10 Tips for finding a great senior photographer

montrose photographer real life photographs captures this senior boy and his airplane

Find the Right Senior Photographer for YOU

May you find value in these 10 tips for finding a great high school senior photographer. Once upon a time, a high school senior could look forward to a traditional portrait – girls wearing a black drape, guys in a classic tuxedo. But times have changed, and this ain’t your mama’s senior portrait anymore!

A professional senior portrait is an opportunity to highlight your accomplishments, personality and good looks. Given the importance of the occasion, choosing a photographer is no easy decision. To help you in the selection process, we’ve compiled 10 tips to assist in making your pick.

 Real life Photographs documents this senior girl in nature

1. Find your Photography Style

At such a busy time in your life, it’s easy to choose a photographer based on what a BFF or classmate recommends. But your senior portrait is about YOU! So find a photographer whose style suits you. To do this, review and research a variety of portfolios and images to determine what you like – and what you don’t. While someone parasailing or taking a reflective walk through the woods may make a great photo, would you want that to be YOUR image? Does that tell YOUR story? As you peruse images, don’t stop until you find something that speaks to you.

Telluride high school senior photographer real life photographs

2. Make a Connection

The connection you feel with your photographer is just as important as your style. You want a photographer with whom you’re comfortable, someone who is going to take the time to get to know you and ask you what you want out of your session. This doesn’t happen in five minutes, so spend some time seeking out and establishing the right connection.

finding a great senior photographer

3. Check Credentials

It’s your time to shine so why not hire the best?! Professional photographers have unique skills and training in artistry and technology, so they know how to capture your unique personality and interests in images. The pros have standards to uphold and membership in professional associations like PPA Professional Photographers of America).

real life photographs documents this senior boy on his dock outside his home

4. To Photoshop or Not?

Ask a photographer about retouching, what they typically do and don’t do, when and why. Because, while no one is perfect, it may take just a quick computer brush stroke to make your photos look amazing! On the other hand, you don’t want images so retouched you no longer recognize yourself! So, don’t be afraid to ask about what happens behind the scenes.

ridgway high school senior girl in a dress and heels

5. Check their Reviews

Good customer service should be high on your list. This is when references, reviews and testimonials can help you find a photographer that will deliver the customer experience you want.

high school senior boy in letterman jacket. Football player senior

6. Notice How They Use the Light

Any good photographer knows that the key to great images comes from having the right lighting. As a customer, it’s not your job to know F-stop from aperture, but as you review portfolios and websites, pay special attention to the photographer’s use of light – in doing so, you’ll see how an expert can use light to take an image from OK to amazing!

Ouray high school senior is documented on a corrugated metal wall

7. Tuck your Chin and Throw your Shoulder

You’ve probably been there – a photographer asks you to position your head “here” and your shoulder “here,” and suddenly, you feel like you’re in a bad game of Twister. A good photographer shouldn’t manhandle you, but gently guide you through a series of poses. Seniors want to look ‘natural,’ feel like themselves. It is the photographer’s knowledge of lighting and how to flatter a figure that makes all the difference in posing.

Telluride high school senior golfer

8. Make Sure They Offer Options

As you shop, look for someone who can offer multiple options. Look at albums, collages, wall frames and everything in between. Discover what you like – informal, casual, fun and/or serious shots. A good photographer will take your ideas, show you what will work, what may not and why. Also, don’t be afraid to ask to see the whole enchilada – the entire photo shoot. This gives you greater insight as to the photographer’s whole body of work, not just selected images.

10 tips for finding a great senior photographer

9. Make Mom Happy

A senior session is all about you but, parents (and their wallets) typically have a vested interest in this experience. Parent and teen should be involved in the process and the decision. As a senior celebrates this milestone, it’s also about the people and support system that helped make it happen.

high school senior boy photographed on a barb wired fence

10. Set a Budget

While you may think you can’t put a price tag on the experience, actually, you can and your photographer will. Again, this is where parents most likely come into play. But understand that everything has a budget and a cost. Often things are flexible, and you can probably switch out and substitute things that are really important to you.

silverton high school senior photographed by real life photographs

Telluride High School Senior Photographer

Real Life Photographs photographed their first High School Senior in 2005.  I also went to a commercial photography school because I wanted to learn lighting. Knowing how to light everything from food, people, fashion and architecture come into play when photographing a Senior. You may think–food?  Plus, Colorado can have some harsh lighting conditions with all of the sun! And on the flip side, snow is just as tricky! I know how to put you at ease in front of the camera and will capture this special time in your life, the way you want it to play out!  Some of my seniors want a simple shoot that captures them and this time.  While others, want an experience, in a place that’s special to them.  We can make it fashion shoot or center it around a sport or activity you love.  Regardless, I’m interested in learning about you.  This is how you’ll shine during our session.

Telluride photographer real life photographs

Connect with Real Life Photographs

Thank you very much for taking the time to stop by my website. Because you’re still reading means you’re into my work. I’m truly blessed to do what I love for a living. I appreciate your time checking out my Tips for finding a great senior photographer. Whether you go to Montrose High School, Mountain School or Ridgway or Telluride High School–or anywhere for that matter.  I look forward to hearing from you.  Please call me 970.275.5637 or connect here. http://reallifephotographs.com/contact/

montrose high school photographer real life photographs

The Process

Real Life Photographs has simplified the process to your high school senior experience. Once we’ve connected and have a date booked. Real Life Photographs will walk you through every step on how to create natural photos that reflect you and your personality. Find out what kind of products you’re interested in and what style of photos you’d like.  We’ll guide you through the whole shebang!

telluride senior dancer on Main Street in Telluride

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