• Kerry Paradis

Choosing The Best Photographer For Senior Portraits

Senior Portrait at Stepping Stone Museum taken by Kerry Paradis Photography

I am sure any one my age can attest to how bad some of the senior portraits were when we were in school. You would have to put on that tacky gown before your senior year and get your pictures taken. The problem is parents love to hang these pictures on the wall forever. Every time I am in my parents home I see my senior portrait on the wall and I cringe. My memory is not good enough to remember if there were any alternatives at the time. That is just the way it was and everyone just went with the flow. They were almost as bad as those Life Touch laser beam backgrounds we got in grammar school. Luckily for the millennials, there has been a big shift in this trend and parents and students are starting to venture out and get some “Real” senior portraits done. Today, it’s a completely different deal. Pictures are done in a more comfortable and natural environment.

What’s The Big Deal With Senior Portraits?

Senior portraits as I stated earlier are one of the few pictures that will remain on the walls of your parents FOREVER! The reason for this is because a student reaching their senior year is a major milestone for any teenager and parent. All their hard work has finally paid off and they are ready to start the next chapter of their life. It is typically the last year to hang out with most of their closest friends because unfortunately college can pull you in so many different directions. You meet new friends, may have new teammates if you play a sport and things are very overwhelming. Parents have been through this before and want to document this moment before the chaos with a long lasting memory.

How Do You Choose The Right Photographer?

This can be a tough question to answer and choosing the wrong one can have long lasting consequences. You should choose a senior portrait photographer similar to how you would choose any other major event you would want photographing. Although the style of the photographer is critical, their personality can be just as important. If you don’t get a good vibe from the person taking your pictures, you may not be as into the pictures as you could have been with someone who makes you laugh. Here are a few quick tips on choosing the right photographer for you:

1. Personality - As stated earlier, make sure it is someone who you can get along with. The last thing you want is any friction during the shoot. I have no problem speaking to or meeting my clients before the actual shoot. This goes for any shoot that I do.

2. Style - Look through their portfolio. Most photographers will have a snapshot of their portfolio on their website. Don’t let this be the only thing you judge them on. I have thousands of pictures in my portfolio that wouldn’t be feasible to put on my website. Please ask me for more pictures so I can give you an honest sample of my work.

3. Experience - There is nothing that can replace experience. I have been shooting for a very long time, even before I did it for a business. I have encountered every situation you can possibly imagine. Experience teaches you how to deal with certain lighting, editing, personalities, etc. It is irreplaceable. You may be thinking that because I have more experience that I charge a lot more than the competition. I try and run my business as the photographer who has great pictures at a very reasonable price. Are their photographers cheaper than me, sure. Remember, sometimes you get what you pay for too.

4. Referrals - Word of mouth is where the bulk of my business comes from. If you are looking for a photographer, ask your friends who they would recommend or look at the pictures they got done. The reason why I get so much referral business is because I make s ure you like your final product. If things don’t go well during the shoot (bad hair day, etc.) we will do it again. There is nothing that drives me crazier than an unsatisfied customer.