Senior Portrait Sessions

Customize Your Senior Portrait Sessions and Make More Money

Customize Your Senior Portrait Sessions and Make More Money with Megan Engeseth

If there is one thing I have learned from photographing Senior Portrait Sessions it’s that high school classes are now just a tiny portion of their lives. Participating in diverse activities from art classes to ballet, to sports, to speech competitions, to theatrical productions, these 16- to 18-year-olds pack their schedules to the maximum. I’d argue that most adults wouldn’t be able to match the energy and commitment of these teens. These activities and interests often define their high school careers, their personalities, and their futures as they look toward college and beyond.

The main goal of my senior business is to create beautiful, artistic images of my clients to celebrate them and their hard-earned accomplishments in a unique way. I have built my business as a full-service custom studio that creates high-end products and artwork for my clients’ homes. Using their interests as a storytelling medium is the perfect opportunity to create irresistible products for them to purchase. I utilize their stories to seamlessly create full albums, wall art and wall art groupings that can show off their hard work and are very distinct and profitable for my studio. The seniors end up so excited about their custom artwork—they are proud to display it in their homes for years.

Adding images that are inspired by your client’s talents is the key to creating a senior experience so unique to them that your photography business will stand out from the rest. Too often I see photographers stop at using seniors’ interests as “props” without delving into what the experience is really like to play an instrument or compete in a sport. You must tell the story.

Why is it important to create images that tell your senior’s story? They are a pathway to large sales. These sessions will make your business stand out and support high-end pricing by creating memorable images that withstand the test of time. I focus on creating that high end, custom experience for my clients—a technique that would be hard to make profitable for a high-volume photographer because of the amount of work involved in customizing each experience. These photoshoots can take hours to create, build, style and photoshop to perfection. Profitable pricing is a must if you are adding these intensely customized photo shoots to your offering.

For every client, I offer an hour-long consultation either in person or over Zoom (during Covid) to really dig into what has defined their high school career. What are they proud of? How would they like to be seen or remembered in 10 years, 20 years? How can we celebrate their amazing achievements during this pivotal time in their lives? Together, we use these themes as a way to co-create a session unique to them.

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To read the full article, launch the digital version of the March 2021 magazine.