Senior Portrait Experience FAQs

Tips & Advice

I know moms and seniors alike a filled with endless questions about the Senior Portrait Experience and I totally understand!  It is an experience and there is an entire process to make sure we are all on the same page.  Included in that process, is the Senior Portrait Session Guide that you will receive with all the information you need to know in order to prepare for the session.  In the mean time, I’ve created a little FAQs guide right here to answer some of those questions. In the Senior section of my site you can read the six basic steps to the Senior Experience as well.

How long do your sessions typically last?

Sessions will typically last about 2 hours.  This is from the moment we meet up at the set location, look through your outfits and start shooting! That being said, I am not looking at my watch, so if we’re having fun, we can go on and continue to create beautiful images!

Sunset Senior Session at Cylburn Arboretum by Maria Ortiz Photography

At what time do you typically shoot?

I typically shoot most sessions starting about 2-3 hours before sunset.  I offer sunrise sessions as well which I absolutely love – that light is incomparable!  I will only shoot one session in the afternoon and one in the morning, so your session is exclusive to that time of day and you will be my only client. This is how I can assure you have my full attention during your session. 

Senior Girl in Blue Dress Surrounded by Trees at Cylburn Arboretum by Maria Ortiz Photography

What time of year is best to get my senior portraits done?

I start photographing senior portraits mid-late spring (around mid April).  All the new blooms in April-May are an amazing backdrop for a unique senior session that looks nothing like everyone else’s!  Summer night sessions are spectacular and can be shot after work hours – this is a plus!  I know your mind probably isn’t there as far as getting your senior portraits done during the summer and I also understand summer can be tricky because of travel, but the fall season gets super busy with college prep and new classes, so I think about it!  It also depends how you are picturing your perfect senior session; do you want to wear a flowy dresses, sandals and have bare arms?  Maybe wear shorts? Or do you want to wear sweaters, jackets and pants?  Start thinking about this to plan ahead!

How far in advance should I book my session?

Seniors tend to love their sessions during the fall, but there are only so many weekends available when the foliage is at its peak of fall colors.  If you are one of these seniors that wants the fall foliage as your backdrop, I highly recommend booking as far in advance as possible…even before summer so you can pick the weekend that may work best with your schedule and you aren’t waiting for the last minute come October or November with new classes, college applications or even when yearbook deadlines are right around the corner!  The experience I offer is a process that takes time.  I do not rush with any portraits.

Senior girl session dressed in a red dress with a jean jacket at Soldiers Delight by Maria Ortiz Photography

Where do you shoot Senior Sessions?

I have an array of options as far as outdoor and urban locations, but if you have a specific place you’d love to have your senior session done, then I’m totally open to shooting wherever you’d like! I generally like to scout out new locations to check out lighting situations and backdrops so I’m ready on the day of the session.

Senior Girl Urban style fashion session at Clipper Mill by Maria Ortiz Photography

I have no idea how to prepare for the session, can you help?

This is one of my favorite parts of the process!  You will receive the Senior Experience Guide which has a ton of information to prepare for your session.  The guide covers What to Expect Before & After the Shoot, How to Style your Session – what to wear and what not to wear, Location – how to choose a location to fit your style (You can find more details on Choosing your ideal location on THIS POST), Hair & Makeup and Self Care – tips and tricks!  I haven’t forgotten the Guys – your guide will include What to Wear and Self Care as well!  Every detail counts! 

How many outfits can I bring?

Please bring all the outfits you’d like!  I always suggest at least three outfits, but you can change as many times as you’d like during your session!  It’s totally up to you.  The more you bring, the more variety you’ll have, but remember that the star of the shoot is you, not your outfits – these will only help to enhance your style and beauty!  The Senior Experience Guide has a lot of information on how to choose outfits that will not only look good on you but that will photograph well!

Senior Girl glam makeup outdoor session at Cylburn Arboretum by Maria Ortiz Photography

Should I get professional hair and makeup done?

I highly recommend it!  It is not a must, by any means, but the impact that really well done hair and makeup has on your senior portraits is quite amazing! I have a few Hair and Makeup artist that I can recommend who will do your makeup in a very natural and fresh-faced style that enhances your natural beauty, not changes you! I still want you to look your age.  We’re not trying to make you look 25 here! I know that  getting professional makeup done can be scary at times because you think you won’t feel like yourself, but you’ll be in good hands with the makeup artists I recommend.  Promise.

Senior Session Best friends at Cylburn Arboretum by Maria Ortiz Photography

Can my friend and I have our portraits done together?

Yes, of course!  I encourage it!  This is such a memorable time in your life!  Why not include your bestie in your session? I offer special packages for these types of sessions.  Please inquire.

Can we book a family session at the same time as a senior session?

Yes, yes, and YES!  This is a great idea to get your entire family involved. Your daughter or son is graduating from Highschool, so what better time than now to get updated family portraits done during this season of your family’s life!  I offer special packages for this type of session – add to that, the fact that you can actually use these for you Holiday Cards!  Please inquire.

Fine art heirloom products by Maria Ortiz Photography

Can I order professional prints and products through you?

Yes! I actually have a specific blog post where I talk about the importance of professionally printing your photos HERE.  Selecting photos to be printed is such an exciting part of the process.  I can not encourage it enough.  You already hired  a professional photographer.  You don’t want to just keep those photos in your computer, you want to show them off!  I can assure you that I work with some of the most reputable printing and framing companies in the country, catered only to professional photographers.  I trust their products and all are 100% guaranteed for quality!  It is so important to print your photos with a company that will render your colors and tones correctly.  You don’t want to have a beautiful digital image only to print it at a local Walmart and have greenish skin or a print that will change color in a couple of years!  I also offer additional a la carte high-resolution files which come with a Print Release and suggestions for good labs to get them printed if you do decide to print on your own and not through my professional printing services.

How much does a Senior Session cost?

The Senior Portrait Experience booking (creative) fee is $250.  This includes your pre-consultation, a Senior Experience Prep Guide with all the information you’ll need to know about choosing the perfect outfits, hair & makeup for the session, the session which will be a blast, beautiful editing of your images and a private online gallery for you to view all your images.

The investment for Senior Portrait Collections start at $575.  A few of my Collections include both prints and digital images.  You can also purchase A-la-Carte products and design your own collection.

How long do you keep digital files saved?

I will keep files saved in a Cloud Based system and on a Hard Drive for one year from the date of your session.  After that, I am not responsible for the collection.  At any point during that year, you can purchase additional products or the entire digital collection if you have not done so.

I hope this post has helped to answer a few of the basic and most frequent questions you may have.  If you have any additional question, please feel free to contact me directly.  I look forward to working with you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© 2019 Maria Ortiz Photography | All Rights Reserved

Design by Davey & Krista

join the list

Want to be the first to know when I open up dates for FALL 2023 & SPRING 2024?  Subscribe here and I'll put you on my list!


Fusce orci purus, venenatis sed libero vitae, condimentum pellentesque odio. Aliquam semper semper justo.

Join the List