Senior photos are such an important part of your senior year experience! Choosing the RIGHT photographer is more important than ever. Especially nowadays… when I was a senior, I chose my photographer because he did my boyfriend’s photos, and some other friends of mine as well. Word of mouth really is powerful! However, the internet has come a long way since then (yes, there was internet when I graduated high school in 2004 ;) ).
Photography has gone through a huge evolution in those years as well. Digital photography has opened up a whole new world - so many photographers, each with their own unique style and offerings, some even with unique expertise. You now have the capability to choose someone who really fits YOU - your style, your aesthetic, even down to personality. Taking the time to find the right person is important - even if you love your friends’ photos, that person may not be the best fit for YOU!
What is your family’s budget?
This is an important first step in choosing a photographer. It would be so disappointing to find someone you love and get your hopes up only to have your parents say that person is out of reach financially. When posting on social media to search, don’t be afraid to share your budget. There are photographers out there for everyone and it saves both you and the photographer time when this is established right away.
Helpful tip: if a photographer doesn’t share their pricing on their website, they tend to be higher-end. A quick email to the photographer via their inquiry page should get you the pricing information, just expect it to be on the higher end.
Tip for Seniors: find someone you love but out of reach for mom and dad? Be willing to pay for part or all of your session to land the photographer of your dreams! Another good reason to plan ahead for your senior photos!
What is your style/vibe?
It makes sense to find a photographer to match. If you like dark colors, then a “moody” photographer would be a great fit (this means they edit their photos with more subdued tones and typically choose darker backgrounds). Conversely, if you like to wear white, light colors, or neutrals, a “light and airy” photographer would be a perfect fit. Light and airy photographers usually try to have a lot of open sky behind you and edit things brighter with less contrast. If you love bright, bold colors, a vibrant/true-to-life photographer would be a good fit.
You may not even be sure what you like yet - get on instagram and start looking at local photographers’ pages and see what sticks out to you!
Tip for seniors: Pay attention to what people are wearing in the photos that you really love! Chances are, the colors and styles they are wearing match that particular editing style well and are a good guide for choosing your own outfit(s)!
You can usually get a feel for a photographer’s personality through their website and their communication with you. Always read the photographer’s “about” page, and if you love their work but still aren’t sure, feel free to ask the photographer to talk on the phone or get on zoom for a brief meeting. You want your senior to connect with and feel comfortable with the photographer so he/she can relax, give genuine smiles,
Choose someone experienced with senior photos
Unless you are willing to take a chance on a photographer with less experience to save some money, I highly recommend choosing someone who is experienced in senior photography. Not all photography is the same! Posing families and newborns is very different from posing and interacting with high school seniors. You should be able to view examples of the photographer’s work on their website and/or social media, and you should look for consistency among different sessions .
There are so many options for photographers these days, and knowing where to start can be so overwhelming! Focus on the above FIRST. Don’t worry about location, outfits, or any other details until you find a photographer you can trust whose style you like. The right photographer will help you with all of these details to take the pressure off and make the senior photo experience fun and enjoyable rather than stressful!!
If you'd like to chat with a photographer who cares about giving you the senior session of your dreams, click here to get in touch!