March 10, 2018

HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR SENIOR PHOTOGRAPHER: THINGS TO CONSIDER.

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Heather Allred Photography serves clients from North Eastern PA to D.C.
. Baltimore . Perry Hall . Towson . Germantown . OCMD . Hampton . Scranton . 

Heather Allred Photography serves clients from North Eastern PA to D.C.
. Baltimore . Perry Hall . Towson . Germantown . OCMD . Hampton . Scranton . Old Forge .

I remember when I was a High School Senior. Looking back, it was probably one of my favorite times. When picture time came around I was pretty excited.  I had a choice between two photographers, yes only TWO. I made my decision based on my perception of his popularity. See, one photographer had an arrangement with my high school and he would post wallet size prints of all of the Seniors he photographed in the main lobby (not how we do today, online. He literally posted a frame on the wall at school.) I chose the other guy.

I didn't do any research but it was different back then anyhow. At least where I was. Everyone basically got the same kinds of pictures.

I didn't feel like I was important to this photographer, and maybe I wasn't truly but as a paying customer I feel that the experience should have been made special in every way. Maybe that was partly my fault... Who knows, that was like three years ago --- JUST KIDDING! 

Anyhow, I want to write a list of things I think are important to consider when choosing the High School Senior Photographer that is right for you. As someone who was once a High School Senior who was not happy with her own photos and as now a High School Senior Photographer who wants to give you what she never had.

Glory Days

Love

1.) First and foremost, you have to LOVE their style of photography. All too often other photographer friends of mine have unhappy clients who are unhappy because they don't like key aspects of that photographer's style in their portraits, even if they are gorgeous. It's a shame because then both parties are unhappy. My advice is to look at the photographer's work and note what you like and don't like so you can compare your choices. You will be shot the very same way as is depicted in their portfolios. 

Connection

2.) Connection. Don't be afraid to chat with your prospective photographer. I love connecting with my Seniors and that makes for a very fluid and easy shoot with lots of natural smiles! You want a photographer who invests in you as much as you are about to invest in them. Also, consider asking your friends and family - word-of-mouth is an amazing resource in itself.

Budget

3.) Budget. Some people place more value on portraiture than others. That is totally okay! My perspective may be different than many others. In my humble opinion, these photos will be referenced throughout the rest of your life. In my experience of having some pretty awful Senior Photos that are in hiding and won't make their way back into the light of day any time soon- I don't want you to feel that way about your Senior Photos. I want you to be showing them off for a million years. Sometimes this means making more of a financial investment, sometimes it doesn't. Trick is to do your research so you can find a photographer that is going to shoot you the way you want to be seen and at the same time fits your family's budget. I consider it an investment, but that's me. I am also "that mom" that collects every item created by or including their child...

Products

4.) Products. Some photographer's give you all of your images, unedited, on a thumb drive. That sounds good for some. Some photographers will give you a certain number of photos to choose from a small collection. Others will give you about 50 fully finished images to pick from in a variety of packages that include various print products. The question you should ask yourself is what do you want? When you're scouting photographers look at their products, many post about their products and maybe some don't. If they don't have it on their website anywhere you should send them a message and ask. This is something that should also be considered by mom and dad because often times these prints are the ones shared with grandma and grandpa and the rest of the family, you'll need copies!

Experience

5.) The Experience. Research what a session with each photographer will include. Your Senior Year is the icing on your cake! Go out with a bang! Does the photographer offer professional hair and make-up, different locations, outfits, a fashion consultation, concept shoots, destination shoots, extra options, studio sessions...? Think about what you want to do with your session and how you want to feel during your time with the photographer. Does the photographer let you bring friends to your shoot? Do they offer customized graduation announcements and graduation cards; you're going to need those anyhow.

This is a big decision

I want my High School Seniors to feel amazing when we are through. I want them to be proud to have mom and dad hang their canvas on the wall. I want them to feel like royalty as they show off their luxe crystal USB drive and their photo-box that was customized especially for them that holds 30 of their most favorite images from the various locations of their shoot in different outfits on 5x7 mat-board. I want them to feel amazing knowing that they have the most unique session that was 200% completely tailored to them. 

Heather Allred