Do It Yourself Senior Portraits- Tips and Suggestions

Do It Yourself Senior Portraits- Tips and Suggestions

In today’s economy there are many ways to save money and when it comes to your senior year everything costs money.  Lots of money.  So why not take your senior pictures yourself or have a friend do it.  Its not really a bad idea at all when you rush right into it.  It seems unreal that a photographer can charge hundreds of dollars just to take a picture.  Provided below is a list of steps to help you along the way.

Step 1.  Borrow a camera if you don’t have one- It is always best if you borrow some one’s camera to take your portraits with.  Just the experience of learning a new camera is resume worthy.  Technology today is so easy and anyone can use it.

Step 2.  Recruit a friend or Tripod to steady the camera for you- Its always best to find an art student, someone who has a creative eye and can tilt the camera off level to help create an artistic flair to the images.  Art students can have a varied amount of talent, so make sure you don’t just pick any old art student.  Pick the one who actually uses the paint brush or pencil, not the one who just sat around and ate the glue.

Step 3.  Location- Location will be key to getting good senior pictures.  If you want to know where the professionals take photos just follow them around.  You can usually find one at any local park or covered bridge on a given Saturday.  It will be easier for you to move around so be creative.  They have professional lighting and gear that drags them down.  So hurry to get to your favorite spots.  They won’t care at all if you hang out in the background of their images all day.  That is what they get paid the big bucks for.

Step 4.  Posing- If you read any teen magazine or fashion magazine you will get the basics of posing.  If you can’t find a copy just stop by the local party store and pick up a copy of the National Enquirer or something similar.  Be careful if you use one of these sources because they can sue you for copyright infringement.

Step 5.  Lighting- Don’t worry most cameras have an on camera flash that works great, if it doesn’t have one or you want more creativity just use natural light.  Standing outside with the sun directly overhead is some of the best light around.  More sun more light!

Step 6.  Editing- Photoshop is the software professionals.  Microsoft Paint works well to in a pinch.  Take the time to really edit all your photographs.  The more editing you do the better.  Most high dollar photographers edit every image to show you and they spend hours on each project.

Step 7.  Printing- If you really need to print the photos you took, make sure you don’t waste money on expensive prints.  It only cost’s $1 at the local store for a photo to be printed as an 8×10 so don’t spend money on quality paper.  All companies print on the same paper so it doesn’t matter.  Look for the store that has frames on sale, that way you can get it all done at once.

Step 8.  Share with Friends- Make sure you upload every single image you take to Facebook.  That way your friends might like the images you don’t.  They might see the ones with you blinking as thoughtful or shy.

If the above steps seem over whelming and you don’t feel comfortable doing your own senior portraits there is help.  Around every corner and at every zoo there is a photographer.  Ask for help.  If you have a friend that takes really good photos ask them to help you or do it for you.  They might appreciate a human subject after photographing flowers all spring.

Caution: Before you get to the point of Hiring a Professional, make sure you exhaust all resources trying to get a “Good Enough” photo for the Year book.  It doesn’t matter what it looks like in 20 years anyway.

Last tip- If you have tried everything and still are not satisfied or just want it done right the first time please call a professional photographer.

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