Picking a senior photographer is a big deal and a big investment, and it is definitely something that you don’t want to get wrong. Whether you decide to choose me, your neighbor, or your Aunt Betty who owns a camera, I want you to go into your session prepared before the photographer even shoots the photo.
I want to share 10 questions I believe you should ask your photographer before you book your session with them. I am also going to answer the questions as I would answer them if you were to email or call me before booking your senior session.
What’s included and for what price? Great question!!!
If you have been shopping around for a photographer, you have probably found there are a large variety of prices. You’ve probably seen people offer a photo session for $150 and you receive 20 free digitals with that session. Personally, I would be wary of someone offering that. They are either just starting out and don’t have a lot of experience, they are most likely using consumer grade camera gear, and they probably aren’t doing any edits on your photos. Can they make good photos? Sure, but just like when you buy a car, you shouldn’t buy a Kia expecting a Mercedes experience. A Kia is just fine, but if you want luxury, you have to spend a little more. I use top of the line equipment and lighting gear, and I work with you to customize each session to fit your interests and desires that best represent your senior year. Every photo that you purchase is edited to perfection to give it just the right look. Photographers that offer inexpensive packages are most likely just doing basic photo edits or no edits at all, and at the end of the day, you may not be amazed by those photos.
Do we get the high-resolution files so we can share with our friends via social media?
The short answer is I don’t give away high-resolution digital photos. When you purchase a print from me, you will receive a lower resolution digital with a small watermark in the corner that you can share with any of your friends and family on social media. The photos would not be suitable for printing but would look great to share over the web.
You will also have the option to purchase fully edited high-resolution digitals that include a print release so you can go somewhere else to have them printed. A word of caution about printing at your local store kiosk: there are plenty of “cheap” printers that may or may not give you the highest quality print(s). A fellow photographer told me of a story of a client that purchased digitals from them and had them printed by a cheaper print lab. The photos came out with a bluish tint, and the client blamed the photographer. The photographer had the same photo files printed through their lab, and they were printed with perfect colors. Cheaper print labs can do a good job with printing, but you don’t always get the BEST quality.
I also believe that photos should be displayed and printed. My typical customer will have their photos printed on large artistic prints that look beautiful in their homes. They also love putting together amazing photo albums that are customized to their session. (When you purchase over $2,699 in prints/albums, you’ll get a set number of digital images free.)
Who picks the locations and the styling/concepts for the shoots?
Once you book with me, we will work together to put together the best locations, styling, and concepts for your shoot. I have plenty of location and photo ideas, but I also want to hear what you want. If you want to go to the city, let’s go to the city. If you like the country, let’s shoot something in the country. If you would like to highlight something that you love, we will work together to create the best environment and situation to make it work for your photos. During your pre-booking consultation we will identify some of the ideas that you would like to do during your shoot. If you don’t have any ideas, I’ll help you come up with ideas that make you happy, fit your personality, and highlight who you are during your senior year. My #1 goal after a senior photo shoot is to show what you have accomplished and who you are during your 4 years of high school.
My senior is pretty shy and doesn’t know how to pose – will that matter?
Not at all!!! I hardly ever work with professional models during my senior sessions, but I have not met one senior that has been in front of my camera that doesn’t feel like they are a model before the end of the session. I will coach you along the way, I have never had a senior walk away from a session with me not happy with the final results. Almost all of them come out of our sessions and say, “That was a lot more fun than I thought it would be, and we got some awesome photos.”
My senior has seen a photo they love – can you copy it?
I love it when seniors have ideas of what they want! I actually encourage you to share photos that you have seen that you like. While I may not be able to copy it 100% in all situations, we can come up with something that will make you happy. With the equipment I use, there are very few, if any, photos I can’t do that you may see somewhere else. When you book with me we will actually create a private Pinterest page where you can pin photos that you like and see online. I have plenty of ideas, but seeing what you like helps me to know what you are looking for when we do our photoshoot.
What happens if bad weather on the day of our scheduled photo shoot?
This is a big deal to me. Since most of what I do is outdoors, weather plays a huge factor. I want you to have the best photos you have ever seen, so if the weather isn’t going to cooperate on the date/time of your shoot, we will work together to find the next available date. I know some photographers will say the shoot is on the day you book and there is no budging from that. I want to do everything in our power to get the shoot done on the day we schedule, but if the weather is bad, you aren’t going to be happy with the photos.
Do you edit your images?
Yes, Yes, Yes!!! This is soooo important to me. EVERY photo that you purchase digitals or have printed is edited for the best photo you have ever seen of your senior. I use an AMAZING photo editor that works with me to give each photo its own personality. Athletic photos are going to be edited different than photos in a field of flowers.
The photos during your reveal session will have minor color/exposure corrections but will not be the final photo. During your pre-booking consultation I will show you a variety of before/after photos that have been edited. You will immediately see the difference between an edited and unedited photo, and it will show you the importance of having the photo edited.
My senior’s interest is ______ (sports, band, theater, underwater basket weaving, etc), so how will you capture their interests in the pictures you take?
Most people think my specialty is working with athletic seniors; however, my specialty is really capturing photos of seniors that best represent them. As a former U.S. Navy musician (9 and a half years in a military band), a lead actor in my high school musicals, and a high school coach, I have a lot of experience in a wide variety of activities that high school students experience. I believe this helps me to take the best photos of you that really represent who you are and what you have accomplished in your 4 years of high school. My personal experiences also help me coach you into the best situations and looks to give your photos a look that is natural for what we are trying to accomplish.
When is the best time for me to book my senior photos with you?
As soon as possible!!! My schedule fills up quickly, so if you wait, you might have a difficult time finding a date with me. Along with my portrait photography, I also do photography for USA Today Sports Images. These jobs come up sporadically, but once you are on my schedule, that date is yours, and other jobs would be declined. There are only so many weekends in a year, and the best times for senior photos are on non-school days and not in the middle of the week.
I also know that you are probably also wondering which season is best: fall, spring, or winter? I personally don’t have a preference to when to do the photos. I know for most of the schools in our area, the deadline for parent ads in the yearbook is usually in late September or October. If you are planning to use any of your photos for your ad, we will need to shoot your photos before that time.
Summer time is possible but the heat and humidity in Houston makes it difficult at times, but if you are doing something like athletic photos as a part of your session, it is ok to get sweaty. We can also do indoor and studio photos during the summer as well. Anything is possible; just ask and we can figure it out. Bottom line is that the earlier you book, the better. I have had clients book me 6 months in advance just to make sure they are on my schedule.
There are some amazing photographers – how do we pick the right photographer for us?
Personally I believe you should pick the person that is best going to represent you and that you feel comfortable with. I hope you would let me be your photographer but I also know my style, look, and personality may not fit everyone, and that is ok. At the end of the day I want you to be happy with your finished photos. If you book me you will be happy with your photos but if you decide to go with someone else I hope you will get amazing photos that you will be and be able to treasure for the rest of your life.
I hope these questions help you pick the best photographer for your senior photographs. It’s a memorable time for your teenager, and my goal is to capture their personality and accomplishments so you will always remember their senior year. If you would like more information or have any questions feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or give me a call at 832-459-2848. I am happy to answer any questions you may have and help you with booking your senior photo session.