Senior Photography – What Makes Senior Photos So Special?

So many emotions are associated with the senior year of high school, but the biggest two are happiness and excitement. During this brief moment of time, the entire world is at your feet, and the future that lies ahead is yours to plan. It’s also a time in your life when all eyes are on you, and the emotions of graduation and any post-high school plans, while seemingly unforgettable at the time, are simply brief moments that pass all too quickly. The best way to capture those fleeting moments is with a stunning set of senior photos, which preserve these memories for a lifetime. Just as the saying goes, a picture really does paint a thousand words.

At one time, the only option for senior portraits was a makeshift studio inside a high school gymnasium or some other static site that offered each student the same limited number of backdrops and accessories. Fortunately, that’s not the case for today’s generation of seniors, who have nearly unlimited options.

In fact, we’ve taken senior photos in settings ranging from wheat fields to cobblestone streets as well as with favorite possessions like guitars, trucks, and letter jackets. It’s your time, and it will pass in an instant. We want to help you remember every detail.

Some of the things that make your senior photos so special include:

• The Photographer – You’re no longer bound to a portrait company or photographer selected by your school. Do your research, check out everyone’s portfolio, and find a professional who matches your style. An expert will not only shoot and edit masterful photos but will also work with you to make your personality pop in the pictures.

• Clothing – Schools are now more open-minded when it comes to yearbook photos. Many no longer require you to submit senior photos limited to cheesy poses in a cap and gown. You can, and should, wear whatever makes you feel comfortable, whether the latest fashions or a traditional outfit, to create higher-quality senior photos.

• Location – I take photographs for my clients and students in a variety of settings—but not a studio. I use meaningful, significant places for the student and preselected locations that I know will help make you shine.

• Accessories – Today’s seniors enjoy a large number of extracurricular activities. You can reflect your hobbies and talents in your senior photos by including accessories. A student in a rock band might carry a guitar. A member of the football team might hold the game ball.

When you’re comfortable during your senior portrait session and are paired with a truly exceptional photographer, the result is superior photography. Gone are the forced smiles and awkward poses of your parents’ and grandparents’ senior portraits. Your senior photos will remind you not only of your senior year, but also of the specific locations, fashions, and accessories that help make your senior year such a special time.

The day when you have your senior photos taken is the only day, perhaps besides your wedding day, when you are the sole focus of the sitting. A senior portrait is as unique as your own DNA. Senior portraits are so special because they capture your best side in every photo and show off your individual qualities.



How To Choose The Right Photographer For Your Senior Pictures

Senior high school students have more options for their portraits than ever before. Past generations were limited to a few quick snapshots by a photographer or photography company selected by their school’s yearbook committee. Today’s seniors can not only choose who takes their portraits, but they can also select a unique setting and use the props and accessories they want to capture the essence of this once-in-a-lifetime memory.

It is important to choose the right photographer to commemorate this landmark event in your life. Whether you plan a serious look in a quiet setting or want to capture all the fun you’re having during your senior year, the right photographer can capture an expression of who you are as a person. You’re unique from the other seniors in your graduating class, so why shouldn’t your portraits reflect that? Here are some things to consider when choosing a photographer:

• Guarantee – Photographers who guarantee their work are more likely to have satisfied clients, whether they run a small business or work for a larger company. The photographer’s goal should be to give you the best senior portraits possible so that you are completely satisfied when you leave the session.

• Style – Take a look at the photographer’s portfolio. You should like his or her style. A good place to check out a photographer’s style is his or her social media page, like Facebook. You will not only see samples of the photographer’s work but also comments and feedback left by previous clients.

• Education and Experience – How long has the professional been taking pictures? It takes years of practice and hundreds of hours of training to take and edit professional photos. An expensive camera doesn’t make a good photographer.

• References – No matter how good a photographer is behind the camera, his or her people skills are just as important. In addition to asking for references up front, run a Google search for the photographer’s name. Check out social media pages and see how many likes he or she has on Facebook. Reviews from past clients can be quite revealing.

Doing a little extra homework to decide who takes your senior portraits is worth every bit of the effort. It can mean the difference between a photograph you will cherish and one you might hide from your children and grandchildren years from now. You deserve to have a lasting memory of this special time in your life, and senior portraits is one of the best ways to achieve that.



Making Senior Photos Pop With Accessories

You want your senior portraits to stand out from the rest. Really awesome senior photography is something you’ll be proud to share with your friends–and maybe inspire a little jealousy. Senior pictures are a lasting memory that will commemorate this special time in your life when one chapter ends and another begins. They’re more than pictures—they’re a visible record of one of the best times of your life. They should reflect your individuality by showing off you, your activities, and your interests. The best way to do this is through the use of accessories.

Personal items are essential to senior portraits. In fact, these accessories are as important as the outfit you wear, the setting you choose as the backdrop, and the photographer you select to take the portraits. They are the small details that will bring the pictures to life, allowing you to recall memories from this special time for years to come. Here are some things to consider when selecting accessories:

• Style – What’s your personal style? Make sure your accessories complement the style of your outfit. The last thing you want is a portrait that’s so busy with fashion and accessories that you are no longer the focal point. Choose one large personal item, or a few smaller ones, and select an outfit that will serve as a visually pleasing backdrop.

• Talent – Do you have a special talent? Perhaps you’re musically gifted with an instrument, or you play a sport. Items related to your talents are a wonderful way to add a personal touch to your senior portraits. They show off your uniqueness as an individual, which ensures that your portraits will stand out among the rest in your graduating class.

• Interests – What are your interests? Wearing a T-shirt or sports jersey that reflects your pastimes with regard to current trends is as much of an accessory as a skateboard, knitting project, or any other item related to your hobbies. With this in mind, the accessory might be a separate item or a piece of your wardrobe that you wear in the portraits.

• Activities – Do you belong to any clubs or participate in other extracurricular activities? A student body president might be photographed holding a gavel. A member of the drama club could choose to use a favorite theater prop in his or her senior pictures. The possibilities are endless. You can choose items that are as unique as your own DNA.

Being in front of the camera is intimidating for some high school seniors. Having the right accessories can mean the difference between feeling awkward and feeling comfortable, which is why it’s important to choose items that pair well with your outfit and background selections. The results will show up in how you look in your senior portraits, and you deserve to look amazing.

I’m always happy to consult with my seniors before the photography session begins—in fact, I insist on it.



Senior Photographers – Not All Are Created Equal

When it comes to scheduling your senior portraits, you want the best possible photographer. Anyone can capture your image, but the right photographer will be able to preserve the memory of this special time in your life. That’s why it’s important to know what separates one senior photographer from the next.

Past generations of graduating seniors were limited to using a single photographer selected by their high school. Many of today’s students choose for themselves who takes their senior portraits. They could use someone based on the recommendation of a friend, find someone from a social media network like Facebook, or stumble across the perfect match on the Internet. Here are some tips for separating the artists from the amateurs:

• Experience – Every photographer has to start somewhere—I did. Hiring one to take your senior portraits is no time to employ the services of a novice. Ask for referrals to ensure that the photographer you select has the experience necessary to give you portraits that you can proudly share with future generations.

• Tools – Instagram is a great example of some of the fascinating shots people can capture on a cellphone. Few of these are worthy of being a senior portrait, however. While the camera doesn’t make the photographer, a good photographer has the right equipment. Make sure you’ve selected one who understands the value of investing in the perfect equipment.

• Passion – The photographer you select should have the emotional skill to capture memories in photographs. Anyone can learn the technical skill required to take a portrait. Photographers who are passionate about their work will give it that extra something. This will ensure that your photos stand out from those of others members of your graduating class.

• Processing – Mastering post-processing can, and usually does, take many years. A good photographer will have access to and an array of photo-processing software that will offer you the best-quality materials for a price that will not eat into your college fund. Equally important is the quality of the printer. I’ve selected mine through an arduous process of trial and error.

When selecting a photographer, ask for an initial consultation to talk about the type of portraits you want. Ask to see a portfolio of their work along with references. This is especially important if you select someone you don’t know from an Internet search. Don’t be afraid to ask last year’s seniors or other friends and family members who they recommend as well. A good phone consult will also help you decide if it’s a good match.

During the consultation, if anything feels off, keep looking until you find the right photographer to capture photographic memories of your senior year of high school. Your senior year only happens once in a lifetime. You deserve senior portraits that commemorate this special milestone in your life.