It’s senior year…AH! First, I’m so excited that you are planning to document this huge moment. I’m not even saying that because I’m a photographer. I’m saying it as a person who loves to go back and look at all of the milestones I’ve hit in life!
When it comes to your senior photos, you may have had your eye on a specific photographer or you may just be searching around seeing who some of your friends have used.
Before you start buying outfits and choosing locations, it’s soooo important to really pay attention to the style of photography that you want. This is one of the main reasons you should pick a photographer –– before you look at packages, pricing, etc.
If you don’t like the way they shoot and edit, it’s not going to be worth it!
STYLE: The way the photos are taken and edited and how the people in the photos look.
There are a million ways photographers describe their styles –– light and bright, dark and moody, looks like film, crisp and clear, cinematic, colorful, very adventures and wide angles, close up portraits, very stylized, or simple…the list is endless!
I know a lot of those are very “photographer” language, so if you’re having trouble finding someone, look at tags, search Instagram, and even ask the photographers you know if they know anyone!!
It’s important to think about what you want to do with the photos –– are you printing them for your mom? Are you posting them on your instagram? Are you creating an album? That can help you decide what you like and who you would want to work with!
Really this just comes down to preference.
I obviously love white, clean backgrounds with pops of color, so I gravitate towards those types of photos. But I have a ton of friends that love the “moodier” or warmer tones that look more cinematic and I think they’re beautiful – for example, my friend Holly Kearny’s images are stunning!
RIGHT IMAGE CREDIT: Holly Kearny Blanco
No one will be offended by your preference! You just have to pick one for this specific session because photographers will deliver the product they have perfected and are best at.
It’s difficult to ask a photographer to shoot and edit in a way that is different from their previous work and you won’t be allowed to edit the photos differently later, so make sure you are happy with your choice when making the investment!
Next is looking at the way the people look in the photos –– do you want to be really joyful? Do you want more model-like? Girl next door style? Lots of candids? Or more strategic posing?
Most of the girls I work with want laughing photos with a little more control over the way they look. For example, I am a very directive photographer meaning I tell you exactly what to do and make little tweaks along the way. This usually lasts for the first part of the shoot and then we get really comfortable with each other and can be more playful –– if you’re feeling up for it!
Again, this is totally a preference. I love the candid photos, especially when people are laughing and spinning around. Some photographers are great at capturing more modelesque photos that look like they came straight off of Pinterest.
My friend Holly (based near Raleigh, NC) is SO good at this!! Her seniors always look so gorgeous and natural.
IMAGE CREDIT: Holly Kearny Blanco
The most important thing is to find a photographer whose work you like simply how it already is!
With Dakota Hersey Seniors, you can expect bright colors, neutral backgrounds, lots of LIGHT, and LOTS of portraits. I love to capture my girls laughing and smiling, which the occasional smizing because everyone loves to look fierce.
Like I mentioned, I do a lot of “directive” posing because my goal is to make you feel natural but also give direction so you never wonder what you have to do with your hands!! This makes it easier for girls who may feel a little shy at the beginning before we really get to know each other. I promise I’m here to have fun too!
If a senior were to come to me and ask to go into a dark wooded area and want photos of them completely unposed –– I am not the photographer for them…and that’s okay! You wouldn’t walk into J Crew and expect them to have the same things Urban Outfitters would have…it’s kind of the same thing!
Almost every area has photographers specializing in all different types of styles. When you’re browsing look at those specific characteristics and find one that you like!
Then you can start the process of reaching out and learning more about their process of working with you and what’s included in their senior experience.
If you have questions about finding your style, feel free to drop them below so I can help you out!!