Why Are My Senior Photos So Expensive?

Good afternoon seniors and parents! Today I wanted to write a post breaking down all of my senior packages to show you what you are investing in when you have your senior photos taken. Your senior photos, in my opinion, are something worth investing in! Your senior year is your time to shine and you want to remember all that you did in high school to show your children and grandchildren! I have been graduated from high school for four years now and I still look back and treasure my senior photos! Now me telling you this might not show why you should get senior photos or why they are so expensive so let me break down my packages for you to show you what all goes into making your senior photos beautiful.

It is never just the hour and a half to two hours of session coverage when we take your photos. A lot of things go on behind the scenes to make every session that I do a success. Now with that being said let's look at my packages and all that goes into your session!


Summer senior portraits. The trees were so green and wild sunflowers were blooming.

The Simple Senior is my basic package for $180 and includes:

  • One and a half hours of session coverage.
  • One location.
  • Two outfits.
  • One glamour outfit (Optional).
  • No less than forty high-resolution images delivered through an online gallery.

The Active Senior is my midway package for $220 and includes:

  • Two-hour session coverage.
  • Two locations.
  • Three outfits.
  • One glamour outfit (Optional).
  • No less than sixty high-resolution images delivered through an online gallery.
  • One free 8X10 print.

The Heirloom senior is my deluxe package for $360 and includes:

  • Three-hour session coverage.
  • Two locations.
  • Four outfits.
  • One glamour outfit (Optional)
  • No less than eighty high-resolution images delivered through an online gallery.
  • Fifteen 4X6 prints.
Senior portraits in the summer and winter.

Now that I have broken down what is included in my packages I want to tell you what you are paying for when you choose one of the three packages.

Session Coverage 2-4 hours:

So, of course, the session coverage in which package you choose is included but what you may not know is that it takes me an hour to location scout to find the perfect place to take your photos. This happens a few days before your session and before I leave my office the day of your session I spend thirty minutes cleaning gear, wiping memory cards and packing my bag. So what most people don't realize is that you are booking me for an extra hour and a half than what is stated on the package information. 


Editing 10-12 hours:

After a session, I am so excited so as soon as I get home I start culling through all of the photos to find the ones that will be delivered to you. This culling process takes me one to two hours to complete and after I have found all of the good photos I start the editing process. The editing process takes me anywhere from eight to ten hours depending on how many photos I will be delivering. I take my time to make sure that every photo is edited to my light and airy style and if it was a cloudy day or skin tones don't look quite right I make sure to fix all of those problems to make sure that every photo comes out beautiful.


Consultation 30 Minutes - 1 hour:

I require that all of my senior clients sit down with me for a consultation to answer a questionnaire so I can get to know you better, go over the different package options, book your date, sign the contract and pay the $50 deposit (which is included in the session price). This takes anywhere from thirty minutes to an hour depending on how many questions you and your parents may have.

Senior photos inside. Senior photos outside.

Here is a break down of what I make per hour using my Active Senior package.

This package is $220 so most people assume I am making $110 an hour and that is not the case. See the beak down below.

$220 - $15 (gas) - $25 (senior packet) = $180

I added up all of the average hours from earlier and divided it by 180 to get how many hours goes into each session. 

Session: 3

Editing: 12

Consultation: 1

Hours: 16

180/16 = $11 an hour

Senior photos in Albuquerque Old Town. Senior photos in Jemez. Wild flowers. Red Chili.

I wanted to end this post with saying that yes there is A LOT of hard work that goes into a senior session but I wouldn't have it any other way! I enjoy every single part of this process and I am so blessed that I get to do this for my job! I hope that this post today helped you understand not just what goes into your session but also what you get in return. When you invest in your senior photos you are investing in memories that will last a lifetime and that can get passed down in your family. I hope you all have an amazing weekend and an amazing senior year!

Fall senior photos with dog. Senior photos with dog. Senior photos in Old Town Albuquerque.