You have finally made it! It's your senior year.
You have worked so hard to get to this point in your life.
I bet one thing you have been looking forward to is your senior portrait experience.
So I thought I'd put together a little list of tips for you on finding the perfect photographer for YOU!
1. Shop around - As much I would love to just say "PICK ME!", that wouldn't be fair to some of you. You really need to look around to find a photographer that suits YOUR needs. Ask your friends who they have had take their pictures. Ask about their experience with their photographer. Were they happy with their photographer? Did they have fun during their session? You will want to find a photographer that you can jive with personality wise. Having your pictures taken is such a personal thing, you really need to find someone that you connect with. Someone that is going to help you to feel completely comfortable in front of their camera, and will know how to bring out the very best of you for your pictures. You will want to find a photographer that you are very comfortable being yourself in front of. So when asking your friends for referrals, ask them if they were comfortable being themselves with their photographer.
2. Ask to see an entire session - Let's face it, everyone can take a great picture. I mean, if a person takes enough pictures, they will most likely get lucky and have at least a couple of images that are pretty good. But when you are choosing a professional photographer for your senior portraits, my advice is to find a photographer that can create an entire gallery full of beautiful images of you that will really tell the story of who YOU are. A photographer that knows how to pose you in the most flattering way, and a photographer that knows how to shoot in any lighting condition. Another benefit of this tip is that during your session, if you have done your homework and you already know that you have hired a photographer that is completely capable of creating beautiful images, you can be completely confident that you ARE going to have beautiful senior portraits. Which in turn will help you loosen up and enjoy the experience even more.
3. What do they offer? - You definitely want to find a photographer that offers the types of prints and products you are most interested in. Some photographers will only offer a digital download, no prints. Some photographers will only offer prints, but not digitals. Some will offer both. So be sure to look for a photographer that offers what you are interested in. If you aren't sure what you want, ask yourself what you plan to do with your senior pictures. Do you want to hang them on the wall in the form of a wall portrait? Do you want to have an album full of all of your images? Or would you like to have the digitals so that you can print your own portraits? Or any other number of endless possibilities...
I know many of you will probably want the ability to share your pictures online. And that's great. Make sure your photographer will give you the option to share your images with all your friends online. But you also have to remember that those online galleries on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat won't always be there. I would hate for you to have all of your senior pictures lost a few years down the road when these websites are no longer around. So while I definitely want you to be able to share online if you want to, I also want to remind you to think beyond that and realize that you will probably also want to have your images in print for future use.
4.What are others says? - Check out the testimonials from other clients. A great way to find out what it will truly be like to work with a photographer you are considering, is to read testimonials that their previous clients have written. So check out the photographers website, Instagram, Facebook, blog, etc... for testimonials. Is what others are saying sound like something that you want to be a part of?
5. Do you love their pictures? - Another important point is do you love their pictures. In all reality, their pictures are probably what drew you to the photographer in the first place. But when you ask your friends about their photographers, they may tell you about someone you hadn't heard of before. So you quickly go to IG to check out their work, only to discover that the photographer totally does not match your style. Maybe the photographer shoots dark dramatic black and white photography, and your style is more light and colorful. Or maybe the photographer shoots everything very bright and vibrant, and you really love muted soft tones. Whatever the case may be, be sure to find someone whose style you love. It's a really bad idea to hire a photographer who has a portfolio full of bright colorful imagery and expect them to create an entire gallery of black and white portraits for you. Most photographers have a style that they are passionate about and are very good at. Asking them to shoot something completely different may not go very well.
6. Get your parents involved - While you are looking for a photographer that you really love, run it by your parents. After all, they will want a say in the style of photography that they will want to hang in their home. They are going to want their son or daughter working with a reputable photographer that they feel safe having around their children. And most likely, they are the ones paying for the session and portraits. So definitely get them involved in the process and get their opinions as well.
So there you have it. 6 tips for finding the perfect senior photographer for you!
I hope you found them helpful.
Have you already had your senior portraits taken? Do you have other tips that you could share with a person searching for their senior photographer? Please do so in the comments.
Billie is a high school senior photographer in Hendersonville, NC. She shoots in a vibrant & colorful style that is trendy, but that will also stand the test of time. Billie always makes sure to shoot images during her senior portrait sessions that the senior will love, while also making sure to capture the classic portraits that the parents & grandparents will treasure. She provides a wide variety of heirloom quality prints and products that can be passed down through the generations, and also provides tech savvy ways to share your beautiful senior portraits with all your friends and family.