Guide to Senior Portraits for Parents

Step-by-step suggestions to help you avoid costly mistakes in choosing your Senior Photographer



Before you know it, your high school junior will be a senior, and it will be time to select a photographer for senior pictures. Too often parents seem to get left out when it comes to making choices about a student’s High School Senior portraits. Your input truly matters and is important to us. It’s important to your son or daughter, too! We’ve gathered the information in this guide to prepare you for the senior portrait process and to help you become a wiser consumer. Follow these tips and suggestions, and your senior’s portrait experience will be the best it can be!


If you take away only three things from this guide, let it be this:

1. You have the right to choose your photographer. You may want to look beyond the school contract photographer to be certain you are getting the type and quality of portraits you and your senior want and deserve.


2. The personalized attention and reliable service from California Senior will play a big part in making your senior’s portraits look great and your experience pleasurable.


3. Time is everything when it comes to fantastic portraits. By the end of the session, we’ve had time to get to know you. Your senior’s had time to change clothes and fix hair. They are relaxed, and it shows in their smile!




 Steps to a Successful Senior Portrait Experience


1. Be involved throughout the portrait process.


2. Start planning now. You can never start too soon. Often, the earlier a senior is photographed, the greater the savings.


3. Start by evaluating the photographers in your area. Look in the senior section of last year’s yearbook. Look for photos whose quality stands out. Ask those seniors where they had their portraits made.


4. Don’t feel pressured to use the school’s contracted photographer. It’s simple for your senior to be in the school’s yearbook even if you use our studio.


5. Visit any studio (in person or via a website) in which you are interested and look at their work. You’ll quickly identify which studio is best suited to your taste.


6. Don’t limit yourself geographically. You may have to drive a little further for the portraits and service you deserve. After all, this is a milestone in your child’s life.


7. Talk with the studio staff and ask questions, either in person or over the phone. It’s best to do this prior to the actual photo session.


8. Evaluate what you’ll be getting for your money. Look for a pricing structure with which you are comfortable. Remember that these photos are meant to last a lifetime.


9. Encourage your son or daughter to be creative and have fun! A relaxed senior is a happy senior, and that translates to great portraits.


10. Be thoroughly satisfied with your portraits. If something isn’t what you expected, please ask about it.




We have the answers to the questions you’d like to ask…


Q. Why do schools have a contract photographer?

A. When a school contracts one photographer, it simplifies getting photos of dances, sports groups, music ensembles, graduation, etc. for the school. However, is not usually the best choice for seniors and their families who want high quality, custom senior portraits.


Q. Why choose a private studio?

A. Your time is valuable. You should be able to schedule a session when it is convenient for you and your senior rather than fit into an assigned 10-minute slot in a hot school cafeteria or auditorium. The time you spend at California Senior will be relaxing. There is time to fix hair and make-up, time to change outfits in a private room. Your senior can even bring some friends. Your time, your choices. It just makes sense.


Q. Which photography studio should you choose?

A. One of the area’s finest senior photographers is right in your backyard. California Senior has been on the cutting edge of technology for the most creative senior portraits. Our experienced photographer is an expert in posing and lighting, but we also keep up with the latest trends in senior photography.


Q. When should we schedule a senior portrait appointment?

A. Contrary to what most parents think, SENIOR PORTRAITS ARE NOT TAKEN IN THE SENIOR YEAR! Most schools set deadlines for submitting yearbook photos to the school in the fall, therefore seniors should be photographed in the summer before they begin their senior year. If you want to save a lot of money, consider coming in March-April to take advantage of our pre-season special (see Promotions.)


Q. How much should I expect to spend on Senior portraits?

A. Pricing is an important issue. If you choose a less expensive photographer who takes mediocre pictures that you are not happy with, any money spent is wasted. Your satisfaction is our number one priority at California Senior. Think of these photos as investments for a lifetime, not just snapshots to be filed away, most customers generally spend on average anywhere from 1500-3500 on senior portraits.


Q. What if I have more questions?

A. Your questions are important to us. Feel free to call us Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at (916) 936-7073.





We know how important senior portraits are and we want your son or daughters senior pictures to look great! This is an amazing time in their life that they will never experience again, and we would like to celebrate with you and them in capturing images that reflect who they are.  Everyone is different, and that’s what Michael is the best at creating images that reflect them!


Your son or daughters High School Senior photographs are one of the most important photographs they will have taken! It’s a celebration of 12 years and a milestone into adulthood. We recommend all high school seniors to showcase who they are and what they do. We would like to tell their story in a photographic collection of images.


Our On Scene California and Lifestyle sessions are the most popular sessions that portray who they and their personality are. These sessions have unlimited clothing changes, in the studio or on  location and up to 3 to 4 hours. On-location sessions can vary in length based on location and travel. We recommend choosing clothing and styles that are well suited for your purpose and are well balanced from formal to casual. We highly recommend that you schedule a Free Consultation. You will have the opportunity to see examples of our work and go over everything in detail!


Your images from the session will be ready to view in 7 to 10 business days. An ordering appointment to view your senior images will be scheduled on the day of your Consultation.




Session Fees are due at the time of booking to reserve your senior’s appointment and are non-refundable once paid. If a cancellation is made within 48 hours of the session date a credit will be issued for future use.




At the time of scheduling your son or daughters senior session we will also schedule a return appointment to preview and order their senior images. This appointment is scheduled about 2 weeks after the session and can take up to an hour long. A 25% deposit is due at the time of your ordering appointment and a 10% discount is provide on all first orders. Orders can take 2 to 4 weeks to complete depending on time of the season.


Very important: You will be placing your order at this appointment. Make sure that you bring who ever you need to help you make these decisions. Grandparents, Husband and most importantly your senior.




One of the best parts of your son or daughters senior year is having their senior portraits taken by a professional photographer that is solely dedicated to one thing…capturing who they are!


Yeah, you could have your neighbor or friend take a few snapshots with their “fancy” new digital camera, but is that really capturing who they are? That’s a lot like eating dinner at McDonald's before senior prom!


Being a senior only comes once in a lifetime and you deserve the quality and uniqueness of having a real experienced professional create some fun and custom senior portraits for you, not some amateur pretending to know what the heck they are doing!

This site and all images are protected by copyright and trademark laws under US and International law. All rights reserved. © 2017 Michael Lucero Photography

Redefined by Pixl Squared