The Best Time to Book Your Senior Photos

family portrait after senior photos

Every year, my calendar fills up and a few families that are interested in senior portraits miss out because they were too late to book.

Don’t miss out on an amazing experience just because you started planning a month behind everyone else.

The tricky thing about scheduling your senior portraits is that summer in Maine is super short! Many families wait until midsummer before they even think about senior photos. Big mistake! For example, if you’re trying to book in July, I’ve probably already filled my schedule. You’ll be left with a handful of choices in late August or early September… which means you’re likely to already have conflicts.

My advice? Aim to find your photographer and book your senior photo session in May of your junior year. I do my best work when I can focus my efforts on one project, so I only work with one family at a time. That means my summer schedule fills up quickly.

Booking far in advance will guarantee yourself a spot in my calendar, and you’ll have a wider variety of dates to choose from. You’ll also have the chance to do your photoshoot earlier in the summer, when it’s not humid, hot, and sticky.

Stick to June and July, if you can.

Though many families request August dates, I actually prefer to do the shoots in June or July. In my experience, families who schedule photoshoots earlier in the summer enjoy the process more because they give themselves the time to fully experience it.

Booking early gives you a chance to brainstorm ideas for the photoshoot and allows you to work through the process long before the end-of-summer stress hits. (Pre-season sports, double shifts at work, and out-of-town family visits ringing a bell?) That means your photoshoot will be more unique, and it’ll be more relaxing than if you waited until the the last minute, when you have #allthethings going on.

For the best hair and makeup artists, you’ll need to book early.

Finally, if your session includes hair and makeup, it is essential to book at least two months in advance to assure a spot on Elise’s calendar. When you give us lots of lead time, it increases our chances of getting on her schedule at the right time (a few hours before sunset!) on the right day.

It only takes a little planning ahead to get the process done early, and it can be the difference between rushing the photoshoot process to meet your deadline (most schools require senior portraits submissions by the end of September) or taking your time and enjoying it.

Booking early also gives you the opportunity to turn your senior portraits into a family photo session! After we wrap up your pictures, your mom, dad, and siblings (both the two-legged and four-legged kind) can join in for a wonderful “my last summer” memory.

So, to recap:
1. Book early (think: May) to have your choice of dates.
2. Schedule a June or July session, so you’re not overwhelmed with summer plans on photo day.
3. Enjoy your summer, knowing you’ve checked one major to-do off the list.