Senior portraits are a chance to celebrate a milestone achievement for high school seniors. Their purpose is to capture the transition from adolescence to adulthood. These portraits honor this significant milestone and are often taken during the final year of high school, capturing the graduating senior’s individuality, personality, and achievements. In Georgia, senior pictures hold particular importance. Here’s what you should know before you book Senior Pictures in Augusta, Georgia.
To ensure you have a positive experience and end up with high-quality senior portraits, consider the following factors:
Style and Aesthetic:
Look for a photographer whose style and aesthetic align with your personal preferences. Review their portfolio to see if you like their previous work. As important as the cap and gown photos are, capturing timeless photos representing their personality and interests and this tender stage in their lives is just as important. Your family can reflect on these photos and pass them on to future generations. With this in mind, try to look for someone with a timeless editing style, not one that will quickly go out of fashion ('80s beauty portraits, anyone?).
Choose a photographer with experience in senior portraits. This may go without saying, but sometimes, when you look for the cheapest options, you’ll find these photographers have limited to no experience in this genre. This will affect your experience as the client and the final portraits you receive.
Recommendations and Reviews:
Ask for recommendations from friends, family, or classmates who have had senior photos taken. You can also read online reviews to understand the photographer's reputation.
While setting a budget for your senior photos is important, it’s just as essential to discover why each photographer you like is priced the way they are. Does it include hair and makeup? Prints? Styling? Locations? What is the level of service they offer, and does it match your expectations? Keep in mind that higher-priced photographers may provide better quality service and products.
Consider the location or locations for the photoshoot. Some photographers have a studio, while others prefer outdoor settings. The photographer you choose will be flexible and offer to accommodate your vision.
Check the photographer's availability, especially if you have a specific date or season for the photoshoot. Senior portraits can be done any time of year, even multiple times during the same year. Booking with that in mind will help ensure you don’t get stuck with someone based on availability.
Personality and Compatibility:
Feeling comfortable with your photographer is essential, as this can help you relax and be yourself during the shoot. Ensure your photographer sets up a consultation or phone call to gauge your compatibility. Exchanging text messages and emails may seem efficient on the surface level, but it doesn’t allow you to get timely answers or enable you to get to know your photographer.
Review what's included in the photographer's packages. Commonly, inclusions might be a certain number of outfit changes, retouched images, prints, digital files, and more. However, my studio is all-inclusive, and I don’t nickel-and-dime my clients for these things. If that interests you, Read about our senior portrait experience here!
Retouching and Editing:
Inquire about the photographer's approach to retouching and editing. Ensure their editing style matches your preferences, whether minimal retouching or a more polished look. Your photographer should be able to accommodate your desire, included with your purchase- without extra costs. If you have a deeper complexion, ensure your photographer knows how to maintain the integrity of your actual skin color.
Discuss the expected timeline for receiving your photos. Some photographers may offer a quick turnaround, while others might take longer. This discussion should be had before booking your portrait session and understood throughout the process.
Props and Wardrobe:
Ask about the use of props and wardrobe choices. Determine if the photographer provides any props or if you need to bring your own. Ensure they can accommodate outfit changes. This discussion should be had before your portrait session, and you should feel confident that you don’t need to worry about these details leading up to your booked date.
Licensing and Usage:
Understand the licensing and usage rights for your photos. Some photographers may allow you to use the images for personal purposes, while others may restrict their usage. This is where nickel-and-diming can come back into play. These are supposed to be YOUR photos. Ensure you have the right to do as you please with the photos you pay for.
Clear and open communication is crucial. Ensure you and the photographer are on the same page regarding your expectations, ideas, and special requests. Your photographer should bring up these conversations, and you should never feel insecure about discussing these things. Remember, you’re the paying client. You should be happy and clear about what you are paying for.
Discuss contingency plans in case of bad weather or unexpected circumstances that could affect the photoshoot. Since these sessions tend to happen during the summer or fall, rain is a common obstacle for outdoor senior photos in Georgia. Your photographer should bring up and settle contingency plans during the booking process.
Some photographers have a written contract outlining all the terms, including pricing, delivery timelines, usage rights, and other essential details. Please read it carefully before signing. If you feel uncomfortable with the terms and conditions, don’t book them. Read the contract BEFORE you pay the retainer. Also, ensure that you look over the model release. Your photographer should offer this if they plan on sharing your senior portraits for marketing purposes, competitions, publications, and other commercial or public purposes. If you do not want your photo(s) shared, especially since most senior portraits feature minors, you do not need to grant this permission. It’s imperative that you know you have the final say. Even if you plan on sharing the photos publicly, you do not have to grant your photographer the same privilege.
By carefully considering these factors and conducting thorough research, you can find a senior picture photographer who can create memorable and meaningful portraits that capture your unique personality and style. You should not have any stress; this is supposed to be a fun, fantastic experience you are paying good money for.
Check out this blog about seniors I have worked with to learn how easy and hassle-free I make the process as a senior portrait photographer in Augusta, GA.