Frequently Asked Questions by Senior Parents
Here’s the deal. Being the first born comes with a lot of different responsibilities. One of them being is figuring out how in the heck do senior photos work. You may think I’m being dramatic, but more times than not your parents look to the oldest to figure out the ins and outs of senior pictures. If you are anything like my family than the oldest is a boy. I was the first girl to get senior pictures taken and that meant that my mom was super confused on how it all worked. My brother got pictures taken but they were really low key in our front yard, with our dog and one shirt. He wanted none of it basically. He was only agreed to 30 minutes of pictures. While I, on the other hand, wanted to WHOLE experience. It was crucial that I had the best possible senior pictures and that meant that my mom was thrown into all the nonsense. She had SO MANY QUESTIONS! Not even kidding. All parents, grandparents, older siblings, etc. I am here for you. I know you have questions. I am here to answer them so help this moment be one of celebration and not stress. I’ll also give you a bunch of questions that you as the parent should be asking your kiddo’s photographer. Sometimes we get so caught up in the beauty of the moment and forget the logistics (I can say that from the side of the senior and the photographer).
Okay first things first, don’t take all my answers fully to heart. I want you to trust what I have to say, but at the same time all the answers I give you are going to be more related to sessions with me and less about sessions with other photographers. I think that this will help you in any capacity just to start the conversation! That being said, LET’S DO THIS THING!
1. Can I (as the parent) come to the senior session?
This is the number one question that I get asked by parents. In my opinion, the more the merrier. I love having parents come to sessions! That also being said, you shouldn’t necessarily be the whole entire shoot. You’re probably like what? Why? Well, what I’ve found with all seniors and people is that when you bring someone you need to have some separation so that I can tell you to do kind of silly things. Usually, people find doing those things embarrassing in front of other people. This means that you can be around, but try not to hover over your senior during every single frame.
Truth bomb moment. When I was a senior I made my mom come but sit in the car! It’s so embarrassing to say out loud now. I was so nervous and worried my mom wouldn’t like my hair looked or whatever. Sorry mom, I know that’s so silly looking back because I know now she’s nothing but supportive. I think that the more the merrier, but make sure to give some space so that we can let our freak flag fly.
2. Do I need to be the one to be in contact with the photographer?
The answer to this is totally dependent on the photographer. Since, more times than not, a senior or junior in High School is under the age of 18 then some photographer prefers to deal with the “business” side of things with the adult. That also being said, I love to get to know the senior. I, as well as many photographers, ask to sign a contract for their services, which by Oregon law must be signed by someone over the age of 18. That means sometimes we as the photographer have to communicate with the parent. It gets kind of legally and complicated, but overall I am happy to talk to either the senior or the parent about anything!
3. What is everything that we need for a complete senior session?
Wow, is this a loaded question. I think the best thing to ask your senior photographer is what are we getting with the price for the session? Some photographers quote you for the session but not for the pictures, digital file, or prints. Others include a flat fee where you can get almost everything (that’s me!). This is an IMPORTANT QUESTION! If you or your senior has ANY confusion then it’s better to ask before you book or pay the nonrefundable deposit. It’s all about being happy with not only the images but the overall experience. Being upfront and transparent is really important to me as well as other photographers. Sometimes being the photographer gets hard because we forget, as industry experts, that not everyone understands specific phrasing. Better safe, than sorry in my opinion. If you feel like you need to take the reigns on the conversation then go for it!
4. What can I bring to a senior session?
SO MANY THINGS! Mainly, love and support. Honestly, it is my favorite thing in the world when I have a mom, best friend, or even sometimes the whole family saying behind me: “wow, you look so stunning!” The senior loves the experience that much more and it’s something y’all can bond about forever and ever. You can also bring more practical things as well, like hair spray, lipstick touch up abilities, and to carry around your senior's clothes! I think that this also totally depends on the senior too. Some parents just need to stand there and look good while others are buried with different shoes, jackets, and sometimes (yes this is real) horses.
Okay, so this may seem overwhelming for all you parents out there, but in reality, there’s not much you need to do besides stay informed.
Biggest pro tip for all you parents who are new to senior session and photographers: Be supportive and soak in the moment! IT’S TIME TO HAVE FUN!
If you’re looking for even more information feel free to contact me here.