So You’re going to be a Senior…
Heeey… welcome to my senior photo guide!! I hope giving this a read will help answer all your questions when it comes to senior photos. The way I do things might be a little different or it might be completely the same, I have no idea, whichever it is, it works for me and my seniors! I have such a love for senior photos because they are unlike any other session. We aren’t on a fast moving schedule like a wedding day or working with an uncooperative child like a family session. Senior sessions allow me to be creative and artistic and I couldn’t be more excited to meet this year’s senior class.
When to a Book Senior Session.
Some people look forward to their senior pictures from the start of Junior year. Some dread the day they have to clean up and slap on a smile for their mothers sake. Whichever describes you it’s important to know when to book your senior session and what time of year to schedule it for.
Consider what type of things you enjoy, what time of year you have some free time and when you need those pictures handed into your yearbook class. High school students generally have the most free time during summer which is one reason summer is always a great option. The trees are green and lush. The lakes are blue and warm, giving you plenty of locations to choose from without having to work your schedule around weather. Photographers are usually not as busy in the early summer which also helps with schedule flexibility. Fall is the busy season, for good reason. The trees are spectacular in the midwest giving your photos a unique, colorful and warm feel. If that’s something you’re interested in fall would be a great option for you! Keep in mind fall gets busy with the start of the school year and fall sports practices. You really can’t go wrong with any season because Minnesota is beautiful through it all. Even the dead of winter has so much to offer, with a blanket of white snow your photos will look like a scene from Frozen (except not animated ;)) As great as these options are, the most important thing about your senior photos will be YOU. Whatever the background, I make sure you are the first thing anyone will see when looking at gallery of images.
Package Options to Suit your Needs.
As I mentioned before, every senior is different. Your senior session is something you will only experience once in your life and I want it to be an enjoyable experience for you. I offer three packages for seniors to choose from to make sure everyone’s needs are met. After any session you receive your images on an online gallery. This makes sharing your images with family and friends or printing your images easy breezy.
A basic session is most common. The basic session gives you five outfit choices. This may seem like a lot but when you add in any outfits for sports or other hobbies it becomes doable. I will talk more later about how to choose outfits. The mini session is more common with those that have that “just want to get it over with” attitude. With this package you will still have plenty of genuine and quality images to choose from for the yearbook without having to change five times, along with come up with outfits to change into. Lastly I offer a multi season package for those of you who can’t decide on a time of year. This session is flexible but what I suggest is doing about four outfits for one session and about two or three for the other. Depending on you… 🙂
Locations to Consider.
When you contact me about booking senior photos I send you a fun questionnaire to get more information about where you are from and what your interests are. This is helpful for me when it comes time to book a location. I am located in Graceville, Minnesota where I have a studio and TONS of locations great for senior sessions. If you go this route odds are good that we will be changing locations often and driving back and forth to the studio to get dressed and refreshed between each outfit. If that’s not your jam I can come to you or we can meet somewhere, whatever floats your boat. I love to capture seniors on their family farms or hometowns, incorporating what makes them… them. Depending on where you live there’s a good chance I know of a state park nearby or a wildlife that you would rock. These locations are great because it gives us so much to work with, without driving around and switching locations often.
What to wear.
Back to my favorite part…clothes!! It’s hard for me to tell you exactly what to pack and bring to your senior shoot. Everyone’s style is completely different and often times when you text me phone pictures of your outfits the one I like the least ends up photographing beautifly on you! What I can tell you about clothes is that you need to be comfortable and confident. Let’s say you book the basic package and you want five outfits to bring to your session. Here’s what I would suggest. Pack something that is always a go to for you. Not your sweat pants and not your Sunday dress. Something in between that is totally you. Then something that you’ve seen in stores or on other people and have always wanted an excuse to try. Trust me you’ll pull it off! Then something a little dressier for a more polished look. Whatever hobbies you have or sports you play can definitely be incorporated. Just like that you have four outfits. Add something to tie it all together. Maybe a nice simple dress. Maybe a solid tee and a cool pair of shoes.
Speaking of shoes, don’t forget accessories. A pair of earrings can really take your photos up a notch. Guys, we don’t need to wear our fav ball cap in every picture but if yours is on your head more often than not definitely bring it along. Now that you have outfits and accessories don’t forget these few things to help your session run smoothly. A hair brush or comb, hairspray, shoes to slip on and off that you aren’t afraid to get dirty, makeup to do a few touch ups and something to drink.
What Makes Gina Lee Photography Right For You?
You might be wondering if I’m the right choice for you. I don’t blame you, you have lots of options and I want to be the perfect fit. It’s better for both of us if I am.
Make sure you have looked at my senior photos. Every photographer has a different style. Check me out and make sure you like mine. Do the seniors in my photos look comfortable and confident? Do you see a range of poses and framing techniques… close up, far away, different details and artist touches? Do you see different locations, colors and themes mixed into my galleries? What do you see? Do you like what you see?
Mistakes Commonly Made.
If I do my job right I should have you relaxed and having actual fun during your session no matter how nervous you might be. However those nerves do get us from time to time and all I can say is put your trust in me as your photographer and communicate any worries you might be having. I can’t help calm you if I don’t know what is worrying you.
Like I said before, don’t forget to accessorize and incorporate things you love. We have plenty of time together, I can take a gorgeous headshot in seconds so don’t be afraid to do a little themed shoot for one of your outfits. Have your horse join the party or the stack of 500 books you’ve been collecting since before you could read them. Whatever it is, lets capture it case it makes you, you. Did you get that?
On the flip side of that, you don’t need a ton of themes and “out there” outfits to make your session great. After all it is about you and I don’t want you overtaken in all your photos by things you might not care about before the end of the school year. Simple is best for the most part. It’s all about balance.
What to do when it’s all over… PRINT!
Finally, thanks for reading all of that btw. It was a winded post. However I have been taking senior photos for over six years and most, if not all, of these topics come up when booking or preparing for your session. When it’s all said and done I hope you have a beautiful gallery of photos showing off you in this time of your life. I hope you are up at night freighting over which photo you love MOST to stick in the yearbook… hehe ;). When you finally decide which it is I have different options for printing.
Your gallery will be sent to you with a link and a password. It will have directions on what to do from there but I’ll give you a run down. First show off your gallery to friends and family. You are able to download your photos to your phone so do so and share them on social media but don’t forget to tag yours truly. When it comes to printing you are able to download and print wherever you please. However, you’ve spent so much time and invested good money into your photos so please don’t print them at the cheapest place you find. On your gallery you are able to order prints just like you would on snapfish or shutterfly or whatever. These are guaranteed to be quality prints and arrive at your door in no time. Wherever you choose to print just make sure that you do actually print them! It’s something about an image becoming tangible that makes it so much more magical.
When graduation time arrives and you need a guest book, card invitations or wallet prints you can hit me up and I can design and order whatever you need! Just give me some time to do so.