SHREWSBURY, Massachusetts – As hard as it may be to believe, senior portrait season is upon us. Starting in August, we have seen inquiries for sessions ramping up, just as all the incoming High School Seniors (and many Juniors as well,) head back to school. They may not realize it, but we live in such a perfect spot for outdoor senior portraits. There are so many gorgeous locations either right here in Shrewsbury, or within ten minutes in any one direction. I’ve had the pleasure of checking out everything from Tower Hill to Elm Park, The Artemus Ward Mansion, Tufts in Grafton, and even the brick buildings on the WPI Campus, and each one has had it’s own unique feeling. In fact, so many book their sessions for September, that it gets to the point where at some popular spots there is literally a line of photographers waiting for their turn. I try to stay away from some of those more common spots, unless it’s something you feel really strongly about. They’re pretty, of course, but how many senior pics in the door frame of the stone church in Boylston do you see online each summer? I like to be a bit different when I can, in the hopes that when people see your photo, it will be unlike any others, and have that Stellar Images flair that folks have told me allows to pick out my pictures from a pack of shots.
For me, even with senior portraits, it’s really all about creating images that are different, and doing it for far less than most other photographers would ever consider. At this point, I’m honestly just doing it because I love creative photography. If you want a photo shot in the gym with some guy that was hired to shoot 100 kids that day, then I’m definitely not your guy! The old fashioned run-of-the-mill studio shots with the boring backdrops and standard poses just aren’t my style, and quite honestly, it’s probably not what you’re looking for either. I enjoy actually working individually with each Senior and their family. and giving them the freedom to tell me what they’re looking for in their portraits, instead of me telling them what their options are. From mountain tops, to train yards, to grassy fields, to city streets, whatever you want to do, I think we should try to create images that truly bring out your unique personality. We may find ourselves on the top of Mt. Wachusett, in the middle of a park in Paxton, or the train tracks behind Union Station. There are so many great spots within just a few minutes of Worcester that the choices are pretty much endless.
First and foremost, it’s very important that you book your senior portrait session as early as possible. Typically, senior portraits are usually taken during the late spring in the student’s Junior year or during the first few months of their Senior year in September and October. Most photographers will only book 3 a week, to allow for rain dates, and because of the lighting, we only can do one each day. As slots fill up, and we push dates back farther into October for the fall colors, and then into November, we always run the risk of an early snowfall zapping all the leaves on us. It’s happened twice just in the last few years alone, which is why September is such a great time.
Once we’ve decided on a location and time for your session, it’s time to have fun! Sessions generally last about an hour and a half depending on the location, how many wardrobe changes you have, etc. My shooting style is very laid back, and my goal is for you to have fun during your shoot, so relax You’re going to have a great time. It’s so much easier to shoot someone that’s laughing, as opposed to trying to get them to come up with a fake smile! After your session, it usually takes me about a week to get all of your images edited. Once your images are ready, you’ll receive an email with a link to your online proofing gallery where you’ll be able to pick out your favorites and order your prints. You’ll also be able to use this link to share with friends and family for sharing or purchasing prints.
Some have asked me about doing some custom post-processing designs, and those are so much fun for me. I’m a photographer that likes to think outside the box, and my goal has always been to provide my clients with images that are truly different than anything they can get from other photographers. One of the neat things I’ve been doing lately is called “spot colorization,” where I take a photo in color, then convert it to black and white, and then ad back spot color in one place or another as a highlight. How much does it cost? Well, I started this business because I truly love expressing my art, so for now I’m just doing what I love at no added charge.
For more information, stop by my website at www.stellarimages.com, and I’ll answer any questions you may have. You can also email me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org or find us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/StellarImagesPhoto If you prefer, I’m at SHS all the time with my own kids, and happy to meet you in the Commons after school to chat about what you may have in mind.
Here are just a few more samples taken over the summer, to give you some broad ideas of the type of wonderful things that are possible. In the end, if you can dream it, we can probably do it!