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The guy's guide

Let's face it, unlike a lot of our senior girls, most of our senior guys haven't been dreaming of taking their senior portraits since freshman year. In fact, some are probably hoping that their mom will forget to book a session. No matter what initial reservations our guys have about their senior portraits or how awkward and weird they think they might be, I promise to make them as painless as possible... they might even have a little fun (whether they want to admit it or not)!

I am no stranger to high school guys, in fact, as a coach's wife I might actually be more comfortable with my senior guy clients. Having a husband who is a high school strength and conditioning and football coach helps me relate to my guy clients and makes me no stranger to navigating tough scheduling (working around senior's workouts, games, and practice schedules is tricky but we will find a date that works).

The EWP Senior Portrait Experience

Let me guess: You want to know exactly what you’re getting into. I don’t blame you. Turn by turn directions don’t really cut it for me either—I’m the kind of person who has to see the entire route before I start driving anywhere. On that note... from saying “hello” to seeing your final images, here’s an overview of what to expect when you book a senior portrait session with Ericka Williams Photography!

Step 1: Book & Prepare

So, you’ve taken a look at my gallery and Instagram and you like what you’re seeing (or at least mom does). Awesome! After we’ve officially gotten your session date on the calendar, I’ll send you a questionnaire that will help me get to know your likes, dislikes, and everything in between. Understanding your vision is the key to planning a portrait experience that fits your personality and makes you feel at ease.

Choosing the perfect wardrobe: Styling assistance is included in every EWP Senior Portrait Package, so make sure to take advantage of the help. I want to make sure you look great and feel comfortable. See What to Wear page below for more tips. Most seniors send me pictures of their wardrobe options for feedback (via text or email) and that helps me plan the rest of their session!

Choosing the perfect location(s): The way to ensure that your senior portrait session is amazing is to pick location(s) that compliment your outfits. If you are unsure of where you want to shoot, that's totally fine, my job is to help you plan the session of your dreams and that includes finding the perfect place to shoot! For senior guys, I always suggest choosing an urban location. Why is that? Because structure helps senior guys feel more comfortable. Urban locations have stairs, walls, and other structures to sit and lean on so you don't have to worry about standing in a open field feeling awkward. Do you have to pick an urban session? No! If you love nature, we can totally make that happen.

Step 2: smile & shine

Feeling awkward on the day of your session? Good news: I’m awkward too. Surprisingly, that makes me really good at making other people feel comfortable! At this point I've probably only talked to mom, so when we get to your first location, I’ll introduce myself and give you a quick run-down of the day. No worries if you need a minute or two to loosen up. We’ll go over a few posing tips (including how to turn, where to stand, and what the heck to do with your hands) before beginning. Turning on your favorite music will help us to create a laid-back atmosphere, and then it’s time to start shooting! I’ll provide guidance every step of the way to make sure you always look your best on camera. When you’re ready to change into your next look, I’ll have a changing tent available.

Step 3: Share & Print

After your session comes the really fun stuff—curating, editing, delivering your portrait gallery and having your optional ordering session.

Make sure to follow me on Instagram if you aren't already because that's where I will post your sneak peek image the day after your senior session (don't worry, mom, it will also be on my Facebook page)!

Within a week or two of your session, I’ll send a selection of proofs your way to kick off the process. You’ll narrow the images down and let me know your favorites. After undergoing a final polish, your photos are ready for delivery...and here’s the best part: Digital photos are included with EVERY senior portrait package. That’s right: You’re not just paying for my time and talent! A print release is also included, meaning you are welcome to order your own prints. If you want to ensure the highest quality prints or just don't want to deal with ordering on your own, you can always place an order through me.

Optional Ordering Session: Both the Classic and Ultimate Sessions come with the option of having an in-person (or Zoom, if you prefer) ordering session and print credits are included. I highly recommend checking out the amazing professional prints and products that are offered, whether you end up ordering anything or not. EWP Seniors have access to hand-selected, exclusive products, at the best rates.

What to wear

Remember... styling assistance is included in every EWP Senior Portrait Package, so make sure to take advantage of the help.

  • Variety is important. Be sure to stay away from only wearing one style. Pick a variety of different styles for your session: casual and dressier. Most senior guys bring one casual outfit, one dressier (everyone loves a well-dressed man), and something in between.
  • Let mom have a say. Remember, most of this is for mom so let her choose one of your outfits. Mom, don't push it. The best pictures are when the senior feels comfortable, so make sure to help choose an outfit accordingly.
  • Plan full outfits. Think head-to-toe when choosing wardrobe for your senior shoot. Don't forget shoes.
  • Be comfortable. Make sure you can sit, stand and walk comfortably in your outfits and check to make sure you have the right undergarments (bring a white undershirt if needed).

Don't forget to send pictures of your final outfit choices (via text or email) before your scheduled session. This helps me plan your shoot so we can get tons of great images in the shortest amount of time!

Other tips and tricks

  • Haircuts are important. Try to get a fresh haircut a week or two before your session.
  • Shave. Make sure to have a clean shaven face, unless scruff is your thing.
  • Relax. Senior portraits are not something to dread, they should be fun. Relax, let loose and have fun for the hour or two we are together. Even if you hate having your picture taken, the more you relax, the better you look, and quicker we get done.

What others are saying about their EWP Senior Portrait Experience...

Having these pictures of Cole as a 17 yr. old senior are SO special to me! It's such an important and memorable time in your child's and family's life, and you want time to stand still before they're out the door to college. Ericka captured Cole and his personality perfectly, and that was her first day to even meet him! She kept things light, easy and fun, which helped Cole to relax and just be himself! I will be recommending Ericka to all of my friends!! -Courtney Follett, 2021 Senior Mom

I cannot wait to get to know you this year and have a blast at your senior session!

Credits:

Ericka Williams Photography