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How to plan a Senior Portrait Session

There are a few moments in life that we just cannot miss the click to save the memory. One of them is the Senior year! It's the passage of life that you know you've worked really hard to accomplish your goals and it's almost time for next step.

During the intense fourth year of high school or college you will find yourself looking for a special treat, I promise. You can choose in between many treats but the most acclaimed is the Senior Portrait Session, that you will display the images around the house, send cards to family and friends.

Before you even start googling 'the best senior portrait photographer in Richmond' I'll help you planning as far as where to go, what to wear and so on! Check out the tips below:


Shooting and Editing Style

First thing you want to have set before looking for the best photographer around for your pictures is creating a mood board on Pinterest with images that inspire you. When the board is getting shape you will see what type of shooting and editing you like the most.

There are two different shooting styles: the candid and the classic. The candid is more fluid, with lots of movements, almost like a photojournalism; and the classic is more posed, guided.

The editing styles are the dark and moody, light and airy and warm and deep.

Both shooting and editing styles will define your location and, definitely, the right photographer for you!

The Photographer

There are many aspect you should consider while looking for your Senior Portrait Photographer. Availability, turnaround time, experience. Plan to book your photographer a few months ahead because of high-demand and also to have a great prep time to choose out location, outfits.

Turnaround time is also super important, you don't want to wait for months or even take the risk of missing the school deadline to accept the pictures for the Yearbook. Check this detail with the photographer, normally they display this info on their website. My turnaround time is two weeks and sneak peek in 48 to 72 hours.

The experience is what will make your heart fulfilled at the end of the session. From the first email you exchange with the photographer, to choosing the right package, booking, styling consultation, finding your locations, the session day, post session day: this is all about the experience. Hire someone who is deeply engaged on not only taking your pictures but building a relationship with you!

Schedule and book your session

Both topics are important because you have to take in consideration the time of the year you want the pictures taken, the weather, the style and location.

First thing: find out what season you want to photograph at and pick a date that works for you. I highly recommend Spring or Fall because the temperature is mild and outdoor pictures with natural light are the best!

Second: check with your photographer's availability for the date you set or try to find the best for both schedules.

Third: Book your date, sign your photographer's contract (this is important so you know you are investing in a professional service!) and pay the photographer's retainer. These steps will secure your date so you won't have the surprise of losing your date for someone else.

When booking my sessions I make sure to send emails explaining the next steps as far as contract, deposit and session date. I normally ask for a $100.00 deposit and the remaining balance on the day of the shooting.

Choose the perfect location

Now that you know the season, shooting and editing style you like, it's time to choose your location which is going to play a big role on your Senior Session. Consider if you are more towards city style or nature and you can go from there on the list of locations. Also, take in consideration how far are you willing to travel if you want a certain look that you can't find in your city's surroundings.

Try to plan how you are getting there, who is going with you and how many different places the package you chose allow you to choose. Plus: never forget you have to love the location, that will be forever in the images!

I always have a list of my favorite locations including city style and nature that I love to share with my clients in case they are not sure where to go.



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