I have gotten a lot of questions from parents and students pertaining to, “What does your senior session include? What do I get if I choose you to take my pictures?”
Well, friend…I am here to answer those questions and more!! Choosing a photographer for any occasion can be daunting. To be honest, the field of photography can be downright confusing. I believe in simplicity. I like straight shooters. Tell me what I get and what I have to do to get it, right?! I think people appreciate transparency too so, if you are confused on what your experience would be with me–this blog is for you!!
Starts with Your Inquiry!
Somehow on God’s green earth…you found me. Whether it be through my amazing KV Spokesmodels or just a friend had hung out with me an my lil’ ol’ camera, you managed to find me (as well as find this blog)–good for you! High five!
Let’s get back to it. So you found me on Facebook or Instagram–or even just googled and found my website! Awesome. Through my website you check out my style, and more importantly –my WHY. Why I do what I do and you hopefully resonate with how I want to capture joyful, fun, and relaxed images that capture YOU and your personality. You probably check out the pictures and look for girls you may know. Hopefully you like what you see and reach out and contact me through my contact form on my website! That goes straight to a program I use called Honeybook (if you are a fellow photographer reading this–It’s life changing. I TOTALLY recommend it)! It’s an awesome spot that keeps ALL of our communication in one place, as well as any contract, invoice, or calendar event related to your shoot!
I Connect with You!
As soon as you send me an inquiry, I get a notification and message you back to give you more details on what a KV Experience looks like for my clients. I send parents a KV Welcome to Seniors Guide as well as a link to my Welcome Video so they can learn more about me to make sure I am good fit! I also send you an online questionnaire to learn more about you! This helps me start designing your customized shoot that fits YOU. I learn about your hobbies and interests so that I can familiarize myself with your interests before we meet! Want to come behind the scenes?! I also have recently teamed up with a videographer team to make a KV Senior Promo Video which you can see here!
Book Your Date!
Once your parents like what they see and want to move forward, everything is done online through your Honeybook email. I send them a one-page photography contract that goes over specifics (no lawyereeze language) that you can easily sign online. I also send an online invoice for your shoot. All you need is a 50% downpayment, and you can choose to pay it in full with a debit/credit card or even an online bank transfer. For all of you old-schoolers out there (I feel you!!), you can always send a check too. What is really neat for my clients is that you can set up a payment plan that fits your needs and have them go out automatically or manually–it’s totally up to you! As long as the session is paid in full before the day of the shoot–you’re good to go! That way the shoot date is just FUN. No business! Yay for no awkward stress or worry!
Once you sign the contract and make your first payment, I send you a complimentary KV Senior Style Guide that goes over every aspect of your shoot so that it can answer lots of questions and help you design your shoot. From hair and make up to light and locations, it has it all! NEW: I now have an AWESOME online calendar tool, where you can browse through the summer months to find a date and time that work best for YOU. It also works super well if you and your bestie want to do back-to-back shoots. This tool allows you two to choose times right next to each other to maximize your fun experience!
Leading Up to Your Date!
I reach out to you about one to two weeks before your date and we solidify a time and location to meet. That way we can look closer to the light and the weather. If it is more than a 60% chance of rain, we talk about a possible reschedule–hey it happens–especially in Montana! No fee or requirement on your end if I reschedule it due to weather–I work around Mother Nature to make sure your shoot is as perfect as it can be!
I make sure to answer any questions you may have, as well as check in to see if you have chosen any locations. If you don’t have any in mind I send you my list of great spots according to the time of your shoot. I am always scouting for more, but it really does depend on the light and location! I’m NOT a big fan of shooting in the same areas as all of the other photographers in town. I like to break the mold and shoot in fun and creative spots that you would never think about! I encourage my seniors to choose two locations (one urban and one rural). That way you have a variety for your gallery!
It’s finally arrived!! My hope is that you make the whole day special. I hope that you go get a mani/pedi, go get your hair styled, try some fun make up, go shopping–whatever makes you feel like a million bucks! Confidence = beauty! We meet at the set time and location and we chit chat for a bit! This is my favorite time to look at all your outfits you brought (hopefully on hangars ;)), and we make a game plan for the shoot as far as which outfit to go in which order and location. I always have you save your favorite outfit for last so that you feel the most comfortable in it when you are the most comfortable (usually the second location 1/2 way through your shoot!).
No modeling experience necessary with me! I teach you all the tricks and I also teach you photography tips through the shoot — I blame the teacher in me. Throughout the shoot I teach you fun posing tips, give you lots of movement prompts, then by the end you are doing your thing all on your own and that’s my favorite part! All we need is good light and we will have a blast! I promise! Your 90 minutes will fly by!
I love when parents tag along. In fact…it’s kind of my favorite part. I put them to work holding your clothes, my reflector, or even taking behind the scene pictures so that I can make an Insta story of your fun shoot! And in the end…I get some of my favorite photos. One with you and mom or dad. Yes, I always get the, “No, no, no…” And I always reply with, “Yes, yes, yes!” These tend to be a fun little gift for my parents, and I love to see the tears that come when they realize that their baby is going to be graduating!!
I always LOVE to spoil my seniors with some fun sneak peeks on FB and Instagram! This gets some excitement going–especially when I can do it the same day! I try to do this for every senior, but I never promise it just in case I get home and my kids are on the roof or something crazy… 😉 I work on your images and edit each and every one of them. I am not a big Photoshopper, but I do 10 free edits (especially the ones you want to print). I love to shoot with a clean, classic style that is light and airy. I won’t be sending you any dark or contrasty images–that’s just not me. I know it’s “in” right now, but I bet it will be “out” in a few years. I like to shoot with natural light and edit the images so that it will stand the test of time and won’t go out of style. Presets and filters can go out of style quickly. Be sure to think of this when you choose your photographer. I’m proud to say that I hand-edit all of my images. Time consuming? Yes. Worth it? A hundred-fold!
I send you ALL of your images (and the rights to print them), in an online gallery link about 2 weeks after your shoot. As long as you have an internet connection, all of the images are yours. One fee = all images. Here’s where this industry gets confusing. Some photographers charge you a sitting fee, then tack on another fee for image files, and then other fees that could include resolution sizes, printing rights, minimum orders, etc. Head spinning yet? Yeah…me too.
But if you decided to have me capture your senior session, all of this business stuff is behind you. Early on in your experience with me you made two decisions: 1. Do you want Kelly Van Dyke to take your senior pictures (hopefully yes). 2. If so, you contacted me and sent in your ONE price to get ALL of your images. No hidden fees or add ons. Guys, I have gone this route as a photographer. I have done the “pick your favorite 25, then each additional image is $___.” Nope. I hated it. And my clients did too! How do you just pick 25? And you know what happened? People got overwhelmed and often didn’t even download their favorite 25, and only downloaded their year book picture, because life got busy and hectic like it always does!
Oofta. I’m stressed just typing that stuff! Haha! So, you get your online link to your gallery and ALL of your best images are there–minus the blinks, or bugs that flew across the lens, etc. You can download them all, share them on social media, or even print them all if you want!! They are YOURS to use as you like! I just ask that you don’t crop them or add those dark and contrasty filters we spoke about earlier. They have been made with lots of love and time for you to enjoy as they are!
I’m now excited to announce to parents that I am offering albums! What better way to actually enjoy your investment?! They have been very popular since I have introduced them, especially for graduation parties or gifts!
And voilà! You are all set to graduate!! A major milestone of your senior year has been taken care of and if you’re really on top of it…you could start designing your graduation announcement! 😉 Just kidding…slow down and enjoy your year and save that for wintertime!
I sure hope this answers lots of questions for you!! If you are a parent reading this–thank you! Thank you for researching before purchasing. Thank you for making sure that you are choosing the best photographer for your son or daughter! It’s so important to choose someone who is a great fit for you and your family! My number one goal is to make sure it is a FUN and stress-free experience for all!
Cheers to the upcoming 2021 seniors!!
Enjoy the upcoming summer break–with SUNSCREEN!! 😉
If you enjoyed this post, you may also like:
How to Rock Your Senior Session
What I Wish I Could Tell My 18-Year-Old Self
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