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How did you save on senior pictures?

TexasmamaTexasmama Registered User Posts: 237 Junior Member
edited January 2010 in Parent Cafe
My D is a rising senior. Seniors take their yearbook photos at Prestige Portraits in the summer before the senior year. The pictures are beautiful, but to get four poses will cost me more than $400. Anybody use someone like JC Penney or see some other way around this? Or should I suck it up and get out the credit car.
Post edited by Texasmama on

Replies to: How did you save on senior pictures?

  • skiers-momskiers-mom Registered User Posts: 247 Junior Member
    Digital Camera + Backyard = 0 dollars

    Teenager thinking his photo isn't "lame" like everyone else's = priceless
  • doubleplaydoubleplay Registered User Posts: 3,550 Senior Member
    It may be mandatory to at least have the yearbook photo done, which you shouldn't have to pay for.

    You could go to an independent for the other shots.
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 64,000 Senior Member
    We actually had so much trouble with Prestige photo (don't get me going) that they sent us free pictures for DS. For DD, we ordered the bare minimum package...but we only ordered only one pose. I don't think it cost me $50. We got 4- 5x7 prints...one for us and one for each of the grandparents. Then we took pictures ourselves to send to everyone else. They were MUCH nicer than the canned shots Prestige took. As mentioned...the yearbook pic had to come from Prestige. But if all you picked was that, it was free.
  • ellemenopeellemenope Registered User Posts: 11,380 Senior Member
    OUr local high school uses a local photography studio for senior shots. They are fabulous! The portraits were so good we dropped a bundle and got the extra poses. Everyone had their favorite shot and none of the shots were the same pose.

    She's taken senior photos for her college yearbook. The photos were no better than the photos taken by the traveling photo companies that take pictures on Picture Day at school. Very disappointing! Told her to get new ones taken!
  • ldmom06ldmom06 Registered User Posts: 5,564 Senior Member
    Prestige is hideous. They run the kids through stations like cattle to slaughter and get extremely impatient if you try to fix hair, or a collar, etc. My d ended up with a shiny nose because of all the running around and hot lights...so asked that the photos be retouched to remove the shine. They went so overboard, she looked like a cadaver. It was the only photo of her in her cap and gown too.

    In the only pose that was actually cute, she was in a white tank with her maroon letter jacket, frayed jeans sitting on a white floor in front of a white backdrop with bare feet (and her French pedi...lol)...it was just sooo cute expecially with her natural Snow White coloring (dark hair/peaches and cream skin/light eyes). Except when we rec'd our order, all the white elements in the photo were PINK! This was the one photo we wanted to order for graduation announcements and by the time they went through their ridiculous protocol for complaints and replacement, it was too late.

    If your school requires Prestige for yearbook photos, that is all I would let them take. And then I would hire another photographer for other senior pics. Can't be any more expensive since Prestige is outrageous.
  • msteemstee Registered User Posts: 3,132 Senior Member
    I didn't save any money, but the best bet is to do what doubleplay suggests -- take the yearbook photo and then go elsewhere for some nice pics to send to family and friends.
  • acinvaacinva Registered User Posts: 616 Member
    I'm with skier-mom -- did this with both of my kids. My daughter's picture had both of her dogs with her. I took the picture in our back yard with all of them sitting in a pile of leaves, and my son who is a Survivor fanatic was him wearing a Survivor t-shirt with a Survivor buff on his head sitting in front of one of the palm trees in our entry foyer. Oh yeah, he had a stuffed monkey hugging his neck. Both pictures were a big hit with their friends.
  • ReneeVReneeV Registered User Posts: 659 Member
    The yearbook photo was done by a photographer that came to the school--OK, but not impressive. Then we arranged a sitting with a local photographer (in our little town in western Germany), and the photos were very nice, but expensive, so we just ordered 5 x 7s and 8 X 10s for family and one nice-sized portrait for ourselves. And we went the digital camera route for wallets to go in graduation present thank you notes and to give out to friends, and they are truly fabulous. We were driving to a public garden that has nice rock walls, fountains, etc., to do the pictures and noticed a field full of blooming poppies along the river. We both had the thought at the same instant and drove 20 minutes back home to get D's black and white graduation dress and bright red big-bead necklace. She wore hiking boots because it was marshy underneath all of the grass and flowers that came up to her waist.....and the photos are stunning. She played around in Photoshop with some of them and made everything black and white except the poppies and her necklace, very cool looking! I really recommend doing your own wallet-sized photos--if you don't have a good printer already, you can buy one with the money you'll save.
  • mathmommathmom Registered User Posts: 29,733 Senior Member
    I loathe formal portraits didn't even order the yearbook photo. It's in the yearbook - that's enough for me. It's not like my son ever wears a tux in real life. I did buy the prof. photo taken at the graduation.
  • walkinghomewalkinghome Registered User Posts: 7,708 Senior Member
    Our HS used to allow students to use whatever photographer they wanted but had certain criteria for the official yearbook photo. I guess that got to become too much trouble so the year by son was to graduate they mandated that the yearbook photo come from one studio. What a horrible decision! Like another poster's description, the pictures were taken quickly and the results were not much better then the average school photo. Our son's came out well, after I had them re-crop and touch up. No charge for the official yearbook photo and one could just buy the 2" x3" proofs at a low price if they wanted to. We got the very basic package of an 8 x10, 2 5x7's and some wallets for announcements.

    Some of our friends found a good solution was to hire an acquaintance that has her own small photography business and does local weddings. She came to their houses and took wonderful pictures.

    Another friend had the same women take pictures of her senior twins both together and apart and while she was there also took some wonderful pictures of the family. That seemed like such a good idea to me. Our old Olan Mills family pictures look so stilted and formal and our vacation pictures, while vibrant and fun, are not as good quality as a real photographers pictures.
  • curiousercuriouser Registered User Posts: 1,361 Senior Member
    We had decent luck with Prestige. One way we saved was simply to reduce the poses. We've learned from experience that we only needed two. One formal one for yearbook, and one informal one that we sent out to everybody with grad announcements. The only formal ones we purchased were one for us and one from Grandma. The kids (and we) tended to prefer the informal shots by far. Think ahead to what to wear for that. D's friends had their appointments way ahead of hers so we were able to see what theirs turned out like and decided from that how to go--ie best type of tops to wear, barefoot or not, etc. We ended up happy with both D's (gets lots of photos taken as a ballet dancer) and S (who HATES his picture taken along with the fussing beforehand).

    Hope that helps.
  • binxbinx Registered User Posts: 4,318 Senior Member
    We had to pay a $25 sitting fee just to get a portrait for the yearbook, which makes me mad. No other photographer allowed! And the packages were very expensive.

    With my oldest S, who's photos didn't come out well, we then went to a Wolf Photo shop that had a studio. Paid next to nothing, and got some great photos. We also have a Portraits Unlimited shop near us which is extremely reasonable, and turns out great photos, so used them this past year.
  • lspf72lspf72 Registered User Posts: 2,612 Senior Member
    We ordered as few as possible, and just gave them to the people who we knew would really appreciate them (both grandmothers, and my sister, and us).
  • orchestramomorchestramom Registered User Posts: 735 Member
    We are going to do the bare-minimum of whatever is required for the school yearbook for my D. BUT separately, she's having a professional photo shoot with her violin, to accompany her music resume and recorded CD. I suspect that's the one that we'll really consider her "senior portrait."
  • binxbinx Registered User Posts: 4,318 Senior Member
    orchestramom - when we had our "own" senior pictures taken, we had each kid also pose with their instrument (guitar, horn, violin). We have their formal portraits on the wall downstairs, and their instrument photos upstairs. They are my favorites! Our HS yearbook has a place for senior messages in the back, where parents can buy a space for extra photos, and we put their music photos in there.
This discussion has been closed.