No doubt that senior year is full of an absolute plethora of memories. Visiting schools, homecoming, prom, and cramming in time with friends before you all scatter across the nation. As your senior year progresses days begin to speed by, weekends seem too short and before you know it graduation is here! Another rite of passage is Senior Portraits. If your family is anything like mine your Senior Portrait will be proudly displayed on the walls for decades to come.
Senior portrait season starts the second school lets out on the last day of junior year. This might feel early but bear with me. So many people want lush green grass and bright blue sky. This is Oklahoma and we know that window is small for weather where we look nice and are outdoors. Once the heat sets in it takes much more work to look fresh, poised and happy as the sun shines down. Right now Seniors in the Tulsa area should be doing some research on local photographers, deciding what you want to show off in your portraits and how you want to portray your personality. Meet with photographers and figure out whose personality meshes with yours. Ask questions. A good photographer will have questions for you too! These questions may come in a questionnaire or face to face. This is all so that the photographer gets to know you and can help you make the right decisions (and avoid the wrong ones!). For example, if you are a city kid chances are good a sunset in the middle of a field portrait is not the best fit for you.
After selecting a photographer the two of you will begin to discuss what type of setting you want (Studio Session, Downtown Tulsa, The Blue Dome District, Gilcrease Gardens, Bell’s Amusement Park, or would a field and creek be a better fit for you?). The photographer will also help you choose what to wear, including footwear and how many outfits to plan. You will want to give any new outfits a test run before the session to make sure you are comfortable in them and can move easily. Your photographer will also provide tips regarding grooming (no waxing or hair cuts the day of the session). Ask your photographer for recommendations for hair and makeup artists; having these done professionally can really make a photo session less stressful (ask them how long the appointment will be and make sure to allow an hour for travel time before the photo session so you do not get stuck in traffic!).
Book early! I offer early booking incentives for my Seniors who do portraits before the fall season!! These can be HUGE money savers! As the holiday season approaches my schedule becomes very full, and this can make booking the time you wanted difficult. By January you will begin your final spring semester. Finding the time to go shopping for your senior pictures, book a venue, actually take your photos, and schedule any potential re-shoots will be difficult. Plus you will need want to have graduation announcements in hand for Spring! Yearbook deadlines can be a factor too! Those are typically in the fall but vary by school. Be proactive and do this as soon as possible. Remember there’s always a chance that your yearbook committee will need to review your class’s senior portraits and possibly ask for resubmission’s if outfits or other criteria don’t match your school’s standards.
I know this seems like quite a bit to think about but a good photographer will help guide you through each step. We are happy to offer advice! While we prefer to have time we are well versed with a deadline crunch too!
Equipment Used: Canon 6D, Canon Rebel t3i, Canon 70-200 f2.8, Canon 24-105 f4, Canon 18-55 F3.5-5.6, Paul C Buff Alien Bee 800, Paul C Buff Vagabond Mini, Paul C Buff 56″ Octobox, Wescott 36″ white shoot thru umbrella, Fuzzy Flector, Induro AT413 Tripod, Manfrotto XPRO Monopod+ Three-Section Aluminum Photo Monopod, Vanguard SBH-300 Ball Head, Spider Holster Pro, PBL Pro Heavy 10′ light stand, Samtian LED Video Light Wand, Yongnuo YN660, Yongnuo YN560-TX MagMod, MagMod Sphere, Manfrotto Backdrop Support System, Black Muslin 10×20 Backdrop
Software Used: Adobe Bridge, Adobe Lightroom, Adobe Photoshop, Imogenic Portraiture, Nik Collection, Topaz Labs