Since at least World War II (some sources say even as early as 1880), high school seniors have celebrated the momentous milestone of transitioning from their teenage years into adulthood by sitting for senior portraits. Over the years, the style of senior portraits has changed drastically.  In the early days, portraits were stiff headshots with very little individuality. Today, senior portraits are a way to express yourself and showcase your uniqueness. One really cool way to represent who you are is to incorporate your family history into your portraits. 

Your family history, traditions, culture, and ancestors are all part of what make you unique! By incorporating these things into your senior portraits, you can create those memorable images that you will treasure for your whole life. You also take the opportunity to honor the people in your life who have loved you and supported you throughout your life and helped you get to where you are now, graduating high school! Here’s some expert advice on how you can add your family history into your senior photos.


I don’t know about you, but I LOVE photo recreation! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched Tik Tok video montages of photo recreations; some are hilarious, some are heartwarming, but all of them are special because they are all different! A great way to incorporate your family history into your senior portraits is by recreating a picture of one of your family members.  Is there a photo of a Parent or Grandparent when they were young that you’ve always loved? Bring it with you! Together with your photographer, you can recreate that special photo and make it your own!


Do you have any special items that have been passed down through your family? If so, you should definitely bring them along for your session.  Whether it’s a piece of jewelry, a small keepsake, or even something as big as a car, your photographer can create an incredible shot featuring that particular item. Maybe you don’t have any family heirlooms? That’s okay! Think back to your childhood; perhaps you enjoyed playing cards or chess with your grandfather, or there was a specific book that your mom always read to you growing up. Bring along a deck of cards, a chessboard, or that book.  Do you and your Aunt bake Christmas cookies every December with a recipe from your Grandma’s old cookbook? Did your dad spend every summer coaching your little league team? Is there an old family story that gets told at every family reunion? All of these special memories can be represented in your photos with props! These items are a simple way to make your photos exceptional and create an image that will be a special memory forever.


Another really cool way to incorporate your family history into your senior portraits is by choosing a location that is special to your family.  If your family took a vacation every year to the same beach, campground, or amusement park, you could choose to have your portraits taken in that location to add a little something special to the background of your photos.  Or, if you spent a lot of time at your grandparents’ house growing up, maybe you want to have some photos taken there.  A special location is a subtle way to add something unique to your photos.


Clothing is a huge part of many different cultures. Whether it’s an Indian Sari, a Japanese Kimono, a Scottish Kilt, or a West African Agbada, traditional garb is a great way to represent your culture and ancestry in your senior portraits. However, traditional garb is not the only way to express your family history in your senior pictures. Suppose you’re looking for another way to utilize clothing to give your photos a little extra something special. In that case, you could also consider wearing something that belonged to an important member of your family.  Examples of this could be a sweater that your grandpa always wore, a dress your mother wore for a special event, or a scarf that your grandmother knit you for Christmas.

Special Guest

Another fun way to incorporate your family history into your Senior Portraits is by bringing someone along! Do you have a younger sibling or cousin to who you are particularly close? Maybe your Mom or your Grandmother has been your closest confidant and friend, or perhaps you are following in your father’s career footsteps. Either way, it can be really fun and special to bring that special person with you and have them join you for one of your photos!

Final Words

I hope that these ideas have given you a little inspiration to make your senior portraits special and unique! Incorporating your family history into your senior pictures is a beautiful way to honor your family and culture and create beautiful memories you’ll cherish forever!

Are you a 2022 Senior? Fall Senior portraits are booking now! If you want those gorgeous fall colors in your photos, don’t wait! Fall Color sessions book quickly, and the window for perfect color is pretty small!

Reach out Today to Book your Session!