WHO’S GOING TO TELL YOUR STORY
5 Tips to Select Your Senior Photographer
If you are a in the Class of 2018 it’s likely you have already found a senior photographer, and if not you are probably thinking, “I have no idea where to start!” Well, hopefully this will help you out. Now if you are a Junior, you are probably thinking I have plenty of time to find a photographer…it’s not even Christmas! But you know what, this year is going to go by faster than you think. As a photographer, I’m already lining up my clients for next year. Don’t ask me how it happened, but there is no longer a senior photo season, this is a year round deal – and I love it!
So who do you choose? Do you need to choose? (I mean you have selfies for days, right?) Why this one…or that one…? It can be a bit overwhelming, but don’t worry, I have 5 tips to help you out. (I think that’s the rule for blogs..5 tips, not six..not four..the number of tips shall be 5!)
MAKE A CONNECTION
You don’t just want a pretty picture you want the Images to Say Something! – They speak to You! Think about that one photo you saw and what it made you feel. All you could say is “WOW!” Then you thought, “OMG! I could be right there!” or, “That is so me!” Now think about the pictures you HAVE to take for the school… ok stop thinking about those ones go back to the “WOW!” pictures. You want a photographer who makes images like that. Take a look at their website, IG, ask to see their samples. It isn’t just the quality of the pictures, it’s deeper than that, your pictures need to show the real you. While browsing their photos you feel like you know the person in the picture, you know what they love, you can tell what they are feeling, and perhaps you know you have something in common AND on top of that, there is the WOW factor. You may have found your photographer!
Amazing photos, Check. Now let’s talk about how these images get made. This is the real deal here, probably the most important part. It has to be FUN!! Let’s face it, life isn’t about things, it’s about the experience – not the destination, the trip (and a million other cliches).
But seriously, this is your senior year! The photographer you choose should be adding to your Senior experience. Do they offer the kinds of things that will make this fun for you? Are you part of the team? Do they go to different locations, do they offer different types of sessions(studio, lifestyle, fashion, traditional) that fit you? Remember this actually is about you! They should take away your stress and worry and make you the star. Do they have hair and makeup team to get you ready, a stylist to help you with wardrobe, a choice of locations to fit your style and mood, do they offer an opportunity to be famous? Get published? A photographer who makes your session epic and fun, is your photographer!
Remember visiting your grandparents, and flipping through an old photo album, or looking at the old photos of your mom and dad on the hallway wall. Printed images make you feel something, there is just something special about it that the latest iPhone can’t compete with. You want a photographer that values the significance of printed images. Now imagine…a long long time from now..your kids, or nieces and nephews, or even grandkids looking at your senior images hanging up on the wall – and hearing them say, “WOW! Look how amazing you look!” When you are looking for a photographer they should be able to do this, and give you the latest way to share your stunning photos with the latest technologies. It’s not a one or the other its both and all the options. There are so many cool ways to show off your images, blocks and cubes, cut-outs, canvases, groups & collections, albums & magazines, custom phone apps, and personal web-pages! Pick the photographer that knows how to share your story the way you want to show it off.
GO WITH A PRO
We all have a friend or know a mom with a “good camera” who takes cool photos. I’m sure you all have a cell phone full of amazing selfies. But there is a difference between a good photo and a professional photographer. I’m not just talking about the geeky technical stuff here, or a bunch of letters after their name. Those things are important too, I mean it shows that they have put time and money to get good at what they do. But there are other things a pro brings with them, they have skills, and vision, they are up or ahead of the latest trends and styles, their work and quality is consistently high, and they work with other professionals. But how do you check this? It’s a little like finding your new favorite restaurant or boutique, the first time you went there, you asked a friend. So ask people. The opinions and experience of customers matter the most! This may be one of those time where if your friends jumped off this photographer’s bridge, you might want to jump too!
VALUE YOUR EXPERIENCE
There is a reason I put this last. Don’t make this your primary criteria. There will always be a cheaper option. But you only get one Senior year! In the end, it’s not about price, it’s about value. How valuable is a day built around telling your story, with your best friend there to jump into the action, a moment walking with your parents as they get ready to send you to college and out on your own. Price is a hard thing to place on these moments. So it’s a balance. Going with the most expensive doesn’t always guarantee you will love the images, but going with the least expensive will definitely get you what you pay for. Shop around, ask questions, see what is included and what isn’t, be sure to compare apples to apples, and set your expectations. Everyone has to work on a budget, and a solid photographer will recognize this and help you maximize your experience within your budget. If you find a photographer you connect with, who gets you, they provide and over the top FUN experience you want to be a part of, and together you create images that WOW and will love for a lifetime, then the price you pay will be worth it every time!
If you are somewhere in the middle of this search process, give me a call, I’d be happy to talk with you about creating the perfect Senior Session for you!
We would love to hear from you!