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Photography Insights | Are Senior Wallets Dead?

I might be showing my age a little bit with this post, but heck I’ve never been ashamed of it so why start now.

Senior year of high school and I had just gotten my proofs back.  I’m sitting with my father trying to figure out which package we were going to order and what size pictures we really needed.  There was the holidays coming up and announcements and probably a ton more events that were considered but that was some time ago.

My dad was being practical; thinking of family both near and far away.  I was thinking of the 300 plus classmates I had and how I needed wallets of each of my favorite pictures so that they could have one of each.  I mean if I loved them and wanted them all, wouldn’t they?  In the end I think we settled on a package that included enough wallets for the classmates I ACTUALLY talked to, announcements, and family.  Sure we had to order extra wallets cause I still wanted EVERYONE to have them and gave away all of them before we sent announcements but I’m not counting that.

I look back now and I really only have maybe one or two of my senior wallets left and I wonder if any of those people I swore had to have one even remember what my pictures looked like let alone still have one.

As we are still in the full swing of senior pictures season (or winding down if like me in high school you couldn’t wait to get in front of the camera), I find myself really looking at what I’m offering and what people are asking for and I have to ask; are senior wallets a think of the past?

It seems like now more and more with everyone having a cellphone, tablet or touch-screen laptop, there just isn’t a place for wallets anymore.  I mean really, most teens don’t carry wallets anymore.  Some don’t really carry purses.  It’s not like back in the day when you had spaces and booklets for displaying your wallet pictures.  Even a lot of my parents aren’t really looking for wallets.  Sure sending a picture with the announcement is still important but to that regard I’m getting more request for digital images than for wallets.  Again it makes me think.

I remember saying once that my cellphone was really like my wallet pictures.  I could carry way more than I ever could fit in an actual wallet, when I handed it to someone to take a look they didn’t look surprised, and I could send them to whomever I wanted or share them wherever struck my fancy.  There was no restrictions.  Is that really what the senior wallet game has come down to?

Honestly, as I speak with a lot of seniors they talk about having their friends take their pictures using their phones and calling it a day.  But I think they are missing the bigger picture.

My father still has a box of senior pictures that he has kept all this time.  He is still involved in each and every class reunion and there are times that friends from high school just drop by simply to check in.  There was a closeness there and a connectivity that I think with all or Snapchatting and Instagraming we have lost.

I’m not saying that senior pictures where the only reason for this closeness but I do think it helped.  Writing little notes on the back of each picture and keeping the ones that meant the most to you.  There is something to be said for sentiment.

I still offer those senior packages with the wallets for maybe not everyone in your senior class but quite a few but I also offer digital add-ons that allow for sharing on your phone, social media, and everywhere you can think of.  The reason I keep the wallets for seniors?  Because I believe in passing those memories along and doing in a tangible way.  I want my seniors to be able to look back one day and still have those wallets and stories like the one I shared.  I hope that 10, 15, 25 years down the road they will still have those friendships that my father does and if I can help with that in any way with a simple wallet picture then to me it’s worth keeping them alive.

Do you still have a box or album of wallet pictures from your senior year of high school?  Did you love your senior pictures?  Are you not sure about getting senior pictures?  Share your experiences below and let’s chat about it some more.

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