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Senior Photography - The Basics

Senior portraits seek to capture the youth and life of a young adult about to move on to the next chapter of their life. For that reason most senior photos are usually themed by what the seniors' interests are. Senior portraits can be shot on location to add context to the photographs or for a more traditional senior portrait, they can be shot in a studio with a standard background. More elaborate senior portraits can include additional lighting props and post work in which blemishes, hair, etc. are corrected. A good senior portrait photographer will be able to quickly establish rapport with high school or college students, have the ability to help camera shy subjects look their best and will avoid having the use of props look staged and contrived (aka dorky).

by SmartShoot
Carolyn Schneider

Tips for Senior Photography


Find Your Style

For senior portraits, look for photographer profiles with a style that matches your own. If you're looking for a traditional senior portrait in a studio, look for similar photos that still capture personality. If you're interested in more lifestyle oriented senior portraits, look for a photographer who can gracefully incorporate aspects of high school or college that are important to you and your school experience.


Decide On Deliverables

Many senior photographers have pre-defined packages, including duration of the shoot and the print options. If you want prints to mail to your relatives or if you need a particular look to submit to your school yearbook, let your photographer know.



Senior portrait photography tends to be a seasonal demand so be flexible on your shoot dates and let your photographer know up front about any publication deadlines that you need to meet.


After The Shoot

Let your photographer know about any file size requirements that you have for your photos. Senior photos are usually touched up in post-production (where the photographer corrects lighting, color grades or removes blemishes, etc from the image) so time from shoot to delivery of the final images may vary. If there is some particular aspect of your portrait that you're concerned about (a good side, etc.), let your photographer know (preferably before the shoot).

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How much does Senior Portrait Photography cost?

Pricing, one of photographers' least favorite things to manage. Ahh, and all are priced so variably. What impacts price? Could be in part their equipment (good camera gear isn't cheap)... But we all know the camera doesn't create the picture on its own. Quality, ability, experience, a multitude of business expenses that most consumers aren't aware of, customer service, demand.

Find a Senior Creative near you!

SmartShoot brings the power of professional photos and videos.

We help businesses and individuals find and collaborate with professional freelance photographers and videographers. Our creatives have delivered over 80,000 projects around the globe.

An example project

5-10 Senior Portraits needed

An affordable Senior Portrait photo shoot will include 5 - 10 images that you can use for print and promotion. Be sure to include information about the number of location(s) and desired time of day for the shoot. Be sure to talk about what you would like to see and add appropriate examples where possible. Ask to retain all rights to the shoot, but give the photographer the option to include them in a portfolio.

Suggested Price: $450

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