Navigating the World of Senior Portraits

April 25, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

Your son or daughter's senior year will be a very busy time for them and for you.  Between college visits, summer jobs and yes, Senior Portraits, there's a lot to consider.   By now, you’re probably getting flooded with advertisements by photographers hoping for your business.  If you’ve worked with one of us in the past, and were satisfied, then it should be pretty easy to figure things out again.

I wanted to write this blog for the multitude of people who are, for the first time, considering senior portraits or perhaps, just want some insights on how to have a great experience. 

That, actually, is my first point; your child’s senior year is all about the experience.  It’s the final chapter in their life at home and a celebration of their accomplishments at school.  Unlike school pictures, which while valuable, are really just a record of their growth, the Senior Portrait underlines one of the most significant milestones of their life.  The portrait session should convey this in an experience that is both fun and produces their best portraits ever! 

Senior Portrait sessions usually take place the summer preceding your senior year.  Generally, between May and September, with June-August the busiest months.  But that said, anytime up until graduation can work. 

Here are some other guidelines to consider:

1-Check out their website; most professional photographers have a website loaded with senior portrait samples.  By spending a few minutes there, you’ll know quickly if their style appeals to you or not.  Most of all, make sure your “senior” agrees with you.  A good photographer will give enough variety to please everyone.

2-Plan for your investment; the senior portrait is not like the school pictures you purchase every year.  I can promise you that in most cases, this is the last individual portrait of your child that you will have.  If you think that they’ll send you an update in 2 or 3 year, you’ll be waiting a long time.  Most likely, you won’t see another portrait of them until their engagement or wedding (wow, does time fly).  There can be a broad range of pricing options among photographers. Don’t be afraid to find out what to expect before you commit.

3- Schedule your session early; my own kids have graduated, and I was shocked at how busy the summer before their senior year was.  With so much going on, the more you can organize your time, the better.  Photographers tend to get busiest in August so you run the risk of squeezing in your session at a time that’s good for your photographer instead of a time that’s good for you.  You might even consider other times of the year.  We can satisfy yearbook requirements easily and then photograph for your personal use anytime during the year.

4-Don’t DIY; let’s face it, we live in a do it yourself world.  But that’s not always the wisest choice.  Here again, is where viewing the work of a professional will give you insight as to whether or not, their style matches your taste.  Plus, the experience of working with a pro can't be overstated.

5-Personality; as in any experience, we want to be around people that we like.  There’s an old saying that goes, “people don’t care what you know until they know that you care”.  When selecting a photographer, working with someone you like and respect will make the experience all the better.  Professional Photography is a relationship profession and should be one of the highlights of your senior year.

Take some time to do your homework and I can guarantee that this will be a cherished memory.

If you have any questions, I’ll be happy to answer them as best I can!


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