This answer is a little more complicated than just letting you know a certain date/season. This very much is also determined by your demographic. For my demographic and where I’m located, you’re going to want to start booking your Junior year of high school. Junior’s this is the perfect time for you to start looking for when for who you want your senior photographer is going to be. You don’t want to be a Senior and graduation is literally a month away and you haven’t even started researching who you want your senior photographer to be. Start following that senior photographer that you may want to shoot your senior pictures. You want to make sure that their style is what you want. You are also going to want to make sure that their work is consistent with that particular style. By the middle your junior year you should know who you want your senior photographer to be.
I offer 2 options for my seniors. Option 1: I have a senior team and those girls actually join my team towards the middle to end of their junior year. So that is why I say you really want to be looking at the beginning of your junior year because I already have girls on my team for their senior pictures and they are currently Juniors. This is an amazing opportunity to get to know these girls before they are seniors. By their senior year we will have already had multiple shoots with them before their senior pictures so they are way more comfortable in front of the camera. This is how you get those real genuine authentic images to come to life in front of the camera. it’s possible to do this the first go around but requires time prior to shooting to make that happen. I do actually allow for that time with my girls. I’m always present at their hair and makeup appointment for their senior pictures. That time is so important for me to get to know the girls if I haven’t met with them much prior. When you know your photographer on a more personal level it’s 100% percent easier. This option is also great for the girls wanting more than just senior pictures. They are wanting to be a part of a team and experience that will last their entire senior year. This is where you’re also going to get the most bang for your buck because you’re going to have multiple shoots and perks for the same price point at KJP! This is an incredible deal. If the team route is not for you and again it may not be. I have some girls that want me to be their senior photographer but don’t want to be on the team because they just are really busy or they don’t think that the team environment is for them. So for those girls I would recommend Option 2: Not being on the team. This option you’re still going to start wanting to look for a senior photographer at the beginning of your junior year and then by the middle or the end of your junior year start booking. So that you get those prime booking dates! Keep in mind dates are already limited since my team girls are already on my calendar for the summer/fall.
In Indiana senior photographers busy shooting is summer and fall. That’s right! We have a very short shooting season. We don’t get leaves on the trees until late April early May. So yeah I don’t want to really be shooting before then because it’s just not that pretty. We can shoot all the way up until November. Again once the leaves fall off the trees. We are looking at a very boring scenery. This is why I highly recommend you get your Book and get a secure date in ASAP with your senior photographer. All of my seniors receive a welcome packet in the mail 6 weeks prior to their session. That welcome packet is prepping them and helping them plan their senior session once those welcome packets. They are creating Pinterest boards, they are planning their outfits and then two weeks prior to the senior session we are having an in-person fashion consultation so again if you think that you want to book a senior photographer a week before your shoot you’ve already missed out on so much of the planning process. My seniors bring all of their clothes that they think they may want to wear for their senior sessions, they bring all of their shoes, they bring all of their jewelry, and from there we start finalizing their outfits. I cannot imagine going for your senior session and your photographer have not seen any of your outfits. Once I see their outfits, that’s when I start looking at their Pinterest board, I also look at their senior questionnaire that they filled out to plan their dream senior portrait session. This is when I pick locations! This fashion consultation it’s going to make sure that every detail is finalized and they will know exactly what they need to bring the day of their dream senior portrait session. I leave a two weeks window so that if we decide we need other jewelry or a different outfit they will have time to shop/order those pieces. If they don’t have that in their budget I will pull pieces from my style closet.
I highly recommend booking as soon as possible so that you can be fully prepared and prepped by your senior photographer. By doing so this will ensure you will have the perfect senior portrait session of your dreams.