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Understanding the business of senior portraits

From: Photographing High School Senior Portraits

Video: Understanding the business of senior portraits

You may not be a professional photographer, This is another tip that I've learned over the years And finally, this is the bonus tip, this is If we meet afterwards, and we often do, sometimes the handoff is a DVD So, just by following these few basic tips,

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.

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Image for Photographing High School Senior Portraits
Photographing High School Senior Portraits

25 video lessons · 4339 viewers

Derrick Story
Author

 
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  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

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