Let’s be honest: senior pictures get expensive. I’ve been a senior photographer for six years, and I understand that it’s not in everyone’s budget. I’d hate for high pricing to be the reason why you or your senior doesn’t get senior photos. Here are a few ways you can find or negotiate lower pricing if you can’t afford senior pictures right now:
Can’t afford senior pictures? Tip #1: Ask about off-season pricing
Many photographers get busy during graduation shoot seasons: fall and spring of the school year. Ask the photographers in your area if they offer lower pricing during slower seasons like the summer. While some photographers stay busy year-round, many of them will offer sessions at a discount during slower seasons.
Tip #2: Ask for recommendations from senior photographers
If you love a specific photographer in your area, message an inquiry letting them know that you love their photos, but their pricing is out of your budget. Many will appreciate the honesty and feedback and either 1) offer you a discount, or 2) recommend other photographer options with more affordable pricing. If they love their jobs and do it well, they will probably be your best resource when it comes to recommending photographers with a similar style.
Tip #3: Consider a group session
Solo senior sessions are the most popular, but one of the best ways to get a more affordable session is to plan your session with a group of friends or even one other person. Many senior photographers will cut the cost by 50%+ with more people in front of the camera, so keep an eye out for group session offers.
Tip #4: Ask about scholarship programs
While not as common, some photographers in your area might offer scholarship programs that allow you to submit entries and receive a session completely comped or highly discounted. Senior photographers are looking to celebrate seniors and their achievements, so be sure to ask if it’s something they offer now or can consider in the future!
Tip #5: Take your own!
If you have some creative skills you’re willing to flex, now’s the time to do it! During my time at The University of Texas, the school allowed students to rent nice cameras to students. Consider renting one from your school or asking a friend nicely to loan you their camera for the afternoon. It’ll save you hundreds of dollars and it might just be the gateway to a new skill or hobby!