#1: I have to go to the school yearbook photographer
Yes, but guess what, you only need to have a photo taken for the yearbook! You DO have a choice and you are NOT required to purchase those images. Get your mugshot done so you can be included in the yearbook then make an investment in your senior portraits from a photographer that will capture who you really are as a person based on the quality, options and style that suit you best.
#2: The school pic is good enough
Oh honey, no ... I personally believe you deserve so much more. You’ve worked hard for 12 years to get to this point and it should be celebrated! This is 100% about YOU. You deserve a memorable experience that results in stunning images and tangible keepsakes that will become heirlooms.
#3: We just need a few good pics on a disk
I going to be honest with you here. There’s two problems with getting files on a disk. One: they stay on the disk and are never printed. Which means the only place these photos live are on that disk, lost somewhere in a file cabinet and maybe posted on your social media. That’s pretty risky; technology changes fast, (ask AOL Messenger or MySpace).
Two: If they are printed, it’s at a retail store. All prints are not created equal. A print from a retail store is literally ink printed onto shiny paper. A photograph from a professional lab is an actual emulsion on light sensitive paper. It won’t fade, crumble, stick to the glass or get wonky like a retail print will. Retail prints are for snapshots. Portraits belong on photographs.
#4:This is all overwhelming
I totally feel you on that one. It can be overwhelming if you don’t have the right tools to help you. Just take the time to research your options and choose a photographer who will hold your hand through the whole process.
I prepare my seniors every step of the way: before the photo shoot, I give each of my clients a survey to help them choose the locations, and style guide with everything they need to know about what to wear including a checklist to prep. During the shoot I let them bring unlimited options and help style their looks based on the locations they like best then coach them through being in front of the camera naturally. I send them home with hugs and homework to help them prep for the reveal which I help them through too. The best thing you can do is ask the prospective photographer how they will help you through the process.