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Senior Photo Q&A

With local photographer, Jessie Bren

How do I know if a photographer is the right fit for me?
I always recommend going with a photographer whose past work you’ve liked and they seem to fit your style and personality.

How far in advance should I book my senior picture appointment?
Every photographers schedule is different, but I recommend booking your senior sessions a few months in advance. This gives you time to plan things with your photographer and also allows you some flexibility in choosing a day that works for both you and the photographer.

How long does a typical senior photo session last?
Typically a senior session takes about 1-2 hours depending on the locations chosen. I always offer in studio and outdoor both for senior sessions.

Do I need to come with ideas or will the photographer take care of that for me?
I always recommend letting the photographer know if there are specific things you want to do, like featuring your sports, pets, art or other things of interest. I like to talk to you and get a feel for what you would like so we can try and make your senior session personal and about you.

In addition to some indoor studio shots, I would like outdoor photos as well. Does that typically cost extra?  How many locations are typical?  Can you help me find some great outdoor locations?
Yes. I always offer both at no extra charge. I just have to have it all done in one session. Typically I shoot indoor at the studio before heading outside to locations of choice. I’ve never been too picky about the number of locations as long as they are all pretty close together as we usually only have one hour for outdoor lighting in the evenings. And yes, I have location ideas I can share and am always up for your ideas for locations or maybe a favorite hangout spot of yours!

I would like to take some of my photos at my grandparent’s farm? Do you do on- site photography?
Yes. I travel to farms and personal properties a lot for sessions. It’s something I enjoy doing. I do charge a travel fee for traveling more than 15 miles out of Dickinson..

I don’t know what to wear? What types of clothes I should bring? How many outfit changes are typical?
I always recommend just packing a suitcase of things from your closet, maybe some casual, some dressy and little bit of everything. We might use it all and we might not, but at least you have options for us to play around with.

Any tips you can give me for hair or makeup?
I recommend extra hair spray to help hold the style. And apply makeup, as you’d normally do it. I like to capture you as you. Some girls like to go to and get their makeup done professionally, but it just depends on what look you’re aiming for.

Would it be helpful to bring someone along? Who do you recommend?
Yes I recommend either a parent, or a good friend or sibling some one who can make you laugh and smile and help you feel at ease and comfortable.

What type of editing do photographers typically do on senior pictures?
I do all kinds of editing for different styles. Every photographer is different, but I like bold and colorful styles. Typically, in the editing process, blemishes can be removed and skin can be smoothed out. It depends on the photographer, but I do not charge extra for that. 

How many photos can I expect to choose from and how long does it usually take to get my photos back?
My senior sessions all come with a downloadable online gallery of the edited image. I provide an average of 20-30 images with a printing release, which means you are able to do all your own printing and make your own announcements as well. It takes on average 2-3 weeks from the session date for the gallery to be completed and emailed out to you.

Matthew Tessier- Photo by Jessie Bren

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Written by Jessie Veeder

Jessie Veeder

Jessie is a singer/songwriter/writer and statewide columnist living on her family’s ranch near Watford City with her husband and daughter. She blogs at . Reach her at (


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