January 2, 2021

A Crash Course in Planning Your Best Senior Session Ever

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Hello and welcome to the BFH Blog! Here I write bi-weekly pieces on advice to seniors, tips you will need for college, BTS on sessions, and so much more!

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So you have decided to invest in professional photography…YAY! Your next thought is probably: What now?

Your senior session is the perfect opportunity to showcase your personality in a way that feels authentic to you. And Many of my BFH Seniors have never planned a professional photoshoot, so this blog post should help demystify some of it and break it down for you!

Something that I tell each of my BFH seniors is to own their story, own their high school experience. Whether it is centered around their journey as a student-athlete, the friends they have made, the heartbreaks they have endured, I want their senior portraits to be an honest reflection of that. I help my BFH Seniors step into their own greatness and here’s a breakdown of some of the ways I help my seniors prepare for their session! 

  • inquiry 
    • this is where we meet! it is where you send me a message and explain a bit about your senior session vision and we schedule our quick chat! typically 4-6 months before your artwork arrival date
  • quick chat
    • this 5-10 minute call is the best because this is where we connect for real and we can make sure we are the best fit for each other! I work with clients who understand the importance of senior artwork and professional portraiture! It is such a blessing to me to craft heirloom pieces of art that will stay in the family for generations.  Usually 4-5 months before your shoot.
  • contract and retainer
    • after we make sure we are on the same page and have nailed down a date you need your finished artwork by, I will send along a contract and take your retainer payment to save your date! this is done within 48 hours of our quick chat!
  • pre payment
    • the next step is to begin your investment in the session! this is usually my BFH Seniors’ favorite step, as it is where we begin dreaming up all the incredible forms that their finished artwork can take. Canvas or metal, album or gallery wall! I guide you through my most popular products and explain all my bonuses such as premium locations and free album spreads, and we start your pre-payment plan! This is within 2 weeks of contract signing!
  • questionnaires!
    • the questionnaire process is only the beginning! this usually begins 3-4 months before the shoot date and takes about a month to a month and a half! completed 2-3 months before your shoot!
  • artwork location and vision scouting 
    • based upon all the info we get from the questionnaires and the investments we have planned for, I will create sample mock ups of your house with renderings of your final artwork, so we can plan for it exactly as it will appear in your house, and begin vision scouting shoot locations depending on the feel I want for the shoot to match your personality! usually 1-2 months out from shoot day!
  • outfit planning
    • 2 weeks to 1 month before your shoot we will create an outfit plan, a pinterest board, and I will send along my style guide! we will hammer out any accents or props we will need to bring our vision for your session to life and take care of all the finer details!
  • shoot day
    • finally here! your shoot day has arrived and you CRUSH it, as I knew you would! expect to spend 2-3 hours with me depending on how many looks you have unlocked with your prepayments, and how many locations we go to!
  • professional editing and retouching
    • before 10 days after your session have passed, I will go through, select the very best shots, toss the rest, and color correct and re touch all of the best of the best shots!
  • reveal and ordering appointment
    • within 2 weeks of your shoot, we will have your reveal and ordering appointment! this is where you will see your finished digital negatives for the first time and we will plan which photos will go into each arrangement we have pre designed in your artwork location planning meeting! You and your family will have the option to upgrade at this time should you wish, and afterwards all the un-purchased negatives will be deleted and the purchased negatives will begin being transformed into your lifelong pieces of artwork! 
  • product delivery!
    • within 2 months of your ordering appointment, your finished artwork will arrive and be ready to be installed in the locations we pre designed in your house! This is usually where families truly see the impact of the artwork they have invested in. Seeing their child shine from appropriately sized works of art carries such a weight to it, and I never get tired of Product delivery day.

This is a very quick outline of the timeline for my BFH Seniors, and it does not even come close to how much fun we have, how much my seniors love connecting with me and the rest of the BFH Tribe, or the self-reflection that my questionnaires help them with. 

As always, this has been Stephanie with Blue Fire Hydrant Photography, and remember, these are the moments you will not want to forget, no matter if they are messy, muddled, or magnificent, they are YOURS. I leave you with this quote from Michelle Obama that resonates with me and all my BFH Seniors:

“Even when it’s not pretty or perfect. Even when it’s more real that you want it to be — Your story is what you have, what you will always have. It is something to own.”

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