Five Tips to Taking Great Senior Photos

Graduation day is a special right of passage for so many young people these days, but like so many other critical moments in life it is gone all too fast. One day you are a graduate and the next day you are getting ready for college orientation, or off to join the work force to save up some money and hopefully get into school next year. Either way, the point is simple: that very special and unique time only lasts for a short window, and that is why photographs of that event are so important.

If you or someone you know wants to know the tips to taking good senior photos, here is what I have to offer:

  1. Get the right equipment – Taking the right photos means getting the right gear. Sure that $150 camera at Walmart can take great pictures under ideal conditions, but even at its best it is not going to match even an entry level DSLR camera with the right lens and flash. Keep in mind that graduations are far from ideal technical conditions for taking memorable shots as they often include great distances, a wide range of lighting conditions, and even more! Of course, having a studio for close ups and pre-planned shots certainly helps and basic studios do not cost too much to set up.
  2. Know how to use it – Know how to adjust white balance or what a K refers to in photography jargon? If not, it is certainly time for some training. Even if you do, you might still want to add a book or two to your Amazon list and load up! It could very well turn out that what you do not know will later come back to haunt you with sub-par photographs. Also, consider learning how to use programs like Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop to bring out the best in your photos.
  3. Practice makes perfect, but grow a thick skin first – Finding help with photography is simple and easy with the Internet! There are plenty of forums where you can post links to your Flickr or Photobucket account and get feedback. Just be prepared for feedback from people that are likely to be perfectionists. That means that you will need to grow a very thick skin in short order as photography perfectionists are known to be merciless with their feedback. Artists!!!
  4. Do not crowd too much – While this is certainly a special moment, remember that it is not only a special time for you to take photos, but a special time for your senior to enjoy a very brief but important transitional moment. This might be one of the last times they get to see certain classmates, teachers, friends, or that special someone, so take your snaps and then get out of the way. P.S. Burst shooting modes on most DSLRs are great for this!
  5. Consider hiring a professional – If all of the above sounds like too much to handle then you should certainly seek out a professional. Trust me on this point, it might cost a little bit more but you certainly get what you pay for. Just because you hire a pro does not mean that you cannot take your own pictures too!