Senior photography sessions - concept to delivery

Senior photography sessions - concept to delivery

Senior (graduates) photography is just dang fun. The youngsters are full of energy and eager to express who they are, and who they are becoming. Well, most of the time. I have had one or two in the past that made me feel on par with a trip to the dentist, but normally this is not the case. This was definitely not one of those times. 

I thought it might be helpful to those photographers looking to start, or do more, senior sessions if I outlined the entire process – from concept to completion. I’ll cover the essential pieces that have been helpful for me to create successful sessions and also to ensure that I actually enjoy doing them! Yah, that’s important too, right?!

In this post, I'll cover the thought process, planning, gear I use, lighting tips, workflow outline, software and presets, how to make the fun animated GIF in Photoshop, and how I make use of plugins for cool services to automate getting images online and shareable as fast as possible.

This session was extra special because...

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Business tips + 1/2 off business classes

Business tips + 1/2 off business classes

Having a successful photography business has a whole lot to do with providing top notch customer service. You can be successful as a decent photographer with amazing sales & service, but not as an amazing photographer with lousy sales & service.

Here are a few tips that have worked wonders for our photography business:

1. Appeal to all six senses to enhancing the buying experience.

  • Provide something good for each: Smell, sound, touch, taste, sight, and energy

  • Map & analyze every point of contact, like: entry way, candles & scents, music & sounds, wall colors & images chosen for the walls, lights, brochure paper, pens, furniture, verbiage used in your brochure, phone message language...

  • If your customer feels like you pay attention to details they will view you as a professional they are willing to pay for.

2. Set the stage for success.

  • Plant Sales Thoughts e.g. “Most of my clients purchase a couple of matching coffee table books”

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She told me about this lighting combo, and it's great!

She told me about this lighting combo, and it's great!

A customer of ours just let me know that she got a new Stella Light, which is a unique LED battery powered light source that emits a broad, even light. She immediately mated it to her LunaGrip light modifier (on sale right now for $99!) and loved the results! I thought I would share that combo, and some other great LunaGrip pairings, with you here.  

Why use a LunaGrip?

If you want a soft, flattering portrait light, then you generally want to diffuse it. Large soft boxes have always been a first choice for this, but they aren’t always easy to pack, or set up and take down – especially when you consider an ideal size for portraits is about a 40” box. I developed the LunaGrip after 20 years as a busy wedding and portrait photographer. I wanted something that would be easy to pack in my camera bag, work with my speedlights, be light and fast to setup, and give me the most beautiful portrait lighting possible. Westcott, the brilliant lighting company, partnered with me to develop the LunaGrip, a unique handle and mounting system that pairs your flash with a pop-up 5-in-1 reflector/diffuser to softly diffuse the flash, not bounce or reflect it (although it can also be used that way).  

The LunaGrip has several advantages:  

  • You have a versatile tool that can be used in several different ways for various lighting needs.

  • In its primary diffusion mode, it produces the beautiful light quality of a 42” softbox, but at a fraction of the cost, weight, and space.

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