Choosing A Senior Portrait Photographer
You only have senior portraits made once! Don't make the mistake of selecting the wrong photographer.
Choosing a senior portrait photographer is one of the most important senior portrait decisions you will make.
Senior portraits represent a major milestone in your child's life. They should be portrait you love today, and will cherish even more tomorrow.
But, selecting the wrong photographer can ruin them!
If you know what to look for, and ask the right questions, you'll have no trouble choosing the right senior portrait photographer for this important right of passage.
1. Make sure your photographer understands what you and your parent's are looking for.
High school seniors and their parents usually have different ideas about what they're looking for in senior portraits.
It's your photographer's job to understand both the parent's and the senior's needs.
They should be doing this by talking with you both - in person - well before your portrait session.
This has additional benefits:
- it gives you an opportunity to get to know them, see more of their work, and get all of your questions answered
- it gives them a chance to learn more about you and what you're looking for so they can tailor your photo shoot to meet both of your needs
- this should also be an opportunity to brainstorm photo shoot ideas with you
- help you to prepare - because you have a plan, and everyone knows what to expect.
One last thing: Your photographer should be offering to meet with you - for FREE - before you even book your session. This should be one of the benefits of working with them.
2. Their experience should make the process easier for you.
Most people don't have professional portraits made very often. Portrait sessions can be stressful and even overwhelming.
But your photographer does this every day. They should offer you their experience to make your photo shoot easy.
You'll know they're doing this if they're talking with you about choosing your outfits, and giving you grooming or makeup tips. They should also be reminding you to do things like eat before your session, and bring comfortable walking shoes for on-location photo shoots.
As we say in the studio.... We do this every day. Let our experience, improve yours!
3. They should not "rush" your portrait session.
Based on that pre-session meeting we talked about earlier, your photographer should be able to give you a pretty good idea of how long your photo shoot will take, and what to expect.
But things happen. Sometimes it takes longer to bring a concept to life. Other times, an unexpected opportunity presents itself for a really beautiful portrait.
If your photographer has you booked back-to-back with another senior, they're not going to have the time to handle either of these situations, and you'll go home not feeling your best about the session.
So ask your photographer:
“What happens if an unexpected problem or opportunity comes up that makes the session go long?”
Their answer should tell you all you need to know!
4. They should help you select your very best images.
Once the photo shoot is over, a lot of photographers just mail their clients a CD, or send them to a web site with 100s of images for you to choose from.
While this may seem like a great idea at first, most people find themselves overwhelmed with choices, and are unable to make a final decision on their own. So that CD just sits in a drawer - another unfinished project.
Instead, your photographer should be sitting down with you - in person - to help you select your absolute favorite images. They should have narrowed your images down so there are plenty of great ones to choose from, but not so many that you are overwhelmed.
They should also be helping you design your final portrait displays. Their suggestions and recommendations should make the process easy and leave you feeling confident that your portraits are going to look amazing in your home.
5. They should be offering you a guarantee.
Professional photography can be a big investment - in both time and money - and you need to understand what will happen in case of an issue .
Ask your photographer how they handle issues, and what their guarantees are. Right away, their answer will tell you how they feel about taking care of you. It also lets you know what to expect if a problem does arise.
Have your senior portraits taken early.
We see it all the time in the studio - parents and seniors wait until the last minute for senior pictures and then their options are limited. They feel rushed, or worse - the time has passed, and the opportunity is gone.
I recommend to both parents and seniors: have your senior portraits created early, even the summer before your senior year.
Once school starts schedules become chaotic, the holidays sneak up on you, winter is bleak, and by April all seniors really care about is graduating and moving on.
Seniors are most excited about being a senior, (and senior pictures) early on. By having them created early, both the senior and the parents are more likely to get the portraits they will both cherish for the rest of their lives.
Plus, there's something really special about being one of the first to share your amazing senior portraits with your friends.
You have one chance to get your senior portraits right.
Schedule a FREE consultation and see if we're the right photographer for you.
We love getting to know our senior clients. We take the time to learn about you, and what you're looking for, and then custom design every photo shoot and every finished portrait to be more amazing that you even expected.
All of our senior portraits start with a free, no pressure consultation.
Senior Portrait Magazine
Our FREE guide is packed with tips, tricks, ideas and brainstorming tools. It's the ultimate guide to planning perfect senior portraits!