July 23 – Senior Portraits


First official senior task today – senior portraits! Gigi and I signed up for these before Governor’s Honors Program. The two of us, shoulder to shoulder on the couch, trying to figure out perhaps the clunkiest, most unintuitive website ever created.

“So it looks like there’s a bunch of different packages,” I said after figuring out how to set up the appointment. “Do you want to do the English Garden?”

“What does that even mean?” she asked.

“It looks like you get your picture taken in a sort of… garden,” I replied.

“Wait. Where is this studio? Alpharetta? There’s an English garden there?”

“No.. it just sort of… looks like one,” I said.

Gigi rolled her eyes. We’re not studio picture types. I’ve never even bought a school picture. I much prefer the candid ones of her laughing with her dad or opening presents on Christmas morning.

“Well, let’s give it a shot,” I said.

We did a little shopping, Gigi did a little hair dying (she had dyed it blue for the month she was at GHP) and today we showed up at the studio for our senior portrait package.

I don’t know about you, buy my senior portrait was a non-event. Details are hazy, but I believe a photographer set up in the media center or perhaps the auditorium, time slots were set up by last name, you did your big 80s hair at home, and you got your picture taken wearing a graduation robe. Fifteen minutes tops.

At the risk of sounding old, my how times have changed! I thought we’d be the only ones at the studio. Show up, do our little package and get out. Nope. There were at least 50 students with their parents there, all shuffling between dressing rooms and professionally laid out sets with props and giant wind-blowing fans and fog machines. Seriously! We live in Marietta, but Gigi’s school is in Smyrna (Campbell High School, home of the Spartans), and the studio was in Alpharetta. I was concerned they wouldn’t have a gown in Spartan blue. Silly me! They had gowns, graduation caps, tassels and even National Honor Society sashes in every color you can imagine. There were kids from Cobb, Gwinnett and Fulton Counties swarming the place. Gigi saw several kids from GHP.

I served as Gigi’s assistant. After 13 years of back-to-school shopping, we’ve developed a streamlined dressing room system that gets the job done. Her first picture was the one for the yearbook. She put the little velvet shrug around her shoulders, hung the prop pearls around her neck and perched herself on the little stool. I nearly fainted. I couldn’t believe it. She looked so beautiful and so ready. Gigi doesn’t typically enjoy the spotlight, but she let it shine on her today.

The rest of the afternoon flew by. A blur of outfit changes and silly poses and chatter with the other moms of seniors. (We all agreed, by the way, that this was an over-the-top exercise that was setting them up for disappointment in life, but hey, it was fun!) It ended up pouring rain midway through the shoot and we couldn’t do the English Garden pics. The receptionist asked if we wanted to re-schedule. Gigi replied, “No thanks.” There’s only so much self-indulgence she can squeeze into her schedule right now. Girl’s gotta work!

PS – There are more pics, but WordPress is acting wonky. Until another time!

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