In last week's post, I shared an infographic which highlights the 4 big differences between custom senior portrait photographers and chain store portrait photographers. And I promised that we would look at each of the differences individually. The first one is arguably the most important: What to wear!
Every school morning; every Friday and Saturday night; on vacation; for an interview; before a date you spend lots of time and energy on WHAT TO WEAR! Why? Because you want to look your best and look like you! Style is extremely personal and can communicate so much about who I am - and who you are. When planning for the photo shoot that will celebrate the culmination of your high school years, shouldn't your look be about you?
Don't laugh - this is my senior portrait:
(Photo Credit: Blatner's Studio)
Brown background and black drape - classic! And, it looks like every other portrait in my high school yearbook. My parents still have it hanging on their walls and though it's not a bad portrait, it doesn't tell you anything about me (except that I had BIG 90's hair!). Can you tell what my style was? Can you imagine what I look like when I'm not in a portrait studio, tilting my head at odd angles? Probably not.
My parents didn't have a choice - there were no custom, on-location portrait photographers in the, umm . . . early 90's (stop counting up the years in your head!). So, I am in no way saying they (or I) should have done things differently. But, the good news is: YOU DO have a choice! There are still studio photographers to take the traditional yearbook mugshot. And, there are very talented custom photographers able to create a portrait session which says something about you!
Let's use Brenna's senior session as an example. We made full use of the location to show off her awesome style! She's a little bit modern-style and a little bit bohemian. So, I chose settings to compliment the 2 outfits she put together:
The jacket and shoes (those shoes!! I was so impressed with her ability to walk in them:) fade a little into the scenery so that her shirt and jeans can pop! But, at the same time they compliment the texture and colors of the tunnel wall. I love her look here - it is all her own!
She brought out her other outfit and it was so different than the first, but completely true to her personality. And, again, the background just served to enhance it (we'll talk about backgrounds in another post!)
The great texture in this skirt, and the leaves on it, are mimicked in her surroundings. Could we have done her shoot with these outfits in a different location? Sure. Would I have been able to capture her unique personality somewhere else? Yes. The point is that we had options and the ability to make this portrait session about her style, and highlight her clothing choices.
No one else's senior portraits will look like Brenna's. We highlighted and celebrated her! I know more about her personality - carefree, confident and unique. And, so do you, just by looking at her portraits.
No matter who you choose to take your senior portraits, make sure the session is all about you and who you are! Clothing choices are personal and unique. Your photographer needs to be able to make the location, setting, posing and emotion reflect that.