A Key to Great Portrait Outcomes

Now that the days are going longer photographers all around Iowa, including myself, are gearing up for the outdoor portrait season. With a new group of kids that are becoming Seniors in high school our days from the spring to the fall will be filled with late teens trying to get that portrait that everyone wants. Theses days it seems that Senior Portraits have become a marker or a right of passing from kid to young adult ready to take on the world. With that, my job as a photographer is about creating and capturing that in a small group of images. No pressure, right? So in order to create this situation I need the client just to do one thing, participate.



Imagine if you will that you are an artist and stranger walks up to you, who knows you by your work and says; “ I want you to create a painting for my living room” then walks away. Leaving only their phone number and a time they want the painting done by, they give you very little else to go on. So what do you do? What would you do? Call them and try to see what the space looks like or just create the same thing you always create and hope it works out? This is what I face as a photographer each sitting that the client doesn’t give me the  feedback on what they are looking for in their portraits. Needless to say I don’t feel I have put my best work out for that client that I could have.



Before I book any appointment I like to first meet with my clients and get to know them. This goes for all my portraits sessions and especially when it comes to a session that happens only once in a lifetime like a Senior Session. In this consultation I like to get to know who you are, what kind of things you are into and how we can incorporate that in the creation of your portraits. It’s a time to get comfortable with each other so the final outcome is the best portrait I can deliver to you. I believe that my better portraits I have taken have been the ones with the people I knew well. I understood their humor so laughing and having fun while creating portraits was had during the session. And that is what you want, to be comfortable, having fun which helps create the best portraits of you.



Other things too think about while in this session is what you are wearing for the portraits, what or whom you would like to include in your session. For some Seniors they are into sports, drama or academic activities. For sports I find it easier to book a session while the season is going on. This way if you want to incorporate your sport we have access to the facility before or after practice without making elaborate arrangements with the coaches and school. This same idea can be used with hobbies or activities outside of school.



Locations are another element of what I will bring up. There are many places around the city that some will fit your style and some that won’t. By choosing a location, say a park or more nature in theme, will relay to the your viewer that you are in touch with nature or love the outdoors, right? But if you are a person that will not step foot outside the city, dislikes camping, would rather be inside then outside then a nature like scene most likely not fit you. And the same goes for the nature lover being photographed in the city. Although you may get away with one or two portraits in the city, the rest will seem out of place.



Participation is the key to get your Senior Portrait Session all sorted out. By getting to know you and becoming comfortable with each other together we can create the portraits that are you and not like everyone else’s. And when the day arrives we will have all the logistics worked out so there is no questions on expectations at each place. You will be at ease as well as myself and the fun of the moment will come through. I firmly believe that with your participation we will “Create Your Next Portrait” instead of just shooting it.



I look forward to hearing from you. Feel free to comment or send me an email with your ideas and suggestions or to book your next appointment. Together let’s Create Your Next Portrait.