A Snapshot of 2020: Senior Pictures with COVID-19


Matt Umland

Matt Umland, a local photographer that has delivered many senior photos amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic

Michael VanDerSchaaf, Sports Editor

When a new school year starts, high school seniors all around America are faced with the phenomenon of senior pictures. These pictures are displayed in yearbooks and graduation parties, capturing the students personality and interests.

However, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way senior pictures have worked over the past few months. The challenges photographers face with the virus have made senior sessions stressful and difficult, but they have still found ways to deliver great photos to seniors despite those challenges.

Local photographer Matt Umland has experienced changes to his business with COVID-19. One of the benefits to seniors in the area is more availability with Umland. “I normally do a lot of photography for weddings,” he said. “But since there are less weddings happening I have more time to take pictures of seniors.” These openings give seniors more opportunity to get their pictures done with an experienced local photographer.

Although not all soon-to-be graduates get their senior pictures taken, the majority of students choose to get them done. These pictures often capture the senior in their element. Athletes often take pictures in their uniforms, students who have made a college decision rep their school and many use other ways to express their personality.

Senior Alex Thorne recently got his senior pictures taken with Sara Fierce of Fierce Photography and took notice of the changes that were made to keep the process safe. “My parents were worried about being exposed during our shoot,” stated Thorne. “Mrs. Fierce did a great job of social distancing and made us feel safe.”  

Umland recently faced complications with his business when he tested positive for COVID-19. “It sucked having to be away from business for two weeks, and it caused a lot of reschedules from clients,” said Umland. “I’ve been really busy but it all pays off when the clients get their photos.”

Location has also been a big factor when it comes to being safe with COVID. Fierce took the precautions to take pictures in a safe environment with Thorne. “We decided to take all of my pictures outdoors,” said Thorne. “This way we were in an open-air environment to keep everyone safe.”

Even with the hardships that the pandemic has brought upon the world, photographers are doing their best to stay safe and provide good service to their clients. The sessions may not look like they once did, but they are still capturing the personalities of seniors in high school everywhere.