Why Bratton Photography?
Why Choose Bratton Photography?
Choosing the right studio for your child’s senior portraits is easy if you know what to look for. Here are a few tips:
A Professional Photographer Or Someone With An Expensive Camera?
Today it seems like everyone is a "photographer" and they all claim to be "professionals" capable of taking senior portraits. The sad reality for many parents that choose these photographers is that the “photographer” has little or no training. These "professionals" believe that if they purchase a great camera, they will be able to produce great images. The reality is the camera is a very small part of making great images. There is so much more to it, and these "professionals" generally find that out as they "practice" on YOUR senior pictures. Photography is an acquired talent that takes years to learn. It’s the TALENT and EXPERIENCE that makes them a professional, NOT the equipment they own. Look for a true professional photographer that is capable of producing images you and your senior will be proud of.
Make sure you like the style of the studio/photographer before anything else. A great price means nothing if you aren’t going to get pictures that you like. Look online at some of the other teens they have photographed, then ask yourself, do you like the posing? Do you like the expressions and backgrounds? Is it what you would want for your senior portraits? While you are online, check to see if the photographer has a studio, is the website professional in appearance and functional. A photographers website is an extension of his/her portfolio. If you don’t like the website, you will not like the work either. If the photographer only has a Facebook page, without a current website, he is not a professional.
There are many different "looks" available today for senior portraits. Do you want a trendy, sassy, fashion look for your senior portrait? Or maybe you want more traditional portraits, casual or relaxed. Most clients want a more traditional classic look for parents and grandparents, and a more trendy fashion look for the senior. Make sure the studio or photographer can supply a variety of looks that you like for your senior portraits. Also, can the photographer help your senior look natural and relaxed in his/her portraits, as opposed to stiff and over posed?
Take the time to visit a couple of studios. First, make sure they HAVE a studio and that you feel totally comfortable in the studio. If you feel uneasy, it may not be the best choice. Make sure that it’s a REAL studio that deals with teenagers regularly, not some garage studio with some guy who does "photography" part time. Many "photographers" do not have a studio and will only work outdoors, which is often called “natural light photography”. While outdoor photos should be a part of senior portraits, you should also have portraits done in a real studio as well. The lighting, temperature, and wind are controlled in a studio environment, and the resulting images are generally better.
While you are at the studio, ask to see printed images as well as the ones you have seen online, as there can be a HUGE difference between the two. Images can look great online, but print poorly, and the printed images will be the ones that are most important to you and your family. Make sure that the people you see in the images don’t look like "plastic". This is a common mistake made by amateurs with a camera, because they have purchased commercial retouching filters and have very little experience in retouching. We have the talent to provide expert retouching so that your senior looks great in her portrait, but still look like herself!
During your studio visit or while you are talking to the photographer on the phone, make sure you feel comfortable with the people you are going to deal with. It is important that the photographer deal with teens on a regular basis. Seniors are unique in their personalities, needs and desires. The photographer you choose should be able to provide an environment where your senior can be comfortable and express himself, or the pictures will be boring and expressions can look fake or forced.
How long has the photographer been in business? Is this a full time job for them or is it a here today-gone tomorrow deal? Is this a studio experienced in dealing with seniors, or just somebody with a camera that has no clue of how to light and pose seniors? Bratton Photography has been in business for 20 years, worked with all kinds of body types in all kinds of environments, and consistently produces high quality work each and every time. Experience means consistency!
Please don’t choose your photographer on price alone, this is too important! Shopping on price alone works for certain things, but anything you purchase that will last for more than a couple of months should be looked at differently. We don’t buy cars, boats or a house on price alone. Bratton Photography has a wide variety of pricing and payment options to fit almost any budget.
Digital Files vs Printed Portraits
Bratton Photography offers watermarked digital files, of all ordered poses, free to seniors for their Facebook page and other digital applications. Digital Files are also offered in High-Resolution for a price that reflects their quality. We have 2-tiers of digital file pricing depending on how many files you want and if you have/have not purchased prints.
Although it seems like a good deal to receive all of your photos on a disk from an “amateur with a good camera”, this could not be more wrong. While we sometimes hear a client say “they no longer want prints, only digital files”, I never hear a client say “I want digital files that are inferior in file quality and won’t print well.” Professional Photographers do not allow their clients to print their own photos at a drugstore or big box chain-store in the same way that restaurants don’t allow a customer to cook their own meal in the kitchen. Although the ingredients might be the same, an inexperienced cook would not have the expertise to put it all together as tasty as the trained professional chef. Retail photo outlets use a different quality paper and lower-end print dyes. I personally have several of my snapshots printed at my local drugstore because it saves me money, but these are basically throw away prints that I do not expect to last for years and years, and I would never rely on those prints for my memories.