Ultimate Senior Portrait Experience

sm blogpost gbox

The Ultimate Senior Portrait Experience with Gary Box

I am photographing many high school seniors who I photographed their mom or dad’s senior photos. I guess that’s what happens when you’ve been in this business for over 33 years in the same town. I keep joking that the first kid that comes in and says “you did my grandma’s senior photos,” maybe then I should hang it up. I often ask many of my seniors’ parents, “So who did YOUR senior portraits?” To the ones that say “you did!” I always ask how they look today. I get comments like, “They still look great, except for the hairstyle.” Some say, “Oh, I don’t remember.” I think that’s sad. I hope none of mine are saying that. I hope they remember the experience they had with me.

I keep adding new aspects to the senior expeience, trying to give them much more than just great photos that will last their entire lives. I’d love to share some of those with you!

It starts with the Studio Tour. We don’t do “consultations”—that’s not a fun word. It sounds like you’re considering a medical procedure. Instead, we do a Studio Tour. OK, I’ll confess, it’s a consultation, and then some. We start by greeting them, offing them a soda or water. I shake their hand and introduce myself. My tour starts with a slide presentation, using an Apple TV on a large TV in the gallery. It starts with “Who are you?” I explain this is the most important question I will ask them. I want to know who they are, because I want to capture more than just what they look like, I want to capture WHO they are!

The presentation goes into their school activities first. I have images that illustrate not only football, cheer, basketball, etc., but also band, color guard, theater and more. The second section covers non-school activities. More photos to get them thinking!

I show an image of a senior boy with a rope. I tell them he is a champion roper who came from near Houston. Their eyes get big, that’s a seven-hour drive. I tell them I shot low and he loved how it made him look tall and strong. Other images have stories attached to them. Like the bowler who’s throwing a ball and it’s not yet touching the ground. I tell them how I stood in the middle of the bowling lane, which is slick as ice, and told her to throw the ball at me and how I captured it before it even hit the ground. I took the shot, jumped out of the way and she made a strike with that shot. So did I. I want them to relate to the stories behind the images and how they capture the person in them.

sm blogpost gbox

Get the full story

To read the full article, launch the digital version of the June 2022 magazine.

You might also like:

Leave a Reply

Want more content like this?

Check out our recent posts

on camera direct flash tutorial thumbnail

On Camera Direct Flash Tutorial

Have you tried using on-camera flash for your studio portraits? As a professional photographer, I’ve always been taught to take the flash off camera to create more directional light. In this video of on camera direct flash tutorial for lighting, I will show you how to work quickly and easily using on-camera flash to create some very unique and interesting portraits.

Read More »
5 easy poses for boudoir photography thumbnail

5 Easy Poses for Boudoir Photography

Posing for boudoir photography is always a challenge. In this video, I will show you some easy tips to posing your clients. Not every client is a model – so we need to find an easy set of poses to get them started. Once they get comfortable in front of the camera, you can then work on more advanced poses and lighting techniques to build on for the images you create.

Read More »