Five Considerations When Interviewing Prospective High School Senior Photographers
Immortalizing your teenager in stunning Senior Picture photos has been a rite of passage for teens all over America for generations. In the modern world of camera phones and internet scammers, however, finding a trusted senior picture photographer can prove to be somewhat confusing and difficult.
Kelly Weaver Photography has been taking and showcasing stunning, fun, and exciting senior portrait pictures for nearly 15 years. While we, of course, would love to show you how Kelly Weaver Photography stands out above the other senior photographer white noise, we also find it imperative that your senior receive the best once-in-a-lifetime Senior Portrait they can – no matter where they get them done. So, when considering a prospective high school senior photographers, always be sure to check off these five elements to a quality senior photographer:
Consider if the photographer offers pre-defined packages, and when asking about what the packages include, you first must ask yourself what it is you want. Many photographers have “packages”, but do they include what YOU want? Do you want display items for your wall? Gift prints for friends and family? An album that includes a good majority of the images taken? Do you need graduation cards?
The right photographer for you is one that offers a package that fits with what you want to yield. Many higher caliber photographers offer an array of custom products you CAN’T get elsewhere (or at a consumer lab), ask to see the products they offer as that will help you differentiate them.
We’ve changed our tune about digital files, as we believe that every parent SHOULD get some of their favorite digital files, along with finished PRO printed portraits and products. Why? We received a call from a parent last week and she said that her son’s senior images were destroyed by a basement flood. Thankfully we still had the images and could reproduce her prints, but they were scheduled for deletion in only 3 days. Photographers can not keep the files forever and most delete their files after a few short weeks after purchase. Had we NOT had the digital files, her precious son’s senior pictures would have be gone forever. It’s important to get not ONLY some of your favorite RETOUCHED digital files for safe-keeping, but along WITH a professionally printed portrait or product from the photographer. Remember as a consumer, you can not get the quality of prints nor the products that a PRO lab can produce. So ask for BOTH a handful of your favorite retouched digital files as an insurance policy, AND ask the photographer what PRO prints and products they offer! Our “College” and “Album” senior photo packages are favorites because they offer both pro printed items AND retouched digital files.
Strike a Pose?
Consider not only how many poses you will have to select from, but how many POSES you will get included in your package (or as your takeaway). Oftentimes, photographers will LIMIT the number of poses you will yield because they don’t want to spend time retouching. You may find the package is VERY inexpensive but the catch is that you only get 1-3 poses and you’ll be stuck with a shoe-box full of the same pose (as in elementary school pictures…remember those envelopes?). Here are examples of packages…. The first includes only ONE POSE, the second TWO POSES, allowing you to split your prints up amongst 2 different poses…which would you choose?
Always ask the number of poses you will receive in your final package. For example:
“Package A:” $199, 8×10, 5×7, 8 wallets
“Package B: “ $299, 8×10, 2-5×7, 16 wallets
Considering Your Investment
Consider the investment you are making. Senior portraits happen once in a lifetime and are considered a life-changing experience (as are births, and weddings), so making an investment in portraits and products that you love is important. There are many “friends with a good camera” but many do not have experience with lighting, posing, and overall helping the senior to look their best. One thing you don’t want is a yearbook image that stands out and NOT in a good way. If you decide to have a “friend with a good camera” do the pictures, at least consider having a professional photographer get a killer yearbook shot…
Trust your Gut Connection
Consider your “gut feeling” when it comes to the CONNECTION you have with the photographer. Connection to the senior AND the parent is KEY to finding the right senior photographer for you…Ask how the photographer engages with the senior and brings out their personality. Also, ask how the photographer communicates with and updates the parents with information as the process unfolds. Is this photographer someone you would want to “hang out” with (if not, they’re not the one for you).