Student’s senior photos in legendary bathrobe go viral

Sporting a dated haircut and a mom-approved outfit, many look back at their senior portraits and cringe. But not Evan Dennison.

He’s the stuff of which high school legends are made.

Heather Waters, mother to 17-year-old Dennison, hired photographer Tiffany Clark to take photos of her son before his high school graduation. The proud mama had even bought a brand new, “really, really large” picture frame for their favorite shot.

But when Dennison and Clark made it to the shoot location, with a bag full of clothes picked out by Waters in tow, the photographer found out her photo subject had something different in mind.

“I knew exactly what I was doing,” he tells TODAY.

There, in a bucolic field near his hometown of Portage, Ind., he pulled a bathrobe from his backpack.

“Why are you doing this to me? Please just wear the clothes your mom sent,” Clark asked the teen, who also happens to be her cousin.

“I’m going to be a LEGEND,” Dennison told her.

After pleading with him to wear the clothes his mother intended, Clark eventually went ahead and photographed navy-blue robed Dennison.

Clark had to admit they were funny, and her followers on social media loved them, too. The Facebook post went viral, with over 112,000 shares currently. She says the photos epitomize her goofy cousin.

“Evan is everything you’d ever want to see in the coolest stand-up comedian dude ever, so this is totally normal,” she says.

Clark tells TODAY she usually works on family portraits and boudoir photography, but the mother of a toddler son herself says she now thinks senior portraits could stand to be a little more fun.

“I think senior photos should be more like this. These kids aren’t button-downs and khakis normally in life, so why should they be for the pictures that represent them?” she says. “If he wants to wear a banana costume,” referring to her own son, “I will take his pictures in a banana costume.”

Dennison’s mom, on the other hand, wasn’t quite as pleased with her son’s stunt — and she won’t be using his bathrobe portrait for the new frame she bought.

“She loves that everyone loves them and that they reflect my personality so well, but she’s still very unhappy with them as my senior photos,” Dennison says.

He and his cousin promised they’d shoot again in a more “mom-appropriate” outfit.

Nevertheless, Dennison says he’s got no regrets: “I’m not saying that you shouldn’t make your mother happy, but senior photos should definitely be your photos.”


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