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 a beautiful, empowering and unique experience for seniors. In order to create a memorable experience, I have crafted a client journey that provides detailed guidance  throughout the entire planning process. Below you will find some of the most FAQs I have received over the years. As always, I am here to help you and be your guide so that is not an overwhelming process for you.

How long do your sessions typically last?

Depending on the Session you choose, they will typically last between 1-4  hours!  This is from the moment we meet up at the set location, look through your outfits and start shooting! 

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 outdoor senior portraits around early-mid April.  All the new blooms in April-May are an amazing bright 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!  The fall season is by far the MOST POPULAR season for senior portraits. The chill in the air and changing colors offers a beautiful colorful backdrop of muted tones. It really depends how you are envisioning your 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. There are only a few weeks when the foliage is at its peak of fall colors. If you definitely want the fall foliage as your backdrop, I highly recommend booking as far in advance as possible. My clients generally start booking before summer so you have first dibs on your favorite date. Consider your upcoming schedule with new classes, college applications and even yearbook deadlines! The experience I offer is a process that takes time and I never rush! Don’t wait to book last minute because by late August, most of the fall sessions are already booked.

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.

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

This is one of my favorite parts of the process! I offer extensive detailed and personalized guidance for your senior experience! 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?

For most sessions, I generally suggest at least three outfits. Depending on the session, you have more opportunity to bring more outfits and in turn have more variety to showcase! But, remember that the star of the shoot is you, not your outfits – these only help to enhance your style and your beauty!  The Senior Style Guide will provide you with information on how to choose outfits that will not only look good on you but that will also photograph well!

Should I get professional hair and makeup done?

I highly recommend it!  It is not a must, by any means, but the impact that professional hair and makeup has on your senior portrait experience is unmatched! I have a Hair and Makeup artist team 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! I know that  getting professional makeup done can be daunting at times because you think you won’t feel like yourself, but you’ll be in the best hands. Promise.

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 add-on packages for these types of sessions. Please inquire.

Senior Session Best friends at Cylburn Arboretum by Maria Ortiz Photography

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 add-on packages for this type of session – add to that, the fact that you can actually use these for you Holiday Cards this year! Please inquire.

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 in your home and gift them to the special people in your lives!

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 to offer you an array of stunning luxury products.  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 fee is $295.  This includes your complimentary consultation through zoom, the Senior Prep Guides throughout the planning process with all the information you’ll need to know about styling your outfits, hair & makeup, the shoot, professional editing of your images and a private online gallery.

I offer several ALL-INCLUSIVE COLLECTIONS. The collections include both printed products and high-resolutions digital images. You are also able to purchase A-la-Carte products.

What if I loose my digital files?

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

Please feel free to contact me directly.  I look forward to working with you!

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