How do you make that decision when there are thousands of photographers? Here are some tips to help you decide who is the best senior photographer for you!
Tip #1: What is Your End Goal?
Digitals Only vs Awesome Product Line
What are your thoughts on products? Do you just want digital files? Do you want an easy way to share your images with friends and family? Do you want to do everything yourself or do you want someone that will take care of all the design work and ordering for you? Are you interested in having some beautiful keepsakes to remember your graduation? Do you want something unique? Maybe you want a huge portrait over the fireplace. Maybe you want a collage of multiple images. Perhaps you would prefer to have lots of images that you can easily swap out. If you love the modern look, our metal shapes and prints will fit your need. During your Reveal & Design session, we’ll help you sort through all of your pictures, discuss what products fit your needs, design graduation announcements and grad party invitations, and show you some gifts that your family will love! After that, all you have to do is sit back and relax…and worry about the million other things going on during senior year! Our clients (especially moms!) love that once your session is done, we don’t just leave you hanging. We take care of every step from start to finish so you don’t have to stress about it!
And of course we know the teenagers don’t care too much about products, but what about your own personalized app where you can show off and share your senior pictures? One of our most popular products for graduates is our custom mobile app which has most of your senior pictures right there, ready to share on social media! If you’ve purchased the premier slideshow, that is available in your app too!
Tip #2: Editing vs Professional Retouching
You’ll want to know how your pictures will be edited. Professional senior pictures should be edited, and if you don’t choose the right photographer, you might end up not looking your very best. All digital images need some basic editing, and that is where many photographers stop. We’ll be sure you look and feel as amazing as possible during your photo shoot, but what if you have a few skin imperfections? What if you prefer a more artistic look? As much as we’d love to show you some before and after pictures, we just don’t believe that anyone should be worried about their “before” pictures being displayed to the world! However, during your in-person consultation, you’ll have plenty of time to see first hand what the choosing the right photographer can do for you. While we don’t believe in airbrushing your skin or making you look unrealistic, every image will be professionally retouched by hand (not photoshop actions) to brighten your smile, smooth your skin, remove redness, touch up scars and zits, and be sure that your personality shines through!
Tip #3: Meet Your Senior Photographer in Person
Most of all, you’ll want to choose a senior photographer that fits with your personality. We offer free in-person consultations to all of our clients because we want to get to know you before the session! That way we can talk, find out more about your likes and dislikes, clothing style, and help choose locations that fit your style! You’ll want a photographer that doesn’t rush you through in an hour and wants to just have a blast getting lots of unique pictures!
Tip #4: Choose a Professional Photographer
Finally, one of the most important tips for your senior pictures is choose a professional photographer! These days, anyone can buy a “good camera” and “become a photographer.” It is a great hobby! But for your senior pictures, please be sure to choose a professional. You don’t want someone who is just starting out to document such an important milestone! I’m a full time professional photographer. My goal is to produce beautiful, timeless portraits for you. This isn’t a weekend gig or something I do just for fun. Who do you think will want to ensure your happiness? Think twice before you ask your bff with a cell phone or your favorite uncle. While they might be good, they likely haven’t studied photographer like myself and many other professional photographers in the Phoenix area.
Shania is a graduate from Perry High School and I’m so glad I had the chance to meet her! As a professional photographer for graduation photos, I’ve had the pleasure of working with many teens and high school seniors from Perry. Shania and her mom had some pretty specific ideas about her location, and as a top priority they wanted a location that did not look like the desert or a farm…and that can be a challenge when you live in the Arizona desert! Luckily they stumbled upon a location in Queen Creek that I’ve used many times, and although it wasn’t quite as colorful in the spring as it is other times of the year, it certainly did meet their needs! The beautiful outdoor area was perfect for incorporating everything from Shania’s Perry swim clothes to her cruiser bike!
Harry Potter Fan (LOVE IT!!)
Because she’s also a huge fan of everything Harry Potter, we made sure to include that in her senior pictures too! Really, how can you not love the fact that she has her very own time turner necklace?! From this, came many more ideas for Harry Potter styled sessions, especially since my own daughter is a huge fan of Harry Potter too!. Love when my clients inspire me!
Senior girls in hats just make my day! I love how versatile they are, and how the same floppy hat can look very different at each session. Of course we don’t want your senior pictures to be unique and fit your personality! I love how Shania’s gorgeous curls just flow out of this floppy hat!
Heirloom Products: Custom Graduation Announcements and Keepsake Storyboards
I love these fun announcements we created for Shania! Since all of our announcements are custom made, we can adjust the sizes to fit any images you’d like, as well as customize the text. This works perfectly for fitting several of your favorite pictures onto your graduation announcement!
Along with her beautiful custom announcements, we also created a gorgeous custom storyboard presented on a black bevel mount. This large 20×20 Gallery Storyboard is one of our biggest sellers! Again, we can include many images from your session, and even add a name, date, or other text to truly make it a one-of-a-kind piece of art.
Professional Senior Portraits by Tempe Senior Photographer
Tyler recently graduated from Corona Del Sol High School in Tempe, AZ. Since I’m specializing in senior pictures, I was super excited for Tyler’s session! Of course, most guys aren’t all that interested in senior pictures, but Tyler and I had a blast, and his mom Lori was thrilled with the outcome! Moms don’t seem to get a lot of opportunities to get good portraits of their boys, and having a teenage son myself, I knew how much Lori wanted amazing pictures before Tyler headed off to college. When we discussed Tyler’s interests, it was very clear that two of his favorite things were his dog, Mocha, and his gorgeous red Audi. Those two things made his session even more fun!
Yes, of course you can bring your dog for senior pictures! No, there isn’t an extra charge!
I love dogs, so bringing your furry friend along for your senior pictures is always a treat! Mocha was so sweet and well behaved! She posed perfectly and they became some of Tyler’s favorite pictures from his session. While it may take a few more shots and some extra patience, this image made it all worth it!
Being a Tempe senior photographer, I absolutely love it when we have a cooperative sky! I’m sure I looked ridiculous laying the dirt to get just the right shot, but this is totally a favorite! Like one of my favorite images ever! When you bring your dog along, always make sure you have some treats to get them cooperate a little more. And a baggie for…well, you know. Gotta clean up after the pups!
Styling Ideas for Guys
Having unlimited outfits and poses allows me to get a great variety for senior pictures! Tyler had multiple outfits, including a nice shirt and tie, which he paired with jeans for a semi-casual look. Because we chose several locations in downtown Chandler, it didn’t take much time to move from one location to another. And then of course, I wanted to play. Cars, dogs, and a willing senior guy? Oh yes, this was so much fun!!!
Your car? Oh yes, that too please!
Tyler brought his red Audi to his senior session, and besides being a great ride, it was perfect for senior pictures! He loves his car, I wanted to play a little with different angles, so he was very patient as we tried several different poses. Unlimited poses and not having a specific set time for my sessions allows us plenty of time to have fun and get a little creative for senior pictures! We stopped at the top of a parking garage for a little fun, and what Tyler’s mom calls his “Ferris Beuller” look! Love it, and so true! Tyler looks ready to ditch school for a day of adventure, don’t you think?
Storyboards and Metals
Of course when the session is over, the experience isn’t! During Tyler’s Reveal & Design session, we watched the slideshow of all of his final images then began sorting to select their favorite images. Along with custom graduation announcements, we also designed this 16×20 Storyboard showcasing Lori’s favorite images. Because all of my designs are custom, we were easily able to adjust the sizes so Tyler’s images fit perfectly without cutting off important parts of the picture.
One of my favorite products are the metal prints. For years we’ve had metal shapes and curves, but this year we started offering prints and storyboards as metals too! This collage of images showing off Tyler’s diploma cover and tassel is a great keepsake to remember his graduation. It also made a great gift for relatives! Smaller storyboards like this can be displayed on an easel or hung. When hung, they appear more three dimensional because the mounted hanger and bumpers allow the image to sit away from the wall for a modern feel.
Heading to U-Dub!!!
Congratulations, Tyler!! I was very excited to hear that Tyler received an academic scholarship to the University of Washington! He’ll be studying law & justice and political science. It’s always fun to see all the different plans these teens have!
As a Gilbert senior photographer, I absolutely love working with teenagers! I know, I know…but I swear they are the most fun, goofy, memorable clients ever! Each one is so unique and the experience is unforgettable, so specializing in high school senior pictures just makes me a happy camper! Last year I worked with a few high school teens for a special styled photo shoot. The end results were amazing!!! The team at The Village Salon and Spa worked their magic for hairstyles and makeup, then we headed to downtown Gilbert for our teen photo shoot. Let me introduce you to our models!
Red Mountain High School: Mercy
Mercy is just amazing!! She was finishing her junior year at Red Mountain High school, so we’ll be doing her senior pictures soon! This girl takes old worn out clothes and turns them into cool new outfits! Every outfit she wore that day was either made by her or modified from something she found at Goodwill! Coming from someone who can’t sew, I was amazed! Mercy’s gorgeous dark curls were gorgeous and the natural makeup was perfect for summer! Paired with fun sunglasses and a vintage radio…they styling was exactly what I was looking for! I don’t recall if these overalls were hand made or if she redesigned them from Goodwill, but aren’t they just super cute?!?! Mercy has such a unique style!
Mountain View High School: Kylie
Kylie goes from sweet and simple to drop dead gorgeous within just a few shots! She didn’t need much help, but just look at how natural her hair and makeup look! Using professional hair and makeup services for your senior pictures allows you to get whatever look you want! This girl looks amazing in hats! You might recognizer her since one of her images is on the cover of our Senior Style Client Guide!
Desert Ridge High School: Gabe
We all loved Gabe, our handsome guy for the photo shoot! He brought his uke and interacted with the girls flawlessly! You’d never know these kids didn’t know each other prior to photo shoot! As a professional photographer, I love it when I can get these types of natural reactions! We worked so well with both Mercy and Kylie, it was such a fun afternoon!
Once again, I’d like to stress that you don’t need to have a magnificent location in order to have beautiful senior portraits! These are some of my absolute favorites from the photo shoot, and they were taken in front of Oregano’s in Downtown Gilbert! Of course, when you’re shooting in a public area, it is always necessary to ask permission. It just so happens that the employees at Oregano’s had been admiring our photo shoot, so when I asked if we could use their outdoor seating area for a few shots, they were more than happy to help us out!