Senior Pictures – Frequently Asked Questions
Lots of my friends are coming to you. Won’t my senior pictures look just like theirs?
Absolutely not! We treat you like the unique individual that you are, and photograph you that way.
Every senior session is individually designed to create images that show not just what you look like, but who you are. For every high school senior, we create a unique set of images appropriate to them. Not just a duplicate of the last person in the door.
Take a look at the senior portrait galleries on the website!
How do you custom-design my senior portrait session and my photographs?
Before we ever put you in front of a camera, We invest the time to get you know you as an individual. You’ll never be “just the next person coming in the door”
Our senior portriat consultation takes about an hour, and we do this before we even schedule your session. As we talk, I’ll get to know you pretty well. Who you are, what you’re all about, what makes you tick, how you see yourself, where you want to go in life, your passions and your interests – all those things that make you the unique person that you are.
All during that conversation, I’m studying your expressions, your body language, your gestures. I’m learning about your personality, and getting an idea as to how we can make your friends say “THAT IS SO YOU!” when they see your photographs.
Then, together, we take that information, and custom design your individual session. What we’re going to do, where we’re going to do it, even some ideas on what you might wear. We’ll build ourselves a roadmap of what we’re tying to accomplish with your session, and how we might go about doing it.
And at the same time, you’ll get to know me, so that when we start to work together, you’ll be way more comfortable than if you’d just met me at the beginning of the session.
Why do you do this? I see other websites where every photograph looks pretty much the same.
Others do it that way because it’s easy. It doesn’t’t take any work or any imagination to create the same photographs over and over again.
But that’s just not my style. I get bored easily. I don’t want to create the same photographs eight times a day. Yeah, that might be a lot easier, and I could probably photograph more people, and make more money that way, but I refuse to do it. I love the challenge of interpreting each person in a way that’s appropriate for them.
More importantly, your senior year is an incredible milestone in your life. Not only are you completing the longest single task of most people’s entire lives (12 years of full time work), you’re also probably going to turn 18 sometime during your senior year – transitioning from “childhood” to being an adult.
Frankly, I think this is an important enough time in your life to create something really special for you. No assembly line photographs, no repeats of the last 7 people that day.
You deserve something special to recognize your accomplishment.
If I come in for a senior portrait consultation, am I committed to being photographed by you?
Absolutely not. This is your opportunity to check us out, see if we’re the right studio for you. The majority of people who come visit us do end up scheduling an appointment, because they like what we can do for them, but that decision is entirely up to you.
We’re low key, and friendly – no pressure, no hard sell. If we’re right, you’ll know it.
There’s about 5,000 graduating seniors every year in our area. We will only photograph about 150 of them, by choice. We’d rather spend quality time with each one, than run people through a production line. And honestly, we have no difficulty filling up our schedule, so if we’re not the right studio for you, that’s no problem. We still appreciate you taking the time to learn about what we do, and giving us the opportunity to get to know you.
Who knows – if we’re not the right studio for your senior portraits, we might still be a great studio to photograph your family, or your wedding..
Sounds good, but you must be expensive.
Remember, it’s not just about what you pay; more importantly it’s about what you get for what you pay. If you save a few dollars, but get portraits that leave you less than excited, then you’ve wasted your money.
You can definitely find cheaper alternatives. These days, everyone with a camera is a photographer. But owning a scalpel doesn’t make you a skilled surgeon. And owning a camera doesn’t mean you understand the most flattering ways to photograph the human face, nor does it mean that you understand the subtleties or working with light. It doesn’t mean that you understand the psychology of getting people to feel relaxed and looking natural in front of the camera. Take a look at some of the websites – you’ll see exactly what I mean
And it doesn’t mean that you know how to give someone an experience they’ll remember for the rest of their lives.
And it doesn’t mean that you know what to do with the photographs after you’ve taken them. In todays world, capturing the photograph is only the beginning. Half the creative work is done afterwards, and theres so many possibilities available to a skilled retouch artist that others just don’t know how to do.
Many of these lower price alternatives simply produce the same photographs over and over again – probably not at all what you’re looking for in your senior portraits. In fact sometimes, you’ll be one of several people being photographed at the same time. While you’re changing, they’re photographing someone else. How special would that make you feel? How unique do you think your photographs might be.
What can I expect to spend on my senior pictures?
Our prices start at $305 for a 45-minute session and and $260 credit towards your choice of prints.
We do quite a few of the 45-minute sessions, and many of those customers simply work within the minimum package.
But for those who want more time, we also offer 90 minute, 2 ½ hour and 4 hour sessions – as well as one we call “A Year In The Life” for which the senior is photographed throughout the year. Session fees range from $45 to $105
Regardless of whether you select the 45-minute session or the 4 hour session, you’ll still get the same consultation, the same individual approach, the same custom session, and great photographs. It’s just with the longer sessions you’ll get more variety, more locations, more poses, more outfits to choose from.
Last year, including our longer sessions, our typical customer spent somewhere between $400 and $800, and it’s pretty easy to get everything you need in that range.
What kind of Packages do you offer?
Over the years, we’ve found that packages don’t fit anyone. They’re an attempt to force fit your needs into something that’s simple for the studio. So we allow you to custom design your own combinations, and order exactly what you want.
No need to buy the 11×14 that you don’t want just to get the 64 wallets that you do. No need to try to fit your needs in some pre-defined set of prints.
How many clothing changes will I get?
There are no set number of clothing changes for any of our sessions. You are renting me for a block of time, and whatever we can accomplish in that period of time is great.
There are of course some practical limitations based on time. For the 45 minute session, it’s typically 2-3 outfits. For the 4 hour, it might be 8-10.
How many poses do you take?
Again, there is no set number. It’s whatever we can accomplish given the length of time you’ve chosen, and how we’ve designed your session. But no matter what, you’ll have plenty. Most of our customers have a difficult time narrowing it down to less than 25 in the first cut, so there will be lots of options.
Can I split a session?
Yep. We have lots of people who do that. Half with curly hair, half with straight. Or save an hour for our beach trip, and do the rest here in the area. Or maybe part this summer (before the yearbook deadlines) and part with the fall colors, or even the spring look next year.
To split a session, you’ll normally need the 2 ½ hour or 4 hour session, although there’s been a few times where we’ve split a 90 minute.
Beach Trip? How does that work?
Several times a year, we schedule a full day or even a full weekend at the beach. We meet you there, and photograph you on the beach, typically for an hour. We’ve found a fantastic beach that offers just about everything, and when it’s blowing like crazy at D River, it’s usually calm at our beach.
Usually, the beach trip is part of a split session. If you’re interested, just let us know at your consultation.
And don’t forget to check out our Senior Safaris. We have lots of upcoming adventures
This all sounds great, but what if I’m still not sure?
Come in for a consultation. You’re under no obligation whatsoever, and the decision is entirely yours. We’ll show you what we do, and how we do it, we’ll talk about the possibilities for your session, and we’ll go through the various session options, and pricing.
Then you can go home and talk it over. If you decide to schedule a session, you can call us.
Ok, I’m interested. What do I do now?
Just call us at 503-588-0902 and schedule your consultation. They take about an hour.