Do I have to Use the School Photographer for My Senior High Yearbook Portraits?

Do I have to use the school photographer for my Senior yearbook pictures?

The answer is yes … and no … and that depends

This is a question that I get all the time. Do you need to use the school photographer for your Senior pictures?

Well, you got a postcard in the mail with your session date and time, so I guess you have to go .. right?

Typically the answer is yes you need to use the school’s photographer if you go to a private high school and your school requires that you dress in a particular way and use the school’s photographer to ensure that all the pictures in the yearbook are exactly the same.

But the answer is also, no, if you want the additional things that a professional photographer can offer for your other Senior pictures.

Look, your private high school isn’t trying to restrict you from having epic senior pictures to remember this milestone in your life, they just don’t want you looking all goth in torn jeans and high heels in the yearbook.

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Now, for most of you out there, your public school has contracted with a national photo factory to photograph everything from kindergarten to senior portraits. And that is not a bad thing, they offer very consistent quality and their thousands of photographers across the county photograph millions of pictures each year.

I’ve known lots of photographers who have worked with the photo factories early on in their careers and some of them were and are truly great photographers.

But to be candid, the ads that I’ve seen to recruit photographers for these companies often say “no photography experience required … we’ll train you”. And if you’ve worked with a professional photographer in the past, you know that there is a lot more to a great photo session experience than just taking pictures.

But if all you want is a headshot in the yearbook, the school photographer is going to be fine.

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Although I don’t believe that portrait enhancements ( like smoothing out the skin and other enhancements – something that a professional photographer will include automatically in all the prints that you purchase ) is included in the free or possibly even in the basic purchased packages from a photo factory.

In our studio, we do offer a “Just the Essentials” package, It’s focused on giving you that one great photo for the yearbook, and you get a pile of prints included! And, it is an option that most professional photographers offer.

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There are just a few milestones in your life (and don’t forget in the lives of your Parents and guardians lives as well ).

Birth, graduation from high school when you head off to college / start a trade or a job / go into the military, and then marriage and the birth of your own kids when it all starts over again.

You’ll never be in this place again, never have this same set of friends, many of whom may have been with you since nursery school, you never have the same set of values. Probably never dress as cool as you do.

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What you will experience, and who you’ll meet after high school will most likely change your life direction.

So celebrate this milestone in your life and consider using a professional photographer for your senior session with no one watching, standing in line waiting their turn for their pictures.

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Choosing The Right Headshot for the Part

Leanne just landed a role in a new play and so she needed some new headshots for the lobby gallery at the theater.

Lobby gallery headshots aren’t “character” images such as those that might be used in promotion of the show, they are personality images that reflect the tone of the play. A comedic part in a play might call for a different headshot than a melodramatic/dark part. We still want to prepare the audience with a headshot that reflects a tone of the production they are about to see.

A big “cheesy grin” headshot for the actor who is portraying Javert in Les Misérables is a contradiction and will totally confuse the audience as they wait to enter the theater for an epic, depressing production.

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Now back to Leanne, as you can see, she has tons of personality in her headshots. And with just a small change in her hairstyle and a bit of tilt of her head she has a completely different look. Both are welcoming, feminine and friendly … it’s a comedy! Nailed it!

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What a pleasure it was for me to work with Leanne to create some great images for her latest production.

And when she gets the call for Les Misérables, we’ll rock some darker looks. I accept the challenge!

Regular Guys and Girls Need A Great Headshot – Your Big Break is Waiting

Think about it, every person that you see in every scene of every TV show or movie is an extra. Yep, a paid extra that someone chose to be in that scene, dressed the way that they are, looking exactly the way that they do.

They didn’t choose them because they looked like a fashion model or a beauty queen. They choose them because they looked the part.

You may look the part too, exactly the body build, hair color and smile that they’ve been looking for.

Spike, is a self-professed “regular guy”. So when a casting call recently went out for “regular guys” for an upcoming movie, Spike knew that he needed a headshot. Not a “new headshot” … his first headshot.
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I am so happy that he trusted me with helping him create that first headshot to present to the casting directors.
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Hey Spike, I’ll be seeing ya in the movies!

 

Dan Busler is a full service Boston-based professional Portrait, Live Performance and Event photographer with studios located in the historic Hogie Bear Building – East Walpole MA 02032 By the Artist, for the Artist. 781-352-4863 http://www.danbuslerphotography.com

Sometimes, You’re Just a Can of Peas on the Shelf

Of course your years of industry experience is your strongest asset. So word of mouth referrals from your best customers are still the best way to get new – quality clients.

But If your perfect potential client hasn’t spoken with  your best customers and they’re surfing the web looking for a vendor then we are a bit like cans of peas on the supermarket shelf. If your product or service requires direct face to face interaction (such as attorney , real estate agent, doctor or financial consultant) the shopper may just choose the peas they buy based on how they look on the can.

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And you can’t misrepresent yourself with a picture from the 1980s. Even though you did look epic in those disco boots.  Clients will typically be unhappy when they meet you and find  that they are meeting with your older self. (sorry).

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We live in a very visual world and your headshot is a part of your brand. Clients actually get a picture of who you are in their mind and see you as a bit of a star when they meet you after seeing a great photo of you on your website and business card.

Your headshot must speak for you and draw the potential client to feel a connection and call you.

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I help business professionals create compelling headshots and portraits that will attract their target market.

Dan Busler is a full service Boston-based professional Portrait, Live Performance and Event photographer with studios located in the historic Hogie Bear Building – Walpole MA 02081    By the Artist, for the Artist.   781-352-4863   http://www.danbuslerphotography.com

The Business Headshot – Be Ready with Three Looks – Dan Busler Photography

Today everyone searches the net for everything they want; A restaurant, a movie, a car … their plumber, lawyer, real estate agent .. virtually everything and everyone.

And they’ll often choose the restaurant based on the pictures they see of the building, neighborhood and  menu .. and this is before they look at the prices. The same often goes for their financial planner as well. Does this person look trustworthy, approachable and confident ?

Sometimes – You’re just a can of peas :   You’re in the supermarket and you need a can of peas, but you don’t know any of the brands they sell, you look at the labels and choose by the picture (or the price).  You have never tasted the peas in the can you’ve chosen, but you still buy a can on the strength of the beautiful, perfectly lit, wonderful healthy green color of those peas on the label. And they may end up being the best darned peas that have ever grown or not.

And that is the position that your potential clients are in when they are surfing the net looking for someone who does what you do. So the headshot you post needs to get you the type of clients you want ..  your target audience.

But “I’m not a can of peas” you say. Yes that’s true,  they can’t taste the peas before buying them, but they can talk to you to to ask questions regarding your pricing, background and references. They key is to get them to call you and not the other person.

“Serving Suggestions” :  Back to our peas. Peas are a side dish, but when the vendor is smart they put a serving suggestion on the back of the can; add chicken, noodles and a cream soup and you have a casserole. Not just a side dish – these are Multi purpose peas. So you buy two cans of peas.

And  that brings me to why I suggest at least three looks for my executive headshot clients; formal, welcoming and casual.

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The business headshot (not to be confused with the business portrait) is often a formal professional pose (possibly a serious expression) appropriate for the staff page of the website. It is the first or main image that you want your clients to see.

“Do you have anything else?”  also know as “Serving Suggestions”

But there will be times when the “buttoned up” look may not be appropriate. When it might look too formal for the content of the page. This might be a professional blog page, or your professional social media pages. Here you may want a welcoming look; a smile or working at your desk or standing in your warehouse or beside your truck.

And then there is the poster image for a “business casual” speaking engagement, or when your hosting a golf tournament or for a newspaper article about the charity work your firm is doing. Here you may be in a polo shirt or laughing or standing in a park.

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If you don’t have these professionally photographed additional images available they may take a phone picture of you and use that.  As a professional you need to have these images ready to offer and control the images of you that are used to represent your business.

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Potential clients are searching for you. Let’s give them images that stop them when they see yours.

 

Dan Busler is a professional portrait, performance and event photographer with studios located south of Boston in Walpole MA. You can see more of his work at http://www.danbuslerphotography.com