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Photography Directory

Senior Portrait Photography – Tips and Tricks

If you’re interested in portrait photography, seniors are probably the best people to work with. Although family sessions and pre-wedding shooting can be lovely, seniors are rather excited to model and they know what they want. Indeed, maybe only in this period of our lives, we are rebelling against the usual bland backgrounds and stiff poses. If you’re a beginner photographer with mind set on senior portraits, we’ll try to give you ideas on how to become a reputable pro. Therefore, we’ve asked Decatur, IL Wedding-Senior-Event Photographer to help us with his useful tips and tricks on translating seniors’ great sense of style into amazing photos.

Prior the Shoot

For a high school senior, it might be quite difficult to find the right local photographer. It’s important to find a pro who’s really excited about working with them. So, make them realize how devoted to tailoring the shoot to fit them perfectly you are. If you do that successfully, not only will you have a smooth photo session, but you’ll also have a client who will gladly refer you to friends and family.

Although we all live in a decade of social media, this is especially true for today’s high school students. So, let them know you’re looking forward to taking their portraits by talking about it on social media. For example, you can post a Facebook status about planning senior photography session with your new client. They’ll love it!

However, you have to be really interested in getting to know your clients better. So, make a questionnaire that will help you find out who you’re going to work with. Ask them to describe their personal style, an ideal Saturday, whether they have preferred locations for shoot etc.

Decatur-IL-Senior-Portraithg-426x445Although high school seniors are usually very trendy, they might need some help when choosing the outfit for their session. So, help them by giving some ideas on how to accentuate their best features or to hide minor flaws. Nevertheless, let them know you want to make photos of THEM, meaning they should try to be as natural and unique as possible. Since some people can feel rather awkward in front of the camera, it might be wise to ask them to bring small props (a book, a comic, a guitar, a cute hat, a ball…) to do something with their hands while they’re adjusting to being photographed. Some extra clothes and accessories are always welcome, too.

The day before the session, contact your client to be absolutely sure they know the time and place of your meeting. Ask whether they’ve selected their outfits and give them one more chance to ask you any question they might have.

The Day of the Shoot

There are some things you can do during the session to make that couple of hours you have with your senior clients fun, memorable and successful. Always keep in mind that these young people are at in a wonderful stage in their lives; their whole future is ahead of them. Be interested in their plans, encourage them to achieve their goals and make them feel appreciated and valued. They’ll love to hear assuring words from an adult who’s not their parent nor a teacher.

You will probably be the first professional photographer in front of whom a senior will be. Well, of course, if we don’t take those cheesy pics of them as kids into account. Anyway, it’s up to you to make your models feel comfortable. When they look good in the pictures, show them some sneak peeks of how well they’re doing. That can really encourage them to keep up the good posing and they’ll be more confident about their physical appearance.

Senior Photography AnaTalking about the posing; when you’re working with seniors, several tricks up your sleeve are necessary. Browse your previous portrait sessions in contemporary beauty portrait photography and look for the poses that seem to work well with young people. It makes sense to create a kind of a posing journal for yourself, although it will take some time to do this. Nevertheless, you’ll soon realize it’s an invaluable tool and a guide for both you and your models. You could look for some lovely images for your journal in trendy magazines and catalogs, not only in your photo history. Once on a photo session, show your clients what you mean when you suggest some pose to help them realize how good it can look in pictures. Just to be on the safe side, bring some old chair, vintage suitcase or something similar where your clients could sit to make their poses appear more spontaneous.

After the Shoot

In post-processing senior photography, always keep in mind that you’re making photos for their parents, too. They will surely want a solid image on their wall and they should by all means get it.

After you send the images to your client, it’s good to blog all about the session, make some of the images appear on your social networking profiles and, once again, let your clients feel good about those lovely photos you’ve made. Although this undoubtedly means you’ll get some more free advertising, since they will share your blog posts and images through social media, what’s more important is that you will feel accomplished and good about your job, too. Finally, if the shooting runs smoothly and your seniors get astonishing images, they’ll become returning clients, which is always a positive outcome. Who knows, when choosing a wedding photographer, you might be the first person they contact!

Work on Yourself

To become a successful senior photographer, you need to keep on learning and improving your style, technique and equipment. It’s of high importance not to copy the work of photographers who inspire you, but it’s also recommended to learn from the best professionals in the field. If you want to develop your personal and unique style, which is rather a difficult task, it’s vital to connect with your models and do your best to capture the best version of themselves on a session. Simply put, whatever you choose to do, you need to be motivated and you have to love your job!

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