MOMS! It seems like just yesterday, you were changing their diapers and teaching them how to walk… now you look up and they are about to graduate from High School. You simply want time to slow down! There’s SO much to get done. Family trips to take. Final memories to make. Appointments to keep. One of those- and possibly the most important one is booking your Senior Pictures. How will you choose your Senior Portrait Photographer?
SENIORS! This is YOUR time! You have done it. You have endured most of High School and now are a Senior. It’s time to play by YOUR rules now! You have earned the chance to do the things you have been looking forward to. One of those is having your Senior Pictures taken. Senior Portraits are a right of passage and an experience that will set you apart and feature your good looks and talents. So, you have a BIG decision to make… How will you choose your Senior Portrait Photographer?
Here are some steps to help you make a great decision:
1. Find A Photographer With Experience.
They say it takes 10,000 hours of experience, for someone to become a master of their craft/art. Find a Senior Portrait Photographer who has at least 5 solid years of experience, under their belt. Be sure to ask to see an extensive portfolio of work. Have they worked with credible companies and clients? Have they worked in multiple areas of the country? Ask them about the history of their career and what some of their favorite shoots or sessions have been. Do not be afraid to ask a LOT of questions! A Photographer’s experience is crucial for such a huge moment in your life. Your Senior Portraits only happen once!
2. Demand An In-Person Consultation.
If a photographer does not offer you an in-person consultation, they are not a professional and not giving you the service you deserve. Demand to sit down and have a face-to-face meeting, at their studio. Make sure that the photographer features a full selection of high-quality printed products, including elite albums, wall portraits in many finishes, video and cutting edge products. Be sure that you “click” with their personality and that your Senior does also. Make sure that the photographer knows a lot about posing, locations and can duplicate the styles he/she shows you.
3. See And Touch Prints And Products.
You only have one chance to capture this moment, in your life. So, the final prints and products are crucial in making your decision. Most people do not think about the fact that photo/portrait printing is an art that takes a ton of experience to master. Be sure your photographer has had a long line of happy clients, before you. One of the best ways to see this is to examine their canvases, albums, wall portraits, acrylics, metals and wood prints. Ask to see one of their videos or slideshows. Ask about the array of products that they offer. If they cannot show you examples of each of their products, there is a good chance that they do not have the experience or expertise that you deserve. Remember that printed products last forever. Insist on a full-service photographer, who gives you prints instead of a CD, that is just going to end up lost, at the bottom of a drawer. There is only one chance to capture your Senior Year. Make it count!
4. Get Your Mom (and Senior) Involved.
Your Mom (and Dad and possibly other family members) will be involved in your Senior Portrait Experience, along with your Senior. So, bring them in to the decision making process. It is a highly collaborative experience. They will both need to be there during the consultation, portrait session and image choosing events. Ask them for their input, on your decision. Make sure you discuss a budget. You usually will pay an upfront amount, to retain/reserve your session and then purchase a package of prints and products, after the session. Talk to them about things like scheduling a haircut or styling, nail appointment, shopping spree or even tanning session- well in advance.
5. Check Out A Full Session of Images.
Ask your prospective photographer to show you an entire Senior Picture session of images. A lot of photographers can produce 2 or 3 solid images from a session. But, you want to roll with someone who can show you 30-50 outstanding images. You will want a number of outfits (looks) and exciting locations included in the shoot. Can the photographer adapt to the changing light, outfits and poses? When you look at the entire gallery of images, picture yourself in the photos. Is this the type of experience that you want? Is there enough of a selection, for your taste and desires? Remember, that you will most likely want to fill a Custom Senior Album with 20-30 amazing pics!
6. Find a Photographer Who Truly Listens and Cares About YOU!
When you talk to your photographer, what is his level of passion? Is he excited to work with you? Do the two of you connect? Is the Studio a Seniors-only studio or Remember that a huge part of your big day is being outside- on location- having a blast with this person. Does the photographer have a lot of ideas prepared for your shoot? Again, the potential photographer’s experience goes a long way. Can he talk you through the progression of how your big day will go?
7. Is Your Potential Photographer A True Professional?
Be sure to ask how many years your photographer has been in business. Is he a member of the PPA (Professional Photographers Association)? Does he have liability insurance? Does he have an organized way that he does business or does it feel like he is “winging it.” There are a TON of photographers out there, who got a camera given to them and suddenly decide that they are a professional. It is super important to demand that your photographer is a pro!
8. Make Sure Your Photographer Provides Professional Hair & Makeup.
Your Senior Portraits should be an experience!… as big and fun as Prom, Homecoming and your Grad Party! Professional Hair & Makeup are an essential part of this. You should look and feel like a Rockstar! Make sure your Studio does Airbrushed Makeup and false eyeslashes to make you look your best. Your Studio should also be able to help you choose outfits and possibly even get you styled. Ask if they work with any local shops or boutiques where you can get discounts or even loan out clothes. Don’t forget to also discuss nails, eyebrows, hats and shoes!:)
Good luck on your search and I hope this information was helpful. If I can answer any questions for you, just drop me an email or text or even give me a call!
Onward and Upward! -JB
JB BROOKMAN PHOTOGRAPHY
Franklin, Brentwood & Nashville Senior Portrait Photographer
“THE ULTIMATE SENIOR PORTRAIT CELEBRATION”