It is a fact that if your senior wants to be in the yearbook, they have to go to the contracted senior portrait photographer. They often have a specific look that they have to wear (black drapes for girls, tux shirt and jacket for guys) on a specific background chosen by the school. Although they may look great in the yearbook, all lined up in perfect rows, it's not often the one that you want on your walls at home. Your high school dude doesn't walk about with a bow tie and jacket on; he spends his time on the football field, basketball court, maybe gaming or even fishing. Your daughter would never be caught wearing a gloomy black drape! She's a shining star that loves to paint, ride horses, beat her time in the pool or dancing. THAT is the senior you know. Let their portrait reflect who they are now, before they have to tackle the responsibilities of being a full fledged adult.
Early in my career I worked with one of (if not still) the largest school photographers in the nation, spending a majority of that time in the senior portraits division. I learned quite a few things as a photographer, but more importantly, about running a business that my clients will love. If this is your first high school senior, here's a few things that other mom's will tell you to expect, and what the company most likely won't bother to tell you.
Waiting Time: Although you have a scheduled time for your session, be prepared to wait, along with dozens of other families, for your 5 minutes of fame in front of the camera. These photographers are trained to capture the same dozen poses for every kid that walks through the door, and they have hundreds of session spots a day. So don't be surprised if your request for something different doesn't get met. Every once in a while, you might get a genuinely creative photographer that can capture something amazing, take advantage! You might not get them again.
Little Customization: Although there may be a few backgrounds to choose from, they are still pretty general. It's not your school's field, your chosen college's campus, or even your favorite fishing spot. Although the portraits are to capture the individual, the location can make a big difference, especially if it holds special meaning for your teen. Your senior will feel more relaxed and confident, which reflects in their images.
No Family Portraits: Most of the time, when a client would ask for family portraits during this senior session time, it was possibly captured begrudgingly, because they don't fit within the "seniors only" posing and timing guidelines of the company's model. I want to celebrate your senior, and that often includes portraits with the family. Capture all the kiddos together, how tall they are next to each other, right here and now, before your senior is out of the house and being successful in their life. Sometimes this is the last family portrait you get until they get married or even have kids of their own! Take a moment to document this time in your family's life.
Blemish Removal Not Included: Many teens suffer from acne on some level. Whether it's severe or minimal, acne really affects your teen's self confidence, even if it's temporary. I also know that many of the "touchup" editing that's done by larger companies is done with automated software and printed without a professional's skills. The teens that I've seen shy away from more than just the required yearbook shots often are doing so because they don't want their senior year exemplifying their acne. With years of experience, I am able to capture your teen and minimize any temporary blemishes that make them insecure. Those pimples and braces are simply a phase in their life, although they may think it's forever. I don't want that mental block to keep them from capturing the fun of their senior year. All images that you choose to print with me get full touch up editing, which is already included in the price.
Focus on Small Prints: I'm not sure why, but larger companies tend to think you only want wallets and small prints of your kids. What message does that convey to your children when you have a large hand painted wall art piece that you spent thousands of dollars on, but only an 8x10 and a hand full of wallets of your high school senior? I know that's not what I want for my child. Maybe it's because that's all that was ever offered. I want to provide beautiful heirloom quality artwork for my clients to celebrate their teen, especially if they're going to be leaving the house for the next chapter of their life. Every wall art piece ordered with me includes wallet prints for your teen to share with friends. It's a image that your teen can be proud of hanging in your home for years to come.
Pets Not Allowed: Each studio may have different rules, but from what I've been told over the last several years, your furry (or scaley) friends are usually not allowed in studio. For many teens, their pet is a huge part of their life, teaching them responsibility, accompanying them on runs and bike rides, or comforting them during study sessions or even breakups. These pets aren't around for very long in some cases, but make a huge impact on our children's lives. I want to make sure they are part of the experience, too.
Print Package Pricing: For many of the large corporations, they offer packages of prints to allow you to get the "best price" compared to individual chosen images. This often leaves my clients with extra prints that don't have a home. They feel like they're getting a better deal at the time of placing their order, rather than getting exactly what they want. In the end, they wonder why they spent money on prints they didn't need. There's no one there to sit down with them to help figure out what's truly needed. I meet with my clients, usually in their home, to plan out the session with their teen, along with finding out what type of products they want up on their walls or to share with family and friends. I have found that in the end, my clients are thanking me for showing them the possibilities for displaying their portraits and celebrating their family.
Prints Are Not Made To Last: You might be used to your teenager over reacting to the little things in their life. "OMG mom! It's the end of the world!" Although they might be over stressing on having braces or not having a boyfriend, their senior portrait is a lifelong memory. It's an image that they will be sharing for generations. This one you might want to make sure is a portrait they love and will actually last for those years to come. All prints from BluEgg Photography either have a UV protective layer to protect from fading, fingerprints, and dust or are framed in museum quality matting and behind UV protective glass.
Prepare for Ordering Overwhelm: Your teen has stressed about picking the perfect outfit. You've moved your schedule around to fit a date and time that (most likely) ran over time. You have been on an emotional rollercoaster of anxiety and excitement trying to capture your teen during this monumental point in their life. Now it's time to pick what to print and share with family and friends. You receive your online login information and are bombarded with dozens of images, all with very similar looks, and are trying to squeeze them down to the best 2 or 3 for your package. Trust me when I say you'll be reaching out to friends and family asking their opinion, and your teen will be nitpicking every detail, because in their mind, this is the photo that is going to be around forever (which is something they're right about). You will most likely hit a wall of overwhelm, close the laptop, and come back later.... to try again another time.
This is exactly what I do not want for my clients.
At BluEgg Photography, I do the hard part. Through our conversations, your consultation, and getting to know your teen, I have a pretty good idea what your teen will like in their portraits, and what product you'll love to showcase their achievements. After capturing tons of photos, I go through all of them and narrow down to the VERY BEST. I also schedule your ordering appointment at a time when I can sit down with you as a family to choose the images that you love, together. I hold your hand through the presentation of viewing each of your images and even showing them at the appropriate size for your wall space. There's no packages to squeeze into, or limited number of portrait poses. Once we're done, you'll be popping a bottle of bubbly cider to toast to the achievements of your teen and their final high school year!
Is your family ready for a different experience?
Call to sing your praises about your teen today! 727-560-7458