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.