest, I am not sure who enjoyed the experience more, my husband, my co-workers, or the seniors! The smile on Cheyanne’s face in the photo above displays what this day meant.
How it Works
When you choose Brian Johnson Photo for your senior portrait, you are choosing to give a Senior Portrait Session to a student in the special needs program at your school. For every senior session booked during 2018, Brian Johnson Photo will donate a senior portrait session to a 2019 Senior with special needs.
Our staff has photographed numerous events for Special Olympics Colorado, the Colorado Miss Amazing event, and we have provided senior portraits for several high school seniors with varying abilities and needs. In addition, all of our staff has been trained to work with individual with specials needs, and have even worked in special education departments at schools around the state.
We understand what is needed from a photographer in order to have a successful session for a senior with additional needs or abilities. We do not expect to walk into a session and immediately have our senior feel comfortable with us; instead, when we arrive we expect to spend the first part of the session simply building trust and having fun. Only once the senior is comfortable with us will we start taking photos. We understand what my happen during a session and we are prepared for anything!
If it is easier on the seniors we do offer the option to bring a portable studio to the school so we can photograph the seniors in an environment where they are comfortable, and even with teachers, paras, or peers with whom they are comfortable!