With the quality of cell phone cameras today, you might be wondering why you need to hire someone to take your child’s senior portraits. You might feel overwhelmed by picking what photographer to use (there are so many of us!), finding a date that works with your senior’s busy schedule, or the expense of hiring a professional photographer. I believe I have a persuasive argument for not only hiring a professional, but hiring ME! Here are some great reasons to consider me for your child’s senior portraits:
I have the gear
I bring a wide angle and a long lens to each and every session, that means you will get amazing variety in your gallery. Dramatic wide shots with lots of landscape, and tighter shots with that creamy bokeh (blurry background) we all love. Trust me when I say that portrait mode on your phone cannot compare to the real lens compression you get from professional gear! Here are some comparisons with my 35mm lens on top and the 135mm lens on the bottom:
In addition to professional camera gear, I bring beautiful props to help elevate your session and add variety. Blankets, prisms, lace, I bring it all to create truly dynamic and interesting shots.
I understand lighting and location
I have a great list of locations we can use for the session, from urban to natural. I know when they look the best, when the best lighting will happen, and which spots to use when we get there. I know how to light my subject properly with the sun and sky so you never get ugly flares, accidental haze, funky looking skin, or dark eyes. If you have a spot you’d like to use, I’m always up for scouting the location to see if it will work. In an average park, I can find areas that make amazing photos! Here are scouting cell shots of Jewett park in Deerfield, as compared to my final images.
I edit true to life
My editing style is reality only better. Some photographers call themselves ‘light and airy’ and some call themselves ‘dark and moody,’ I am true to color with contrast. I am super picky, and make sure that your entire gallery has beautiful skin and consistent colors from image to image. My editing never changes the colors of clothing, and never desaturates grass and foliage.
In addition to making sure my subject looks perfect, I do the same for the sky. White, blown-out skies are ugly – and they happen when you expose for the subject in camera. I know my camera’s limits, and I always expose for the sky to make sure it’s as beautiful in the photo as it is in real life!
We had the most beautiful sunset this day!
I am really good at getting natural expressions
Parents know that we get a lot of eyerolls from our kids, but professional photographers usually get more cooperation from our subjects. I take it a step farther and have prompts to get my seniors laughing and smiling for REAL. I get them moving, creating flattering and natural photos that do not look stuffy, awkward, or stiff. While shooting, I cheer them on and hype them up! This adds to their confidence during the shoot, and creates great images.
Shy subject, no problem!
I let my seniors be themselves
This senior has a unique style and loved having a more serious face for her portraits. I was able to let her do her thing while choosing the best spots to showcase her look. Many of her photos look like an ad in a magazine!
Seniors like working with me
Even if your child is pretty uninterested in photos, they almost always say they enjoyed our time together. I’m fun, and I make them feel great. Everyone loves some attention sometimes! It works out even better if it’s a location that is a favorite of theirs.
I am invested in you
As a professional photographer, I want the best outcome for you. I want my work to be something you remember and look back on years from now. I want your child to feel amazing and excited during their session! I work hard to get fantastic results in camera, and also in the post-processing of the images afterwards. Having a professional who is invested in you and their work is a huge reason why your images will turn out beautiful, and a top reason why you should hire a pro to capture this moment.
I make things easy
I know that seniors have a demanding social and work schedule, so I have good availability on weekends/weekday evenings, and flexible reschedules for weather or emergency. Parents can choose to come to the session or stay home. I have a fast turnaround time of about 1 week most of the year, with the longest being 3 weeks in the fall. When I email you the link to your big, beautiful gallery, you will be able to access and download the photos for a very long time. Galleries do get archived eventually, but you will always be able to get your photos if needed.
I offer the full package
My senior sessions are all-inclusive, which means you get to download your entire (50+ image) digital gallery, plus you receive a credit for prints and products with my professional lab. All prints are hand prepared by me, including cropping, sharpening, and color correcting to make sure they are perfect. Several different papers and mounting options are available upon request. I offer gallery wall mockups for all print orders containing a 16×24 or larger print. All local print orders are hand packaged in boutique packaging and delivered by me. Orders outside my area are packaged beautifully and mailed securely. Let me handle this for you!
To wrap up, I wanted to share a little comparison of a mom’s cell phone images during her daughter’s session as compared to my final shots. Even though the angles are different and the cell phone images are unedited, it shows a compelling difference between what anyone can capture and what a professional can capture.
I am currently offering a 15% discount for all full senior sessions completed before May 31. Please contact me here if you’d like more information about availability and getting on my schedule! May is filling up quickly.
*Sara Hilton is a Chicagoland senior photographer currently booking sessions for the classes of 2022 and 2023 in Palatine! Known for beautiful and dramatic outdoor photography, Sara also offers lifestyle sessions inside client’s homes. Sara currently lives in Palatine with her family: a husband who is gearing up for reggae festivals, a nine year old son who has fallen in love with Parkour, and a six year old son who loves reading books in spanish. Currently booking family, graduating senior, engagement, in-home sessions, personal branding sessions, and events in Palatine, Arlington Heights, Wheeling, Lake Zurich, Long Grove, and all of the surrounding suburbs. *