High school senior photography – sitting fees, printing, releases

Here we talk a little bit about the business end of high school senior photography.  We can review what sitting fees, printing, releases, reproduction rights and retouching mean to the client.

Sitting fee
My business model is to charge a fee to plan, prepare, shoot, process and deliver proofs of all the images shot.  My sitting fee also includes retouching and delivery of the yearbook shot.

The costs for printing is in addition and separate from the sitting fee.  You can order as many or as few prints as you like, there is no minimum order,  I actually encourage customers to order just as many prints as they know they need and then reorder additional prints.  This often happens with wallets.  I don’t like the experience of being forced into choosing images from a predefined package, so I don’t offer them.  I do start discounting packages that exceed $500

Reproduction rights
Copyright in America says that as the creator of images, I have the copyright the moment I click the shutter.  In a black and white world, no one can reproduce (print, copy, add to social media. . . ) images without permission from me. I include a review of this for the family in my worksheets and communications.

Model Release
It is also true that the senior maintains the right that no one can commercial reproduce their image without permission. That is why I have a a worksheet/model release that I have every senior and parent sign.  This release signing is optional if you prefer I do not use your likeness in my marketing efforts.

Editing and Retouching
I edit every image I shoot for color, contrast and exposure.  I also exclude test images and other images not suitable for printing.  I will take a few of my favorite shots and do some creative edits (less color, more color, B&W  . . .) and include them.  I make a web page of all the usable images and post them to a non-linked folder on my website.  You can use this site to share the images with family and friends and to make your image selections from.  For the yearbook image and images you order prints from I will reprocess the images with more care and then do basic retouching.  Basic retouching is slightly whitening the eyes and teeth, removing blemishes and gently softening the skin

Examples of my documents: