What steps should you take to insure that your
senior portraits meet your expectations?
Choosing the right photographer to do your senior photos is not something you should take lightly. This only happens once in your life, and you want to make sure that you're not treated like a number by the photographer or studio that you hire to do your senior portraits. You want a photographer who really gets to know you, and captures your true personality. You won't do anything quite like this again, so your senior portraits need to be amazing with the right locations, props and poses. And it's a bonus if you have fun in the process!
STEP 1: Schedule a portrait consultation. The consultation gives you the chance to meet with the photographer prior to your session and discuss your vision for your portraits. If the photographer balks at spending this time with you, then he or she will probably not want to spend quality time with you when it comes to actually taking your portraits. The photographer who takes the time to meet with you first will also take the time to make sure you are completely happy with your portraits.
STEP 2: Select outfits that are comfortable and look good on you. If the color, fit and style have gotten you compliments in the past, chance are you will look good wearing them in the photographs. To get the most from your portrait session, try to choose a package that allows 3-4 clothing changes. For more information on choosing the perfect outfits, check out this post: bitly.com/srswhattowears.
STEP 3: Bring props that tell your story. These can be accessories such as hats, scarves and jewelry that enhance the outfits you plan to bring; a musical instrument, soccer ball, skateboard or something else that reflects your talent, hobby or interests; or a best friend, pet or family member for buddy shots.
STEP 4: Speak up! Don't be afraid to tell your photographer if something isn't working for you. By the same token, offer suggestions if, for example, you saw a pose in a magazine that you would love to try. Bring pictures to the consultation or the actual session the same as you would bring a picture of a new hairdo to your stylist. Also let your photographer know if you prefer a certain kind of portrait such as more outdoor vs. indoor or portraits in natural settings rather than manicured.
STEP 5: Know what you want. By that I mean have a good idea of what you want to purchase. If you know you want some gift portraits for grandparents, you will want to bring an appropriate outfit grandma will love. If you want a wall collage or album, you'll want to make sure you have enough outfits and props or accessories to create an interesting piece. This brings us to the final step.
STEP 6: Review information in advance. Don't forget to ask for the price sheet, product list, contract and any other material the photographer may have describing their service. Also make sure you look at their website. By reviewing their materials before the session, there won't be any unpleasant surprises, and you will also be better prepared to take care of Steps 2 through 5. If you go through with the consultation in Step 1, that is a good time to make sure you have all the photographer's information. Otherwise you can always have them emailed to you.
To schedule a free consultation, please call us at (860) 793-1159 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Choosing your senior photographer is the first step in the process toward getting great senior portraits that will mark this pivoltal point in your life. But what happens after that? This post is to walk you through the steps we use when working with our high school seniors. We feel that if you know what to expect, the whole senior portrait experience can be fun, rewarding, and a true confidence builder!
Of course the first thing you need to do when scheduling your senior portrait session is to call the photographer you are interested in working with. It is a good idea to visit your chosen photographer's website first to familiarize yourself with their style of shooting including posing and background choices as well as pricing information if listed on their website and any other information that is available. It is best if the photographer has at least one page on their site devoted to highschool seniors. Our senior information page is HERE, and our senior gallery is HERE. By viewing the website first, you can write down any questions you may have about their service or shooting style to ask during the telephone "interview". I call this an interview because it is your chance to make sure this is the photographer you want to work with. This is crucial as you are in fact hiring the photographer to work for you. Possible questions to ask can include:
These are just some of the questions you might be prompted to ask after looking at the photographer's website. The key is to write them down as they come to you so that you will be organized and prepared to ask the questions you need answers to before committing your senior portraits to a photographer.
In the same way that it is important for you to find out as much as possible about the photographer and the experience that he or she can offer you, it is important for us as the photographer to get to know you by asking our own set of questions. We may ask you what kind of music you like, who your favorite musician is, what sports you like, where you like to shop, or what you hope to get out of the senior portrait experience. It's all part of the process in getting to know you better so that we can plan an exceptional portrait experience for you.
I especially love it when we find common ground such as the time we discovered Marisa's love for her Wheaten Junior, the same age and breed as our beloved Cody!
Although not mandatory, we suggest a consultation prior to the actual portrait session. At the consultation, we will meet with you to discuss your expectations, go over clothing choices, outdoor locations, products available for purchase after the session, etc. If you're hesitant at all about booking your session, it is an ideal opportunity to meet with us first -- and if you are sure, it's still a great opportunity to prepare yourself for the possibilities and get the most out of your session. The session fee which includes your first print, is due following the consultation or upon booking the session. This is necessary to hold your date.
During the actual photo session, we do not put a limit on the amount of time we spend with you. Our philosophy is to spend as much time as it takes to fully photograph every facet of your personality. We want to tell your unique story which we feel cannot be rushed. We encourage all our seniors to bring anything with them that expresses their uniqueness including props, friends and family members (pets are considered family by us!), vehicles, sports equipment and attire, musical instruments -- your imagination is the limit! There is never an extra charge for this.
After your photo session, we schedule your Viewing and Ordering Session. This is where you actually get to see your finished portraits projected on a large screen, and choose the portraits you wish to purchase. It is important that everyone involved in the purchasing process attend this session. Here we offer special guidance to make sure you choose the best prints, sizes and products that meet your needs. This is actually a lot of fun and we encourage you to invite family and friends to cheer you on as you view your portraits. We can call it a "movie" night with popcorn and iced tea!
In the following days and weeks, I will write different posts focusing on a different step in the process, covering it in much more detail. Meanwhile, if you have any comments or suggestions, we'd love to read them. Just leave 'em in the comments section below. To visit our website, go to www.steadmanphotography.com.
The clothes you wear for your session can make a huge difference in how much you love your portraits. Choosing something not so flattering can have you wishing for a redo really fast. So what are the five biggest fashion mistakes, and what should you choose instead?
TIP: Choose solid colors instead. These should be colors that look good on you and bring out your best features.
You can also think in terms of the season. For example, you can choose earth tones in the Fall and pastels for spring provided these colors also compliment your own skin tone. When posing with others, make sure your colors go together. You don’t have to dress in exactly the same colors as that can seem a little too boring, but your colors shouldn’t clash — so no orange and fuschia outfits in the same family portrait!
TIP: Instead choose long sleeves, 3/4 sleeves, short sleeves or even cap sleeves.
TIP: Shoes that match your outfit are always a good choice. And guys, bring matching socks!
TIP: Wear looser clothing that moves when you do for a more relaxed look. This does not mean baggy pants or “plumbers” jeans though. We still want you looking stylish!
And REMEMBER! Rules are made to be broken. If you have something you think looks really awesome, but goes against the grain, bring it anyway. It just might make a fashion statement too good to pass up!
When you look good, you will feel good. When you feel good, you will look GREAT in your portraits! If you find you are having a hard time deciding, bring more than you plan on wearing for your session. We will help you put together the most flattering outfits.
If you have any fashion advice for good portraits not mentioned here, please let us know in the Comments section below. We’d love your feedback.