Congratulations are in order!
eeeessskk! What an exciting time it is for you! Whether you are graduating from high school, college, or getting your master's degree, this is such a monumental moment in your life that should be celebrated and documented. When it comes to getting prepared to capture some awesome photos to commemorate your achievements, there are several things to keep in mind:
- Who do I want to take these photos for me?
- Where do I want to take these photos?
- What should I wear?
- What or Who should I bring with me?
- What do I want to use these photos for?
These are just some basic questions to tackle when getting ready to schedule a senior session, and don't worry we're going to go through each of them together. So grab your cup of coffee, and let's dive in!
1. Choosing a Photographer
When you are choosing someone to capture your senior photos, let's keep these three things in mind: style, budget and communication. Do you like their photography and editing style? The best way to see if their style is a good fit is to check out their portfolio. Most photographers will have a portfolio of their work on their website, or you can view their work through their Instagram or Facebook page. The next thing to think about is budget - how much are you wanting to spend on these photos? If you have found a photographer that you think may be a good fit for you, inquire with them about pricing, or see if they have pricing available on their website. Lastly, and I think most importantly, communicate with your photographer before the session. Make sure that you are comfortable talking with this person, because you may be spending a few hours with them during your session! Are they responsive? Do they answer your questions and help ease any stresses you may have? It is so important that you have a fun experience with your photographer during your session, and the photos always turn out the best when you are genuinely having a good time!
2. Choosing a Location
For a senior session, I try to always get a feel from my clients on what is important to you. What buildings did you take all of your favorite classes in, where on campus do you remember one of your favorite moments from, or what makes you remember this campus the most? In this way it will get you thinking about what places are most important to you, and what places had the most impact on you during this journey.
It's always a great idea to try something new, and unique to you as well! Do you love art? Awesome! Let's get some shots downtown by the painted murals. These photos will be with you forever, and what a better way to capture YOU in time than by creating photos that speak to what made you, you!
3. Choosing Your Outfits
SO MUCH FUN! Through my years as a photographer, I have seen many of my clients who stress and stress over what to wear for their photos. My best advice would be to just have fun with it! Wear something that you feel comfortable and confident in, and that makes you feel GOOD. The next thing to keep in mind is that it's always a great idea to choose your location prior to choosing your outfits, this way you'll be able to have a picture in mind what outfit may look like in a particular setting. As I'll always say neutrals photograph the best, this is your senior session - So if you want to have some fun with color and patterns, go for it!
Lots of my clients enjoy having a more casual outfit for part of their session - whether it be your university or high school t-shirt, your sorority letter shirt, or just a cute jeans and top moment! You have the opportunity to help tell your story through your clothes, so this is a great idea for showcasing what you loved about your time in school. My senior sessions offer up to three outfits, so we may do a casual outfit and two dresses, or a fun jumpsuit or romper. Your photographer is there to help you through this process, so if you are unsure about what to wear - chat with them about it! Check out the photos below to see what one of my college senior clients wore for her senior session in May.
Keeping it Casual
Gracie chose to wear her university tee, denim and sneaks for the first part of her session. This was really fun to get some shots around campus being that student life was a big part of her time in college!
Classy and Cute
For the second half of the session, Gracie switched into this all white asymmetrical romper with matching white heels. This outfit was so fun and made some gorgeous photos during golden hour. We also shot all of her cap and gown, and champagne pop photos in this outfit as well.
4. Who to Bring Along
Going into my 4th year as a senior portrait photographer, I have found it's always helpful to have another set of hands to hold your cap and gown, books, touch up items and all the things as well as someone to have a second set of eyes to catch flyaways, bra straps, or anything your photographer might not catch when he/she is behind the camera. I've also had clients to bring several friends or family members as their personal "hype team", which can be really fun as well. At the end of the day, you don't have to bring anyone if you don't want to - this session is for you and you do what will make you most comfortable!
5. Using Your Photos
So, you spent a whole afternoon preparing for this shoot, you get all of your beautiful images back ...... now what? If you are sending out graduation announcements or invitations to send to your friends and family - these photos are a great addition to the cards to make them completely personal as well as a way for you to hold onto this monumental time!
Another fun fact, if you are planning on going through recruitment during your first semester of college, you can use one of your photos as your headshot for your application. Not going through recruitment, but looking for a part-time job during college? Here's your professional headshot!
Lastly, your photographer may offer you a phonebook for an additional charge. These phonebooks are a great way to collect all of your photos in a tangible form you can share with parents and family.
If you've made it here, I greatly appreciate you reading through this guide and I truly hope it is helpful in easing the stress of planning your senior session. If you would like more information, want to see some of my work with seniors, or want to contact me for booking - check out these links below. I hope you have a wonderful week, and stay tuned for the next blog!