This week we looked at senior portrait photography and had a great opportunity to interview certified professional photographer Cassandra Sullivan. In 2015 and 2013, Cassandra was awarded “Photographer of the Year” in Massachusetts and in Arizona placed as a Top 10 Photographer every year since 2013. She is a member of the Professional Photographers of America, Arizona Professional Photographers Association, Professional Photographers Association of Massachusetts, and Professional Photographers of Cape Cod.
Cassandra has been in business since 2000 so she knows very well how it works. In this interview she shared with us tips on how to shoot senior portraits, how to get a good pose, what the average price for senior photos is and much more.
If you are interested in portrait photography check our article and if you want to learn from professionals, read on!
What attracted you to photography and how did this journey started?
My dad liked taking photos, so I think I ‘inherited’ it from him, but I started getting into it seriously when my kids were in school, and I went to school myself for photography.
Mostly you are working with people, what is the secret behind to get a good expression or pose from them?
You’ll get good expressions when they feel comfortable with you, and if you have a good conversation with them.
Most people I photograph don’t know how to pose themselves, so I have to help them, using some ‘rules’ such as “S curve”, “C curve”, “bend whatever can bend”. I just have to make sure they feel comfortable (to get a good expression), and not feel awkward.
Could you describe a typical senior portrait shoot?
For my shoots, we go to an outdoor location, and I find different spots to pose them in at that location, taking into consideration what they’re wearing and the light.
The beaches of Cape Cod, Plymouth, Wareham, and Marion are some of Cassandra’s favorite places to take senior portraits – but she also goes to the location of your choice. She can photograph at your home or backyard, a local park, even your high school soccer / track / football or baseball field!
For the tips what to wear during the photo session, what to avoid, what to bring or what to do if it rains, check in Seniors Magazine.
What is the average cost for senior pictures?
The average senior spends around $1000 with me.
Cassandra offers so many products to choose from senior portraits photoshoot session including: framed wall portraits, custom digital art composites, folios, albums, digital albums, digital files, grad party invitations and announcements, and canvas wall portraits.
- Wall Portraits, Large Prints & Collages – Prices starting at $225
- Books, Albums and Folios – Prices starting at $275
- Small Prints – 8×10’s and 5×7’s and Wallets – Prices starting at $75
- Luxe Collections starting at $995
How long does it take to get an order?
Usually about 3-4 weeks after the order is placed. If the yearbook photo is due before that, I’ll make that a priority to be sure it’s in on time.
What is the best camera setting for outdoor portraits?
There’s no ‘best’ setting - the camera settings depend entirely on the light - so they’d be different depending on if it’s sunny, cloudy, morning or evening, if you’re in the bright sun or in the shade. And then you add your creativity to it, whether it’s shutter speed you want to change or aperture.
Much of what can be said about senior portraits photography can be said for nearly any other type of portrait photography. Professionalism and creativity will hopefully help you to take an amazing picture.