Senior Photos – How to Choose the Right Photographer for You

Kat, a 2018 Brainerd High School Senior, is a member of the Deb Mitzel Photography Senior Model Team.

The school year is winding down, and for you current Juniors, that means Senior Year is right around the corner, and it’s time to start thinking about choosing your photographer and booking an appointment for your senior photos. Not sure who to book or what to look for? Senior photography is a once in a lifetime opportunity to document the culmination of your high school career and the start of your adult life. It’s a really important moment in your history, and you want to be sure that you choose the person and the experience that will best tell YOUR story.  I’ve included a few tips below for finding and choosing the senior photographer that is right for you.

Tip #1  Meet the photographer in person

Deb Mitzel
Deb Mitzel, Photographer

I meet all of my seniors in person. I want to know who you are, what you’re into, and find out information that will help me capture you in the most authentic way at this point in your life. I don’t just want to “take your picture” – I want to know who you are, and do my best to visually tell your story through the photographs we create together.  If we don’t hit it off when we meet, I shouldn’t take your photos.  The bottom line is…if you’re not comfortable with me, we won’t get the best photos for you, and we shouldn’t work together.  This has never been an issue, but I would rather have you work with someone else if I’m not the right photographer for you.

Tip #2  Find someone who wants to collaborate with you and give you a senior experience

You’ve got ideas and visions for what you want your senior photography experience to look like, and I want to make sure that your vision is met. I’m not going to just drag you off to the most common hotspot and catch a few great shots. I want us to take our time and capture you doing the things you love in the places you love the most. Sure, I’ve got ideas and locations that I’m more than happy to share, but I will listen to you and find a way to make your vision a reality if at all possible. This is not about me, it’s about YOU!

Sidney, BHS Class of 2018

Tip #3  Review their work

Take a look at their website and social media. Are they in touch with what’s going on in the lives of their seniors? Are they in touch with current trends and have resources to help you get the best experience possible? I do my best to work with people who will help my seniors look and feel their best for their photos. I work with local fashion boutiques to help you style your wardrobe for the session, as well as local hair and makeup artists to help you complete your best look for the photo session. I try to stay on top of current trends, and am happy to share and incorporate those ideas to help you have the best senior experience possible!

Lauren, BHS Class of 2018

Tip #4  What is the experience like?

I am forever talking about the importance of the experience, and it is because I believe it is such a big part of how I can provide value to you. I want you to have an experience that will provide an awesome memory for you every time you remember it. I don’t want to just show up, take a few pretty pictures, and send you on your way. I want your session to be a fun moment in your life that you will remember fondly for years to come.

Joe, BHS Class of 2018

Tip #5  What physical evidence will you have to remember the session?

In my opinion, there are two very critical components to any photography experience – the actual experience of the session itself, and the physical items you have to trigger the memories after the fact and for years to come. I strongly believe that you should have a great time during the session itself, but I also believe it is super important that you take home albums and wall displays so you have something tangible to look back on and remember this important and special moment in your life.

I am not what is referred to in the photography industry as a “shoot and burn” photographer. I won’t just take your photos and then hand them off to you on a flash drive…you know what happens with those photos? More often than not, they never get printed and enjoyed. I’ve talked to so many people who have photos on drives that they’ve never printed because they don’t know what to do with them, where to go, how to get the best prints, etc, or they just don’t “get around to it”. This is why you come to someone like me, who has the resources and knowledge to do it for you. In some cases, those drives get lost and the photographer can’t be found, and those precious memories are lost forever. How sad is that? You and your memories are so much more important to me than that! I am a full service boutique photography studio, which means you don’t need to do any of the work, and I will deliver beautiful artwork to you that is ready to be hung on your walls or placed on your coffee table. And that’s where it should be – not on a flash drive somewhere that no one will ever see.

What if your great great grandmother’s photo had been hidden on some flash drive – would you ever have seen a photo of her, and realized that you had her nose, or felt a connection to her? Physical photos give us a feeling that can’t be replicated, therefore I feel it is extremely important to preserve that tradition. Some will say the shoot and burn method is less expensive, and that may be true in dollars and cents, but what are your precious memories really worth? Isn’t it worth it to have physical, tangible albums and wall displays that will last a lifetime? If you lose that flash drive, how much would you be willing to pay to get those photos back? My friends, photography is not a commodity. Look for the person that will provide you the best experience, value, and physical products to display your artwork and hold your memories for future generations. You will never regret it!

If the experience I provide to my senior clients is appealing to you, please connect with me.  Let’s sit down, have a conversation, and see if we are a fit.  I LOVE what I do, and nothing makes me happier than being the one to help you tell YOUR story through photography!  I’ll be waiting for your call. 😉

Until  next time!


Ava, Pequot Lakes High School Class of 2018
Mario, Little Falls High School Class of 2018

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