A few tips for great Senior Portraits
A few tips for great Senior Portraits
Summer is coming to an end, or at least summer vacation is for most of the incoming class of 2014 and that can only mean one thing. It’s time to have your senior portraits made! Awesome, right? Senior portraits have come a long way over the years, gone are the big hair and prom dress formal pictures your mom and dad had in the 80’s. You know what I’m talking about, the studio picture with your mom’s reflection in a mirror or maybe your dad leaning against a huge white 1991 prop on a plain white background that looks like it was taken at Sears. What was that about?
Today’s seniors (You) don’t want the same old cookie cutter yearbook style pictures everyone else has. You want something different, pictures that are original and reflect your personality and style. You want awesome senior pictures! With that in mind here are a few tips to make sure you have the best senior portraits possible, tips for great senior portraits if you will.
Do a little window shopping.
I think it’s important that you look at a lot of images from a number of different photographers. Remember that choosing a photographer for your senior portraits isn’t like shopping for a chainsaw where you can find the exact same chainsaw at different stores for different prices. Photography is an art form and photographers are artists and each one of us creates a much different product. Be sure to find a photographer with a style you really like and look at as many sample images as possible.
The photographer’s website is a perfect place to start but don’t forget to check out their blog, Facebook, Google Plus and Pintrest pages too as these are usually updated more often and can give you an idea of the images the he/she is making from session-to-session. Think of blogs and social media pages as a small underground club where your favorite band tries out their newest stuff where as a website is a greatest hits album.
Schedule a consultation.
After you’ve found a photographer with a strong portfolio of killer images that matches the style you’d like to have for your session you should ask for a consultation. Consultations are an important part of the portrait process and something I do with each of my senior clients. Consultations are important for a number of reasons as it gives you a chance to see actual large print samples and some of the other great products we offer in addition to giving you all the information you need regarding awesome shooting locations, clothing, pricing, referral programs and more.
Most importantly however the consultation allows us an opportunity to get to know each other a little bit prior to working together. I feel it’s important to have a good repoire with your photographer, being around someone you get along with and feel comfortable with makes it much easier to be yourself during your session and this comfort will certainly show in your pictures. It’s during the consultation that we’ll discuss some of the things you’re interested in, sports you may play or we’ll even chat about your car so I can start to design a senior portrait session to fit you perfectly.
You may notice that many, if not most, photographers don’t do consultations, especially for senior portrait as it’s usually all about how many session can be shot in a day and consultations are viewed as a waste of time. I think this is a disservice to both you and them. If they don’t offer a consultation don’t be afraid to ask for one. If they still don’t want to schedule a consultation even after asking for one it may be a indication that you haven’t found the right photographer for you just yet.
Besides picking the photographer to create your senior portraits the clothes you bring to the session will be your most important decision. I think this is perhaps the most important part of any consultation and one area that I really focus on. You want to make sure your clothing captures you and who you are but also fits well with the look and feel of the location in which your pictures will be taken. For instance an off white flowing vintage style dress with boots is great for a session in tall dry grass but doesn’t fit as well on the beach. Also pay close attention to the colors and patterns your outfits have as the eye is drawn to certain tones and textures, choosing the wrong tone or pattern and guess what the first thing people will notice in your pictures? It won’t be you, it will be that bright pink shirt or white shoes. Remember to bring a nice selection of outfits in multiple styles. I suggest bringing 7-10 outfits of different styles, we may not use them all but at least we’ll have a lot of different “looks” to try. I always encourage my clients to keep an open line of communication and to ask me about anything they’re unsure of. If you’re debating what may or may not look good give me a call, I’m always happy to help you look your best and I bet any other photographer is as well.
Accessories and Props
I love accessories of all sorts, belts, hats, jewelry, vintage headbands, whatever fits your style bring it along. Finding the right accessory for your outfits adds an extra layer of visual interest to your images and goes a long way to separate you from the pack.
The same is true with props or “me” stuff as I sometimes call it. “Me” stuff can be anything from sports gear, bikes, cars, motorcycles, letterman jackets, trophies and even pets. Anything that helps to tell the story about you at this unique point in your life is perfect “Me” stuff and helps to make your session uniquely you.
Most importantly have fun and enjoy your senior portrait session, you never know this may be the start of a modeling career!
Are you graduating or know someone who is and are looking for more than your typical boring senior pictures? Then you’ve come to the right place. Give me a call today 209.541.1815 or send an email to schedule your senior consultation.