April 26, 2019
I’ve had this post in the back of my mind for a couple days now and decided it’s time to write a new blog post anyway. So here’s my top nine tips to help choose your perfect senior photographer + a free senior session checklist!
- Location, location, location!
So, why is location important?? Wellll because you don’t want to be having the best urban style outfit and be shooting out in the country, it just wouldn’t work. So, make sure your photographer has various location options. Your photographer should be working alongside you in styling your session and guiding you to the best locations for the outfit, and some (more detailed in the experience paragraph).
- Shooting styles are important too!
By looking at their social media and website, do you get a general feel for their shooting style? Are their images mostly bright and colorful, or feature golden glowing sun? Are they light and airy, or dark and moody type of images? Just make sure their shooting style is what you like to see because if you don’t like it, chances are you won’t love your senior photographs and that makes me sad! We want you to love them and at the end of the day, this is all about YOU! So doing what makes you happy is what makes your photographer happy!
- Consistency is key..
Are they consistent? Social media is great, but is generally highly curated and is only showcasing the best of the best. Make sure you are looking for a client gallery being showcased, whether it is on their Facebook page, a scrolling series on Instagram, or a blog on their website. Look at all their social outlets for posing consistency and editing consistency.
- Experience – does it make you feel excited and taken care of or doubtful?
What is your photographer providing to you to make sure you are getting the best experience? Do they have a style guide for outfit inspiration? A what-to-expect posing guide? Do they have a hair and makeup team on board? What about styling assistance? Have they even asked what your vision is or listened to you? Are they going above and beyond or are they just taking your money and calling it good? Like I said earlier, this is all about YOU and I believe photographers should listen to their client and work together to give you the best experience and to make sure you love your images. Again, this is all about you and you should feel like a QUEEN.
- Editing, is it plastic or real?
Have you seen before and after edits of their work? I believe fully in only doing minor adjustments and not turning your face into something it isn’t. Your senior photographs are to serve as a reminder of who you are right now, not be made into the perfectly smoothed models we see every day on magazine covers. Those girls don’t really look like that – they have skin texture just like yours and mine.
6. Do they offer printed product?
Another bonus for the experience they are offering should be heirloom products. You don’t go through all this prep for your senior photos to let your photos get lost on a flash drive. You deserve a SHRINE! You deserve top of the line invitations, heirloom quality prints that will last a super long time to look at when you get older. Photos are truly the only way to preserve memories. You won’t be documented like you are in your senior year for a long time so “Go big or go home!”
7. Kind Words
Just do a quick check and make sure their reviews match up to what they are telling you. They should have reviews on their Facebook and their website at least for you to see. It is not uncommon to have good reviews on their Google listing as well, but the most common places you should look is Facebook and their website, but really mostly Facebook because a review cannot be taken down. Look at how they are responding to comments on their page, how quick do they respond to messages on Facebook, and how positive are their reviews?
Are they legitimate business owners? Do they have business insurance, a sales tax license, and a contract? Don’t be afraid to ask them for this information and double-check them out! Think of this as you being the CEO to a company and it’s your job to hire a new employee: you wouldn’t hire someone that is illegal and isn’t qualified for the job so don’t feel bad fully vetting your photographer. And girl, if they don’t have a contract run as far away as you can! That contract may seem scary with all the legal jargon, but it is an outline of what you are getting from your photographer and what you should expect from your photographer. It is there for your protection. I’ve heard too many horror stories of clients being burned by photographers without contracts and not getting what they were promised
9. Don’t wait until the last minute to book!
Seriously, don’t wait to book. When a photographer is good and well-established, they are fully booked 6+ months in advance and won’t be able to fit you into their crazy schedule at the last minute. That makes everyone sad and we don’t want you sad during your senior year!
10. Want that free senior session checklist?
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