I remember my senior portrait session. Way back in the fall of 1996. If memory serves, the studio, Jellyfish Photography, was upstairs in one of those beautifully weather-worn, time-tested buildings of downtown Paducah.
Following several studio shots, we headed up the street to the river front for the one picture I had anticipated since first seeing their photo display at Kentucky Oaks Mall some months earlier. That’s where I got to pose in a cool shot with my black, 1965 Ford Mustang Fastback. While I don’t really miss the car (which is an entirely different story altogether), man did that picture look good with me leaning against the hood.
To this day, I don’t remember the session fees (that’s what mom was for right?), I don’t remember the different packages they offered, I don’t remember how long it took, and I don’t remember there being a limit on the number of clothing changes. What I do remember is the chance to be me, myself, and only me. From my cool leather jacket and class ring to that awesome bird’s eye shot of me and my Mustang (OK, I might miss it a little), those pictures represented me and only me at that time in my life.
That is the general purpose of photography–to capture a moment–but it is also to capture personality at a given time in one’s life. And with technology these days giving us some breaks and so many more options, Abanathy Photography, LLC is able to focus wholeheartedly on just that.
We believe the senior session should be about the senior, should be free-spirited and, above all, should not be rushed. Placing an outfit limit and/or an unrealistic time restraint does not allow for the session to “breathe”. That is why all of our senior packages include a minimum one hour up to a maximum two hours of time. Truth be told, as a passionate photographer, I could easily schedule a 4-6 hour shoot and not bat an eye. However, for most photo subjects, two hours is generally the limit before the smiles fade, the eyes droop, and they begin thinking more about the car ride home than they do leaning on a tree. As such, we push the session’s life to the maximum without giving a second thought and if we run over a little, so be it!
We also believe in allowing the subject to express their personality through whatever means they and their parents deem fit. Most of the time, this is going to be through apparel and accessories so the idea is to strike a balance between time and outfit changes. For the most part we do not place a limit on poses or outfit changes because it limits possibilities.
Now, we might discourage too many changes, as it does eat up time. However, if you want to bring 20 outfits to the shoot and you are dead set on a photograph with each one, we would encourage you to have a plan (and maybe make a couple of practice runs before the shoot), rather than place a limit.
Of course, the technological advantage which helps allow for unlimited changes/poses is: The digital camera. While it gives easily many, many more shots per disc than any handful of film rolls ever could, it also lends itself for another advantage: Online ordering.
So many studios set their different photo packages up front. You get “x” amount of 4X6s, “y” amount of 5X7s, “z” amounts of wallets, etc. While this can make tough decisions a little easier, it can also lead to several unnecessary middleman meetings after the shoot. Why do it this way, when you can move to the la carte method via a photo website? Following your shoot with us, we post them in a private online gallery where you can order as many as you want in as many sizes as you want, or you can choose from one of three, customizable packages. And, of course, we still offer the photo disc (which contains all edited images) for $100 plus tax. Now, we are still happy accommodate in-studio and over-the-phone orders, but it is nice to be able to offer the at-home ordering as well.
With all of this in mind, as of this past weekend, we now offer three options for senior portraits. Read on, or click here for details.
Our first allows for one hour with the photographer and up to three outfit changes.
Now, I know what you are thinking: “Patrick, you just said you don’t want to limit outfit changes, but I see a limit of three imposed on the first package. Why is that?”. Well, it harkens back to what I said about time restraint. One hour flies by in a flash (no pun intended) when it comes to photo sessions. So, that limit is more for your benefit that ours. We want you to get the most poses out of your senior session and, while your energy is likely to hold, the hour is going to be over before you know it. And we would rather see you in front of the camera for most of that time rather than in the dressing room.
As for our Signature and Deluxe packages, we fully explore our philosophies and allow you total freedom to make your senior session your own! Unlimited changes and backdrops during up to two hours with the photographer. To boot, you even receive free Facebook images (5 for “Signature” and 10 for “Deluxe”) and (also with the Deluxe package) a 16X20 canvas wrap of the photo of your choice.
Once again, click here for more details and, as the class of 2013 make final preparations to walk across that stage, we look forward to meeting with the various members of the class of 2014!