When is the best time to book your High School Senior Session?

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You want to start thinking about High School Senior portraits and booking the session when your child is a High School Junior.  Start by asking your school when the deadline is for High School Senior portraits to be turned in. In my experience the deadline is anywhere from mid Sept to December. Most common has been Sept – mid October.  You also want to ask them what the specs are for the yearbook. That will help guide your photographer in the layout of the portrait. You need to know the size of the image, the dpi they want the image, any detailed specs they may have. Some only want a head image and not a full body or even half body shot. You will still need to get the email address of the party that the image needs to be submitted to – but that can wait until the year your child is a senior, because it can change.

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So now you have an idea of when the deadline is for the coming year portraits. The next step is shopping for a photographer that you would like to use. There are several factors you want to keep in mind:

~Style of photography. You want to find a photographer that you like and your child likes. One that produces work you admire. If not, you will be disappointed.

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~Budget. Let’s face it, everyone has a budget of what they can or cannot do. You do need to realize though, that you pay for what you get. If you go to Sears you expect sears quality, style, product. If you go to a seasoned pro whose work speaks for itself, it probably will not be in the same price range as Sears or Walmart.

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~Consider the product that you hope to get. Do you want digital files? Well then, you need to know if they even sell the digital files. Do they have a High School Senior special or package? Do they make graduation announcements or can you buy the digital files to create them yourself?

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~How far in advance do they require for booking?  This is why it is important to start looking now! You need to know if the photographer fills up their summer quickly with weddings and such. How far in advance do you need to get the photographer of your choice? Once you have nailed it down you really need to book them or find out if they are booking for the summer. You also want to know how long it will take for them to process the images so you can order them. This is important because you do not want to book the session the week before the deadline to turn the images in all to find out the photographer requires a 2 week turn around or more. Each photographer is different.

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How do you shop for a HS Senior photographer? You want to look at their websites, their portfolios. If you only see babies and weddings – ask to look at their High School senior portraits. Ask other parents at the school who they like as a photographer. Ask to look at the pictures they had of their children with that photographer. Go to the photographer and ask to look at their product. Get yourself acquainted with the photographer, their style, their product. Word of mouth and portfolios will give you a very good idea of what to expect. They will also let you know if you need to get permission at certain locations. Not all places are open to the public for photography. Some places require extra release forms to be signed. Some places will require a fee. Other places will require a booking with a representative present during the session. If your child is native – there may be special requirements for shooting on native land. Your photographer will have researched that and found out all the requirements for the locations you are shooting in.

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Talk with the photographer. Ask them what to expect in a shoot. Ask them if they have a welcome letter that explains what to expect. Ask them if they have advice on what to wear. Your experience should not be a scary one because a good photographer will have helped you prepare for that special day.

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It may seem like a lot to think about. Get started early, so that you do not have to have that added stress during your child’s High School Senior year. The year of is going to be busy enough. By being prepared you will be able to have a smooth experience and will be ready for the deadlines.

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If you need help finding photographers in your area just let us know. Either message us in the comments below or come to our Facebook group and visit with us there.