Senior Portraits!! I have been talking a lot about them since the start of the new year because shooting more senior portraits is my biggest photography GOAL for 2017. I've been game planning on how to make that happen, have asked for your help (and probably will a few more times, if you don't mind!), and then realized I needed to share my WHY with you. WHY is getting this particular group of people in front of my camera important to ME?
Well, as a photographer, shooting individual portraits is an intimate experience - you're one-on-one with your client. I love getting to know what people are doing, where they're going, what interests them, and seeing a bit of who they are while we're together. It is really hard to do this in any other setting, so to start, I'm looking for more personal connections with my clients.
But why SENIOR portraits and not just headshots or professional portraits? There is something so special about that time in a young person's life...they're finishing up high school (a feat in and of itself), they're learning what they LOVE and WHO they want to be, they're gearing up to take a huge step into the 'real' world by going to college or starting their career or traveling or...so many options and paths before them. They have big dreams and a whole life-time of enthusiasm. I want to capture that time, that feeling...freeze it so they can look back 10 years later and remember it, even if who they are now is a whole world from where they were. There is power in remembering those youthful ambitions.
I want to make those senior sessions more than just an hour in front of the camera - I want to partner with them to create something that is uniquely them! I want their parents to look at the images and really SEE their baby...not just their face, but their personality and their interests.
Lastly, I want to work with these seniors because my senior portrait experience was AWKWARD and I don't want anyone else to feel like that. We went to the photographer who did two of my older siblings' photos, so my mom knew him already and was comfortable at his studio. He and his wife were very nice, his backyard and studio were set up beautifully, and we got nice pictures to give out and hang, but it was my first time in front of a camera in that kind of setting and I was so nervous. This was almost 10 years ago now, so I don't remember what he said or how he directed me while posing, but I do remember not really feeling like I could contribute to the creating of the photos. I didn't know much about what I wanted going in, so why should I say anything?!
I want all of my senior clients to play an active role in creating their session and feel comfortable enough to make their own suggestions, so they are truly happy with the result. I know some of you are probably thinking exactly what I was thinking...'how can I contribute if I don't know anything about photography or posing or what I want?' Well most people are on social media now and we've all seen other people's photos and know what we like or don't like. We've seen photos and know that just 'isn't us'. Most people know how they look the best in photos (i.e. outfits, poses, positions, angles...). That's where we start!
And don't worry moms and dads, your input is so valuable - you're part of the partnership too, from start to finish!!
SO here's to a great new year and getting more seniors in front of the camera! If you are a high school student, you have a child who is going to be a senior, or you know someone who might be interested - please contact me and/or pass this on! I can't wait to start having those conversations!!