Senior Pictures: Finding The Best Bang For Your Buck

Senior pictures are about celebrating a major milestone in a student’s life. What better way to document and celebrate your last year of high school? It’s your last year of public school, going to school with your childhood friends, and the last year most of us will be living with our family.  For many seniors, the cost of getting pictures done is what holds them back. Senior pictures can really add up financially, and with tough economic times, that’s completely understandable. However, we have evaluated several local photographers and options to choose from to give you the best bang for your buck.

Brooke Daniels Photography is a well-known and fabulous photographer and company in our area, and an option several Riverbend students decide to go with.  However, her minimum product order is 875$. On her website, it says most parents invest over 1000 dollars on packages and prints.  Morgan King, a senior, had her senior pictures do ne with Brooke Daniels and highly recommends other students do the same.

The Photography Smith’s, a couple that actually centers their headquarters in downtown Fredericksburg, offers longer sessions than Brooke Daniels for a lower cost of 500$. Katie Vaughn, and Alicia Majercin, both seniors this year, chose to go with the Photography Smiths. They both said they were thrilled with their pictures and the overall experience, but also reported that getting pictures done definitely added up.

Winterberry Photography is also an option for Senior Portraits which operates out of Galax, Virginia. Their website reports that most clients plan to invest $300-$600.  Hayley Dodson had her senior pictures done with Winterberry this summer and loved it, but the whole thing cost her over a thousand dollars.

Additionally, there are more localized photographers that offer more affordable packages. Melissa Waller Photography offers a much more affordable option for documenting your senior year. Her sessions are only $200 for a 2 hour session, which is significantly less than almost any other local professional photographer. Krissy Lynch, a senior as well, swears by Melissa Waller. “She was so nice and took such good pictures for a really good price. I loved my pictures with my dog, Dottie!” Additionally, similar to every other professional photographer, she caters your session to your personality and wants. Her website encourages you to bring a variety of outfits and anything else that would make your pictures unique.

My mom and I sat down this year and looked into all possible photographers and which would be the best deal. We decided that the best and most affordable option was Melissa Waller. I really liked how natural her photos were, instead of how edited Brooke Daniels, Winterberry, and the Photography Smith’s pictures appear to be. I want to look like myself, not Senior Picture Barbie. I talked to her on the phone and she has put me completely at ease for the coming year. Senior year is already going to be so stressful with college applications and the looming anxiety of graduation next June. However, I am so excited to get my senior pictures done with Mrs. Waller. She encouraged me to bring whatever outfits and props I wanted to ensure sure that my session and pictures reflected me. Even my younger sister was invited to come and take a few shots with me. It was certainly relieving to be able to cross off one thing on my senior checklist already. I have already referred a few friends that received 10% off her already more affordable package when they mentioned I referred them, and they were just as satisfied with the experienced as I was.

However, it’s your decision whether or not to get pictures done. I think you might as well. I spent over a decade of my life in school, countless hours spent doing homework and studying, and most of my life stressing about college and my future, so why not? I want tangible evidence of my high school years, that way in the future I can look back and see myself as a 17 year old looking forward to college and ready to leave high school behind.