Your Senior Photo Experience Part 1: Picking a Photographer
High School Senior Photo season is right around the corner (typically spanning June - September in my area). That means now is the time to start planning for this exciting time in life!
I am introducing a new series called YOUR SENIOR EXPERIENCE for soon to be seniors and parents to give you a little glimpse into the "behind the scenes" of planning for, taking senior pictures and then what to do with the pictures from your session. Especially if this is your first time I know it can look like an overwhelming experience and this series is here to answer some of your questions and help you out along the way.
This 4 part series will start out with what to expect coming up to your senior pictures along with some tips on planning, the session itself and then we will wrap up with what to expect after your session and what you are supposed to do with these images anyways.
PART 1: PICKING A PHOTOGRAPHER
I might not be the right photographer for you, and that is okay. I am perfectly okay with that.
Picking the right photographer for you is an important part of your senior experience. If you do a quick google search for your area, it may feel a bit overwhelming to know who to pick.
Here are a few things to consider when looking at different photographers and checking out their website.
Do they take the kind of pictures you like? Maybe you dream of photos out in a wheat field, but the photographer's website you are looking at shows mostly beauty style indoor headshots or vise versa. Chances are you will not be a good fit. As you go through galleries and look at different photographer's work, think about what you want your final images to look like and find a photographer who takes images like that.
A few things to think about when it comes to style:
- Do you like close up images or sweeping landscapes where you are just a small element of the image?
- Do you like soft, dreamy images or contrasty and bold?
- Do you like images with a nice soft shallow dept of field or do you like the background of your image to be in focus too?
- Do you like natural/earthy outdoor images or indoor studio, style images?
- Do you like B&W or color images? (Many photographers do both, but if you love one or the other it doesn't hurt to share that with your photographer)
- Do you want an easy going natural light experience or do you want an intense Hollywood like experience with lots of "lights camera action"?
2. The Experience
Photographers will not only differ in style, but also in the photography experience.
Here at Amber Langerud Photography I like to help you make your senior pictures as customized as possible by having you fill out a questionnaire prior to booking that gives me some insight into your personality and hobbies. I also encourage you to bring along props or important parts of your life such as your FFA jacket, a basketball or your four legged companion. It can also be super fun to bring along a photo loving friend or two to encourage you and possibly get a photo or two with during the session.
So now that you are prepared for the session and know who/what is coming with, it is time for the session. Different photographers will vary in their style of and amount of posing. When you are searching for a photographer ask them about their posing style and how that will impact the flow of the session. I personally like to guide my clients very closely and will give you little cues such as drop your shoulder a tad bit or drop the chin or kick your hips back to help create beautiful angles and precise poses to help you look your best. You might like this style of posing, you might not, just another aspect to consider when searching for a high school senior photographer.
Then after the session ask your photographer what to expect, if you get an online gallery, a USB drive or have an ordering session to pick out your favorites and purchase some awesome products.
3. Pricing and Packaging
I hate to say it, but often times price is a factor that needs to be considered when choosing your high school senior photographer, I bet you wished you had an unlimited budget, but unfortunately budgets are a reality of life for many of us. If you are doing some price shopping. Just remember that you do often times get what you pay for (not always, but usually). Also note that different studios may have different package structures, some include the digital images with the session, some have prints and awesome photo products as add ons, etc. One is not better than the other, just evaluate your situation and what you want the end product from your session to be.
Stay tuned for PART 2: Pre-visualizing and preparing for your session in the coming weeks!