Graduation is one of the biggest turning points for most people’s lives. It marks significant transition points, such as between childhood and adulthood, or student and the workforce. It represents the nostalgia of memories from a chapter of a person’s story that is ending, as well as the exciting hopes of dreams yet to be pursued and fulfilled. It is a celebration of what has been accomplished and what is yet to come.
Whether you are a high school senior or about to finish college, Senior Portraits are one of the best ways to celebrate where you have been as well as where you are heading. It is a chance to make a statement about what makes you uniquely you. Lets face it, high school is all about experimentation, and college is all about creating an identity based on the conclusions people make in high school. Personalized Senior Portrait Sessions are designed to celebrate what you are all about, are a great way to remember this exciting time in any graduate’s life, and a fun way to share their accomplishment with loves ones.
Here are some tips to achieving a remarkable experience from your Senior Portraits:
1. You have the right to be involved in the selection of your photographer. Don’t settle for the contract photography companies many schools partner with, without doing your research first. Though a specific company may be required for yearbook photos, you deserve a quality portrait session that celebrates your individuality. Do you really want your only senior portrait to be the one that everyone else in your class had? This doesn’t mean automatically disqualifying school contract companies, but it is worth it to do your research. Take the time to find out if the school’s company can offer additional customized portraits, but it is also a good idea to look outside the prescribed box for your additional customized photographs. When I graduated high school I went for the typical contract photography because I thought that was my only object. By the time I found out I had options that could really capture who I am as an individual, it was too late. I would say, Yes: At the very least get the minimum yearbook portrait. But I would also advise, Yes: Take the time to shop around for customized portraits. You won’t regret it!
2. Don’t get distracted by the price tag. In some cases you get what you pay for, and in others you don’t. You can find a photographer for every budget, but keep in mind that paying a lot does not guarantee amazing pictures, but paying too little also has its risks. Quality just as important as Price Tag when it comes to photography, if not more. My advice is to look at what a photographer has to offer, what kind of reviews they have, and whether or not you like what you see of their portfolio, especially their Senior Portrait Samples, and then consider pricing. You should be able to find an affordable photographer but make sure you are still getting the quality you deserve. Other good features to look for include professional retouching, and additional products like custom wallets, personalized albums, announcements & Senior Party invitations, calendars, DVD Montages, framed and mounted prints.
3. Have fun and get creative with your outfits and props. Clothes should make you stand out and focus on you as an individual. Plan on bring in a couple of different outfits to increase your options, such as casual and formal, skirts, dresses, jeans, shorts, hats, sports uniforms. The best looking outfits for great photos will vary depending on where your pictures are taken. Try to stick with the same color family: Cool, Warm, Pastel, or Primary. Sometimes industrial shots on simple textured walls look good with more interesting patters. A pose in the middle of a field with a lot of detail in the background will look best with more solid colored outfits. Develop a game plan with your photographer to decide on your shoot’s location and they should be able to advise you on what would be appropriate for that backdrop. Props are a lot of fun as well and can really bring an image to life, as long as you don’t overdo it.
4. Avoid procrastination. Try and book sessions during the semester before an individual graduates if possible to allow plenty of time to apply the neccessary TLC to shoot, retouch, and complete all the products involved. A graduate’s last semester can be extremely hectic as it is. The last thing you want is to have to worry about getting your portrait session done in time.
5. Get it in writing. Always, always sign a detailed contract with your photographer to be clear on expectations and prices. This is to protect all parties involved and will make the experience much better.
6. Be open to trying new things. New trend such as Group sessions are often available to have portraits of you and your best friends to remember this time before everyone spreads out across the country. These can be very meaningful and precious souvenirs of this chapter of a graduate’s life, by focusing on the very important area of friendships. You may be able to get a good rate by doing portraits as a group.
7. Get lots of sleep the night before. If you are sleep-deprived it will show in your pictures.
8. Relax and have fun. By the time you get to your shoot you should be able to take a deep breath and really enjoy the ride. A good photographer will lead you and help you get the most natural looking poses and smiles. You shouldn’t have to worry because a good photographer will have the experience and tools to make you look amazing.