This page will teach you how to do your research on choosing a senior portrait photographer.
(Click title to expand topic)
Shopping for senior pictures
The most common question people ask is, how much are senior pictures? My immediate answer is, "Does it really matter? The experience alone is priceless." But, we all know, it does matter. We all must live within our means.
An interesting gimmick is growingly popular these days. Many photo studios are attempting to lure you in by offering free 8x10s and or free photo shoots. We all know that nothing is ever really "free." After thinking about this, I asked myself, "What does Keepsake Photography offer to our clients that other studios do not?"
The simple answer would be; awesome images, quality products and the most amazing experience that most studios today simply don't have, however, there is more…much more!
Senior portraits aren't just about a piece of paper, this is a milestone in every person's life… When they were born, you wanted the best of everything, when they started school you went on every field trip, you bought them the most expensive clothes… And now as they enter their last year of school, this is the one moment you will remember for the rest of your life; your baby has become an adult. You have watched them grow and have witnessed each and every accomplishment along the way.
Keepsake doesn't just take a couple pictures and send you along your way. We get to know each and every person so that we can capture all of those things you hold onto and remember as your child takes one of the most important steps in their life.
So as you make your decisions about senior portraits, and begin asking "What does it cost?" you must ask yourself the real question, "How much are my memories worth?" No one can answer that, because we all know they are priceless…
So why would you trust capturing those memories to a place that cuts corners or prints pictures in the back room? Just as our memories fade so will those pictures. And what about the experience…. do you really want to sit in a waiting room with tons of people waiting for the teenager behind the curtain to rush you through an assembly line – what kind of expressions do you think you will get from someone who learned photography from a manual? There is no substitution for 25 years of experience.
At the end of the day, we do have a budget that we must consider when choosing a photographer, but we also have 18 years of precious memories that we must hold onto forever. You will have your son or daughters senior portrait on your wall for the rest of your life. What are your memories worth?
Advice on how to choose your senior portrait studio…
1. First find the place that has the kinds of pictures you like best. Look around web sites and check out the flyers you are getting in the mail. This is the most important thing! If all they show are outdoor photos, they probably don't have a studio. Many schools require a specific type of portrait for the yearbook and most of them do not accept an outdoors image.
2. Do some research on their web site about cost. If their site says nothing about cost, they are probably a higher priced studio. That's totally ok if you love their style of pictures. Better looking senior pictures do cost more. If they advertise too good to be true prices or offer sheets of pictures, they are more than likley a low end place. Before you make a potentially big mistake, consider this; cheap products means cheap every step of the way. A photo studio cannot afford quality employees who care about you, the best equipment, continual staff education and a nice facility that provides you with amazing images, quality products that you will enjoy for the rest of your life and a fablous experience if they charge $19 for a picture. The old adage is still ture. You do get for what you pay.
3. Stop by the studio you're interested in, take a look around and talk with the staff. Are the products they display in the level of quality that you hope for? Are they nice people? Do you see youself going there? Do the packages they offer have the items that are important to you?
4. Don't put a lot of value on a few images on a disk. Sure you can put them on Facebook or maybe print a 5×7 or 8×10 for grandma but what is it really going to look like? 99% of all professional portrait studios are color calibrated with the color lab they use. Putting the disk in the make a print machine at Wallmart is NOT going to give you the same color, quality and permenance of a portrait from a quality studio.
5. Do they have a guarantee? What if your pictures come out bad? Can you get your money back? Senior pictures are a once in a lifetime thing. Don't take a chance. Make absolutely sure there is a guarantee!
6. Try not to get so hung up on price before the pictures are even taken. You don't have to know how many of what size of anything before you schedule your photo shoot. All you need to decide is which photo shoot you would like to have taken. Truth is, no one knows what you will buy until the photo shoot is done and you see the outcome. If you're friend or neighbor spent a lot of money on their son or daughters senior pictures, it's more than likley because they LOVED how they came out and bought everything under the sun! Anyone can spend a lot on senior pictures regardless of where they go if they buy a lot of products!
Who do you want taking your son or daughters senior pictures?
If your school is telling you that you have to have your yearbook portrait taken by a certain company or you won't be in the yearbook, think again.
All public schools in New York State must accept yearbook portraits from portrait studios who meet their exact specifications and do so by their deadline. There is a New York State board of education law that clearly states that "It is well established that students may not be compelled to use a designated photographer to have their photographs included in a yearbook (Matter of Puls, 18 Ed Dept Rep 530; Matter of Puls, 17 id. 324)". Here is the link if you would like to read it all.
The nationally hired school photographers travel all over the country and churn out yearbook head shots by the billions. It may look like you, but that's about it. Skip the school photographer if you care about how you want to look in your senior portraits!
The friend or Mom with a nice camera
This person has little or no experience working with people, knows zero about proper posing, professional lighting or quality editing. They just have a nice camera.
It may be a cheap or free option… but remember; no matter how good the equipment, it's worthless in the hands of someone who's doesn't have the knowledge, skill and experience necessary to do an awesome job.
Camera's don't take senior portraits, photographers do! If you care about the outcome of your portraits, go to a professional studio who has work that you like.
The internet photographer
Seriously? You're going to let someone you met on the internet, Craigslist or Facebook take your senior pictures? You never know what you're going to get. Could be a creeper!
Department stores or quickie places
Let's face it, if you were a top level, highly sought after senior portrait photographer with decades of experience, would you be working at a department store or some quickie chain photo studio? Yea, probably not.
Many people speak of junky senior pictures that you have to cut up with scissors because they all come on a "sheet". Plus, very few of them have a natural outdoor studio. If you want outdoor pictures, they take your picture in front of a "green screen" indoors and then superimpose you on the same fake boring outdoor digital backgrounds they use for everyone else. Yuk!
Don’t waste your money there if you care about how you're senior pictures are going to look and the quality of the finished produts.
The places that say they charge 50-75% less
OK, seriously, you're smarter than that right? If you went to a restaurant that advertised their steak dinner for 75% less than the other places, what kind of steak would you really expect to get? And if every other place was really charging 75% more, wouldn't they all be out of business? Don't make this mistake on a once in a lifetime thing like your senior pictures. Go with a sure bet!
Why Choose Keepsake?
Let's be honest, we want you to choose Keepsake Photography.
Please read on to learn why we're the best possible choice for senior portraits in Rochester if you want awesome images, quality finished portraits and the best possible portrait experience!
Reason #1 Fun
We're a FUN studio that's driven to create individualized portraits that are all about YOU! Your photo shoot will be totally pressure free and you'll laugh the whole time! You just have to show up with your stuff and we'll take care of the rest! We have been perfecting the process for 25 years! Yea. This is definately not our first rodeo!
Reason #2 Variety
Our senior portraits are very TODAY and are often imitated by other studios. We offer more stylish looks, more background and set choices than anyone in the area. Each photo shoot is designed around the looks you want and your outfits so your senior pictures will be different from your friends even if they came to Keepsake.
Reason #3 Image quality
We have one professional photographer at each location; the owner of Keepsake and his wife. Bob & Christine Thomson. You will get incredible images guaranteed or your money back! They both have an intimate knowledge of how to make you look your very best because that's all they do each and every day!
Their combined 47 plus years of experience with professional lighting will flatter your positive features while down playing things you may not want to accentuate. Plus their people skills will make you so comfortable, you'll forget your being photographed. Seriously, they are the real deal.
Reason #4 Product quality
Keepsake has the products seniors and their parents really want none of which come out of a quickie printer in the back room! We still use traditional photographic paper (Kodak whenever possible) printed at one of the nations top professional labs for a lifetime of beauty and longevity.
Also, we always are on the cutting edge of new product lines. Each year we travel the country to trade shows and conventions to find you the newest & best products in the photography industry and adapt them to our clients needs, wants and desires.
Reason #5 Convenience
No more waiting days or weeks just to see how your senior pictures came out! You’ll see them in our preview theater in an awesome music video about 30 minutes after your photo shoot! How cool is that? (And you don't have to choose them on the spot either).
Online / smartphone proofs – Before you leave the studio, we'll make you a custom App with all the proofs from your photo shoot for you to put on your smartphone right on the spot! You'll be able to share your images with family and friends before you even get home! Our eProof app also works on most tablets, pc's, mac's that have internet access.
Click the iPhone below to see a demonstration of how our senior clients get to see and share their senior portrait previews!
Click to see demonstration
Reason #6 Affordability
We are regular people just like you. We have families and know cost is a concern for everyone these days. We have held the line on price on many of our products for several years now. Some products are actually less expensive today than they were 5 years ago!
We have package pricing designed to help you save money and get the most product possible. Plus, we often run photo shoot discounts to help save on the photo shoot fee. Our sales team does not work on commission and will help you make smart decisions that you won't regret tomorrow or ten years from now.
Plus, you don't have to write a check for everything up front. Our simple payment structure lets you break up the cost into 4 easy payments over two or three months. We offer extended payment plans too!
Reason #7 Satisfaction guarantee
If something goes wrong at any stage of your senior portrait experience, we’ll fix it or we’ll cheerfully refund your money. Period!
Our #1 focus each and every day is to make absolutely positively sure that each client has a great experience and really loves their images.
Reason #8 Two convenient locations
Our Victor studio on the East side and our Greece studio for our West side friends!
Both studios are state of the art and specifically designed with your comfort and convenience in mind while we create the most personalized senior portraits that are all about YOU! You will love our Studio's!
Ready to schedule your own photo shoot? Click here.