Capturing a High School Senior is an important job; you’re documenting a time in their lives between adolescence and adulthood. Being in tune with the latest’s trends, poses that are popular and capturing their personalities are key. Just like many things in photography, senior sessions are not black and white and that’s what I love about capturing them.
I’ve had the pleasure of shooting a verity of senior sessions year after year but the most soot after senior session, for me anyway, is during fall. Something about fall sessions get everyone! What’s great about fall sessions, is these are the kids that are set well in advance to get their photos done months before graduation. I get a few winter requests each year, and then most are normally a few weeks before graduation. Some things to think about with booking senior sessions is: When do you need them? When are you sending out announcements? What are you using them for? When does the school need them for social media and promotion? Highschool now a days is a lot different than before with the advantage of technology, so knowing all this before you talk to your photographer is important. Most sessions are between 2-4 weeks for shooting and delivery, and this could change depending on how much goes into your session and if that photographer has a lot of clients.
Sometimes you do have a few seniors who want nothing to do with their photos. This is hard, because the parents want them and they know, just like I do, down the line they might change their mind and be glad they did get these photos. What I love about working with these seniors, is I always seem to change their view on the session, and we end up having fun anyway. I think this is because I am relatable to seniors. I’m still young and have younger nieces and nephews so I can relate on their levels. Some seniors are outgoing, but most are shy when getting in front of the camera. I love to see how they go from being nervous, to crushing the shoot so quickly once they see how relaxed and chill I am with my photography and how excited they are to see the images after we are done! Then, you have your seniors who have been waiting for this day since freshman year! They have done the research; know the poses they want and have planned their outfits 100 times in the weeks leading to our session.
When I book with my seniors, I normally deal with their parents so It’s important to me to ask a lot of questions so I can vibe the senior more. Making the session about them is important. That can include asking if they are in sports or have something they love. Do they have a huge passion they want to portray in the photos, would they like props and if so, what kind? This all helps me plan better and to offer suggestions on locations that suits them best, like one session I did this year at The Tulip Festival at Richardson’s Adventure Farm. We had to switch our shoot date over 4 times thanks to mother nature but the senior wanted to wear her prom dress in the field! I’m glad we did because it turned out amazing.
Really, the main question is, what do you want the Senior Photos to Say in 20 Years.
Since I deal with the parents for booking, I make it a point to communicate my excitement at our shoot once I meet the senior. Asking where they are going to college, did they like high school, what was the most memorable thing that took place, and really hype them up. This generation is all about social so I always make sure to get their Instagram or Facebook so I can tag them in their sneak peeks so they can share. This has helped in many ways, because once I post one, I always get requests from their friends!
I think I get most excited for senior sessions because I never got them myself. When I was in high school, it was done by the school and at the time, it was not super popular to have an outside photographer shoot senior photos. I keep the price point in a rage that’s affordable so that everyone can get these, as I know this was most likely one reason I did not when I grew up. Also, there aren’t many opportunities, at a young age, to have someone provide you with professional photos, and I think senior photos can go a long way with what they can use them for like in college, on social, for professional pages and so much more. It gets them ready for what’s next in their lives!
Since senior spots fill up fast, I always like to have good back-up photographers in my pocket. Some I recommend are Backroads Photography, Reflections by Renete, and 400ft below Photography. So, if you have a senior next year, or even other children in milestone stages (kindergarten, 8th grade, etc..) Reach out today and get in the books for Fall for your 2023 seniors!