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How to choose a Senior Photographer – Part 2 – Senior Photography basics

Choosing a senior picture photographer – Part 2 – Senior Photography basics

This is part 5 of a 5 part series on how to choose a senior photographer in Northwest Arkansas (NWA).  This series is meant to provide you with questions to ask about senior photography before hiring someone.  Your senior photographer will actually like being asked most of these questions before booking you for senior pictures. Asking questions shows your interest in the process.  It also means your senior photography sessions will go more smoothly and your senior portraits will look better!

Wonderful Autumn Day - senior photography basics

An example of proper exposure and color in senior photography basics.

Quality is subjective. This applies to senior photography as much as any art form.  After all, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  However, there are some general rules that can be applied in most situations to recognize quality in any portrait, and these apply to senior pictures as well.


When a photographer talks about exposure they are talking about how light or dark an image appears.  An over-exposed image will lose detail in the light places, while an under-exposed image will lose detail in the shadows.  As a general rule you should be able to see details in white objects and in shadows.  As with all rules there are times when these rules are ignored in favor of artistic vision.


It’s important that your photographer is able to recreate skin tones appropriately.  Too much saturation or the wrong white balance can leave faces looking orange – and that’s certainly not what you want for your senior portraits!  This is another place where the portfolio can guide you as to the quality of a photographers work.

senior photography exposure

Some photographers can work magic with Photoshop and other editing software, while others wreak havoc.  Before you hire a photographer you should know what level of retouching they do on each of the images you purchase.  A heavy hand in editing can make a portrait look unnatural (think plastic skin), while no retouching can leave blemishes or features that you had hoped would be removed.

While you can use the photographers portfolio to judge what they normally do it’s a good idea to talk to them before the shoot about what you expect.  Make sure that the level of portrait correction is in line with what you expect.  It’s also helpful to discuss your most and least favorite features.  This will help your photographer to highlight those areas you like and to put less emphasis on those you don’t.

Northwest Arkansas Senior Pictures
Choosing a Senior Photographer – Part 1 (Personality, Investments, Contracts)

Choosing a Senior Photographer – Part 2 (Exposure, Color, Retouching)

Choosing a Senior Photographer – Part 3 (Senior Portraits Style)

Choosing a Senior Photographer – Part 4 (Senior Photography Sessions Service)

Choosing a Senior Photographer – Part 5 (SumPics for NWA Senior Pictures)

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