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How to make Texas Tech senior photos more personal

Traditional college senior photos are one of my favorite things to shoot, especially at Texas Tech. I had such a good college experience and I have nothing but fond memories on campus. I love the classic look of a senior wearing their red stole in front of the seal, popping champagne in the fountain, or by the tulips at the administration building. 


Some seniors, however, want a completely different photo experience. Maybe you want more personal touches. Maybe you have mixed feelings about your time in college. Maybe you never spent any time at any of the typical photo spots, and it feels forced to have all your photos taken there. If any of those sound like you, or if you thought you just wanted traditional photos but now you’re interested in switching it up a little bit, here are a few ideas to make your senior photos look more personal or unique.


 


Shoot by or inside your college’s building.

 It seems obvious, and many seniors do this already, but I’m surprised by how many clients I get who don’t take advantage of this. Obviously some buildings are prettier than others, but every building has character if we look for it. This is a really simple way to make your photos feel more reflective of your personal experience at Tech, and will ensure your gallery doesn’t look just like every other graduate’s. 


Girl with yellow sash in front of cactus

Law student at podium

Student in front of planetarium

Student in graduation attire in front of sign saying Media and Communication

 


Take advantage of the sculptures around campus.

 Did you know that Texas Tech is ranked in the top 10 outdoor museums in the U.S. for its vast collection of sculptures around campus? There are 153 (and counting) pieces of public art across all of Texas Tech’s campuses. Walk around after class and see what you like, or check out the full collection here and pick a couple to include in your photos.


Girl in big green curved sculpture

Girl near sculpture of person sitting on a bench

Girl by sculpture of people on benches

 


Wear something that you would on a normal day.

This is one of my favorite ways to add variety to any photo session. When people are booking professional photos, they will almost always opt for a nicer outfit than they’d typically wear. Many of my seniors will wear either a dress or a suit, and their graduation regalia. To make it more personal, wear your favorite t-shirt or an outfit that feels comfortable to you. These may not be the photos you use for your LinkedIn profile picture, but most of my favorite photos of myself are when I look the most like me. 

When my clients wear something more casual that they still feel confident in, it can often help them to really loosen up. Instead of a second “nice” outfit, go with something that’s more you. And if you normally dress up, add some fun personal touches to your outfit! I love Delaney’s turquoise boots that she wore for her senior photos.


Girl wearing sweater in field of yellow flowers

Turquoise boots and girl's hand with ring on

Girl wearing casual outfit and cowgirl boots

 


Bring props, pets, or people.

I love when clients bring something personal to include in their photos. Bring your textbooks, an item from a hobby, your dog, your roommates, your parents, your significant other, anything you want! Instead of a bottle of champagne, bring your signature drink or decorate a cake congratulating yourself. (It would be so cute to do a graduation cake cutting omg). Your photos definitely won’t look like everyone else’s if you’re doing an activity that you enjoy, carrying staple items that you’ve used during your college career, or with the people and animals you love. Those are the photos that will be most meaningful to you in the long run. 


Group of guys holding a dog

Girl with her dog in Texas Tech attire

Two people opening cans of ranch water that's spilling

 


Try a hidden spot. 

Texas Tech has a couple of sunken courtyards that I love for photos. If you’re in the architecture, art, or business colleges, you’ll probably know about these. The Architecture and Art buildings have a basement-level courtyard between them that wraps around the Architecture building. The Rawls has one too that (in the summer at least) has ivy growing on the white walls. Both sunken courtyards have really pretty stairs that I always love for photos! I’ve done tons of sessions at both because they don’t look like they’re on a college campus.

Another courtyard I love is the one at the Bayer Plant Science building. Though not sunken, it’s enclosed on three sides and flies under the radar on the entrance side. There are usually fun plants and the brick has a unique look that makes for really interesting photos. 

The TTU Horticulture Garden is another hidden gem. It’s shielded from view by trees on the side near the street, so many students don’t know that it’s great for photos. You can shoot in the garden anytime, and we can also make an appointment to take photos inside the greenhouse!


Girl in a courtyard in a black dress

Girl sitting on a chair in front of cacti and a brick wall

Girl in a greenhouse wearing a white dress

Man walking his dog up stairs in a courtyard

 


Pick a different landmark. 

As much as I love seal photos, the lines get ridiculously long in the spring. If you still want photos that are unmistakably Texas Tech but don’t want to queue for quite literally over an hour, try a spot like the Jones Stadium. Chances are you spent more time there than at the seal anyways! I love taking photos with the Double T scoreboard in the background. On the south side of the stadium, the architecture is stunning and you get a similar vibe to the Science building (which also normally has a wait). There’s also a Double T bench near the administration building, the carillon (bell tower) also at the admin building, and the Texas Tech University entrance sign on Boston and 19th. 


Couple in front of Texas Tech Jones Stadium scoreboard

Girl sits on double T bench at Texas Tech

 


Go off campus. 

There’s no rulebook saying you have to do your photos at Texas Tech. Maybe college wasn’t all you thought it’d be - or maybe you just want a different vibe for your photos. Some of my go-to spots around town are Mae Simmons Park, downtown, the LHUCA, a beautiful field in south Lubbock, and my new studio.


Girl in front of gray garage door

Girl in pink dress sits in front of pink wall

Girl near green trees

Girl in white near trees in the fall

A girl holding flowers in the sun

 


To wrap it up...

After taking photos of Tech seniors for 6 or 7 years now, I’ve noticed that most of my clients will do a combination of classic graduation photos and something more personal. Feel free to pick a few of these tips that stand out to you, and also opt for some traditional senior photos! See my guide on classic Texas Tech graduation photos for more ideas. We can work together to create a session that gives you a balance that feels right to you.

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