9 Tips for Picking the Perfect Senior Photographer

Picking the right senior photographer is so important, and there are A LOT of factors to consider when doing your research!  The following tips will help you know what to look for and to help you make sure you are picking the best photographer to capture YOUR senior year!

1. SHOOTING STYLE

Style and aesthetic are key!  Do you love images that are bright & colorful, full of bold contrast & golden sun?  Or soft and subtle images with airy pastels and muted tones?  Or maybe you love dark moody images, warm skin tones & dark shadows?  Whatever your taste is, find a photographer who matches it!

Pay attention to the way they use light, handle shadows, and pose their clients and how they work angles.  Choosing a photographer whose style you LOVE is the foundation for a great session and gorgeous images.

2. CONSISTENCY IS KEY!

Instagram is a great place to get a feel for a photographer’s style and the quality of their work, however social media is often a gallery of their BEST images.  But you don’t want to end up with just a few photos that you love, right?  Make sure that your prospective photographer is showcasing multiple images from their sessions – whether it’s on an Instagram carousel, collage, blog post, etc.  You want to be sure that you get a feel for what a full senior session looks like and that the entire gallery is consistent in style & quality.

3. THE EXPERIENCE

You probably see photographers talking about the experience of working with them and you may wonder what that’s all about?  Well, let me tell you, not all photoshoots are created equal.  Be sure to get all the details about what a photographer includes in their senior session and decide what’s important to you.  Think about things like the number of outfits, the number of locations, professional hair and makeup, wardrobe consultations and how they present their images after the shoot.

If budget is an issue: No one wants to confront the “money” issue, but a good photographer will address any concerns you may have.  Ask if they have a payment plan, and what is included in the fees you are paying.  Many parents of seniors are confused when products are not included in a photographer’s main fee, but this is a fairly common practice.  Be sure to ask how much products typically run, and what a customer’s average investment is so that you can budget that, too.

4. EDITING + RETOUCHING

This is a big one!  Editing style can make or break an image.  I personally do not over edit.  I want you to look like you, not a doll with smooth, plastic skin.  Don’t be afraid to ask to see before and after images.  This will let you know how they handle skin tone, blemishes, retouching and editing in general.   Make sure you choose a photographer who isn’t going to over-edit your images, because your senior portraits should look like you!

5. AWARDS & PUBLICATIONS

Another awesome way to tell if a photographer is a good choice is to check to see if they’ve had their work published or won any awards.  If a photographer has been published in magazines (Print or Digital), won awards for their work or been featured on blogs, then there is a good chance that they are at the top of their industry.  This ensures that you are working with a true professional.

6. QUALITY PRODUCTS

A great portrait experience shouldn’t stop after your photoshoot, which is why my clients love that I do in-person ordering appointments and help them choose the very best products for their needs.  Be sure your photographer offers a wide range of top-quality products as well as digital portraits.

7. TESTIMONIALS

Make sure to check out the photographer’s reviews and testimonials on their website.  Are they current?  Seeing what other seniors and their parents had to say about their experience will give you a good idea of what to expect.

8. ARE THEY LEGITIMATE?

Having a professional camera and an Instagram account does not a photographer make.  New “professionals” are popping up every day, but many of these are not in business 6 months later.  Be sure your photographer is adequately insured and has a contract in place to protect you and your senior.  If they don’t have a contract – RUN!!  Not only does a contract outline exactly what your photographer is promising, but it protects both of you in the event of a dispute.

9. DO NOT WAIT!!

The biggest mistake you can make when choosing a photographer is waiting!  Procrastination is NOT your friend!  Many photographers book up 6 months in advance, especially those who are in high demand.  Once you decide who you want to photograph your senior portraits, don’t wait to book – especially if you are wanting a specific season.

I hope this was helpful for you and if I can answer any questions for you, or for more information about my photography services, please contact me today!