In honor of a new graduating class, and all of you High School Juniors out there, I wanted to create a super simple and easy question checklist for all of you soon-to-be seniors to ask before officially hiring your senior photographer. All seniors should have a photo session to celebrate their final year in high school. There are many people out there claiming to be photographers and you could end up having a poor experience because they are not experienced. I want you to have the BEST experience and end up with senior pictures that you will love years from now! I hope these questions come in handy for you as you start the senior photographer search.
Be sure to check out the end of this blog post for a freebie question checklist with all of the questions I am about to go through.
- How many outfit changes do you get with your session package?
Some photographers limit the number of outfits, which could be a deciding factor in who you hire.
- How many locations do we get with your session package?
If variety in your senior pictures is important to you, this is a must-ask question.
3. How much of the deposit do you require and when is it due?
Make sure you and the senior photographer are on the same page and determine how much you will have to pay for a retainer, how soon is the amount due, and what is included.
4. Is the deposit refundable or transferable?
Again, life happens. Find out what you’re getting into and what will happen if something comes up and you can no longer make your scheduled session.
5. What is your cancellation policy?
Life happens. Make sure you know what you are signing up for in case you have to cancel or reschedule for any unforeseen reason.
6. Is my preferred season for your session available?
If you have always dreamed of your senior photos to be taken in the fall, but your photographer is already booked – you want to know that before you sign anything.
7. Do you offer retouching or corrective services?
Know if your photographer offers these services and to what extent they are included in the package. If they are not included, they may be on a quote-basis.
8. What is your backup system like?
Ensure you’re hiring a photographer who has a secure back-up system in place in case something happens to your digital files.
9. What is your turnaround time?
Make sure your senior photographer gives you an idea of when you can expect to see your session photos. You don’t want to get close to your graduation party and still not have your photos.
10. How do you deliver photos?
An online gallery is the most popular form of delivery. Make sure it is something that is easily accessible for yourself and when sharing with friends and family.
11. How long do we have access to the photos?
Verify you will have enough access time to go through them, make downloads and select prints.
12. How long is a senior session?
Check to make sure you have enough time to get all of the outfits you’d like photographed, and to not feel super rushed. 1-2 hours is typically an average senior session.
13. Can we order prints and albums directly from you?
Find out how the photographer handles photo products such as prints, albums, and digitals. Will you be able to print through a third party, or can you go through your photographer?
14. Do you do other types of photography?
Photographers who specialize in senior photography have specific equipment and skills to capture images that your senior will love. If the Photographer specializes in senior photography, then they have experience with everything seniors need to get the best pictures.
Because this is an important time in your life and I want every senior to have an excellent experience with whomever their photographer is, here are some additional tips:
- Ask to see full galleries of recent senior sessions the photographer has done
- Ask your friends and family who they used for their senior photos
- Check out their “tagged” section on Instagram to see more of their work from real clients than what is on their curated feed
And that’s it! I hope you have found these questions useful as you head into this new journey of junior or senior year. Don’t forget – be sure to save the Question checklist freebie below so you never forget to ask your next portrait photographer before officially booking.
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