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Build a High Volume Senior Photography Business

Lesson 15 of 39

Prepping Senior Girls

Matthew The Body Kemmetmueller

Build a High Volume Senior Photography Business

Matthew The Body Kemmetmueller

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Lesson Info

15. Prepping Senior Girls


Lesson Info

Prepping Senior Girls

We're talking about photographing high school senior girls it is different than photographing high school senior guys dramatically different uh, there's just a lot of things the language that you use, the things that you're going to connect with with your clients is going to be different because especially well, I don't think it changes over age with the engaging conversation differently with girls than you do with it guys. All right, so first thing you want to avoid anything that reminds him of their parents, you do not want to remind them of their mom, but I don't and that's not a slam like if your if you are a middle aged photographer that's great, you just don't want to come off as a parental figure like I had a friend kirk oak lane, wonderful photographer outta homa louisiana does amazing where he's been on creative live and an id or kirk kirk is one of the first people in this industry that reached out to me and helped me when I was starting my career, and a lot of what I do has ...

been directly inspired by kurt like I love his stuff and I love him and kirk told me one time he said, matthew, what happens if you're shooting a session and and the daughter starts argue with her dad whose side you take? And I said, well, parents want paying me right so I got to go with the parent because no wrong answer and I said it was one of the level of conviction because I thought it was the right answer he goes absolutely wrong and I said okay and he goes the moment you look over the senior and you go to the parent you're the enemy you're on dad's side you're on her side you're on dad's side and so he says you always go with the senior even if she's wrong you always go with the senior and then he said but there's a little bit more to this trick matthew what's that because as soon as she goes in the dressing room to change you walk dad you go hey dad, just so you know, I really I agree with you it's a stupid outfit but I just have to I had to go with her side so that she still likes me and the photos turn out great so you've gotta gotta work both sides of the fence but you gotta go back to the list of things to avoid avoid reminding them of their parents be fun, be energetic, be charismatic be the person that they want to hang out with then they need to hang out with you for an hour two hours it should be fun um oops you wantto you want to make them feel like they have control over their session and that could be something that is easy to do and hard to do, because if a high school senior walks into your session and you're like, all right, what you want, teo can no idea they got no idea what they want to do. They aren't photographers, they don't know your backgrounds, they don't know their sets, they might have an idea of something that they have seen, but in general, they don't know everything they want, so give them the sense of control. I always liked to throw ideas out for backgrounds and sets and say, I think this would look really good, but what do you think and make sure that they know like, and if you don't like this, we can do something different, so give them the options, but make them feel like they have some control in that session, and again, we can talk about this yesterday, can draining was creepy can't do anything that's creepy, and how I'll talk about that with high school senior girls is I touch my clients to pose them. I will, I will go hands on and help them in a pose. Why? Because I'm not that smooth, I can't always explain it in my words, it's, just faster for me to go over and drop your shoulder sometimes. Okay it's easier for me to do that now especially with a high school girl if I'm going in to help a high school girl with a pose I would always make sure our make believe high school girls here mom and dad are over there I would never stand here and touch the girl I would always make sure that the parents can see what I'm doing to her okay I don't ever stand in front and block their line of sight I used the back of my hand and I always explained to them okay your hairs on your shoulder I'm gonna move that off so you tell people what you're going to dio you wait for them to say ok and you make sure the parents see it you do this you'll never have problems all right? Our basic editing with high school seniors is going with girls is a little bit more aggressive like we go smoother skin than what we would do on guys we would do we go a little bit more like the artistic stuff the vintage tones it works better with girls and a dozen guys guys typically we're going to talk about how you at it guys but guys it's you don't want to go super smooth skin because they're going to look super fami that's okay with girls they're okay with looking super femi you might have to deal with more flyways because most guys I haven't figured it out yet that long hair looks good so so most high school guys I don't have the long hair all right? So you might have to deal with flyaways though, and some other things okay posing concept for girls where we're talking about the direction of light this is big have you guys heard about broad lighting and short lighting? It's a lot of people have heard about it and it was a concept that kind of frustrated me for a long time because I'd hear about it and they be like I get it and then I get to doing it and I forget and have you sit down I'll be trying todo how is it this way and that way in this way and it's really, really easy if you're the camera and the lights coming from here right now there's mohr of this side of my face than this side of my face okay, so this is the broad side of my face this is the short side of my face the light is hitting the broad side of my face so I'm broad let okay? So what that means is we've taken the biggest side of my face and we're lighting that so that is going to make me look as big as possible now if I don't move let's just say this is exactly the same thing but the light source was to change and the lights coming from this side were lighting the short side of my face which means that the broad side of my face is going to go into shadows which is going to hide some of the bigness. Okay, so how are you going to remember that I'm going to tell you guys the easiest way in the world to remember this. If you are photographing with this light set up if it's a girl you point your nose to the light if it's a boy you pointed to the reflector broad light shortly you want a short like the girls then out their face you want to broad light the guys they can look big and strong all right, now wait away from the camera always know I use this all the time in my session you guys feel free to use this it going to make you look ridiculous. But I say this at weddings and everything I shoot with a woman. I say all right, ladies, just remember things that are closer to the camera look bigger than things that are further away. So unless you want to look like this now, I did shoot a wedding once and this girl's like good to know things that are closer to the camera are going to look bigger than things that are further away is common sense stuff you think about it you get it just remember whenever you have a woman posing towards you she's going to bend the leg closest to you that's it and you'll tell him and I'll get to go through this whole demo and she'll still forget so there's no way we'd been which leg and oh who's that but just remember you've been the leg closest to the camera now when you're posing girls in general the theory behind posing guys and girls is girl poses you're trying to get more drama more interest, more curves, more movement in your in your posing okay not like crazy I'm not like a fashion photographer so I'm not all hands in the hair and I'm not I don't do that but in general you want to hit that s curve so if a girl is posed towards the camera and bends light closest to you can put her way back drops that shoulder turns it to you you're getting this nice shape okay problem is is that is very, very gender specific it will never look good on a guy. So these are the basic posing rules that I was telling you guys about yesterday. This is not super complex stuff this pretty entry level stuff and you think about this and you work this into your workflow and you work this into how you educate your client while you're going through their session it's easy and it's better images all right um camera height affect the quality of an image two high school girls you guys wanna go? Hi camera angles double chins never sell not a good look not a good look for anybody. Um so you want to keep your camera level high bring that chin up, have him stretch out like a turtle littlefield done. That means it's working all right? I never almost never suppose a girl straight onto the camera if the audience is the camera, this is the widest I can look, I cannot look bigger than I do at this very moment to you unless you come closer but I can't look bigger than this wide is not a word that a high school senior girl wants to do you want to have used when describing her images? Oh, darcy, you look so wide in those photos. There's not a good thing. So remember that you always wanted turn your subject, get this shape, make them look feminine, make them feel good, give them images that are better than what they're getting on instagram. All right. And there's there's a great image I saw online where they did the same head shot with a woman and they didn't change the lighting and they didn't change her her head size in the frame was always the same and they shot it with a twenty twenty four millimeter lens to three hundred millimeter lens and it's a great visual example of how the type of lens that you use will affect your image long wide angle lenses distort you don't want to shoot typically you don't want to shoot people with a wide angle lens get a good telephoto my seventy two hundred is like ninety percent of my work is done on that lens I love that once I shoot my family's on it I shoot my seniors on it we should our boudoir on one it's an amazing lens that gives you good compression it's a nice look it's a portrait lens a twenty four millimeter lens is not not to say I have twenty four to seventy lens and use it all the time I should like for weddings and I'm shooting wide stuff I will use it if I'm shooting a family session and I'm in a home and for some reason I'm restricted and I can't use it because I got to get I can get far enough back I'll use it but just know that it does affect your your image quality so always want to use the longest things you can um you want to watch posture and girls okay like I don't know backpacks are just heavy or what like kids are walking around like this stand up straight take some pride in this photo stand up, roll your shoulders back makes a big difference okay, if you've got people sitting in a photo sitting down in a chair for a photo your natural you natural just kind of sink back in the chair like you're sitting guess what awful posture you look terrible for a photo makes your belly look he's sitting up now just like I'm not creative live a great life look good no, I get it all right no you want to sit up tall? You want to look good in your photo? So a trick that I use for that it's just bring people to the edge of the seat you bring their butts to the edge of the sea they have to sit up don't let him use the back. Don't let him sit back on the couch unless it's part of your post which we'll talk about that too. Okay, um risk wrist bands, headbands, bra straps I don't photoshopped that out, I won't do it. I had a friend of my second shoot a wedding with me and it was the biggest wedding I had sold locally is like an eight thousand dollar wedding package and I had a friend come with to shoot and I was like the first time I've ever photographed with them and I was super nervous and I was like, okay, like and they're the second shooter but they're like a better photographer than me so there's second shooting for me, and I'm like, oh my god, just don't do anything dumb, and I go out and I start taking pictures of the bride uh, with the bridesmaids, we do individual shots, of course, and the first picture I take they're like, hey, uh, and the second photographer and arrest me just him and you want to have her take off that risk, man? Because it looks stupid in that moment when you're trying to impress someone and then you do something that's so elementary rahg it never left me. I look for risk fans first thing, any time I'm doing ah, sports photo I mean, this has transcended all levels in my works. I felt so dumb the one time that happened it's so check for that bra straps have a move it save yourself twenty minutes of time and photoshopped by saying, honey, I could see your bra tuck it in all right, cleavage dupe you're going to get some but excessive cleavage will not sell him ages and you don't like wanna have that awkward conversation with dad when he's like, why does my angel look like a hooters girl? You have to sit there like, you know, and most of that we have wait because we have parents there and most of the time they're you know they're there they see the outfits they see the posters they don't be aware of it tell her pleasure super ridiculous cleavage not going to sell all right you wanna watch crotch shots dumb as it sounds girls wear skirts generally boys don't eso gotta watch these things things you need to pay attention to all right when they come in for the session one more thing actually we go back to this one more thing I heard that always made sense to me is if you have a girl that comes in and she has like a super super sexy outfit ok? And we all know that some of those high school girls are going to come in with that stuff or you know that you have like you're super super sexy poses okay or you can have different expressions you have a super super sexy expression you could never do all three of those at once you can do to so she wants to have a really sexy outfit and a really sexy pose you gotta have her cheese in it up to the camera it's gotta be it has teo because otherwise if you go sexy sexy sexy across those three things the image becomes unsellable it's too sexy so you want to be aware of that nothing you want to make sure of is that you aren't too critical of your of your seniors that's the other thing that wanted to touch on with this make sure that when you're posing someone like and sometimes I can get away with it, I don't know why I get away with it it's just like my personality sometimes I could say things and get away with it that that I don't advise you try uh that's just kind of a reed you gotta have with your clients, but I would not recommend you being late. Oh, what is that's your smile? Well, gross, we're going to dial that back. No, the language that you use thie interactions that you have all affect the client experience and you don't ever want to make someone feel dumb because they didn't have a pose, right? You don't want to make someone feel dumb because you say do a serious look and they look like they want to murder you, all right? Maybe it's an awful maybe it's an awful expression, maybe it just doesn't work, I just don't I just don't use it, I still take the patient. I said good let's move on and so you need to just be aware of like how you talk to your clients and the things that you do with them and how you treat them affects the experience dramatically all right before the shoot they come in and the first thing I asked him to contact with this, yes, we get the money, we're done, we're ready on the session. We're going to go in the dressing room and I say layout, everything you brought everything, and we tell him, bring more outfits than they're going to use so they lay out five, six, seven outfits. Who wants to guess what the most outfits I've ever had a senior bring in? Plus, I guess three knows way more than three. Twenty. My two top records are sixteen and seventeen, and they were both boys s o one of them does photo booth work for me now? So probably kill me when I call about all this. But he think he's a he's a pretty boy likes fashion he's into that stuff, and so he brought in a lot of outfits. But what will do is I start out, we look at all of these outfits and I say what's, you favorite outfit, what's favorite outfit. We're going to start in that, all right? And then we're gonna go on, and we're gonna ask them what their favorite background is and if they about any props, ok, during the shoot, I have, like a mental checklist of what images I want to get remember, I'm gonna photograph six images that she's going to see in this outfit, there were new, another outfit, and we take six pictures now she's in the room. So the cat's out of the bag. If she was a really pain client, I would have told her she was only getting ten, and then she'll be like, oh my god, I got twelve, he loves me. He did so much extra work for me, but that's, always our process. We always overdeliver about twenty percent, so we go through. I haven't got a mental checklist of what we're going to shoot. You always want to be talking soon as someone stops talking, you're failing, and we're going to get them, like, laughing and having fun. And this is gonna be a little bit different than what would happen in my studio, because I'm also going to be teaching. But you guys are going to get an idea of what a real session would look like

Class Description

The success of your photography studio depends on your business model, not your location. Learn the key strategies that have propelled a booming second-generation family photography studio for more than 40 years in rural Minnesota.

In this course, Matthew Kemmetmueller will show you how to set up your entire high volume senior photography business step by step — including successful sales tactics, shooting techniques, and efficient workflow practices. You will see Matthew’s strategies in action as he takes you through two live shoots from start to finish — each in under 90 minutes. Matthew will also teach you how to increase the value of your services, market directly to new clients, and create unique products that will delight your customers.

Whether you’ve photographed thousands of seniors or just looking to learn high volume tactics, this course will give you a comprehensive, replicable roadmap for multiplying your revenue.

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a Creativelive Student

I decided to listen in on the free course of Build a High Volume Senior Photography Business w/ Matthew Kemmentmueller...I thought it would be good to have the skill sets even if I chose to do another photography forum other than seniors. And I was laughing thru the whole thing...he is one funny guy!! So, I decided to buy it...not only is this course full of great tips/advice/ and "did you know facts" but it's really informative and again, he is down right funny. I'm learning lots. Thanks for having him on Creative Live...this one is a keeper.

Diane Yvon

I absolutely loved this course. I am primarily a maternity and newborn shooter and to my surprise what I learned here applies to my current work as well as developing my senior work. I thoroughly enjoyed Matthews delivery of each topic as it was clear, precise, fun and non intimidating. I will watch this over and over and the course downloads were amazing! 100% satisfied with this course


Matthew's class is excellent! I watched it live, but decided to buy it since it's so foundational. I think his information and materials are excellent, whether someone wants to be "high volume" or not. I love how he continually drove the point home about how so many photographers overwork themselves and gave excellent ways to resolve this issue. CL does such a great job of covering the gamut in education of all types. Thanks!