Choosing the right photographer for your Senior Pictures is so important. If you have confidence in your photographer, then you will feel more comfortable in front of the camera and of course, it stands to reason that excellent images will result. If the photographer is a qualified professional, you can be sure that you will have images to treasure for years to come. When choosing a qualified photographer it is important to look for the following qualities, skills, and attributes:
Style: Do you respond to their style? Do they have a "look" about their images that you really gravitate to? Read their Bio’s: If you feel a connection with the person after reading their "bio" or "about me" page, then hit the "contact/learn more" button and explore your options.
Experience: Does your photographer have the necessary experience to produce the quality images you want? Remember experience and education costs more. Are you willing to pay for it?
Products: Does the photographer offer what you want in a final product? For example are you wanting canvas prints, wallets, digital downloads, poster prints? Are you wanting an online gallery?
Availability and attention to detail: You want to make sure that your photographer is booking a limited number of sessions in order to give you personalized time both during and after your session. Trust your Instincts: If you don’t feel like he/she is a good fit for you, then walk away. You want someone that has a both a congenial personality and technical expertise to produce the images you are wanting. When you feel at ease with the person behind the camera then your photos will reflect that. Set up a time to talk to him/her: Most professionals are available either by phone or in person to answer any questions you may have. If he or she can’t call you or meet with you before the session, then find another photographer.
I hope this has been helpful. If you have any questions please contact me and I would be happy to answer them. And remember: At Kathleen Murphy Photography, I only book a limited number of sessions per month so that I can give my clients the care and attention they deserve.
Next Blog Entry: How to Plan Your Session's Overall Style and What to Wear...
A common question I get each year is:
When is the best time to schedule my senior photos?
Your senior year will be incredibly busy, so it is best to schedule your senior photos for the summer before your senior year begins. It might seem too early but it really isn’t. If you think about it carefully, you will come to realize that your senior year will incredibly busy. It is a time that will be full of college visits, completing applications for college scholarships, attending football games, marching band, fall athletics, studying for tests, and completing homework. This will leave very little time for scheduling senior photos and with the shorter days in the fall months, there are fewer daylight hours where appointments are available.
Also important to consider is the deadline that most of the Rochester area schools have for the yearbook submission of senior portraits. Be sure and ask your yearbook coordinator the exact date, but generally speaking, for most schools in the area, the deadline for submission is usually in early December.
Given the high intensity of activities and responsibilities of one’s senior year, it makes perfect sense to take pictures before the school year begins. This way you will have plenty of time to plan and schedule your session, choose your favorites for the photographer to edit, and order the pictures you want for friends and family.
Luckily, in Minnesota, most any summer month is perfect for taking photos! The weather is gorgeous; the flowers are blooming, and the temperatures are pretty moderate. The added bonus is that students aren’t in school; so scheduling photos is a lot easier to do. There simply aren’t limitations that athletics and academics of the school year often impose on the times seniors are available. Now that it is settled that summer is the best time, it is time for you to start looking for a great photographer.
Next Blog Post: How to Choose A Photographer.
Welcome to Part Two of Passport to Paris! In order to give the reader an inside look as to what it is like to be a part of a highly stylized shoot, our model, Sophia has been kind enough to answer a few questions below. ~Kathleen
KMP: What was your favorite part of the experience?
Sophia: My favorite part of the experience was the high fashion part of the shoot with the formal dress and the interesting backgrounds, like the Civic Center and the street/traffic in front of the library. I liked it because I really liked the dress and it was exciting being dressed up and made up and taking the photos in interesting places.
KMP: What would you say to anyone considering a stylized photoshoot? For example, what tips would you have for them? (like...wear a button up shirt to the salon, look through magazines for some inspiration...etc..
Sophia: For anyone considering a stylized photo shoot, I would recommend picking a theme that you are passionate about and researching styles online, looking at ideas on Pinterest and other internet sites related to your theme for ideas. I love fashion and Paris and I worked with the photographer to share ideas and come up with the look. I would suggest you wear comfortable clothes to the salon that won’t mess up your hair or make-up, like a button-up shirt or zip up hoodie.
What surprised you about the experience?
Sophia: What surprised me the most about the photo shoot was the end result. I have never seen myself so sophisticated and during the shoot I couldn’t imagine what it would look like. The hair and makeup was different from what I typically wear so I wasn’t sure how it would end up and I was a bit anxious about that, but the end results were so different from what I expected and I loved the look and how it all came together. Kathleen made it so comfortable for me and even though I had never done any modeling before, she helped me feel like I was doing a great job, even when I wasn’t sure of what to do.
KMP: If you could only pick one image from the shoot and publish it, which image would it be?
Sophia: If I could pick one image from the shoot and publish it, it would be the one where I am laughing. It was the most natural one that feels like the real me and it shows how fun it was. I also really like the one near the street with the traffic in the background because I saw a picture online of someone in Paris that did that and it reminded me of that photo. The sophisticated dress with the traffic in the background looks so cool and I couldn’t imagine how it would look at the time, but it ended up one of my favorites.
Our shoot was scheduled for a day when all forecasts predicted rain. But, since hair stylist, Jodi Lynn and makeup artist, Elena from La Sata Salon were booked and ready to make our Paris inspired photo session a reality, we decided to thumb our nose at Mother Nature and go for it!
La Sata Salon's very talented makeup artist, Elena, carefully checks the application after applying blush to the cheekbones.
Applying the classic red lipstick....
Notice the beautiful and timeless chignon, a classic hair design by the extremely creative and talented Jodi Lynn of La Sata Salon.
Our model, Sophia looked lovely in her black and white gown; her hair softly framing her face with beautiful pin curls: the back neatly gathered into a chignon at the nape of her neck. Her makeup featured a strong red lip with a simple soft palette of taupes in a matte finish. Her eyes are defined by mascara and liquid liner slightly turned up at the corner for a classic Parisienne look.
We began our shoot near the Rochester Civic Center and gradually worked our way over to Central Park where we had a lovely vintage style clock and classic Parisienne street lamps as a backdrop. There we took her chignon down; made a loose side pony tail, donned a red beret and peacoat with a classic tartan plaid skirt and simple suede flats. Afterwards, we opted for a few urban shots; Sophia's hair completely down with loose, soft curls courtesy of the pin curls. And, just as the rain began to fall, we finished up in a green space near the Baldwin Building downtown with the Plummer building in the distance.
Next blog post.... we will interview Sophia about her experience a find out what surprised her about the experience and which is her favorite image.
Do you want a photo shoot with a fashion edge, that reflects a specific feeling or atmosphere? If so, lets talk about your ideas, and together, we will come up with a one of a kind photoshoot that reflects your personality.
Why Specialize In Senior Portraits?
Why do I specialize in high school senior photography? Well, let me answer by having you glance at the image on the left. This was my senior photo for high school. Although It was lit correctly from the front with umbrella lighting; and the photographer used a great little hair-light behind me (camera left) to separate my chestnut colored hair from the dark background, it shows nothing more than a smiling (sort of) 17 year old. From this picture, you would never know that I was in choir, loved gymnastics, and photography. The session lasted no more than 20 minutes, including ordering the print package. I want to give you more. I want to work with you to create a shoot that reflects exactly who you are at this significant moment in time. I want you to have an experience that you will remember and I want you to have the amazing images to go with them. I have spent years behind a camera and the one time I was afforded the opportunity to stand in for a model that did not show up for a shoot was a seminal moment. THAT was the moment that I discovered exactly how hard it can be to sit on the other side of the camera. Because I understand that feeling very well, I will work to make sure you feel comfortable in front of the camera and strive to make your experience an excellent one.
What does it take to actually make an amazing session come to life? I began this blog so that you could get a sneak peak in what it is like behind the scenes. In my next blog you will see a photoshoot with a Parisienne look. We had a makeup artist, and hairstylist that worked together with both the model and me to make it happen. A beautiful wardrobe along with hair and makeup came together beautifully to create the look we were going for. I am excited for you to see the results when it goes live tomorrow afternoon! ~Kathleen
I love my family, cappucino cake, family hugs, giggling babies and sand under my feet....