- Photography Blog
- Testimonials and Reviews
High School Senior Pictures – Questions and Answers!
Senior Portrait Frequently Asked Questions –
When should I have my senior portraits taken?
Senior portraits are usually taken the summer before your senior year. If you want to be in the yearbook, most schools require that your photo be taken before school starts or very early in September. I begin shooting senior portraits in May and continue through June, July, August, and September. Don’t wait too long to schedule! I get very busy by August, so we recommend coming in June or July. If you must wait and have pictures taken later, I can also take you at any time of the year. Just remember, you may not be in the yearbook if you wait.
How do I get an appointment?
Call me at 414-9930, email me at John@JohnCarnessali.com or CONTACT ME HERE to schedule your appointment. Before you book an appointment, please look over my price list and decide what kind of sitting you want to have. I have plenty of appointment times in the summer, but they fill up VERY quickly, so call early.
Do I have to pay something when the pictures are taken
Yes. You must pay a sitting fee when the pictures are taken. The sitting fees vary depending on how many outfits you wear for the sitting.
How much are the sitting fees?
This is all explained in my price list which will be provided when you contact me through this website or through email.
Should I bring my parents along with me when my pictures are taken?
Yes! I have found that bringing a parent (or both parents) along will help you feel more at ease, and will help us to take better photos. After all your parents have known you all your life, so we really value their input. I will invite your parents into the studio during your sitting if you would like. One of the benefits of bringing family members is I offer a substantial discount if you combine a family sitting with your senior portraits.
How do I look at the photos from my senior portrait session and decide what I want to order?
I will post your senior pictures on my website in a special password-protected area. Your photos will be available online after your sitting is taken. You may view your pictures online and decide what poses you would like to order. You may also share the website with your family and friends, to get other opinions.
Are all of your senior pictures the same?
No! Your basic senior picture is called a formal pose. This is the kind of pose required for most yearbooks. It is a head-and-shoulder portrait using traditional lighting and backgrounds. Other types of senior pictures are often called casuals or informal pictures. These are the poses where you get to have fun! Full-length, indoor, outdoor, cool backgrounds, casual outfits, photos with your best friend or your pet – I can do it all. I know that not everyone wants all these different types of pictures, so I have different sittings for different people. If all you want is the formal yearbook style pose, I have a sitting for that. If you want to wear three or four different outfits and take pictures inside and on location, I can do that, too. Be sure to let me know what kind of sitting you want when you schedule your pictures. Of course, the more outfits you wear, the more time it will take and the more the sitting fees.
How long will my sitting take?
At the studio I will schedule you for about 30 minutes per outfit that you wear. So if you wear two outfits, it will be about 60 minutes. Three outfits takes an hour and a half (sometimes longer). Taking portraits is not an exact science, but more of an art and some people are easier to photograph than others. If you need extra time, I will spend it with you.
What should I wear for my senior portraits?
For your formal yearbook style portrait, I recommend that you dress up. Guys, jacket and tie is appropriate or just a button up and a tie. Of course it all depends on your style. Girls, a formal a blouse, sweater or dress is good, but I usually do not recommend sleeveless. For the formal pose, long sleeves are best. Avoid strong patterns – simple is best for formals. Middle tones or dark colors usually look best for the yearbook style poses. For casuals or outdoor photos, wear what you like – light colors are great, and some people really like to dress down for casuals.
Does my school have a dress code or background requirement?
Some schools do have dress codes and/or required backgrounds. This policy is set by your school, not by me. You should check with your school yearbook adviser or with the school office to see if such a policy exists. I do not provide suites or ties.
Will you take outdoor pictures of me?
Yes I can, but it depends on which package you choose. Outdoor photos are great. I can take them at a location we pick near the studio or a location of your choice. Things have begun to change over the last few years, but generally you cannot usually use an outdoor pose in the formal section of the yearbook.
What if it rains on the day that I am scheduled for outdoor pictures?
We will reschedule your outdoor and studio pictures for you at that time. If you are just doing studio, then it will not matter.
What can I do to help make sure my pictures look good?
The most important thing to ensure good senior pictures is to spend time preparing for your sitting. Choose outfits that you like and that look good on you. Get input from your parents and your friends. GIRLS: even if you are not used to wearing makeup, wear it for pictures. Keep it natural though. Mascara, lip gloss & foundation are a great basic look. If you have any questions or concerns about makeup or your complexion, see a dermatologist or visit the cosmetics counter at the local department store. GUYS: shave before your appointment. Don’t panic if you break out before your scheduled time. You can apply some makeup to your skin or I can retouch all of your finished pictures, so it may be best to leave your skin alone. GUYS & GIRLS: Make sure you are comfortable with your hair – if you get a new hairstyle on picture day and you don’t like it, you won’t like your pictures. You should get your hair cut 1 – 2 weeks prior to your appointment. Get plenty of rest the night before your appointment. Bring your clothes in on hangers, and make sure they are neat and not wrinkled up. Finally, come in with a good attitude. Don’t be a grump on picture day!
I got this HUGE zit on picture day! What should I do?
I can retouch most blemishes out of your pictures. For more information on retouching, contact me.
I wear glasses. Is this a problem for pictures?
Probably not. If you have had school pictures taken in the past with glasses and there has always been reflection in the lenses, then you might get reflections in our pictures too. If possible, remove the lenses from your frames. This is the best solution. Or you can take your glasses off for your pictures. Please understand that I can only do so much with posing and lighting – you may still have reflections if you leave your lenses in, but this is rarely the case.
I heard somewhere that there are special camera lenses that make you look better. Do you use them?
Certain camera lenses are designed for portraiture. I use these types of lenses and always have. Portrait lenses don’t distort your face.
Do I have to buy a package of pictures?
No. I provide a disk with all the images from your photography session. You can choose which ones you would like to print or not. Unlike some studios, I do not have a minimum order amount, and do not require you purchase pre-selected packages.
Will my senior pictures be retouched?
Yes, for an extra charge. Simple retouching can cost as little as $10. More advance retouching can cost up to $60… it all depends on what you would like don. If you are concerned about something, tell me before hand if possible.
How long will it take to get my finished pictures?
That depends on the time of year. If you come in early and order early (like in May or June) your pictures will be ready in about two weeks or less. During my really busy time (August – October) finished pictures may take as long as 3 weeks. This is all custom work, and it does take time to complete. I shoot all senior portraits in RAW which simply put, is like a film negative. Therefore I develop each digital image individually, much like the old days with film.
Why should I choose you?
In truth there are many photographers out there who would like to sell you pictures. Some of them are very good, and some really are not that good. The bottom line is, you have the choice. I believe that my work is very unique and creative. My prices are reasonable and there are no photo “packages” that you must commit to. YOU choose what photos and how many you want to print. 90% of all my clients have been referred by other clients. My success depends on continuing to produce unique and beautiful work… otherwise I would not still be here!
If you have any questions or concerns feel free to contact me.
(Click on Image Below )