Calling the class of 2019!!! Are you ready for one of the best parts of your upcoming senior year? It is almost senior picture season!! It is my favorite photography season and I can’t wait to meet the newest class of high school seniors.
Summer is coming and with that comes Senior Pictures. Senior Pictures are a huge investment and a big deal. Many parents have started asking me questions and are looking into how to begin the process. So I thought I would do a little series of blogs to help you navigate this process which can be confusing and difficult. I want to make it easier for you.
Over the next few weeks I am going to answer as many questions as I can to help you!
Today I am going to talk about how to choose a photographer. Of course I would LOVE to be considered for your senior pictures, but I realize that I am not the photographer for everyone. So in that light, here are the top 8 things you need to think about and ask yourself and your photographer before you book your session.
- Do you like their pictures? This is probably the most important question! It seems like it is easy but here are a few things to think about. Do you like dark and moody pictures? Then don’t choose a photographer that has light and airy images or visa versa. Check out their blog, website, Instagram and Facebook pages to see if you like their “style”. We did family pictures once with a photographer that was very well known and I loved the posing of her work. However, I didn’t pay too much attention to how she was editing (although she did change her style a bit right around the time we did our pictures) and the pictures turned out very dark and moody which isn’t my style AT ALL and I didn’t really like the pictures. I was sad that I had spent a lot of money for someone who was well published and had a lot buzz but I didn’t pay attention to the most important thing…..the look of the pictures. It wasn’t her fault, she did a great job but it just didn’t fit ME. So make sure your photographer fits YOU! (I am a light and airy photographer that loves classic and colorful photos. I do my best to get to know you and try to capture your true personality).
- The actual photographer: If you go with a big company you might not be able to choose your photographer. You might just get whoever is on the schedule that day. With a one (or two) person show, you know exactly who you are getting and you ensure that you get the exact look and feel you are going for. If you follow them on Instagram or Facebook you can get to “know” them ahead of time so it makes the session so much more comfortable and that comes through in the pictures. (I, Lisa, am the only photographer at LiLo photography so you are sure that what you see is what you get. Want to get to know me….follow me on Instagram @lilo_photography and be sure to check out my silly Instagram Stories).
- Location: Do they have a studio? Do you want the studio look with lights/flash and backdrops or do you prefer outdoors and natural light? Do they have a dedicated place they shoot? There are several photography companies in town that have an outdoor location at or near their studio. The only trouble with this is that often times the pictures can look very similar. If they are a big company and do hundreds of sessions, the sessions start to look the same. I had a client last year who told me that 5 girls from his school went with the same (big name…..expensive) studio and all five of them ended up with the same exact photo of them sitting in the same chair in the same field of grass. Is that what you want?? (Just FYI: I do all of my sessions on-location according to your preferences. I shoot all over Denver-although there is a travel fee if we are outside of Littleton- to make sure that your session is unique to you.)
- Reputation. Word of mouth is the best! Ask your friends, family members, Facebook or co-workers who they used. Did they have a good experience? What would they change? What did they like/dislike about the process? (Go to photolilo.com and check out the reviews or see the reviews on my Facebook page to see what my past clients have to say).
- Experience: How long has your photographer been in business? This isn’t always a deal breaker but experience does help. I have been doing this for 8 years now and I know SO much more than I did 4 or 5 years ago. That doesn’t mean that my work wasn’t good 4-5 years ago, but now I have more systems, contracts, experience, education, etc. working in my favor. Do they do it full time? Again, not a deal breaker as I did it part time for years!!! But it is just good to be informed about who you are doing business with.
- Price: What is included in the price? Do you get the digital images? Do you get any prints or products included in the price? Are you limited in your outfits or poses? Is there a time limit? Is there a travel fee? (My session fee is $400 and it includes a 90 minute session in the Littleton area—there is a travel fee if we go outside of Littleton. You can have unlimited outfits and posing and you can even bring a friend to get some BFF pictures. 5 Digital images are included which you will choose at your post session consultation. At the consultation I help you figure out what prints and products you need for family, friends and yourself.).
- Do they offer other services? Do they edit your photos? Do they only do Senior Photography or do they offer family (or other photography) photos as well? Sometimes it is nice to form a relationship with your photographer and then use them over and over for different occasions. So if they only do senior pictures then that might not be an option for you, but that might not necessarily be a deal breaker for you. (I am a full service photographer and I do everything from weddings and newborns to families and seniors…I LOVE it all!)
- What happens after your session? Do you get the photos on download and that is all? Does your photographer help you with ordering prints or help you figure out which one to choose for your yearbook photo? Trying to figure out what to do with your photos when you receive them can be overwhelming, even for me!! So having someone who can help you along in the process is important (I am with you every step of the way).
I hope you found this helpful and that you feel more prepared on how to choose your photographer. I am doing a special through May 31st of $50 off your session so be sure to take advantage of that. Also, if you refer a friend and they book with me, you get a Starbucks gift card. So tell your friends all about me!
Stay tuned next week to hear about when to plan your pictures both timing on the calendar and time of day.
If you are interested in finding out more about me or my senior picture experience visit my website or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to meet you!