Your senior portraits should be the highlight of your senior year, so when choosing your senior photographer, it’s important you take other factors into consideration besides just price. It’s important that you find someone you’re comfortable with that can capture your personality. If you’ve never had your picture taken before, the process of finding the right photographer can be overwhelming – but don’t worry, we’re here to help! With years of experience specializing in senior portraits under our belt, we know the 3 common mistakes teens make when choosing a photographer for their senior pictures. Read on so that you can be sure to avoid them!
If you’ve been on the internet for any amount of time, you probably already know that there are scammers everywhere. Sadly, the photography industry has fallen prey to scam artists too. I’ve heard story after story about people who paid for portrait sessions and even weddings, but never got any photos back. Or other clients still who paid for a wedding only to be stood up the day of!! If only those clients had done a simple Google search. If they had, they would’ve discovered many negative reviews about each of these photographers. A quick search will reveal Beautiful You Seniors’ positive reviews, but because textual reviews can be faked, this year we’ve decided to take it a step further and do video reviews, too, to prove that we deliver an incredible experience to our clients. Check out these video testimonials from one of our recent seniors and her Mom!
Not all photographers can capture the real you; only those you feel comfortable with can. It’s important to meet your photographer before you book them to make sure you vibe because you’re going to spend a significant amount of time together, as well as money. He or she should feel like an insta bestfriend or more than likely their photos of you will feel forced. Check out these photos of Lucia, one of our past clients as an example of what we mean. See how in Lucia’s shoot with us – which was her first photo shoot ever, her eyes glowed? And while the second photo on the right (which was taken by another photographer many months later) is stunningly beautiful & flawlessly executed, she looks uncomfortable? Chances are, if you meet your photographer before the shoot to make sure you vibe with him or her BEFORE you book them, you’ll be more comfortable which translates to the eyes. This will make all the difference in the world!
Just ask whoever you’re considering if they do in-person or Skype consultations. Some photographers don’t offer them – I would skip this person unless you have a ton of experience doing photo shoots. Others will offer free consultations, and still others may charge a small fee for their time. Beautiful You Seniors offers free consultations via Skype or in-person. The consultation is also the chance for the photographer to decide if they want to work with YOU. Unlike large “chain” i.e., mall portrait studios that process hundreds of clients monthly which means they don’t do anything custom but just have clients show up day-of & click the button, boutique studios provide a unique experience that involves a lot of pre-planning along with a host of other services that require a lot of creative brainpower. In order to avoid burn out, most boutique studios will take a limited amount of sessions per year. Beautiful You Seniors is a boutique studio and we only take 2-4 seniors per month in order to ensure that each of our clients receive the best possible experience (and so we can have a healthy work-life balance!).
The last, and quite possibly the largest mistake you could make in choosing a photographer, is choosing someone just because they’re cheap. Generally speaking, you get what you pay for. If you find an amazing photographer that normally charges more who is offering a special for prom – great! However, you should avoid photographers who ALWAYS charge $25-$150 for a 1-3 hour session with all images included. There’s a reason they’re that cheap and it’s called inexperience. An experienced photographer knows that those rates divided by the 10+ hours it takes to successfully pull off a photo shoot only equates to $0.25 – $15 per hour which is not enough money for anyone to live on; they’re doing it as a hobby. The standard session fee for an experienced photographer who makes a living out of their work is $150-$550 or more NOT including images. The Beautiful You Seniors experience is so time-intensive that the session fee only covers our overhead (hair/makeup artist, videographer, assistant, studio rental); it doesn’t cover the photographer’s time. Since she spends 15-20 hours per client, she relies on product sales to make her living. The infographic below better illustrates the minimum amount of time she spends on each client:
Anyway, we hope this article helped you to see just what mistakes to avoid when choosing your senior photographer. If you want to hire us, click here for more info. We want to make sure your senior pictures are not only beautiful, but also help you feel beautiful!