Whether you plan to attend college, a trade school, or join the workforce after you graduate, your senior year of high school is an exciting time and a milestone that you should capture in photos. You’ll want to remember your friends, teachers, classes, dances, sports, and even your hairstyle and favorite outfits.
Having professional photographs taken at this time in your life will help you preserve those precious memories. You’ll be able to look back at those photos years from now and instantly recall those fun-filled days.
Getting the best professional photos starts with finding the right photographer. There are four main things to consider before searching for a professional portrait photographer who’ll document this special time in your life.
For your photos to look natural and relaxed, you must feel comfortable with the person behind the camera. That can take a little shopping around – much like dating before you find the partner of your dreams.
Before you hire a photographer and schedule your senior portraits, it’s important to meet with your potential photographer to decide if they’re a good fit. Everyone feels comfortable with different types of people, so decide what type of personality you would feel the most relaxed around. That will help you know what to look for during your meeting. If you’re an introvert, consider choosing a photographer who is playful and outgoing, so they can help you feel relaxed and comfortable during your professional photo session.
Before committing to a photo session, try to meet with the photographer you’re considering hiring. If that’s not possible, a short telephone conversation may help you decide if you’ll be comfortable with him or her.
While email is a convenient way to communicate, it’s harder to get a feel for a person’s personality through email. That means deciding on a photographer you’ve only communicated with through email is not the best approach.
Senior portraits no longer follow the traditional formula that parents of today’s teenagers may have experienced when they had their own senior photos taken. Today’s seniors have many more options than ever before regarding photos, including having their pictures taken in their favorite locations.
Some photographers excel at studio photography, while others specialize only in outdoor photography. Those who are well-versed in photography and have extensive equipment will be able to handle both indoor and outdoor shots, whether it’s in their studio or at an offsite location.
Before you start your search, get an idea of the photography style you’re looking for – Pinterest is a good place to start. You’ll easily be able to narrow down your choices by going through each photographer’s portfolio, ensuring you’re only meeting with photographers who meet your requirements.
It’s important to know your budget before you start your search. Many photographers will already have their rates on their website, but some won’t post that information to their site.
If you’re unsure how much they’re charging, you can ask about pricing when you speak to them over the phone. The price of your senior portrait session will vary depending on what you’re looking for and how experienced your photographer is.
It’s also helpful to understand exactly what your senior photo package includes because that will vary from photographer to photographer.
Senior year can really sneak up on a student. One minute, you’re having a fun, relaxing summer at the end of your junior year, and the next, you’re in your senior year, facing a jam-packed schedule. It’s helpful to keep in mind that photographers generally have busy schedules, so it’s important not to leave your search to the last minute.
It’s recommended that you plan at least six weeks in advance if you want to get the date you want for your photo session. Those who are in multiple sports, activities, or have after-school jobs, may want to start their search even earlier to ensure that both they and their photographer will be able to find a date that works. If you’re struggling to secure a date, find out whether changing the location or the date to a weekday will make it easier for your photographer to fit you in.
Once you have a date secured, you can focus on the finer details such as the location, outfit, accessories, and hair and makeup choices. Speak to your photographer for recommendations if you need them. They’ll be able to let you know what will work well in photos and stand the test of time.
But above all else, wear something that you’re comfortable in and reflects who you’ve been in high school. Years from now, when you’re pulling out these photos to show your own children, you’ll want to be a true reflection of you and your personality.
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