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View Full Version : 'Senior Shoots' - What's the dealio?


g3org3y
26th of October 2008 (Sun), 06:57
Perhaps it's a US thing but what's the dealio with 'senior shoots'? I see a lot of photo series labelled as such.

Is this something everyone does over there once they've left school or in their senior year?

Just wondered as I've never encountered this over in the UK.

raypix813
26th of October 2008 (Sun), 10:16
Senior Pix have become another way for photographers to cash in on those graduates one more time. There is a series done with the graduation cap & gown. If the senior was in sports, band, etc, then you would do pictures with their "tools of the trade", ie baseball bat, gloves, etc. Then, there are other casual pix, possibly in studio, or I like to find locations around town. Although I don't do them often, I do like working with the seniors.

20droger
26th of October 2008 (Sun), 13:40
Senior Pix have become another way for photographers to cash in on those graduates one more time. There is a series done with the graduation cap & gown. If the senior was in sports, band, etc, then you would do pictures with their "tools of the trade", ie baseball bat, gloves, etc. Then, there are other casual pix, possibly in studio, or I like to find locations around town. Although I don't do them often, I do like working with the seniors.
That says it all. And it's done with the collusion of the school.

Of course, Belmondo and I take "senior pix".... But that's another thing altogether.

AndreaBFS
27th of October 2008 (Mon), 02:53
That says it all. And it's done with the collusion of the school.

Of course, Belmondo and I take "senior pix".... But that's another thing altogether.

Most senior photos don't have anything to do with the school. Though we have school pictures every year in the US -- even kindergarten. Senior usually go out on their own and choose their own photographer. It's tradition and most people appreciate it and some even rely on school pictures as their only professional pictures of their kids (not everyone has an interest in custom portraiture, some are content with school photos). It's all opt in, so if the parents don't want to be duped by money grubbing sleazeball photographers ( :rolleyes: ) they can just not order any photos. Oooh!! Foiled their plan!! :lol:

Traditionally, the senior year photos have always been more important and more comprehensive, with several outfit changes and larger prints in the yearbook. It's becoming more popular to do them outside or in fun locations, but they aren't just some backhanded grab for parent money nor are they a new concept here. They are done by choice.

hard12find
27th of October 2008 (Mon), 04:08
One overlooked thought is that these photo's are meant to be given to friends during their last year in the school together as a remembrance.
JB

droberts
27th of October 2008 (Mon), 15:49
Wow, why are the photographers getting the bash here? As hard12find says these are more of a rememberance, a landmark in time when a young adult has accomplished probably the #1 major goal of parents for their children in their early life. People want the photos, that doesn't make photographers who do them "money grubbing sleazeballs"...lol...who would you rather do them, the Maytag Repairman?

Dermit
28th of October 2008 (Tue), 10:29
Wow, why are the photographers getting the bash here? As hard12find says these are more of a rememberance, a landmark in time when a young adult has accomplished probably the #1 major goal of parents for their children in their early life. People want the photos, that doesn't make photographers who do them "money grubbing sleazeballs"...lol...who would you rather do them, the Maytag Repairman?

Here's how it goes in my area. I have a pro photography business as a second job. My daughter, a senior, is sent to a pro photographer's studio and he is the one and only 'approved' photographer to take the senior portraits that will be used in the year book. This is a pro session set up by appointment, etc. and all seniors are supposed to go and get this done. No obligation to buy anything by the students or parents is required. But, when you return a week or two later to pick out the shot you want in the yearbook they put the hardpress sell on you to try and get you to buy prints. Which i am ok with and would have actually bought because he did a great job. But the prices, IMHO are a bit jacked up. For example, $100 for an 8x10... I think not. I shoot with a lot of pros and the closest I've seen to that price on an 8x10 is $60 and i think that is a touch steep, but within reason for the type of work. But $100?! Now you know where the sleazeball comment comes from that was made earlier, and why the bashing.

OK, the other part of the story of 'senior pictures' is a bit different. A lot of seniors book private sittings with various photographers, like myself, in the area with no restrictions on who they use because the seniors are getting these shots done for themselves. Most of the time they get a bunch of wallet size prints to hand out to their friends and usually this is done near the end of the year. They also use these images to include in the graduation announcement they send to all their relatives and friends. So it's these types of shots that most people talk about on here and on their websites when they mention shooting senior portraits.

jdebner
30th of October 2008 (Thu), 03:07
One other way of looking at it is a mother's last time she can have photos of her child. Once they head off to college then they likely aren't going to have a portrait session and send pictures home to mom, so if she wants any kind of professional pictures of her child this is the last time to get it.

AndreaBFS
30th of October 2008 (Thu), 04:42
Just for the record, when I said "sleazeball photographers" I was obviously being sarcastic. I'm not sure why that wasn't apparent from my post, but I will try to use even more smilies (rolling my eyes wasn't quite strong enough, I guess) or perhaps use 2 closing paragraphs to sum up my point instead of one. :lol:

robert61
11th of May 2011 (Wed), 15:19
A lot of photogs depend on that for their annual income. If there is only one "approved" yearbook photographer, then that is collusion and most likely someone at the school is getting a kickback.

nathancarter
12th of May 2011 (Thu), 16:21
The photos are also often used for graduation announcements. A quick google search for 'graduation announcement" will give you more than you care to know.

I got fast-talked into doing the senior photos and announcements for two of my cousins who are graduating this year. The shoot went pretty well, though when we were going over the shots afterward, they picked several that (from a technical point of view) are really lousy. Overexposed, incorrect lighting, boring composition. Oh well, I'll know next time to do my culling before letting them see any proofs. My uncle insists on paying for it, so I guess it'll be my first paid photography gig.

RDKirk
14th of May 2011 (Sat), 23:55
A lot of photogs depend on that for their annual income. If there is only one "approved" yearbook photographer, then that is collusion and most likely someone at the school is getting a kickback.

In my state, the kickback is part of the written contract. The photographer actually contracts to pay cash back to the school as well as to do whatever other photography the faculty wants--free of charge--as well as to share the profits from the yearbook and prom photography.

If this were any government area other than "just pictures," there would be officials doing "perp walks" in orange jumpsuits. Well...in this state, maybe not.