Advice? Asked to do senior portraits

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marymoonu's picture
Joined: 03/15/08
Posts: 2183
Advice? Asked to do senior portraits

Hello everyone. Smile

I had a few questions and thought you all would be a great group to ask. I'm not a pro photographer, but I love photography. I was recently asked to do senior portraits for a distant relative. He'll be a senior next year, so I have time to plan in advance. He's an interesting kid, very off-beat, sorta the rocker type... So I think it would be a lot of fun and a unique experience to do his pictures. His mom sees my pictures on facebook and likes what I do, so I'm pretty sure I could do a decent job for them.

Now the difficult part... She asked me to name my own price. My intent is not to make a profit off of them, but to be fairly compensated for my time. I'll likely have to drive an hour each way, do the photos (how long do you spend on the average senior session, by the way?), then I'll do simple lightroom edits as needed.

Also, what are your thoughts on prints? I don't know if I should put them on a CD or memory stick for them, or order the actual prints myself. My thoughts are that I can offer them a lower price for my service if I give them electronic copy and let them print themselves... But at the same time, I prefer the print quality of places like over the local walmart print kiosk or something, you know? So for the sake of delivering them the best quality, maybe I'd rather just do that myself. But I don't know what to estimate as far as cost for that. Maybe I could offer her both options if I could estimate that cost for "x" number of prints?

So anyway, I'm just looking for advice, experiences, things that maybe I hadn't thought of that might be important... I appreciate any help you all can offer!

Ladybugsteph's picture
Joined: 06/21/06
Posts: 2975

I'm not in business, but I have done photos for friends and friends of friends. Personally, I just take the photos and put them on a CD for them, since I'm not doing this as a profession. It would be a shame if they took them and printed them off at Wal-Mart, but I always recommend I posted a link on another thread (Lightroom and Calibration) of a side by side of prints from different labs. I fully intend on giving that to everyone I burn CD's for. It really gives you a great idea of how the print lab really makes a difference.

I usually take an hour per session, and give about 15 (sometimes more) fully edited photos. So, I would ask yourself how much approximately 3 hours of your day, plus the time for post processing is worth for time away from your family.

sadieruth's picture
Joined: 06/09/05
Posts: 6168

Senior photography is the place to start out in my opinion. They are soooo much easier than kids! Smile

As for time, it all depends. I would say two hours with a few places to shoot at. Editing all depends on how many you take. As for price.....if you don't feel like you should charge them, maybe just ask for them to pay your gas. I put them on a cd and suggest a better place, just so they KNOW WM isn't the best.

marymoonu's picture
Joined: 03/15/08
Posts: 2183

Thanks for the input, girls! That's what I pretty much ended up doing, just asked for some gas money and the cost of prints (she wants me to get them printed for her, which I am fine with). I totally agree about a senior being easier than a kid... I feel like I get an aerobic workout trying to chase my 2.5-yr-old and my 11-mo-old around for pictures. It ought to be a nice change of pace to shoot someone who can understand and follow direction. Smile

EL2's picture
Joined: 12/05/07
Posts: 1665

Just wanted to give words of encouragement. Can't wait to see the session! Smile

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