How Many Senior Pictures and How Big of Print Sizes Should I Purchase

When you purchase senior pictures who were they really for?

Many of us would say, ‘they are for my parents’ and of course, my grandparents need some. As a portrait photographer, I hear this all the time. We think this way because we have a tendency to buy portraits to fulfill our current needs: and we forget about the future.

What future needs do you have? Why do you need more than one wall portrait, with some 5x7s for your grandparents and a couple of wallets to hand out to friends.

Buying portraits for our future means: having portraits for your future spouse. Having portraits for your future children. Having portraits for your future grandchildren.

Here’s a quick story about future needs.

As a photographer, you would think that I have plenty of images from my early life: childhood, middle school, high school graduation to name a few.

The reality is that I barely exist because my parents did not purchase many professional portraits of me. And when they did purchase professional portraits they purchased one ‘great big’ 8 x 10 print for the wall. Yes, they had snap shots, much as we do today with our camera phones, only with small film cameras.

There were no character studies, there were no formal portraits that looked into my soul and heart. The only one was my senior picture. Do you know where that print is today? It’s hanging in my mother’s house and I only get to see it (and my wife and children only get to see it) when we visit.

My wife is in the same position. Her parents recently passed away and the estate was distributed and she finally received the one, single 8 x 10 print that was purchased of her high school graduation portrait. That’s the only available portrait of her as an 18-year-old!

Do you want to be in this position when you’re getting married, having your children enter kindergarten or having your children prepare for graduation from high school?

Do you want your children to see your high school portrait, as they prepare to graduate?

We think the answer to this is obvious. Purchase a bigger print than you think you need and purchase more prints than you think you’ll need because in the future you’ll be glad you have prints to show to your future spouse, your future children and your future grandchildren (and if we really want to push the issue – your future great grandchildren – yes, we know, we’re really pushing the envelope here, but we’re all hoping to lead long, full lives….which means great grand children!)

When you come into the studio we can talk about your needs for today and for the future. Let me know what you think. (And if you think digital copies of the images are a solution, please read the other blog entries on this site, because digital files are not the answer to archival images.)