Choosing a Photographer

Mistake #1 – Choosing a photographer who offers “the cheapest package”

Some photographers approach senior portraits with the “bargain basement” mentality. They promise you big sessions for little money. It all sounds too good to be true! This is an awful situation for you because usually, one of three things happen:

1 – You end up with a lot of average images, but no awesome ones.

2 – You just hate the quality of the photography.

3 – You end up spending a lot more to get what you really want.

In any case, you are not happy with either the images or the experience. Cliff does not offer “come-on” packages. You won’t need to buy a package larger than you really want just so you can get certain products or sizes and then have stuff left over. You build the order you want.

Mistake #2 – Trusting Phone or Internet Price Quotes

It’s great to call around and price-shop other studios, but the reality is that no two studios set their pricing the same way. If you’re looking for an “apples-to-apples” comparison, it’s nearly impossible to do over the phone or online.

Why? Because most studios will have an inexpensive package so they sound the cheapest (see #1 above). The reality is, very few people actually purchase that package. There are often little “added fees” as well for things like pose switching, retouching and special effects. Watch too, for the studios that convert dollars to “points” or some other type of make-believe money.

Look for an up-front, easy-to-understand method of pricing. At Cliff Lawson Photography, you’ll be able to create your own package for as little as $299. The best part is, by creating your own package, you only spend money on what you want to buy.

Mistake #3 – Choosing one of the “Big Studios”

Some studios focus on volume. They survive on that volume. During the “Senior Season” they may hire additional photographers to do your photos session. How can your session be special and individual when you are one of six or eight seniors that studio will do that day? To be fair, these large studios do a technically fine job. But you will be just another senior photographed in front of the same background as many others.

I limit my session to a MAXIMUM of two sessions per day during the summer months. If I can arrange it, I would like to keep it to ONE per day.

Mistake #4 – Having a friend “snap your pics”

These days, everyone has a friend with a decent camera. They’d be thrilled to take you to the lake or some park, snap away and give you the files.

This is one of those things that almost always seems like a good idea at the time, but when you end up viewing the results you instantly regret it. Well-meaning neighbors, relatives, teachers and family friends with nice cameras do not add up to quality photography! It takes more than decent equipment—Picasso did not just have “nice brushes.” Cliff worked for several years at a local camera store and saw the results of “friend photography.” Images were overexposed, underexposed, poorly focused, and unflattering poses were the rule. Families expected the store staff to correct all these errors – it is not possible.

EXPERIENCE MATTERS when it comes to your senior portraits. Cliff knows the tricks of the trade; he is a Certified Professional Photographer who will make you feel comfortable, relax and look your absolute best. It takes years of experience to learn how to work with different personalities and body types. Add in the countless list of technical skills like retouching and image enhancement, along with the fact that he uses only the finest materials and professional printing services, and you’ll realize that a good photographer does not just materialize overnight. Be careful trusting just anyone with a camera when it comes to taking the only senior portraits you’ll ever have.

Mistake #5 – Choosing a “Natural Light, Lifestyle” photographer

There are lots of photographers who claim to be “natural-light lifestyle photographers”. The translation: “I bought a nice camera, but do not own or even have a clue how to use all that professional equipment like lights and meters and reflectors. And I don’t have the time, the money, or desire to actually learn how to use all that stuff. I mean, I have a nice camera.”

Cliff is able to shoot in a studio with all the professional lighting as well as around your home or out on location. You can choose one, any two, or all three. Yes, it does increase the cost a bit, but we can capture an amazing variety of images. The studio, of course, is immune to weather problems.