So 'tis the season for senior portraits! #celebrate with an amazing portrait session. But first... Why not give you some tips! :) Lets start off simple.
Find your style. Everybody has a specific taste in what they like, so don't short yourself! I myself like to be well-rounded in style and very versatile for you. But some photographers stick to one type of look. So talk to them. Figure out what you like and what they do. Pull out that handy Pinterest too. I keep bringing it up but it's easier than trying to describe something when you can show a visual. Don't always go with what your friends do to. Change it up! Be #creative.
I'd say next on the list, get to know the photographer. The better acquainted you are to each other, the more comfortable you'll be. I've worked with some families that've done it so quick that we didn't have much time to talk and it can be a bit uncomfortable for them in the beginning, but they warmed up after a while. Getting comfy also helps the photos look amazing! Because you're happy. Just the a few days ago I had a couple I was photographing (in studio) that were having a great time! We talked and made it a great experience for them. They also said because I was smiling and they knew I loved what I do made it easier for them to get comfortable. So look for that in your photographer. Now there are days where things just aren't going my way, but I still thrive to smile. For that exact reason. It helps!
Number 3, as I always like to suggest, credentials! Check out their technic and skills. Don't forget that PPA accreditation. Because PPA has high standards and require high quality work, thats one of the best things to find out. It gives the photographer a strong back bone to surround with their work. It shows their desire to strive to be the best.
Always remember to ask about retouching. See what they do and/or don't do. I personally like to do as little as possible. Fix a hair out of place, soften the skin, etc. If there's something you have to have done, let them know. It doesn't hurt and being honest to what you want will make the process so much easier. You'll get what you want! And thats important!
Oh the next one is very helpful for any service. Reviews! Check them out because people are honest (sometimes brutally lol). A gentleman named Mark Ellwood was on the Today Show a few days ago and said the best advice ever. "Read reviews from the bottom up." He said because people like to be polite and tend to write reviews starting wit hall the positives. He also said that the last couple of sentences will probably flag things that you could ask about. I found that mind-blowing! I've just never thought of it like that. So keep that in mind. Not just with your photographer but hotels, restaurants, and more!
Alright, the next can be bit of a tough one. Look at their use of lighting. You can tell when a photo is overexposed or under. The difference between too much and dull. Even in natural settings, a great photographer will know how to manipulate the lighting. Take a look at how the photos "feel". If for some reason you just have this feeling its not good, you may not like the outcome. Most photographers find what works for them and stick to it. So take a look at their portfolio closely. If you fall in love with the photos, go for it! But don't stick yourself with someone you're not confident in.
Here's an easy one. Look natural. Most of the time, seniors don't want to feel overposed. A good photographer will give you simple instructions and shouldn't make you look stiff. So remember to relax, listen to their direction and just be happy. If you feel they are too cookie cutter, they may not be for you. A good variety is the way to go.
On to number 8! Check out what they offer. From albums to wall portraits. Get a good feel for what they do. Tell them what you want and they'll tell you what will work or won't work. Ask to see a whole shoot. That will give you a great look into their sessions and not just the best they've chosen.
Make sure you involve your parents. This means as much to them as it does you. Their little baby is growing up! So get them involved in the process. They will also have a better feel for budgeting and planning. It's a big milestone in both of your lives. So cherish the time and experience together!
Lastly, get a budget. Figure out what you'd like to spend on your session and prints. Decide if you want albums, wall portraits, wallets, etc. Most photographers have specials just for seniors because they're great gifts! And the more wallets the better! You can write little notes and give them to friends at school and grandparents, etc. But be sure you have a little idea of what you'd like and what to spend. Talk to the photographer. They will work with you and give you exactly what you want. Like I said, look for those deals!
The most important thing of all is something sometimes forgotten. Have fun! You're almost out of high school! On your way to greatness and this is just an amazing keepsake to remember how much you've grown. Good luck and congrats!!
Peace & Love