Senior pics served up with extra cheese
In the end, their school colors didn’t matter nearly as much as their love for orange-and-white when it came time for these fans to take photos to celebrate their senior year.
After all: What better way to memorialize the bond between a young adult and their Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit as they move on to the next phase of their lives?
Photographer Katie Bosler had known Mason Willis since he was in elementary school, and she knew he didn’t love taking photos. So she asked him if he would take his portraits at the one place guaranteed to make him smile: Whataburger. He felt awkward at first, but warmed up quickly. “After the first few pictures, I no longer cared who was watching because I had my vanilla shake and Honey Butter Chicken Strip Sandwich.”
When Mason was a student at Garland High School near Dallas, Texas, he would eat at Whataburger after every football game – and several other times a week “just because. “ Now a freshman at Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas, he still eats at Whataburger at least once a week. “I go there every Thursday after bible study,” he says.
K.A. Bosler Photography
Willard Jenkins of Del Rio, Texas, is what we call a Whataburger junkie. He's there a lot. So when it was time to take senior photos ... well, there was nowhere else he wanted to go.
He and a friend visited Whataburger, ordered his favorite — a triple meat with cheese and ketchup — and he pulled out his best senior smile.
Striped tie at the ready, Tristan Smitherman, a senior at Saraland High School in Saraland, Ala., took photos with a definite personality.
Like the one where he’s lying on the table like Derek Zoolander, but much cooler. “Oh yes, there were a lot of people there,” Tristan says. “It was like the afternoon rush — and especially when I was lying on the table, and everybody was looking at me and they didn’t know what to think.”
Tristan, who gets the Monterey Melt when he’s not getting the Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit, graduates in May.
Cierra Birmingham graduated from Rouse High School in Leander last year, and took her pics at the Whataburger that was the go-to spot for her high school crowd after football games.
Why Whataburger? “I didn't want to do basic,” Birmingham says. “It was more personal . . . and I thought it was funny.” For the shoot, she ordered her favorite meal: a patty melt without onions and a sweet tea. And, “of course, the Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit."
It’s been a while since Connor Burgess took his senior pics, but the former Dutchtown High School student from Geismar, La., still remembers the conversation he had with the photographer.
“I want something that will represent me,” Burgess told him. “The photographer was like, ‘Well, if you had to take a pic one place, where would it be?’ I said, ‘Shoot, I go to Whataburger more than any place else … That’s my happy place. I love Whataburger.’” It shows.
When Matthew Reynolds graduated from Trinity University in San Antonio in 2017, he took the opportunity to show off his Whataburger pride – not to mention his (ahem) borrowed table tents. Growing up, Matthew would share Whataburger breakfast with his dad and brother. And once he was in college, Whataburger became his favorite hangout. "It was always open!" he explains.
Texan Jack Barnett wanted to make sure his senior pics showed his personality. So he donned his straw cowboy hat and National Hot Rod Association T-shirt before ordering his favorite Whataburger Patty Melt.
Jack will graduate from Plano Senior High School in Plano, Texas, this year with plans to major in construction management at Stephen F. Austin University in the fall.
Edward Melo, who is graduating from Crosby High School in Crosby, Texas, is looking to the future – planning to study business and entrepreneurship while building awareness about an anti-bullying movement he’s founded.
Choosing Whataburger for his senior photos was an easy decision, he says. “No matter the occasion I will always have Whataburger as a number one priority!”
And Annie McKelroy, who will graduate from Hardin High School in Liberty, Texas, this year, wanted her pictures to represent her love for the Lone Star State. “I knew that I needed to do my pictures in Whataburger, because, I mean, how much more Texas does it get?”
Whataburger was also a huge part of her high school years. “Whataburger has been a place for first dates, hanging out, catching up with old friends, and an overall gathering place,” she says. “Whataburger is more than just a fast food place, it is a home.”
Whataburger has focused on its fresh, made-to-order burgers and friendly customer service since 1950 when Harmon Dobson opened the first Whataburger as a small roadside burger stand in Corpus Christi, Texas. Dobson gave his restaurant a name he hoped to hear customers say every time they took a bite of his made-to-order burgers: “What a burger!” Within the first week, people lined up around the block for his 25 cent, 100 percent beef burgers served on five-inch buns. Today, the company is headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, with more than 820 locations in 10 states with sales of more than $2 billion annually. Visit www.whataburger.com for more information.