Questions to Ask Before Your Teen’s Senior Pictures | Minneapolis Photographer

by | Feb 27, 2024 | Family Photography, Kiddos, Senior Photos, Sessions

Let’s say you’ve been looking at senior picture photographers for months, trying to pick one for your kiddo’s senior session. And you’re down to two options, but you’re REALLY struggling to pick. Whether I’m in the list of choices or not, there are a ton of things you can look at to make sure you’re picking the right photographer for you! I’ve talked about some of them when I went through what to think about when you’re choosing a senior photographer, but today I wanna get logistical.

So: What LOGISTICAL questions should you be asking before you book a senior session?

Can we order prints?

Before you ask about why you’d need to know whether you can print pictures through your photographer when you KNOW you can just walk down to Walgreens… let’s set the stage here. You get your daughter’s images after her senior session, and you love them. You’re so excited to hang one on the wall next to the pictures of your son from a few years ago. After picking the perfect headshot, you upload it to a self printing service, that says you can pick it up the next day at their local shop.

And you get there the next day, and pick up the print! All seems well, until you pull it out of the envelope, and… it’s green. Like, everywhere. The whole thing, off color and tinted, totally messed up, and you definitely can’t hang it on the wall in your livingroom for the next 20 years. Absolutely not.

Now, am I saying that’s DEFINITELY what’s going to happen if you print your images through a self print service? Especially if that service is professional and uses calibrated printers? No. I’m not saying that at all. You can print your images through whoever you want to, I’m not here to tell you where to get prints!

But what I CAN tell you, is printing through your photographer is going to make sure you don’t have THOSE kinds of problems. The kind where you end up having to complain, make another purchase, and get on the merry-go-round again. The printers photographers work with have specially calibrated printers, and we create images to work with them directly. But the development department at Walmart? It doesn’t.

So when you’re choosing between those photographers you’ve been looking at… ask about printing!

brothers in matching navy polo shirts during Minneapolis Fall Mini Sessions

How many images are in the final package?

Logistically speaking, the next thing you should think about? How many images are you actually going to get? Photographers range the whole map on this topic, so you DEFINITELY need to check out your photographer’s website, and see what they’re currently offering for senior sessions. I keep things simple, and a standard session comes with five fully edited digitals out of the box – but… you can always upgrade for more!

When you’re thinking about this question though, I want you to ask yourself how many images you’ll realistically need. Are you going to print them to send to family? What about your kiddo’s graduation announcements? You might not need more than five anyway, at the end of the day. But it’s entirely up to you how many are included, and that’s going to be the case for most photographers you might work with. So, make sure you take a look before you book!

A mom hugging her two daughters during a Minneapolis Fall Mini Session

Are outfit changes included?

Depending on your teen’s plans for their senior picture session, they might want a variety of costume changes. I mean, I’ve never met a teen who didn’t have many magical sides to them. And all of those sides deserve to be documented at this time in their life!!

So… a lot of the time, that requires some wardrobe shifts. Sessions here in the studio include wardrobe changes, and we can talk about all that before your teen’s session. But not all photographers include wardrobe changes in their packages! Some of them limit wardrobe to one outfit if you purchase a base session, and expand upward from there with time etc. So make sure you check in with your photographer about what’s included, and what can be done in their studio space. Some photographers might even have outfits in the studio that your kiddo can wear, so you’ll definitely want to have a conversation about it to be sure you’re planning appropriately.

How long is a session?

When you’re planning your soon-to-be-graduate’s senior picture session, another super vital logistical note to make sure you’re clear on, is how long sessions with your photographer usually take. Depending on the session you purchase, you could be looking at anything from 30 minutes to several hours, and those are obviously going to be super different from a planning perspective for you!

Normally, sessions I do here in the studio are around an hour long, give or take, but that’s less of a rule and more of a guideline. We can talk before your session about how many wardrobe changes your teen is going to want, and plan from there! But you’ll definitely want to be super clear on this detail before you come into the studio, to make sure that you and your photographer are on the same page.

Best friends posed against a pink backdrop for Minneapolis senior pictures

Do you offer indoor or outdoor sessions?

If you’re choosing between two photographers and you’ve looked at all of their stuff, you’re probably going to be pretty on it with this one. But… you need to make sure you know whether your photographer has access to a studio space! This is going to change the types of images that can be taken. If you (or your teen!) want to get some super simple images against a colored backdrop, for example, that’s very likely going to need to be a studio image. And without a studio space… that’s not going to be possible.

And the opposite is also true! If you want to have the session outdoors, and your photographer only works in the studio, then you’re not going to be able to work with that photographer to achieve the image you’ve got for the session. No matter how much you love their work. So ask your photographer, if it’s not obvious on their online presence!

P.S. Can’t decide on indoor or outdoor for senior pictures? I can help!

Got other questions you want to ask about senior pictures?

There are tons of other things to think about when you’re booking your teen’s senior pictures, and I definitely couldn’t fit them all into one post. But these are a few from the logistical standpoint! You’ll also want to think about things like their reviews, and their website, and things like their previous clients’ experiences. But, when in doubt? Reach out! To me (obviously!) or to the photographer you’re thinking about working with.

I’d love to answer any questions you’ve got about your teen’s senior picture session, and get you booked into the calendar!

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