Big Sky, Montana: High School Senior Pictures!

Meet Meredith! Class of 2024

Meredith has a cabin up in Big Sky Montana, so I drove up the canyon and met them at their home. We drove all around Big Sky to get her some amazing views of Lone Peak, a downtown vibe in Big Sky, and those gorgeous poppies by the river! Meredith was so stinking cute about texting me before her shoot to see if I could give her a sneak peek of where we could go for her pictures, so I spent a full day driving all over Big Sky to find her and her best friend’s senior picture locations to make sure they both had unique shoots but not the exact same! 

I feel like I need a true drum roll to introduce Meredith! Alright y’all… This beautiful lady’s smile, fun free spirit, laugh, and positive sunshine-y energy is SO contagious!! Just looking at these photos takes me back to this amazing day and I can’t stop smiling!! Meredith is graduating from Skyview High school in 2024 with TONS of honors. Even though she spent a good part of her senior capstone class researching who she wanted to take her senior pictures! She really reminded me of myself (if I applied myself in academics we would be twins!) She was down for any and everything. She made me and her mom laugh so stinking hard! Meredith brought her best friend Laine with her, they had a sleepover that night and then we did Laine’s senior pictures the next day! Such a fun weekend! She had a big idea of what she really wanted for her senior pictures which was so helpful! She made fun of the fact that she’s not really an outside person, but she wanted to be in the mountains with lots of downtown feels also. 

Big Sky Montana Senior Pictures

We had three locations to bounce between because she picked my Premiere Package! We started at a really cool bridge which is actually the entrance to The Yellowstone Club. We were really hoping to see Justin Timberlake, so we waved at every car that came by! She wanted wildflowers in her photos, but recently I have been afraid to pick all the wildflowers in Big Sky because I don’t want to take them from nature. So, I went to Beans and Blooms the day before and she made a bouquet to go with Meredith’s first outfit. Meredith’s mom told me that when they were growing up in Big Sky they used to climb down on the side of the bridge where there is a beautiful swimming hole in the river that is right above Ousel Falls. I didn’t know that! Y’all should definitely check it out. 

After that, we did a quick roadside change and went to downtown Big Sky! We were there on the night of Music in the Mountains which was was pretty busy, but I told Meredith that if we get a good parking spot we will go for it! And we found a spot RIGHT next to the location I wanted to shoot at. YAY! After we got those amazing downtown shots, we drove down the canyon a little farther to take pictures by the Poppies. That was so crazy lucky!! They’re so hard to find! The best time for wildflowers a lot of the time is early June because it isn’t too crazy hot to fry them and or get trampled by hikers and animals. Such a lucky and fun day.

We were right down the road from a gorgeous sunset location with the view of mountains all the way around! The only people in sight were people coming in after fishing on the Gallatin River. That is the best part about a lot of my locations I choose, is that I hate having crowds of people so I choose places that aren’t popular or busy. I normally NEVER see other photographers in my locations because I spend a lot of time going into the back country to find you a place that no one else will have in their pictures. 

Summer Senior Pictures 

In Montana, we do senior pictures normally between June to September because yearbook pictures are due in November. Also, summer time is an amazing time for pictures because we have that gorgeous golden light and sunsets that are so late in the afternoon that we can photograph for a huge part of the afternoon and not have to rush. We can take that extra time to go on a small hike or walk to a cool place. If you don’t want to have summer pictures, we can always do another mini shoot in the winter or spring to add some variation of weather. Let me know which your favorite season is and we will make something work! If you are wanting a prime date for your senior pictures, I would try to email me one month away from your photoshoot date. Also, it takes about 3 weeks to get your full gallery back. 

The outfits

Meredith chose amazing outfits that came from very affordable places! Please do not ever feel like you need to go buy a whole new wardrobe for senior pictures. When you have clothes on that you love and have been wearing for a while, you move a little different, and you know how your clothes move. Comfortability is key! She brought her favorite jean shorts from a thrift store a tank top from Old Navy, and of course her docs! She has so many pairs of docs it was hard for her to choose! Her second look was from a clothing swap that she held for her school project. She looked amazing in that black jumpsuit! It gave us a lot of freedom to pose however we wanted! Her third dress was so stinking cute and was from Apricot Lane in Billings. Overall, I think everything she chose was timeless, and she is going to look back on them all and be so happy! She also wore her best friend necklace the whole shoot which was so stinking fun to photograph! 

What’s great about Meredith’s outfits is that she chose all different kinds of vibes and looks so that there was more variety. Shorts and a tank top, jumper, and dress! 

Outfit ideas to look at: Pinterest Board

Unique hobbies/activities/props

Okay, so we’ve already talked about accessories, now it’s time to talk about those props! Now that you have your idea and vision of the style, vibe, location ideas, and accessories, we can now add in details! This one is totally optional though- don’t feel like you NEED to bring a prop if you don’t have something specific in mind! This is just an option to add in any extra’s you think you might want to feature! Maybe sports related things, sunglasses, shoes, medals, trophies… etc.

We want this shoot to feel like YOU. I know I have said that repeatedly throughout this, but it’s true and SO important! So, take a bit of time to think creatively about anything that makes you who you are. Hobbies? Favorite colors? Favorite styles? Activities you enjoy? Plans for college you might want to highlight or add in? Let’s do it all!

The best part about bringing all of these props and accessories like hats, jewelry, etc. is to mix and match! These things give us a variety of options for your looks and outfits! We can work with it all and mix things up throughout your shoot to give you a ton of different feels throughout your gallery. Even if you bring a floppy hat and throw it on for a few shots, there’s a completely different look without changing your entire outfit!

Meredith was so funny because she isn’t very athletic, but she loves tennis! So she wanted a few pictures with her tennis racket, and that’s what we did. And of course, her favorite snack haha! You are more than welcome to bring any props, activities, or hobbies! 

Who to bring to my senior photoshoot?

I am absolutely great with you wanting your parents or guardians coming along! You can talk with them beforehand and tell them what you’d like them to do. Maybe with the first location you can ask them to stay in the car, and then as you warm up in front of the camera you can come out of the car. Or have them there for the first location if they’re someone that makes you comfy and relaxed, then once you are all good to go, they can make themselves scarce? Whatever you want to do! I am also more than happy to tell your parents that info if you want to text me I can let them know if you are feeling anxious at all!

One thing I will say about having someone with you…. You know how on Say Yes to the Dress the stylists would always get frustrated with anyone at the appointment that wasn’t Team Bride? That’s exactly how I feel during senior photos. It really makes a difference when you bring people who are going to cheer you on and make you feel comfortable and confident. ​​​​​​​​ Bring those people that are team YOU!

​​​​​​​​One of my seniors brought her mom and grandma along for her photoshoot and they were definitely Team her! They were complimenting her the whole time on how beautiful she looked. Obviously, their comments weren’t news to anyone, she looked GORGEOUS. But I’m sure that extra support made the day more fun for her and made her more excited to see her photos!

Something I also throw into sessions is taking pictures at the end with whoever you brought with you! If you have a pet you’d like a quick couple photos with as well, they can join at the end of the shoot! Someone can meet up with us and bring them, so they won’t be there the entire shoot. It’s so hard to tell other people where we are, so we will have to plan it! I would also love to just quickly say, I know your boyfriend or girlfriend is the biggest and most important thing in your life right now, but will they truly be able to make you smile and be your biggest cheerleader? They need to be happy to be there, and encouraging! Sometimes we really need to look at our friends and say alright, do they hype me up and make me feel the best? If they do, GREAT! But if you hesitate about it or think they would make you feel a little more nervous, maybe think of someone else!

Meredith’s senior session

Why choose summertime for your senior photos?

  1. Golden summer light
  2. Warm weather
  3. Wildflowers everywhere
  4. Tall golden grass

Summer senior portrait outfit inspiration + ideas

  • Long/flowy dresses
  • Short dresses/rompers
  • Tees & blouses
  • Shorts & skirts
  • Patterns vs. solids
  • Accessories

I hope this helps you start thinking of your senior pictures! Maybe it will give you inspiration, or ideas for what you want to do! Comment any questions or advice! 

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