Amanda Currier, Arte Bella Portraiture

The time is drawing near for those in the area to start back to school. Amidst the hustle and bustle of buying school uniforms and school supplies, parents are also scoping the market for senior portrait photographers.

When searching for the right photographer, you can find yourself asking, Where Do I Start? There are many factors that affect the quality of your senior portraits. These include the location, cost, photographer’s skill and experience, and the photographer’s attentiveness to your individual portrait needs. All these qualities make for the best senior portrait experience.

Now, how exactly do you find that? Do you ‘Google’ for senior portrait photographers in the area? Yes, you can always do that, but you really need to know what to look for. Do you look on Craigslist? Absolutely NOT!!! The reason being is with technology at its finest these days, anyone can buy a camera, call themselves a photographer and slap together a myriad of pictures, charge you $25 for a photo disc and send you on the way. Sure, that is cost efficient for anyone’s pocket book, but you have lost the experience for your senior. The whole experience including hair and makeup whether in the studio or on-location is fun and exciting for teenagers. Remember, they only get the chance to do it once in their lives, just like Prom. Not to mention, you have a wall portrait that will last forever.

A great senior photographer will travel to a location specific for each senior to provide ease and comfort  in his/her element. They will also meter lighting and use strobes or reflectors to control lighting sources.

Senior portraits cost anywhere from $400-$1200 dollars nowadays depending on the amount of photos and the amount of time involved. Each portrait has to be retouched and re-sized. Editing can take time depending on the amount of cleanup the client wishes to have retouched.

So, when looking online at your selection of photographers, always view their gallery before you view the prices. Remember you get what you pay for!

As a photographer myself, I graduated from Bossier Parish Community College under the direction of the great Darrell Chitty who has over 30 years of photography experience. I have had several semesters of training including after-capture processing, and have right at 4 years of shooting experience. What I am about to tell you will help you select your photographer with confidence and appreciate the reason some photographers charge a bit more. Here are some tips to make your selection process a bit smoother.

Look for images that are correctly exposed. Make sure the images do not have blown out lighting spots and that you can see all of the person’s features without shadows. Remember to ask yourself: Are the subjects in clear focus and correctly saturated in color? Are the backgrounds original and do the poses reflect the subject’s personality?

Robby Green, Flickr/Rachel Blackmon, Rae Davis Photography, LLC

The photo on the left above shows an up-nose, broad view of the subject’s neck emphasizing the largeness of that area between chin and the line of her shirt. There is obviously no lighting pattern used here and her eyes are lost to shadow, her hair without highlights and flat. The over-saturation of light in the background deters you from the subject as your eye focuses on the brightest spot in the photo. On the right,  the photographer took the time to pop the right amount of light into the eyes, posed her subject carefully and creatively, played off the colors without over-saturating or blowing out the highlights of the face or hair. The photo on the right is a great example of an educated, creative senior portrait photographer. (Rae Davis Photography is owned by Rachel Davis Blackmon, a graduate of Bossier Parish Community College, and operates out of Ruston, Louisiana.)

Brad Bradley, Ethereal Imaging Photography

“When looking for a high school senior photographer, remember that this is a once in a lifetime experience for your son or daughter and one that they will remember. Look for a photographer who has taken their craft seriously enough to pursue educational degrees and certifications. You should also find one that will provide a sincere, personal experience to your senior without making them feel like a car in an assembly line,” said Brad Bradley, Ethereal Imaging Photography of Shreveport-Bossier City. Mr. Bradley has photographed many seniors in the area and has his degree from Bossier Parish Community College.

There are many photographers in the Shreveport-Bossier City area eager to indulge your business, and it will definitely be difficult to choose, but now you know what to look for to make a wise decision to ensure you get a quality experience out of your senior portrait photographer.




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