Your senior photo session is one of the many activities you will be involved in during your final year in high school. In most cases, seniors schedule their sessions during the summer right before their senior year. However, that is NOT a hard and fast rule, especially if you live in a hot and humid location like Georgia. If this is the first professional photo session you’re arranging, the 8 tips below will help you feel more at ease.
You DO NOT have to book a full session with CADY Studios.
Yes, it is correct that you are required to head to their studio to have your drape/tux photo taken for the yearbook. That day, they will also take your cap and gown photo. Unfortunately, you won’t see that cap and gown shot until just before graduation. That said, you only need to book the bare minimum with their studio so as to meet the yearbook and cap and gown requirement. From there? Why from there you can choose ANY photographer you like. It is likely, however, that your yearbook committee will not accept a drape/tux photo from a private photographer, but you may want to check with them beforehand just in case.
The earlier the better.
Most senior portrait sessions take place between March and October. Keep in mind, this is a busy time so the sooner you can schedule a slot with the photographer of your choice, the better. Many parents schedule their sessions 6 – 8 months in advance to ensure they can book their ideal photographer. If you play a sport or two, remember that you’re going to need to work around that schedule as well.
Location ideas are optional.
If you have a location in mind for your senior session, that’s perfect! However, you don’t need to know where you want to take your photos, your photographer can absolutely help with that. Let’s say you’d like an urban vibe, photographers can give you loads of ideas on where to have the session. They can also pull a little bit more information out of you and give you exactly what you have in mind. Many photographers, like myself, provide in-person consultations for this exact reason.
Plan those outfits.
You should definitely know what you’re going to wear ahead of time. It’s also best to have at least 2-3 outfits lined up. Some senior photo sessions allow for more than one outfit so bring several along. Also, this isn’t the time to try an outfit you’ve never worn before. Make sure, before the shoot, that you’re comfortable with what you’re going to wear. Please, please, pretty please don’t wait until the morning of the session to try on your clothing. Be sure to do that well in advance of the session date. For some ideas on what to wear, click here for my Pinterest board.
Professional hair and make up are NOT necessary.
While professional hair and makeup can enhance your senior portrait session, there is no need to pay for those services. Besides, chances are you know exactly how you like your hair and makeup and sometimes the expectations of others leave us feeling, and looking, very much unlike our true selves.
Props can be used.
You are more than welcome to use props during your session. In fact, it’s encouraged! For example, if you play football, it only makes sense to have a football in some of the shots. You likely would want to have a new football, rather than an old muddy one. If you’re a violinist? Bring your violin! These photos are a representation of YOU and if props help with that, by all means, bring them along.
It’s okay for parents to come along.
In fact, I encourage it! This is likely your last professional photo session before your wedding and your parents will surely want to be with you. It’s a fun and laid-back time with parents and seniors and results in new memories made. Of course, friends and siblings can come along, too, but oftentimes it’s less stress to “perform” if they don’t. For all of my senior sessions, I make sure to get a photo of mom or dad with their senior so let them know to have their best smile ready, too!
Bad weather may result in rescheduling.
If the weather turns bad on the day of your session, you’ll probably need to reschedule. Unfortunately, this is completely out of your photographer’s control. However, we always account for rain days and leave space in our calendars for just that. Keep in mind, your photographer will cancel if it’s needed. Some contracts state that sessions canceled by the client result in a fee so be sure to go with your photographer’s lead on weather cancellations. If you need help deciding when the best time to reserve a session, just head over to this post.
Following your session, some photographers may provide a series of digital files that you can share and print as you like. This, of course, is all dependent upon the package or type of session you’ve chosen. Your photographer can assist you with professional prints, too, if you would prefer or if you have special prints in mind. Some photographers offer only digital downloads with their session fee, some offer digital and print packages, while session fees of other photographers include only the shoot itself with prints and products sold separately. Be sure to also keep this in mind when choosing your senior photographer.
I hope these 8 tips help you in deciding on the best senior portrait photographer. If you’d like to schedule a session with me, just shoot me a message through the contact page. If you’d like a list of other senior photographers in the North Fulton area, I’m happy to help with that as well.