My own senior photos were taken at a studio in a small town in the midwest. They cost my parents a rather large sum of money and the photographer was reputable and professional. But I never really liked them, and today I would rather see almost any picture of myself than those. Unfortunately, I don't think my experiences are as uncommon as they should be.
Creating exceptional images of a person who is just discovering who he will be--who may still be a bit awkward or uncomfortable with that developing personality--is a challenge, and one that deserves a lot more personal attention than a templated pose plus sports or hobby item, or a traditional background with Sunday clothes, can offer.
In order to create senior photos with class that will last and a story that means something, I have seniors follow a procedure that I believe will help me to tell their best story.
1. An Interview is mandatory before any senior shoot. Both the subject and I should come to this meeting hoping to learn. I will learn what the subject is like and what he or she cares about; the subject will learn what looks good in a photograph and what kinds of things can be used to communicate in a still image. Expect this meeting to take up to fifteen minutes but not longer.
2. Outfits, props, and location should be discussed at the interview. I am open to many different kinds of options but I will not photograph anything immodest or tasteless (photographer's discretion). Outfit, props, and location should all be used to tell a unified story or create a consistent mood in the photograph. We will work together to create the perfect combination to tell the best story.
2. A Review of the subject will take place once the subject arrives for the shoot, to confirm that wardrobe, makeup (where applicable), and any other props or accessories are in order. If there is any problem the subject will have the opportunity to fix the problem before the shoot. Also, if the subject is dressed immodestly or inappropriately, I reserve the right to refuse to take the picture. The sitting fee is still due in such cases, but the subject will always be given an opportunity to rectify the situation.
3. An Assistant, Parent, or Friend must always be present when I am shooting a young lady, or any minor child. This is to avoid unpleasantness, lawsuits, and--last but not least--the appearance of evil.
4. A Re-Shoot can be requested by the subject if for some reason none of the initial photographs were acceptable. This may be provided at no cost in some instances (Photographer's discretion) but will never cost more than half of the original fee.
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