You’ll soon be closing the chapter of your childhood and stepping into that ‘real world’ of adulting. Your senior photos are literally a once in a lifetime event, and choosing the right photographer can be the difference between a memorable experience where you felt confident and beautiful or just another thing to check off the ‘senior year to-do list’.
Here are four main things to look for when choosing your senior photographer. (I mean, I totally hope you choose me if we are a good fit, but even if it’s not me, choose someone who is a good match for YOU and what YOU are looking for).
1. THE EDIT
This is one of the main things that differentiates photographers. Things to consider: Skin tones, do they look natural, or are they muddy? Is the skin plastic-y or does it look real?
Is it important to you to have blemishes and flyaway hairs corrected? (Not all photographers do retouching). Are the images overall crisp and colorful or do they look like they have a ‘filter’ on them? What look do you want for your images that will document this time in your life? These questions are important to ask yourself, because the images your see in a photographer’s portfolio are how your own senior photos will look.
I believe retouching is important so that when you view your photos, you see yourself and not a blemish that was gone in a week.
2. THE EXPERIENCE
Ok this word gets thrown around a lot but do consider what type of experience you’d like. You’ll meet some photographers when you show up at your shoot, others offer consultations to plan your shoot aesthetic, fashion choices, and get to know your personality.
Some photographers offer ordering appointments and some send a digital download, and some leave that up to you. These are very different processes so choose the one that is best for you.
At Feather & Key the experience looks like, this: I send your a Dream Shoot Planner that is full of all the info you need to prepare for a perfect shoot. I also offer a consult before the photo shoot to collaborate on everything.
Most photo shoots start at my studio with pro hair & make up styling. We look over outfits to coordinate locations and style it up at the accessories bar where you can borrow pieces for your photo shoot.
About a week after the shoot, the whole family comes back to the studio for the big reveal of images! We choose favorites from all the proofs, see and hold product samples, and design custom pieces. I retouch each image and design your artwork. Once everything is back from the lab, I’ll personally deliver everything to your home.
3. THE ARTWORK
An important thing to consider is what options photographers offer for their images. Do they offer prints and products or just a digital download for DIYing it? Do they offer social media files? Do they offer in person ordering appointments or just an online gallery? (I do both, depending on what the family wants.)
The days of a few 8x10s are over. Leather albums, canvases, image boxes, acrylic blocks, metals there are so many ways you can display your images. My studio offers all of these options and more, I love seeing the confidence of a senior as she proudly holds her canvas or the pure love on mom’s face as she holds the album of her daughter’s portraits. There is something really special in seeing yourself as art.
4. THE PRICE
Just like coffee, clothes, or most other things, photographers range from ‘Prada’ prices to ‘Platos Closet’ prices and everything in between. No option is wrong or better than the other, but each will be a very different experience. When comparing your options focus on what’s included in the prices. There’s so much more to the price than just the number! Try to look at the value rather than just the cost.
Some families want wall art or albums to pass down. Some families just want some digital files. Some seniors want info on what to expect, and one-on-one attention. Some seniors want to just show up and get it done. When looking at photographers, keep in mind what you’d like YOUR experience to look like, feel like, and how you’d like to enjoy your images. Then compare it to what they offer.