5 Things to know about senior photography


It’s that time of year and it’s time for high-school seniors. Ignoring this market can be brutal to your summer months. All around the world, teenagers want to be cool. They want to look at feel like the celebrities, models, and athletes they look up to. Stop convincing yourself that senior photography doesn’t exist in your market. It does! I promise you. Now, whether you can capitalize on it or not, that’s an entirely different story.

Here are some things to consider when working with the class of 2016.

Experience – its all about the experience with the kids. Think about it, they can go anywhere they want to. They are choosing to spend their time and money with you. Give them the experience of a lifetime and they will talk about it to everyone they know! Give them a bad experience and watch your referral network dry up overnight. It’s all about the experience. Thing is, it’s not that difficult to give your clients an amazing experience. Just care, never take them for granted, and always give them something to talk about.

Switch it up – here is a little insight for you. Teenagers don’t want to look like every other teenager that has come through your studio for the last 5 years. Update your posing, lighting, backdrops, jokes, and whatever else you are doing to make images. Kids want something fresh. They want to be unique and create something the screams individuality.

Think about the parents – the parents are the ones with the money. Don’t ever forget that. So, while you are off having a blast and taking all these awesome shots, remember one thing, mom wants a gorgeous portrait for their daughter. They want to see their faces and their eyes. This is the perfect shot for parents to put on their walls, office desk, and wallet. Trust me, this is what sells. Everything else is just diversity.

Dial down the sexy – hey, captain. These are high-school seniors, most of them 16-17 at the time of their photo-shoot. They are not porn stars or modeling for GQ. Dial down the sexy. You know what dads don’t want? To see their daughter looking like she is 25 years old. I get it, you get excited and you have a gorgeous teen in front of your camera and want to do some cool stuff, but common sense has to prevail. Thing about sales. Think about what grandma wants. If you are a guy – this sets off all the bells and alarms down at Creeper HQ. Do you really want to be that guy?  Just find the balance between edgy and sexy and you will be good to go.

Get social – stop resisting it and start realizing that your clients are becoming increasingly tech savvy and tech demanding. We are dealing with the “instant generation”. This is a generation that will text each other while sitting next to each other in a car. Yeah. That’s our client. So, we have to adapt. Kids today are socially engaged. Tool of choice – Snapchat and Instagram. Do you even know what Snapchat is? I am telling you, you have to adapt your strategy. Teens today are your future brides and future parents with kids – what will they expect from you? How will you respond to their needs?

I hope this has helped you think about the senior shooting season that is about to be thrust upon us. Whatever you do, get out there and try something new and different. The teens will not only appreciate it, but they might actually think you are one of the cool kids.

Want to take your senior photography to the next level? Check out our senior course on the School of Photography – hands on, interactive learning.



This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Gerald Byrne

    The term ” seniors” is highly ambiguous in Australia it is a euphemism for aged adults not school kids.

  2. mikel

    Love the article, especially the part about dial down the sexy. I see to many outstanding images, but then you say holly crap she is 17 and she looks like she should be working at one of the strip clubs here in Las Vegas. Sassy is as far as I go.

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