You didn’t know that it would come so quickly, and you didn't know that the school year would look LIKE THIS, but even with all the challenges, you are excited for your graduate. What also might have snuck up on you is scheduling a Graduate Portrait Session.
I know it can seem like a lot of pressure and a lot of decisions, not the least of which is choosing the best photographer for the session.
But before we start calling those shots, take a few moments to reflect.
What are some of the reasons that you want to have graduate portraits taken?
Your graduate's portrait session should celebrate the person your child has grown up to become. It also celebrates who you have become putting in the hard work to raise this kid!
You have done well. For the years, you have poured your heart, sweat, and let’s be honest, tears into this person. Graduate portraits celebrate them and you.
Choosing the Right Photographer for your Graduate Portrait Session
A good photographer will not only create beautiful, high-quality photos but will also make sure that the session goes smoothly and is a blast for your senior.
Consider the following:
Prints & Products vs. Digital Only
Referrals and reviews
Doing this research upfront will help you ensure you are choosing a portrait session photographer who is a good fit for you and your graduate.
A note on portrait session style
Have you ever done a vision board? Consider this your portrait session vision board, a fun activity to do with your highschool or even college graduate! Start making a list of items or experiences that you would like to have documented by your photographer. Make this visual list as long as you can and then narrow it down to the top few accomplishments that define your grad.
Then, share your vision board and shot list with your photographer. This is a great way to further vet your photographer out and see if their style matches yours!
In doing this step, you will be working closely with your photographer to create the perfect session. Go back to your “why” and remember that this session should reflect who your child has become and where they are going.
Future college garb is always a good idea to bring for highschool grads. Don't know what college yet? No problem... these days, any photographer can Photoshop a college insignia on a shirt or cap once they get accepted into the school of choice.
If knowing what to wear for the shoot stresses your graduate (or you!) out, I have an awesome personalized styling service to share with you. Request an access code to my Style & Select service, and you both can start styling from the comfort of your couch. Simply fill out a fun Style Questionnaire, and the styling service will share photo-approved outfits you can peruse, compare, and even BUY online.
The location of your portrait session MATTERS
When choosing your portrait session photographer, their location matters almost as much as their style. What does their studio uniquely offer? Will you have the option of outdoor shots as well as high-fashion studio shots? If the photographer isn’t super close to where you live, will they come to you, and if so, do they charge for that travel?
Consider your photographer’s experience when making your choice
This session is a big deal! Your grad is probably feeling the stress, and a good portrait photographer will know how to calm them down and make them comfortable in their own skin to ensure the best possible pictures.
I’ve been capturing the unique personality and style of high school seniors and college graduates for years. Not only do I know how to put my clients at ease, I know how to pose them in the most natural and flattering way. I have a few tricks up my sleeve, including my signature “noodle” dance move.
Prints and Wall Art
The graduate picture experience doesn’t end when the photoshoot is over. Choosing wall art for you to cherish this pivotal time for your family is one of the most exciting parts! And of course, getting your digital images so your grad can change up all their social media profile pictures. When choosing your photographer, be sure to ask about turn around times for digital negatives as well as prints and graduation announcements. Understanding what your photographer offers can help you decide if they’ll be creating more or less stress for you during what is already a bit of a hectic time!
I know how important getting a look at these pictures is, so I usually set a meeting roughly a week after your session to take the next step: choosing the keepsakes and mementos of your portrait session. Order prints, albums or grad announcements right after your session. No need to stress about this part!
Summing it up
Choosing your graduate portrait session photographer is the first step in what could be one of the most memorable experiences of your highschool or college senior’s year. Make a vision board with your graduate to ensure the photo session captures their unique style, gifts, and personality. Then match that style with the style of your photographer by reading reviews, looking at the vision board together, checking out their studio and of course, taking a look at some of their other work.
As you can see, I’m passionate about graduate session photography and I’m confident that I can help make graduate portraits be the highlight of their year (and maybe even of yours!). To book a chat and talk about next steps, click here.