Thursday, September 2, 2010

Senior Moments…The Fashion Disaster Kind Captured on Film (aka The Pleather Jacket Photo Post)

I believe that 75 percent of the conversations I had during the fourth quarter of junior year of high school involved where everyone in my class was getting his or her senior portraits taken. “Are you going to Bauer or Gregory’s?” “Bauer’s pictures are more classy; Gregory’s are so outdoorsy.” “Oh, you are going to Kallies? Will you get the trademark ‘on a tiny bridge’ shot?” For real, these are real conversations. They got catty. I ended up with Bauer because I was classy like that!

Senior pictures are that oh-so-expensive chance to be a supermodel! Wardrobe changes! Location shots! Color photos in the otherwise black-and-white yearbook! It was a big deal! I loved looking at my portfolio of shots and agonizing over which I would make into wallet shots to exchange with my classmates.

The beauty of senior pictures is that say, 12 years later, you can look back and see just how much you have changed not only in appearance but also in fashion sense. I spent the entire summer leading up to these pictures painstakingly picking out my wardrobe to align with the trends of the time. Yet looking back, oh my God, what was I thinking?!?!

On the banks of Lake Michigan shot.


This shot is my favorite of all them (minus the jean overalls). It projects everything I aspire to but probably never will be: carefree! serene! barefoot! slightest appearance of being outdoorsy without actually having to be outdoorsy! The photographer loved this shot too; he used it in his ad display in Pine Tree Mall for about eight years. Seriously, I was 25 years old and little kids would come up to me in church and say, “I saw your picture at the mall!” Some people can escape their teenage awkwardness; mine was always lurking in a public place in a 20” by 24” frame. But honestly, I do really love this picture (minus the jean overalls).

The Free Advertising Photo.


These Nike Swoosh jackets were SOOO in style during my last years of high school. I think they are singlehandedly responsible for my grown-up aversion to anything with a dominating logo on it. Seriously, I challenge anyone to find one on anything in my wardrobe. And this pic? I look like I am going to be a cheerleader and do a Herkie. You know, if I could. If you think I am uncoordinated now, well, I am an Olympic gymnast now relative to what I was then.

The “Have you thought about lowering your deductible?" Photo


This photo is actually the one hanging on the wall of Senior pics in my parent’s living room. (The beauty of that is that I am hanging amongst all of my sisters. Who graduated in the 80s. Can you say Farrah Fawcett hair?) I look very regal, grown-up, and insurance agent-y. Seriously, doesn’t this picture look so much like the headshot insurance agents use in newspaper ads?!!? In fact, whenever I won an award during my Senior year, this was the picture the accompanied the news story. And if that story bordered the ad section at the bottom or the side, it was really difficult to tell where the story ended and the ad started. See me for all of your home insurance needs!

And I know you are waiting for it, the pleather jacket shots! These black and white shots were so so so popular in the late 90s (and maybe still are? I am so not up on senior pic trends) but I remember that I absolutely positively needed a shiny black jacket for this sequences of shots. I think I finally found one in a trashy clubbin’ clothing store in California while I was visiting my sister.

Give me anger!


I have no words. Beyond, yeah, I am not a supermodel. So when the photographer said, “Look serious.” This is what he got. WHAT!? This look is actually more of the look I get when I am sitting by someone who is cracking their gum. But seriously how great is that silver streamer background. And I am resting my arms on a ladder. ha

Look happy, you’re wearing pleather!


This one is pretty cute. The personality I display in that picture is probably the most “me” of all of them. I just wish I were popping the collar of the coat, a la Glamour Shots. Because THAT would be awesome.  And note, even though it says “Becky” in the bottom of that pic, do NOT call me that.  I probably won’t answer.  There were four Rebeccas in my tiny graduating class and I had to bite the name bullet on behalf of confused teachers everywhere and take on "Becky.” You will note the initial necklace I am wearing in these pics says “R,”

So that was Senior Year me. Pretty fabulous, right? Honestly, it was fairly therapeutic for me to see these pictures. Because the hours I currently spend fretting in front of the mirror about how chubby my legs or the time I spend wondering if the belt I am wearing works with the cut of my dress or pounding the elliptical for miles on end? Well, looking at these pics, I know that I  have come a long, healthier way. I think I want a Senior Picture do-over! Can I have one, please? So I can mock myself relentlessly 12 years from now.

Not a giveaway question, but did you all have some memorable Senior photos? Tell me about them!!!!


  1. Two words: Frosted Tips.

  2. Yeah, Joe, I'm gonna need to see a picture of that.

  3. Okay, so two things: 1) I had that exact same hair in my senior pictures, except for some reason it was bouffanted weirdly back from my forehead. I wish I could show you, but to my knowledge, my senior pics are not in digital form. Every time I see that picture on my dad's mantel though, I wish I could go back and change my hair.

    2) I remember when you were Becky, and yet I had a moment after seeing that picture when I went "Huh? Becky? What?" before the penny dropped. You are sooo not a Becky anymore, if you ever truly were.

  4. Our senior pics were shot on location too: the auditorium. Seniors were dressed in "formal wear". Translate that to a black drape to look like a black formal gown for girls. Poses? There was the standard with a dark background, one with a light background, one silhouette, one with a rose.

  5. Omg! My hair barely fit in my pics! I remember the conversations about where to go and and I opted for the new, cutting edge photographer in Stevens Point NOT Wausau-like everyone else. My big glamour shot is hidden in the front hall closet bc I forbid my mom to hang it. It was huge!! What was she thinking!!?

    A girl in my class posed with all her Guess? Jeans in the shot. True story.

  6. OK, now I actually really liked my senior pictures. We were required to have the set of photos with the drape that they'd use for the yearbook, which is the one hanging on my parents' wall. Other than that, I wore basic t-shirts with a cute skirt and jean jacket that I still own and wear regularly.

    All I can say is, kids just need to pick out something plain, basic, and earth-tone (for outdoor photos) so that they won't grimace too much later on.