Senior pictures. New to me. How do I find cheaper photographer?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by MidwestMom, May 19, 2013.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Until Jumper, I never knew that kids got professional senior pictures as none of my other, older kids had any interest in them...or in any school rituals. So I hear about senior pictures and that they cost about $400 or more and I just gape at Jumper. The $400 or more is just the shoot fee. Then you buy the pictures. Can cost a fortune that we don't have. So she backs down and says, "It's ok. I don't need to have them." I can tell she's disappointed, but she would do without them and deal with it.

    But I want her to have them. I just don't have $400 for pictures. Considering our small family and the fact that these pictures are taken with three outfit changes and one outdoor shot, and will mainly be for her friends and us, did any of you find a way around these outrageous huge fees? I'm up for suggestions.

    Am I the only person in the US who never heard of these senior pictures? This isn't a rich neighborhood...very middle, middle...yet seems most of the kids have them done. And they do them the summer after junior year so that outside shots are snow-free. So it's coming up, if we elect to do it. I wonder if a student photographer can do a good job...not sure where to start.
  2. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    I bought just a couple pictures and spent $125, insane I know. Then I took those over to a DIY Kodak copy machine in CVS and printed more. The girl who worked there told me she bought a cd from the photographer. Then you are actually allowed to print as many as you want anywhere. I should have just gotten the cd, see if that is an option for you. I think you may have to buy 1 picture at least and the cd is an add-on.

    I just re-read you post, doesn't the school have a photgrapher who comes in to do it? Sorry, this may not be helpful.
  3. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    We just had a photo shoot done that we won at a drawing. They're nice, but what am I going to do with photos? I didn't graduate high school so I didn't have Senior photos. I know they were expensive when I was a kid and that's a long time ago. My siblings had to get jobs to pay for them.

    What about making a party of it and doing it yourself? Everyone has a good camera on their phone or tablet these days. Many Senior photos are done in posed "candid style" shots. Of course you need the head shot for the yearbook, but why not have a "Senior Photo Party" one weekend and invite friends and family to bring their cameras and set up shots? You could do it for Jumper's friends as well. Think of some spots that are favorites, and look at poses that others have done that Jumper likes. Let Jumper pick out a couple of outfits to wear, and try them out. if 5 - 10 people are taking shots, ONE of them is bound to have a few turn out well. I'm a terrible photographer and can barely hold a camera still enough to be in focus, but with the "auto-smile-detect" and thing that makes the camera not jiggle even I can take a good shot. Plus you can do screen grabs of videos.

    I think that this could be a really fun thing for everyone.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    We could not replicate a senior photo shoot.

    I really can't believe this is a senior ritual. I never heard of it before. I sure never did even when I was in school.

    LOL...we should just go to Walmart :)
  5. HaoZi

    HaoZi CD Hall of Fame

    $400 for the SHOOT FEE?! Are you kidding me? I'd shop around for sure, because that sounds like highway robbery and they're taking advantage of the fact that it's "senior pictures." Any decent portrait photographer can do the job - most for a lot less for the shoot fee plus photos. Heck, if she's willing and you have one, we had a lot of my classmates go to Glamour Shots for theirs!
  6. jal

    jal Member

    We had senior pics when I was in high school. They are for the yearbook. The local professional photographer did them. There was no shoot fee, but you got proofs of the shoot and then ordered what you wanted. They weren't $400 dollars then.
  7. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    That's pricey! Defenetly ask around from professional photographers in your area. You are not with strict time limit so it certainly shouldn't cost that much. You can also ask about talented amateurs. There are lots of people to whom photography is a a hobby and who have very good DSLR cameras and good flashes and those types of portraits are fairly easy to do. Especially if you would found a college student coming home for summer, they would probably be happy increase their incomes with that kind of small job.

    I of course don't know your normal photo shoot prices, but 400 for a shoot sounds quite a lot to me. We have recently had pro pictures taken of both of our sons, for difficult child's for graduation and easy child's for confirmation and with all the pictures and thank you cards we came close to that figure, but certainly not for shoot alone. And usually everything tends to be much pricier here than in US, especially anything labour intensive like photo shoots.
    Last edited: May 19, 2013
  8. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Having just gone through this - I feel your pain!

    Unfortunately for us, the school contracted with one particular photographer...and if you wanted a picture in the yearbook you had to go to him or they wouldn't print it. The price was outrageous - the quality was poor. difficult child got the yearbook photo but we did NOT buy any prints.
  9. ThreeShadows

    ThreeShadows Quid me anxia?

    There's some kickback BS going on. Four hundred bucks per kid in a graduating class? That's outrageous!
  10. ThreeShadows

    ThreeShadows Quid me anxia?

  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Believe it or not, these are not done by the school. The kids have them done outside of school and they are not in the yearbook. I know it's a nationwide thing because a relative's kids also wanted senior pictures. And the school's photographer is the priciest of all so I'm not using them.

    I like the idea of looking around for a good amateur photographer (thanks, Suz) or a student. She wants three in her basketball uniform with an appropriate backdrop, one in her prom dress with crown, and one just regular picture.

    I know wealthier families who spend $1000 on this. Maybe they have a billion relatives who all want one, but in our case they are mostly for Jumper's friends. This is a big deal in our community. Jumper already has a collection of photos from the two senior classes ahead of her. We usually take our own pictures. We're not that great at it though.
  12. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    easy child/difficult child skipped hers. My nephew didn't get them either but did include a nice photo of him with his graduation announcement. Is that maybe something Jumper would be o.k. with?
  13. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I think Jumper is open to anything. She knows we don't have a lot of money. She just came home and told me about a friend of hers who is an amateur photographer and does great work and would probably do her entire bit for very cheap or even free.

    I think the pictures are given out at the end of the year, but taken in the summer because, as stated before, there are outdoor scenes and Winter Wonderland in Wisconsin is not friendly to showing off your best clothes.

    Since this is a very small community, people often stay friends forever and last year not one senior went to college outside of Wisconsin so the kids stay close and little touches like senior pictures become more important here than if it were a bigger community. A lot of couples met their spouses in this area. This is truly like one big family and even the (I hate this word) "geek" kids are very much a part of the community and there are no real outcasts. Jumper will probably want a picture of everybody.

    Honestly, the things they come up with to make money! Personally, I think plain old school pictures could do the trick just as well. The local photographers sure make out big time with this because most people do use them, even at a sacrifice.
  14. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Sears, Walmart, pretty much anywhere is less expensive. Good luck!
  15. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Yeah, but they don't do location scenes. I'm sure we'll find somebody willing to do these pictures for her for under $100. I liked Suz's idea and, if can't find one, will approach photography students. Once I put my nose to the grindstone, I'm very good at finding bargains that don't look like bargains.

    Thanks to all!
  16. jal

    jal Member

    That's just sick. Sorry. They are not even for the yearbook? Disgraceful and opportunistic:(
  17. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    We couldnt afford Mandy's obviously so Billy took his camera out and shot her pictures in the same places they would have taken them. Normally they take them somewhere pretty near some flowering trees or a brook with a nature shot. Then they do shot against a green background so they can photoshop it. Then they do one with the cap and gown.

    If you can find someone with a camera that is maybe a 12 megapixel camera to take some decent shots, email them to me and Billy has a very good photo editing studio program on his computer. I wish we lived closer because he now has a professional camera and does this stuff for a He takes all of the kids pictures instead of us going to walmart or something like that now.
  18. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Yeah, this is crazy.....fortunately easy child worked for a photographer when it came time for senior pics = no sitting fee and endless possibilities. They did allow the outside photographers to do the "drape" pics for the yearbook and the school gave instruction as to how they were supposed to be received for insertion.

    *I'm sure her high school has photography classes - perhaps the art teacher can recommend one of the students...

  19. HaoZi

    HaoZi CD Hall of Fame

    For my first wedding we got a photography student from the local college for much cheaper than a professional. The photos were great.
  20. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    Check out the local photographers and see if they are looking for spokesmodels. Thats what we did and difficult child wound up with amazing pictures from a very expensive photographer for 1/2 price and no setting fee. She just had to agree to do a photoshoot for the photographer and allow her to use the photos for advertising on Facebook and her webpage. Then she couldn't friend any other photog's during the year and she had to give out some index card size photos with the photog's info on the back to friends. (she never did though).

    You could also check with up and coming photographers in the area and see what they can do. A lot of the time they need to do some shots so that they can show people what they are paying for. So they will do them cheap just to use them as free publicity.!/AdeleRedingPhotography?fref=Tourette's Syndrome Here is a link to her FaceBook so you can see what I am talking about. She might even have the Senior Spokesmodel thing out there already.