Congratulations to the newly minted seniors of the Class of 2024! Your final year of high school will be an exciting time. It won’t be without stress, but it should have lots of fun mixed in.
Senior Portraits play an important role in celebrating your accomplishments. It gives you and your family images that you can hold on to and look back at. It provides you with photos that you can share with friends.
And it should be an enjoyable experience for you, too.
As you get ready to embark on the journey of your senior year, here are a few important things to know about your Senior Portraits:
Senior Portraits and Yearbook Photos aren’t the same thing. Most high schools have very specific rules about what your yearbook photo can look like. Some even restrict who you can use as your photographer for these images. That’s why many seniors have portraits done in addition to their yearbook photos (either using the same photographer or two different ones). Make sure you know the guidelines for your school’s yearbook before you make your decision.
Senior Portraits should represent you and your personality. While there’s nothing wrong with studio portraits, getting out and having your Senior Portraits in a place that you enjoy will give them more meaning and make the whole experience more fun. That might be at a beach or the lake. It could be among flowers or at an athletic field. You can wear dressy clothes or more casual attire. The bottom line is you should be able to look back at your Senior Portraits and say, “yes, that’s me.”
Most Senior Portraits are done in the summer or early fall. The extended daylight of summer and the colors of fall often provide the best opportunities for outdoor portraits here in New Hampshire. Your schedule and the look you want will have the biggest impact on when you choose to schedule your session. While there’s no reason you can’t have your photos done in the winter (or even wait until spring flowers bloom), most seniors prefer to have the portraits behind them by the time that graduation approaches.
Not all photographers price the same way. There are many different pricing models for Senior Portraits. Some will charge a low session fee and then you can purchase packages or individual photos a la carte. Some offer prints only while others will let you buy digital copies. In my case, I prefer to provide all of the digital images as part of a flat fee. You can then print them wherever you want (and I give you a simple online print ordering option, too). You should also be aware of any additional fees for editing and retouching your images so you know what to expect going in.
Most photographers have a style so you should match it to your own. Take a look at previous images from the portrait photographer you are considering. I prefer a more natural look, but other photographers may provide more artistic or stylized portraits. There’s no right or wrong way, it’s just a matter of what matches your personal taste.
If you have an important deadline, let the photographer know. If you need images by a particular date to submit to the yearbook or other publication or to use for a gift or event, make sure that you share that information when you book the session. Some photographers turn around Senior Portraits within a few days, while others could take a few weeks or more. It’s always best to make sure that whatever expectations you have for timelines will work.
Ask your friends for referrals and recommendations. You can Google for Senior Portrait photographers in your area (and you may even have found this post that way!) but it is also a good idea to ask friends who they have used and what they thought of the experience. Remember that it isn’t just about the photos that you create but also whether you found the session itself to be enjoyable. Good photographers work with the seniors to make sure they are comfortable and having fun because that makes for better final images.
Have other questions? My wife Jen and I would be happy to answer any questions that you may have – whether you’re considering working with me for your Senior Portraits or would just like some more information about the process generally. Just contact us and we will get back to you shortly.