You know, we get a lot of really great people in our studio. Some have outrageous ideas, and others have no ideas at all. We work with ’em both, of course.
This young lady wanted something a little more retro than most, so we accommodated her. She graduates as a home schooled senior this year, and we wish her all the best.
So, when your photographer advertises that big special offer, which might include a CD of images from the session, you’re ready to jump on it because you love getting the CD, right? What’s not relevant here is how many images you get, or the circumstances. What’s important is that if you only got a CD, you’re not only cheating yourself, but you’re getting cheated. Read on.
Notwithstanding that a CD might cost less than a buck, and that your photographer with a certain style might spend less than a hour on your images, what are you really getting? Yes, you get the experience and professional photography. You get good customer service, a fun time with a genuinely nice person, and even some good pictures. But are you getting something that will last forever?
Do you remember the 8-track tape? Cassette tape? Most people don’t use CDs anymore (they only hold about 700MB), and most use DVDs (which hold over 4GB). But with the advent of Blu-Ray, how long will it be before that DVD is out of date? Or that file format? What will you do in ten years when DVDs are no longer supported by computers (most computers today no longer support floppy drives)?
Here’s something else to consider… where will you store your disk? What will you do with the images on it? Post them on Facebook? How long will they stay there? They may remain on your photo gallery for a long time, but they will get pushed to the bottom like all the others have over time. And forgotten. The disk may get lost or damaged (do you know how to take care of a DVD properly?)
It’s time for you to take control. If your photographer offers only a disk, ask for more. Demand prints. Tell them you want your images to be on the wall, in full view, for all to see. Be proud of your portraits, your wedding, your children and your family! Don’t hide them away on a disk anymore. Put them out for the world to see!
Here’s more to consider. Did you know that children who see pictures of themselves on the walls have a greater sense of well-being and self-confidence as they grow up? They can’t see those pictures of they’re on a disk. And couples who put their wedding pictures on the walls and in an album are more likely to stay together than those who don’t. We have clients who regularly share their pictures on the walls with us – and they have fabulous relationships, wonderful families and beautiful children!
Listen… this is not hard to understand. And yes, we DO sell the image files for most of our sessions and weddings. But we always offer you prints at the same time. And we always will, because they mean you will always see the pictures that you have tucked safely away in a dark storage place (after you made a backup, right?)
So, what are you going to do next time your photographer offers a disk-only portrait session? That’s right, demand prints!
Eddie seemed quiet at first, but quickly became a good conversationalist. We talked about track & field, his desire to work in law enforcement, and graduation.
I guess you could say that I met Kayla first as a dancer, and have known her for awhile. But Kayla moved on to other interests, which includes cheerleading for Martinsburg High School. She has a persistent smile, so I’m sure that helps.
One thing that is familiar among many of this year’s models is height. Kayla comes in at just under six feet tall, which always makes for an interesting opportunity in street-level shooting. In the studio, we just made her sit down. 🙂
You will be able to see more of Kayla’s (and all our senior models) images on our Facebook page. You can learn more about our senior portraits on our website.
This is the first in a series of articles about senior portraits. Not how to photograph them, market them or even get into the business of them. But more along the lines of education for parents and students alike who want to go into the senior portrait season with a bit more savvy & educated about the many choices they have available.
Let’s start out with what exactly senior portraits are.
In short, they are thought of by many as a rite of passage. The “it’s my turn” phenomenon started somewhere along the way, giving young people an opportunity to give family and friends a picture of themselves, maybe as a celebration of the graduation prospect, but more likely a final “farewell” to the days of high school and a “hello” to the adulthood which follows.
Whatever it may mean to you, this area is passionate about senior portraits. Not all areas of the country are. Some portrait photographers in other states routinely ask the question “what are senior portraits?” After a brief description, they say “kids will never go for that, much less the parents.” Around here, participation in senior portraits is pretty healthy (as in, there are lots of people doing it).
High schools typically engage a photography company to take senior portraits. The photography company is responsible for scheduling the seniors to have their portraits taken (usually at the school) during a 2-3 week period during the summer between their junior and senior year. While students are always encouraged and compelled to participate, it is not a requirement. Many schools require that the school photographer take their yearbook photo, due mostly to the desire to avoid a multitude of different backgrounds and dress codes. Just for the record, we comply with the background and dress code requirements for Berkeley, Jefferson and Morgan county seniors. The reason why the schools select a single photographer is because the photographer makes a deal to donate back up to 50% of their sales to the school. This usually helps fund the production of the yearbook, and keeps the individual cost of yearbook sales down.
Students who want to comply with the school’s mandated dress code and background for their yearbook photo should either have their yearbook photo taken at the school (they usually do it at no charge), or select an area photographer who meets the requirements and can do it for them. We do not charge to take the yearbook photo, as long as you are also having other pictures done with us. We do charge for taking and submitting the yearbook photo if you are having no other photos taken.
After all is said and done, a senior (and parent, most likely) will look at the photos, the packages, and their picture needs and decide what to order. There is such a variety of photographic products now, I’m going to hold off on that for another installment.
So, that’s the basics. There’s more to come. Next up: Choices.
Lynsey was one of those people I’ve photographed quite a bit, but never knew it. We first “met” when we have photographed her as part of her band performances at Boonsboro High School. When her mother called about the senior models program, well, it just had to be done.
Very quick-witted, Lynsey was able to keep up with my constant patter during her shoots. We’re very much looking forward to working with her in the coming months. Oh, and look for a post about her sister!
For more information about senior portraits, please visit our Senior Site!
Katy contacted us about our Senior Models program (and so can you!) from Musselman High School. She has a lot of ideas, and we have enjoyed working with her now for two complete sessions. I’m sure there’s much more to come.
Are you interested in getting discounted senior portraits? Refer someone to us, and get a 10% discount off your order (up to a total of 50% off!) For more information, go to our Seniors Page.
Haylee first impressed me some twelve years ago, when I met her as a tiny dancer. Her attitude hasn’t changed much; she’s in love with life, and has a passion for being what she wants to be.
Haylee is a 2012 Senior at Hedgesville High School. Her sessions were full of life, opportunity and drama… this is but one of many more to come of Haylee. If you have an opportunity to ask her about our senior portrait program, do so… she is one of our local models/ambassadors.
For more information on senior portraits, go to seniors.tlcphotography.com.
We put the finishing touches (sort of) on the new senior site yesterday. It is chock full of information about our senior portrait program. We go into detail about virtually everything, plus there are plenty of images (and more to come) in our gallery page.
– Go to seniors.tlcphotography.com.
– Start out on the ‘Home’ page, and take advantage of the current senior specials.
– Then click through the rest of the pages for more information about the 2011 Senior Catalog, our facility, consultations, makeup and hair, and much more.
– Please feel free to call us about your senior portraits.
75% off all senior sessions through the end of May. Call or click for more details.
Of course, we’ll continue to post images on Facebook and on our main site. But this one has everything you need to know – and more. 🙂