As the parent of a senior, you probably have a million thoughts and questions racing through your head about the impending senior portrait. The first being, “How are we even here already!?”
Once you wrap your mind around that, you’ll quickly be wondering about all of the things on your senior-year checklist. The first item to cross off your list is probably going to be senior photos!
We sat down with Nicole, whose daughter is a senior this year! She had lots of great questions for us as she prepares her own senior for this exciting milestone. Hopefully this will help answer most of the questions you have as well!
HOW DO WE CHOOSE WHAT TO WEAR?
Ah, yes. The most popular question! We’re more than happy to help guide you through this process. Let’s just start by saying if you wear something you’re not comfortable in, it WILL show in your expression and that’s not what you want! We will always stand by the statement, “Wear what you love and just be YOU.”
We have a great resource on our blog giving more detailed information about how to choose your outfits and some important dos and don’ts. We also talk about where to change and how many outfits you should choose, so be sure to check it out!
One last thing: We have a few boards on Pinterest that we’ve created for outfit inspiration. Feel free to hop on over to our Senior Photo Outfits inspo board!
HOW MANY PHOTOS CAN I EXPECT FROM MY SESSION?
We typically deliver anywhere from 75-100 digitally edited photos! Of course, the amount greatly depends on the client and how much time we spend together. We’ll deliver your photos in an online gallery which will include all the digitally edited images from your session. We discard all images that are deemed “unusable” (such as blinking, blurry, or duplicates.) The images you receive are the ones we believe are the best of the best.
Clients can download the photos right through your online gallery! And all images in the gallery are theirs to keep. Within the gallery we also have the option to order prints in any size or style along with custom graduation announcements, all delivered right to your doorstep.
WHAT’S THE TURN-AROUND TIME?
We know you’re so excited to get your photos, and we do our absolute best to deliver them within 3-4 weeks. It all depends on our existing workload, especially if we’re in the thick of wedding season which does oftentimes overlap with senior portrait season.
WHAT FORMAT ARE IMAGES SHOT IN?
Parents, its probably been a while since you took your own senior photos. A LOT has changed since then! Gone are the days of sitting in a studio with a cheesy backdrop, huge flash, and picking up your prints in a big envelope.
Thank goodness for modern technology! Our images are shot digital, RAW, and in color. If you need, we can always convert a photo to black and white! We digitally edit your photos in our signature style and send them to you in high AND low-res JPEGs. We do not provide clients the original RAW images.
ARE PROPS A THING?
Definitely yes! But if you’re not sure what you’d like to bring, here are some ideas based on other senior sessions we’ve done:
- Letter jacket, jersey, or sport uniform
- College flag, shirt, or memorabilia to signify where you’re headed next year!
- Equipment (basketball, football, hockey stick, poms, ice skates, paddle board, fishing pole, baseball glove, golf bag, tennis racket….endless possibilities!)
- Your car
- Flowers or flower crowns
- Favorite book
- Coffee or mug
- Dog, cat, or even a horse (But let’s make sure the location allows furry friends!)
- Graduation cap, gown and sash
- Paint (yes, we’ve done this!)
SHOULD PARENTS COME ALONG?
It’s common for a family member to attend the photo session with their senior, but it’s not a requirement. We do ask for advanced notice if you plan to come alone so we can bring an assistant. It’s our policy that, as a female photographer, I’m never alone with someone of the opposite sex. (I’ll typically ask my husband to join us as my assistant in these cases.)
Along those same lines, we do request that your senior doesn’t bring friends and that parents don’t bring siblings. These added distractions not only prohibit us from capturing the most images, but can also sacrifice the quality of those images. Having friends present often causes clients to either “perform” or hold back because they’re embarrassed or nervous. Our goal is to make the session a time to celebrate the senior, and we’ll have the most success when we don’t have additional onlookers!
I will add however that we are happy to discuss your options for add-on best friend photos during your session.
HOW DO WE HANDLE OUTFIT CHANGES?
In most cases, we will try to find a bathroom for you to change in nearby. But in natural areas like the mountains and parks, we may need to look for more creative options. The first would be to make that outfit swap happen in the car! It’s a good idea to bring a large blanket so a family member can hold it up while you quickly change.
But speaking of Blankets, we’ve also had great luck wrapping a bed sheet around and creating a mock dressing room. This is much more efficient than going back and forth from our location to change in the car! It’s not glamorous, but it will help you make the most of your time in front of the camera.
Another way to make the most of your time is to arrive in your first outfit, completely ready, so we can begin taking photos right away!
We usually advise seniors to have 1-2 outfits for an hour-long session. If we’re shooting for two hours, you could have 3-5 outfits. In the end, the number is completely up to you! We love having a variety of outfits to choose from, but be aware that the more outfits you choose, the more time you’ll take away from your session to change.
One way to quickly change looks is to try layering with jackets, hats and other accessories so you can get multiple looks out of one.
DO I NEED PROFESSIONAL HAIR AND MAKEUP?
The short answer. YES. But why you ask? We work closely with some of THE BEST hair and makeup professionals in the area and they understand that in almost all lighting scenarios, clients can tend to look washed out in photos. For those of us who love to rock a natural look, the bright light can cause your eyes and facial features to get lost in images. And a little bit can go along way.
We recommend you meet with your HMU stylist at least an two hours before the session at a pre-arranged location of your choice. They’ll do your makeup according to your preferences, ensuring you look completely natural! This could include natural airbrush foundation, smudge-proof makeup, false lashes, and much more! We find their rates to be very affordable!
If you are someone who is prone to breakouts, this is one way we can speedup the retouching process after your shoot and possibly save you some money for any extensive editing that could be required.
Our stylists also have a great eye for matching clothing to skin tones, hair, and eye color. So if you’d like an extra opinion to help you decide on outfit options, a stylist is a great resource!
WHAT ABOUT RETOUCHING AND EDITING IMAGES?
Basic editing typically includes teeth whitening, basic blemish removal, and eye brightening. You can always request more advanced edits for an additional fee. This would include things like removing glares from glasses, stray hairs, extensive blemish removal and much more.
It always helps to bring a small mirror and anything you might need for touch-ups while we’re out and about. And don’t forget BUG SPRAY! Most sessions take place outside in the late afternoon or evening near tall grass and water. Speaking of water, it can get pretty warm while we’re shooting, so bring a bottle of water to stay hydrated!
If you are someone who tends to get overheated easily, bringing tissues to gently dab the face can help a ton. And if you’re getting professional makeup, make sure you mention this and they will apply smudge proof makeup and even add a makeup setting spray to help you out!
I think that just about covers it! We want your session to go as smoothly as possible, and be the most fun you’ve had all year!