Senior Picture Prices

Anyone that is in the market for senior pictures these days has probably researched price at least a little.  What you may have found out is that pricing is basically dependent upon each photographer.

The photography business is a competitive business.  Businesses will compete on quality, price, or quantity.  When business is very competitive, things can get ugly.  All you have to do is perform a few internet searches and see that some photographers can get ugly fast.  You know why that is?  They are scared of people like you taking away their business.    More on that later, let’s get to some prices!

Before we get too far into this we should discuss some the terms that photographers use.

Session/Sitting fees– These are the fees that the photographer will charge just to show up and snap some pictures.  This is his safety net to be able to make a little money in case you don’t buy any prints.  Sometimes session fees will be hidden in credits and other creative pricing techniques. Just keep your eyes open for money that you will not get credited back to buy prints.

Package fees–  This is really just a way to guarantee that the photographer will make a set amount of money.  This helps him or her set a price and offer all of the prints, etc in one package.  It still does not mean they won’t try to upsell you a bit, but at least you know what you are getting.

There is one thing that is guaranteed in the current photography business, you will almost never receive digital copies of your photos.  Most photographers make money from you when you buy all of your prints from them.  They usually get them printed at a pro lab and them mark them up and sell them to you.  So they won’t want to give you digital copies of your prints because you could take them anywhere and get them printed and they would not be able to get you to come back later and order more prints and make more money off of you.  After all, it is a business.  Just make sure you find a good one if you plan to use a photographer.

I have done a little research on the price of senior pictures over the last few years.  Below is a little summary to help you see how a photographer will price.

On the low end, you have a photographer, let’s call him Joe,  that takes decent photos (according to viewing his portfolio) and charges the following prices:

60 minutes worth of photographer time, 3-4 outfit changes, one CD of low resolution images ( you can’t make your own prints from these).   You will get all of this for about $200.  Now, if you want to get any actual physical pictures out of this it will be extra.  This particular photographer did not list the prices of his prints. I am guess that will come out in the sales presentation.  EEEEK!


On the high end we have another photographer.  Let’s call him Bob.  Bob’s portfolio is amazing and you know what, so are his prices!   They go something like this:

Senior Package  –Mon-Thurs appointments $1300  Fri-Sun appointments $1400.  YIKES! Cancel that vacation! But not to worry, Bob will give you a $900 credit to put toward your prints purchase.  The problem is, Bob does not tell you how much his prints will cost.  I smell a sales presentation coming!  Although, Bob is kind enough to give you one free high resolution photo of your choice so you can share your awesome Bob photo on social media.

Then you have all of the other photographers in the middle.  The prices are all over the place.  Just do a quick Google search and take a look in your area. The major point here is that it is very hard to make an apples to apples comparison.  No two photographers will give you the same package or service.  This is why this business gets so competitive.  Photographers are trying to prove they are better than the photographer next to them.  I have even been in some circles where they resort to a little childishness.  Some photographers will call others “fauxtographers” or I have heard some refer to some of the ladies out there as “Moms with a camera”.

I do get frustrated when I hear some of them saying those things.  With the information we have available today at our fingertips, anyone with enough determination and ambition can become a decent photographer.  It just takes commitment and practice.

That is why we are here.  We want to help you get the information and the confidence to go out and take pictures of your senior.  If you are mom, dad, aunt, uncle, brother or sister to your senior student, you can do this, for FREE.

Want to learn more?  Sign up and we will send you our free eBook DIY Senior Pictures: An Introductory Guide for free.  Just enter your email address below and it will be on its way!


What is holding you back?   What is your biggest photography hurdle?  Please leave it in the comments below and let’s talk about it.

Thanks for being a part of DIY Senior Pictures.  Need more immediate help?  Need a step by step process?  Check out our latest Kindle books.  Why not check out our bonus video section too?  Leave a comment and let's discuss your photo concerns.  Talk to you soon.

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