Questions you should be asking your senior photographer.
What questions should you have for your senior photographer? You know what, before we even get into the blah blah blah of how and what and when, let’s tackle the very first question. The one you answer for yourself without really thinking of it.
Why have a professional take your senior portraits? Everyone has a cell phone and man, they take some pretty great pictures. You probably have a friend or a cousin or neighbor who has a fancy camera if you want to step it up a bit. And they would do it real cheap.
If you don’t have the funds to hire a professional, I get it and there is no shame in that. But if you can do it, it’s worth it when you find the right photographer. These photos are a time capsule of who you are (or who you raised if you’re the parent). You do this the summer before senior year and it should be a great experience that is a huge confidence booster going into that final phase of high school. A great photographer will be able to capture the different personalities and tell a story with the images in a way no friend cell phone or quick pic by your favorite tree in the yard can. If I’m not your style, please find someone who is and make this a priority.
Also, if you only have cell phone pictures, you can’t print them with decent quality at a good size. You’re going to at least want the 8×10 for the wall. But it’s going to look kind or crummy at that size, even from the newest iPhone.
There are some pretty common questions that come up every year, especially from first time senior parents. That’s okay, no one expects you to know how this all works, at least they shouldn’t. When a senior books their session with me they get a Senior Experience guide and mom or dad gets a Parent Handbook. They are both huge resources for my clients. But those happen after booking. What about the questions you have before you even choose your senior photographer?
This is one of those situations when you probably don’t know what you don’t know. These are some things you should find out before booking. You might find the answers on the photographer’s website or their Facebook page. If you don’t find your answers there, ask. Every photographer does things a little different so here’s a few things you should be finding out:
- What are the package options for sessions? My package options are on my website and I have a price guide I can email as well.
- Do you receive printing rights and/or social media rights? Currently my clients do receive printing rights for their images. Digital files are included in my packages and you do have the freedom to share them online as you wish.
- What is the timeframe for receiving your photos? The main reason this is important is for the yearbook. If you don’t have your session done early enough and you don’t get your photos back by the deadline for the school yearbook submission you’re kind of out of luck on that. When my clients make their selections in the requested time frame, the maximum time it takes to receive your photos is 6 weeks.
- Do you order prints through your photographer or can you print elsewhere? My clients can print where ever they like, though I recommend against it for quality reasons. Prints can be ordered directly through your online gallery.
- What time of day will the session be? Many people don’t think about this when they schedule their session and then realize the session time will interfere with a meeting. Or they don’t realize they can book during the week because they’ll be done with work or practice in plenty of time. My senior sessions are typically scheduled in the last two hours of daylight, but can also be done in the morning on some weekend dates or the week of the Fourth of July.
The most common questions that people have at booking are actually things I don’t worry about until later, but you should have a general idea of the options with your photographer.
- Location options? I only shoot in natural light and we can go just about anywhere. We make those decisions after the senior questionnaire is filled out and I get an idea of your senior’s personality. Some photographers have a studio and/or have a preferred list of locations they shoot.
- Wardrobe? This is obviously important, which is why my seniors receive a ton of guidance through their Senior Experience magazine. I currently do not have a client closet, but many photographers do, especially for accessories.
Need a little more advice before you book your session? Check out these past blog posts:
Timing Your Senior Photos – a break down of the pros and cons for each month of the summer.
Senior Girls Wardrobe – tips to help prepare that awesome wardrobe for your senior girl!
Senior Guys Wardrobe – tips for your guy that won’t make him totally scoff about photos.