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Old 06-11-2009, 07:59 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Thumbs up Senior Portraits - what do they cost?

We just received the senior picture materials in the mail from Prestige Portraits. Our HS is using them this year. You can schedule a 'yearbook' sitting/picture and there is no cost for that. The brochure describes the sitting fees for each option based on number of backgrounds and outfits, but nowhere in the whole brochure does it give any clue about the prices for the final pictures. The brochure just says you can visit the website and order online once the pictures are done. (yes, I went to their website and no info there either.)

I absolutely hate this type of business! I like to know all the information up front. If I think the prices are reasonable and I may buy many pictures, then I may spring for a bigger sitting fee. Knowing nothing, I'm likely to go for the free yearbook picture and go somewhere else for other pictures.

Does your school use Prestige and how much were the pictures? If your school used another company, were you told the prices of the packages available for purchase? Are there separate prices for 8x10s, 5x7s, etc?

TIA for any info.
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Old 06-11-2009, 08:11 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Our High School uses Panorama Photo, LLC. They were a range from $150 for a single portait , packages started at over $200 and you could create "taylored" packages upto $1,000's . I was floored, is my son getting married? And now they are also doing Graduation Day "Diploma Acceptance" pictures, much cheaper.

Our school also has had two nights where one of the teachers (with photography schooling) take senior and Grad portaits for $5 a sheet.
We found out that this year alot of families opted out of buying the expensive ones, so the school made portaits possible.

We took our son to a studio of our choice and it cost alot less and we also bought the rights to copy them.
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Old 06-11-2009, 08:25 AM   #3 (permalink)
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It costs a ton. Our school takes the portrait for the yearbook, and there is no cost for that. We can go anywhere, and it's cheaper than going with the school place, usually.
Places around here offer "advance planning" pricing. They charge much less if you get your Sr. pics. done before Sr. year starts. (over the summer)
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Old 06-11-2009, 09:01 AM   #4 (permalink)
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My boys graduated in 2001 and 2003. Both were close to $400. for a pretty basic package back then. My DD opted not to go to a studio.

I thought they were way too expensive. My first son had lots of shots, my second really only had a couple, taken from slightly different angles. I had a hard time filling the 8 free proofs that came with the package.
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Old 06-11-2009, 09:31 AM   #5 (permalink)
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DS (only child) graduated this year from a small private school. We were given information on a local studio that handles all the public school portraits and they also do in studio, private senior portraits. There was a $40 sitting fee. Their most expensive package was $650, which we did not purchase because I did not need any of my rooms wallpapered (more pictures than I needed). We did however end up spending around $400. There were all sizes you could buy separately with or without purchasing a package deal. I was very please with the quality and thought other than wedding pictures, hopefully someday, this would be the last time I would have professional pictures of him.
In consideration of your need for more information up front, have you thought about calling them and requesting more detailed pricing so you can make a more informed decision. The other thing I thought about was, the more backgrounds/poses, the more proofs you have to choose from. There was an entire set of proofs with one particular background in his session that I ended up disliking and didn't order any from those poses. Good luck on your quest for more information, your portrait session wherever you decide to have them made and for your child's exciting senior year.
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Old 06-11-2009, 10:32 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I graduated in 2001 and my package was around $300. Looking back, I think it was ridiculous and not worth it. However, at the time it seemed so important!
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Old 06-11-2009, 11:13 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I had my senior pictures done at a studio not far from where I live now, but not the school's photog (hate the pic I had taken for the yearbook!). I ended up just buying the proof portfolio for $75. I was working three jobs and finishing school on my own, so couldn't justify spending money on photos beyond the proofs.
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Old 06-11-2009, 11:22 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I just spent about $300 on a photo pkg. for DD. The school uses a great local photographer, and the basic sitting was free. We then could schedule a sitting to be held at their studio, if we wanted. DD wanted some pix taken in a couple of other outfits, as well as her cheer uniform. There were several options there, too, but we took a middle package sitting with 3 outfit changes. Our photographer does have a website that lists all the prices, as well as a nice brochure listing all the package options, a-la-carte options and specialty work. And we did get to keep the proofs. Included in the $300 I spent were some custom thank-you cards with her picture already on the front. It saved me from ordering extras to enclose in her thank-yous from her party. You could also see if you could buy the rights to the pictures and copy them yourself for whatever you need.
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Old 06-11-2009, 05:48 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Our school doesn't use an official photographer, the kids are free to go anywhere they want and they are responsible for getting their picture in to the Yearbook staff. I've been researching as my DD will be a Sr. in the fall, most places around here have packages anywhere between $300 and $900 . I'm sure we'll choose someone on the lower end of that price range.
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Old 06-12-2009, 07:03 AM   #10 (permalink)
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No wonder they don't advertise the prices! Wow, those are some expensive photos. A local friend/photographer just took some gorgeous shots of DS so I'll only order the free picture for the yearbook for DS and get a few from her. I could buy his first semester's textbooks with that $$ instead of pictures that I will pine over, then stick in a drawer. Luckily my first senior is a boy - and not interested in outfit changes and a million backgrounds.
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Old 06-12-2009, 04:08 PM   #11 (permalink)
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My boys graduated in 2000, 2002, and 2004. The prices then were....cough, cough, outrageous! I can't imagine how much they are now. We went with a professional photographer outside of school.
I think with each son the price went up about $150.00!!
By the time Nate had his senior pics done I think I paid almost $750!
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Old 06-12-2009, 07:50 PM   #12 (permalink)
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My DD is a senior and we did the whole photography thing last summer. Our package prices ranged from $60 and up. I got a very nice package for $60. You can always ask the photographer. We didn't have to pick the package until we got the proofs back.
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