Spring is a great time of year to get your High School Senior portraits taken. The flowers are in bloom, the grass is green and you have plenty of time before graduation. A Senior portrait session is really like your own personal photo shoot. Most folks only have a shoot like this once or twice in their lifetime so we've compiled a list of things we have learned over the years that will help you get the most out of your session. When you're ready, contact us to schedule your personalized, professional photo shoot.
Choosing Your Photographer
We, of course, recommend ourselves. In the event that you want to shop around (sniff), there are a few things to consider. First, meet with a photographer before you commit. Do you feel relaxed when you are around them? Do you feel like he or she listens to you and understands what you are after? Second, there's nothing wrong with asking for references or talking to people who have employed the photographer before. What was their experience like? Lastly, help your photographer understand the styles or perspectives that you like by showing him or her a few photos from the internet or a magazine. Since a "picture paints a thousand words" photo examples will often help the photographer quickly understand the outcome you desire.
Brainstorm with your photographer
Once you've chosen a photographer, take time to sit with her and talk about options - style, props, location and more. Brainstorm with her for a while. Then look through all the ideas you came up with and pick out your favorite ideas. Taking some time up front will make your shoot go more smoothly and ensure portraits that often exceed your expectations. Here's some suggested topics for your brainstorming session:
Choose a location that reflects your interests, personality or holds a special memory for you. For example, if you like to ride horses you may choose an equestrian center or a field wrapped in a rail fence. If you are into a particular sport you may want to be on the field or track where you won that trophy. Or if the outdoors are your thing there's nothing like a copse of hardwood trees with the sun streaming through the leaves at sunset. Since your photographer does this for a living she will undoubtedly have unique, local spots that will provide a great backdrop for your shoot.
If there is an object that reflects who you are or what you are into talk to your photographer about incorporating that into your portraits. Folks have included instruments, pets, sports gear and even cars (no airplanes yet). Think about what best reflects you in this stage of your life to ensure your portraits capture what makes you you.
Think like a model. Bring multiple outfits, various looks, styles or uniforms. Make sure a print is not so busy as to distract or conflict with the background. It's your shoot so vary it up a bit so you have different looks from which to choose. If you are shooting on location, make sure you plan ahead as to where you can change clothes.
Since you are graduating it won't be long until you are looking for a job or applying for schools or internships. You may want to ask your photographer to include a professional headshot with your shoot. A headshot can be used for your resume, profile pictures, applications and news articles.
Spend time and develop a relationship with your photographer. The more they know you, the better they will understand how to capture the real you. A meeting to plan the shoot will be well worth any additional time or expense when you see the final outcome.
Heather Sieck is the owner and lead photographer with Sieck Photography. She specializes in photographing infants, children and youth ages 18 and under. Contact Heather today for help planning out your personalized, on-location photo shoot.
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