When Should I Book A Photographer For Senior Pictures?

As a Northfield portrait photographer, I am often asked by families of soon to be high school seniors when should they book a photographer for senior pictures.  Senior photography sessions are a little different than other session types, so I completely understand why some families are unsure of the traditional timelines and when they should book a photographer for senior pictures.

Since I am so often asked when families should book a photographer for senior pictures, I wanted to take some time to discuss what the traditional timelines are other things to consider when deciding when to book a photographer for senior pictures.

Finding a Photographer | When Should I Book A Photographer For Senior Pictures

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The first step when you book a photographer for senior pictures is to find a photographer.  The top ways to find senior photographers In Northfield are to begin with a search online.  Google is always a great start and a way to search for local senior photographers in the Northfield area.  Google results will give you a list of photographers, along with a map showing where they are located.

Other families prefer to look for photographers on social media, like Facebook and Instagram.  The perks of using social media to find a local senior photographer is that you can see a lot of their work and get a great idea of the photographers style.  Knowing the style of images you want is an important thing to keep in mind when you book a photographer for senior pictures.

Ask friends and family for recommendations.  Usually families with seniors know other families with seniors or recently graduated seniors. They will be a great resource when looking for a senior photographer.  Friends and family are great at giving honest feedback on photographers, both good and bad.

Traditional Timelines | When Should I Book A Photographer For Senior Pictures

Most of the time, senior pictures are taken before start of the senior year of school.   Families of seniors will book their senior photography sessions with photographer in late spring or summer.  This gives the families a relaxed timeframe to book pictures, since they have all summer to book the session and have their senior pictures taken by a local photographer.  It also lets families book a photographer for senior pictures before the start of the school year, when things can get hectic.  There is a lot going on with normal school activities, and the senior year of high school has even more obligations and timelines to squeeze in.

Yearbook Requirements | When Should I Book A Photographer For Senior Pictures

An important date to know when looking to book a photographer for senior pictures is when pictures are due for the school yearbook.  Many schools will have a deadline in September or October.  Senior pictures need to be turned into the schools by this point to be included in the yearbook.

I have also seen in recent years that schools are having specific requirements for the pictures submitted.  Some have specific file size requirements, pose requirements, and specifics on lighting.  I always recommend checking with the schools to see what the yearbook deadline is and if they gave any specific image requirements.

Plan Ahead – Some Photographers Book Months In Advance | When Should I Book A Photographer For Senior Pictures

One important thing to remember when you book a photographer for senior pictures, is to book with enough time for the session, editing, and image delivery before your school deadlines. Some high school senior photographer in Northfield MN, like myself, are booking months in advance.  While I do my best to fit in last minute inquiries, there are times when I have to turn people away because I am unable to fit them into my photography schedule and still meet their high school deadlines.

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Your Photographer | When Should I Book A Photographer For Senior Pictures

I believe one of the most important parts of a successful photography session is the photographer, and how well they mesh with the senior and the family.  Having a photographer that you are not comfortable with can make a session painful.  And when you are not enjoying your picture being taken, it shows in your images.  Getting a feel for your photographer before you book a photographer for senior pictures is important.

I offer no obligation studio visits to interested senior session clients. This lets families meet me, see the studio, see the props I have available, and look over the prints and products I offer in person.  Since I have started offering them, studio visits have been a favorite for clients.  They love that it takes answers a lot of their questions about what the session will be like, and lets them book a photographer for senior pictures with confidence.

Seasons for Pictures | When Should I Book A Photographer For Senior Pictures

If you have a specific season in mine for senior pictures, be sure to consider that when you book a photographer for senior pictures.  With some photographers booking months in advance, you may need to book early to assure you have summer images.

Northfield senior photographers like myself also offer add on senior photography sessions for later in the year.  For example, if you wanted to have both summer and winter senior pictures taken, the summer session can take place in the summer and still meet all of the yearbook requirements for timelines.  Then a fall or winter senior session can take place later in the year.   High school seniors like adding on additional seasons for reasons like variety in their senior pictures, a special place means something to them, or they play a winter or fall sport and want images of that activity in the fall or winter.

If you want to book an additional senior photographer session, be sure to mention in when you book a photographer for senior pictures.  Photographers will often have special add on package pricing for these types of sessions, and they may not be posted on their websites.book a photographer for senior pictures Northfield MN

Location Choices | When Should I Book A Photographer For Senior Pictures

The majority of my senior photography sessions take place in the Northfield area.  Some seniors want their session to take place in other locations for a variety of reasons.  Some want a location that will be different than their friends and classmates locations, other prefer a location in the metro area, and some want a location that is personal.

Other seniors prefer a session that takes place in the studio, with a more simplistic and modern look.   Studio sessions offer more flexibility in scheduling, due to the always changing weather conditions in Minnesota.  Especially in the late summer or fall.   I also offer the opportunity to split the session between the studio and a location in the Northfield area.  The outdoor locations include both urban and nature area locations.  It is a great way to add variety to high school senior pictures.

Interests & Hobbies | When Should I Book A Photographer For Senior Pictures

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While photographer have lots of ideas for your senior pictures, it is also great when your senior photography session incorporates your interests and hobbies.  Put together a list of the hobbies, specific items, or other topics you would like incorporated into your session. Knowing this before you book a photographer for senior pictures will help your photographer customize a session based on your hobbies and interests.

Don’t have a hobby or interest you want incorporated?  No problem.  This is also the time for you to think of what you do want included in your session.  From pets, wildflowers, cars, lakes, and more, these items can be included in your session too.  Just mention it when you book a photographer for senior pictures or in the session planning phase.

Printed Pictures | When Should I Book A Photographer For Senior Pictures

Another thing to consider when you book a photographer for senior pictures, is if you want printed photographs from your session.  While there are many online and retail stores that offer printed photographs, professional photographers have access to specialty print labs that offer different products and high quality prints.  This is a huge milestone for seniors, and I firmly believe that if you are investing in professional senior pictures, than those images deserve to be professional printed.  And not printed through an online retailer with the best price or current coupon.  Invest in your memories.

I offer a variety of photographic prints and products, from the leading national and international photo labs.  I offer photographic prints, canvas wraps, acrylic prints, metal prints, albums, wooden prints, and more.  I have put together a collection of amazing products for you to display you images with.  My top purchase for senior sessions is graduation announcements.  These can be purchased right after your session, or closer to graduation dates.  My custom designs are new each year, and customized to each senior.  Seniors love having unique announcements.

Final Thoughts | When Should I Book A Photographer For Senior Pictures

The most important things to keep in mind when you book a photographer for senior pictures are:

  • Find a photography style you like
  • Book far enough in advance to meet yearbook timelines
  • Mention special requests like location choices, season preferences, sports and hobbies, and more.  This lets your photographer customize a session specifically to the senior.
  • Have fun – this shift from kid to adult is an exciting time and should be a fun experience.

To book your session, contact me today.  Use the contact form below, or email me at Info@StephanieBennettPhotography.com.

You can also check on recent sessions on the blog, or follow me on Facebook or Instagram to see what’s new.

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