Photographing High School Senior Portraits
Illustration by
Watching:

Understanding the business of senior portraits


From:

Photographing High School Senior Portraits

with Derrick Story

Video: Understanding the business of senior portraits

You may not be a professional photographer, but it never hurts to act like one. And I have a few tips here to help you make your project run smoothly. I'm going to start out with the shot list. I think the shot list is very important even on a simple portrait shoot. Now, for a wedding of course you have to have a shot list because there's so many different events. But, even for a portrait shoot they come in handy. Because you're a photographer, not a mind reader, and you need to know what your client expects from the shoot.
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 3m 10s
    1. Welcome
      1m 12s
    2. Understanding the art and business of portraiture
      1m 58s
  2. 14m 15s
    1. Understanding the general guidelines for senior portraits
      1m 44s
    2. Exploring the light in various shoot locations
      3m 24s
    3. Understanding the business of senior portraits
      3m 36s
    4. Pricing for portrait shoots
      2m 55s
    5. Setting up a portable studio
      2m 36s
  3. 28m 34s
    1. Understanding the minimum space requirements for a studio shoot
      2m 25s
    2. Working with portable stands and backdrops
      2m 44s
    3. Posing and photographing female subjects
      7m 21s
    4. Discussing the interior shoot expectations with a student
      4m 35s
    5. Posing and photographing a male subject
      8m 36s
    6. Working with continuous lights vs. strobes
      2m 53s
  4. 31m 18s
    1. Reviewing the gear for the outdoor portrait shoot
      5m 35s
    2. Reviewing additional accessories for the outdoor portrait shoot
      3m 52s
    3. Working with family members during a portrait shoot
      5m 49s
    4. Discussing the expectations for the yearbook portrait
      4m 55s
    5. Shooting a portrait, starting with natural light
      7m 5s
    6. Taking advantage of the golden hour for outdoor portraits
      4m 2s
  5. 39m 36s
    1. Sorting through the portrait shoot session
      7m 17s
    2. Picking the set to share with the client
      6m 54s
    3. Sharing the image set with the client
      5m 42s
    4. Working with a client in person to review images
      9m 26s
    5. Touching up and post work on the client favorites
      5m 6s
    6. Reviewing the final selects picked by the photographer
      5m 11s

Start your free trial now, and begin learning software, business and creative skills—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.

Start Your Free Trial Now
please wait ...
Watch the Online Video Course Photographing High School Senior Portraits
1h 56m Intermediate Jun 02, 2014

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

The senior portrait is a traditional rite of passage for a high school student. But senior portraits aren't what they used to be: staid, format portraits shot in front of a mottled gray background. These days, an effective senior portrait conveys the personality of its subject, and is often shot on-location or outdoors.

In this course, photographer and educator Derrick Story details the art and the process of modern senior portraiture, from working with the subject and his or her parents to plan a shot list, to shooting indoors and out, to delivering the final shots. Along the way, he examines gear and workflow considerations, including lighting, sharing proofs, and post-processing.

And because senior portraiture is a potentially lucrative business, the course concludes with a discussion of various business angles, including developing a pricing strategy, connecting with local high schools, marketing through social media outlets, and more.

Subject:
Photography
Author:
Derrick Story

Understanding the business of senior portraits

You may not be a professional photographer, but it never hurts to act like one. And I have a few tips here to help you make your project run smoothly. I'm going to start out with the shot list. I think the shot list is very important even on a simple portrait shoot. Now, for a wedding of course you have to have a shot list because there's so many different events. But, even for a portrait shoot they come in handy. Because you're a photographer, not a mind reader, and you need to know what your client expects from the shoot.

So, I just interview them, and it could be at a coffee shop. It could be on the phone. And just jot down some of the shots that they want to make sure they get during our session. Then I put those in an email, send it back to them, say are we on the same page here? Once I get that response, then I know that they and I are thinking about the same sort of poses during the session. So, I think a shot list is very helpful. Another thing that I like is the agreement.

And this is just an agreement between myself and the subject. And I use this for next door neighbors and friends, too. Again, just like the shot list, the agreement, you write down what you're going to do, when you're going to meet, where you're going to meet. When I'm going to deliver the photos. Both parties sign it and then you have it down on a piece of paper. Now, you can get sample agreements for photographers from websites such as Docracy, I have it up right here, ASMP, there are a number of sites where you can get sample agreements and then you can shape them for your own.

This is another tip that I've learned over the years and I get a model release while we're at the shoot. And the reason being is that you may get a shot that you really like, a shot that you want to enter in a contest. Or have it be part of a magazine article. And if you have the model release up front, then all you have to do is contact the subject when the big event happens and say hey, you're going to be in this magazine article, we already have the paperwork taken care of. I just wanted to let you know.

It is much easier than trying to get the paperwork later on. 'because they've already lost interest in the shoot. So, getting the model release upfront is a very, very good idea. And finally, this is the bonus tip, this is the one that really finishes off the job nicely. If we meet afterwards, and we often do, sometimes the handoff is a DVD or a CD, sometimes it's a download where they just go to a website. But often, clients like to get together afterwards just to kind of put a finishing touch on the job.

What I do is I make a couple prints. Some of my favorite prints from the shoot. Prints that I think show them off in a very nice light, and I give them to them as my gift to them as a thank you for letting me take their picture. I'll tell you, this really finishes off nicely. And in a business where we depend on referrals, and you may not be thinking that you want to be a senior portrait photographer. But suddenly when people start showing off your work, you may decide, hey you know, people are calling me.

This is not such a bad thing to do. So, giving the gift of a print at the very end, I think is a good finishing touch, leaves a good vibe to what hopefully is a successful shoot. So, just by following these few basic tips, you can give your project a very professional feel.

There are currently no FAQs about Photographing High School Senior Portraits.

 
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ .

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

* Estimated file size

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Photographing High School Senior Portraits.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member ?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferences from the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Learn more, save more. Upgrade today!

Get our Annual Premium Membership at our best savings yet.

Upgrade to our Annual Premium Membership today and get even more value from your lynda.com subscription:

“In a way, I feel like you are rooting for me. Like you are really invested in my experience, and want me to get as much out of these courses as possible this is the best place to start on your journey to learning new material.”— Nadine H.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.