With the deadline for senior portraits coming up, seniors have been scrambling to make appointments with photographers. As students’ Facebook pages explode with professional looking profile pictures, some  are inspired to be photographed by the Paly yearbook staff. Due to a change by the yearbook staff implemented this year to offer more professional options for senior portraits, a number of student photographers have taken students’ senior portraits for free.

“Hopefully, with all of the options provided, students will be able to get a photo that they like,” senior yearbook Section Editor and co-Editor-in-Chief Chelsea Chen said.

Senior Masha Andreyva, an AP Photography student who also works on yearbook, suggested the idea of taking free portraits for seniors.

“I feel great that students don’t have to pay,” Andreyva said. “Even though it’s taking a lot of time, it’s totally worth it.”

Andreyva expects to have completed over 50 portraits by the deadline, which is on Oct. 8.

Senior Mia Polansky, who pursues photography independently, is also taking senior portraits.

“I think it’s a good program because it enables everybody to get a high quality senior portrait without having to pay,” Polansky said.

Polansky initially photographed only her close friends, but more seniors asked for free portraits after seeing their friends’ Facebook profile pictures that turned out very well.

“[Free portraits for students] have definitely expanded a lot because if you post pictures online, people will contact you,” Polansky said.

In addition to offering free student photography appointments, yearbook has made both student and professional photographers available during tutorial sessions. The yearbook staff has also communicated with students through their website as well as on a Facebook page administered by the senior editors.

“We’ve tried to the best of our abilities to give out notices,” Chen said.

Even without all of the portraits turned in, the new structure of using a combination of student and professional photographers has been a   success.

“It’s a win-win,” Wixsom said. “Seniors are really excited about it and we have student staff who are getting experience.”

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