Let's first clear the air and admit that not all portrait experiences are the same, nor are the prices you can expect to spend. There really is something for everyone!

I live in an area of New England where senior portraits are emerging from a tired style. The surrounding area high schools in Connecticut usually still recommend a certain pose and backdrop that became popular at the dawn of the yearbook in the early 1900's. However, in 2020 at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, those photo requirements started to change as outdoor photography became the safer option over indoor studio photography. It will be interesting to see if New England schools adjust to the 21st century trends of custom portrait photography or if they once again request the antiquated black drape, head tilt, and grey backdrop that my grandmother's generation adored. 

 Luxury senior portrait photography is not about the yearbook anymore. It's also not just about a digital image to share on social media. It is about letting your senior shine from the inside out. It's about creating a once-in-a-lifetime experience where they get their dream photo shoot as if for a magazine feature or music album cover. The planning typically involves a styling consultation for the outfits, accessories, & aesthetic vibe hopes. For Denise Gammell Photography seniors, that involves not only the planning of multiple outfits, hair/makeup advice, but also an interview on your hopes and dreams all before the date of the session.  The session is tailored to invoke what makes that individual senior shine. The outcome is an incredible experience your senior will enjoy looking back on and want to tell all their friends about. Most importantly, the investment of heirloom artwork for your home will last generations. Check out my beautiful legacy keepsake box, gallery wall art canvases, or my luxury designed album in custom designed box to get a peek at why these exquisite items are so sought after.

There are a plethora of reasons why you should trust this job only to a professional photographer who specializes in senior portrait photography. I've seen many people DIYing their senior photos and for all the work that goes into preparing outfits, getting hair and makeup done, going to a beautiful location, they end up with photos that are shot in poor lighting, will not stand the test of time, nor do they capture the best expression and posing of the senior. Skilled, experienced photographers who specialize in teen and graduation photos know the best poses and confidence showcasing techniques that get this particular age group to feel comfortable in front of the camera. Anyone can tell the difference between a photo that looks flat or forced vs. alive with expression & personality. Just as wedding photographers are skilled at posing couples, there are certain poses that work best for the graduate. Photographers have lighting techniques that brighten the face without dark shadows under the eyes so that all subjects look dewy fresh. Professionals also understand camera lens distortion so that the portrait captures the subject at their best angle. Believe it or not, yes many photographers are "just" senior/teen specific in their specialization. Not only that, there are actually dozens of senior photographer conferences which distinctly cater to this unique specialty and teach photographers how to be top senior portrait photographer in their area.

I've highlighted the value that goes into working with a custom portrait photographer, but didn't go into the details of the expenses photographers accrue as business owners. Not only do our professional line prints and products cost beyond what is available to the consumer market, but the overhead of insurance, self-employment taxes, and other costs are all taken into account for the photographers who are set up to do business legally.  I completely understand that portraits are not where all families choose to spend their money. Everyone has different tastes and preferences. It's true that it is a luxury and not a necessity to go with a custom portrait photographer. However, we all know that during times of loss, what most people cling to are the favorite pictures that mean so much to us. It's typically special photos that are rescued in disasters or photos that are mourned when all is lost. It's hard to put a price on all the love we feel when looking at the portrait of a cherished face. 

Now booking Connecticut High School Senior Pictures Class of 2022! Contact me today to grab your senior portrait time slot, sessions go quickly and are scheduled in advance.

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