Haverkampf Photography and Video
Photography on Alabama's Gulf Coast, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Photographer
"How To Avoid The 10 HUGE Mistakes That Ruin Most Senior Portraits ..."
Dear Senior (or parent of senior),
I'm glad you're checking this web site out right now! That tells me it's important to you that your senior portraits (or your son's or daughter's) look really great.
You Really DO WANT These Pictures To Look Fantastic, Don't You?
The Truth Is There Are Two Major Things That Are Most Important To Today's High School Seniors About Their Senior Portraits
From a graduating senior's point of view, nothing could be more disappointing than not liking the way he or she looks in that super-important portrait that all his or her friends and relatives will see! Think about this a moment... more people will see this portrait than ANY OTHER PHOTOGRAPH you ever have taken! Yes! Even more than will see your wedding photographs! So you want him or her to be really proud of it? Right?
The two most important things to today's seniors are:
1.) They must look really great in the portrait, and
2.) They also want the portrait to have some kind of "artistic quality" to it. That is to say that the photographs themselves must look fantastic, as well as the senior looking fantastic in them. There's a three dimensional feeling to it, and there's quality to the light. And his or her personality comes through. The portrait has what I call "SPARKLE" to it.
By "Sparkle" I mean that when the senior's friends and family look at this portrait, they say, "Wow, you look like a million bucks! This picture of you is really great!" That's what I call "Sparkle."
And I'm Going To Do Everything I Can To Help Your Senior Portraits Have That Special "SPARKLE!"
Why? Because I love photographing seniors! I do with a passion! I get to be creative photographing senior portraits! Every single high school senior is different and capturing that is fun. You want to look fantastic in these photographs, and I'm going to help you achieve that!
Here's How To Avoid The 10 Huge Mistakes That 9 Out Of 10 Seniors Make With Their Senior Portraits!
Let's go through the 11 huge mistakes that 90% of all seniors and their parents make when it comes to their senior portraits.
The point of this website is to give you these 11 major mistakes that most seniors make in reference to their senior portraits. If you don't decide to work with me, that's fine. I still want you to be aware of these major mistakes, so you don't make them yourself when planning your photography!
Mistake #1 Is Of Enormous Importance!
Not Getting A Guarantee You Will Love Your Portraits
This mistake has ruined so many senior portraits! It's the mistake of not choosing a photographer who GUARANTEES THAT YOU WILL BE REALLY HAPPY - and who will give you all your money back, if you aren't!
Here's our guarantee: "You will be THRILLED (not just 'satisfied') with your portraits, or we will do whatever is necessary for you to be thrilled, or we will return every penny of your money. No hassles and no hard feelings either. We want you to be THRILLED with your senior portraits, and will spare no effort or expense to see to it that you are! We absolutely guarantee it!"
You see, only a senior portrait photographer who really believes in his product and service is going to be willing to have such a powerful guarantee. So his guarantee is your first indication of whether or not you even want to work with him. I just can't stress this enough. Ask about the guarantee. Listen to their reaction. That will tell you if you want to trust your senior portraits to that photographer.
Mistake #2 Is A HUGE Destroyer Of Senior Portraits!
Mistake #2 is making mistakes with hair. Many seniors goof this up in several ways. But also, most photographers goof this up, too, because they don't know how to photograph hair properly.
This is such a big point! As you know, your hair is a huge part of your appearance. It can make or break how you look. We've all had "bad hair days" and if your photographer doesn't know what he or she is doing, your photographs will look like a permanent "bad hair" day.
One of the things that separates my senior portrait photography from that of most of the other senior portrait photographers is that I pay as much attention to the light that is lighting your hair, as I do to the lighting that is illuminating your face. And they are completely different lights!
You see, if you study Hollywood Portraiture of the stars, you begin to see how careful the photographers are about lighting the hair. Well, I've studied the best professional Hollywood photo masters and I'm going to use these very same techniques to create your senior portraits to help you, and your hair look really, really perfect.
For example, many seniors who go to other senior picture photographers often complain that, if they have dark hair, that their hair seems to disappear into the background. Or, if they have light hair, that their hair has no "life" or detail in the photograph. Or if their hair is brown, that it doesn't look as great as they wanted it to. It's not just how they combed or prepared it, it's how it's lit in the picture too!
Well, that's not going to happen to a senior portrait created by me, because I'm going to take the time and the care in the lighting of your hair so it looks absolutely perfect. It's as if one of these Hollywood Master Photographers just finished photographing today's biggest star and now is going to do your senior portrait. I'm going to put as much care into lighting you as they would!
Mistake #3 - An Amazing Senior Portrait Secret Revealed!
Okay, you and I have to talk about blemishes here. If you (or your son or daughter) has some, and who doesn't, you're probably worried about whether or not they will show in this portrait.
The HUGE mistake that almost EVERY SENIOR makes is that they don't ask the photographer about retouching before having the photos taken. I know, every senior is embarrassed about blemishes, and doesn't want to talk about it to ANYONE - especially a person they just met.
But this portrait is really important, and you want to look REALLY GREAT in it, so we need to talk about this blemish thing.
The secret: Be absolutely positively sure that your photographer is going to carefully and painstakingly RETOUCH all your portraits - and do it to perfection! Now we have all of these senior picture photographers out there these days who will just give you a cd with all of the
"originals" on it. How many of those do you think have this level of retouching? In my humble opinion, a portrait that is not professionally retouched is NOT A PORTRAIT! It's just a "picture" that no one cares enough about to properly finish and produce to the best quality that money can buy!
I guess that's another reason that so many seniors and their parents hire us to create their senior portraits. We honestly, sincerely care about how you or your son or daughter will look, and we aren't going to embarrass you in any way, but we are going to do everything in our power to help you look "like a million bucks" in these portraits, so all your friends are really impressed! (And "a million bucks" means THERE WILL BE NO BLEMISHES ON THE FINISHED SENIOR PORTRAITS! Guaranteed!)
You see, what this all boils down to is you want a senior portrait photographer who is going to take good care of you. Someone whose only goal is to help seniors look absolutely perfect in their senior portraits! And that's what I am all about. Taking the time, and putting forth the effort to spare no expense in helping you look really attractive -better than you've ever looked - in your senior photographs!
Mistake #4 Is A "Silent Killer" Of Senior Portraits!
Most seniors don't understand (or don't want to admit) that they aren't at ease in front of a professional photographers camera and they don't know what to do about it.
You see, there are over 30 muscles in your face. And if you're tense, these muscles tense up, and therefore, you won't like the pictures. You won't know why you don't like them. You just won't.
One of the keys to our success in photography, is that I get to know the seniors I photograph in advance. And what's the purpose of this? Yes, we're going to talk about clothing, and all the other things. We are also going to talk about school activities you're involved with, we'll talk about your hobbies, your interests, your favorite pastimes. This will help us put together session that will be designed just for you. This will give you the chance to get to know me and see just how well I am going to take care of you through this. I'll spend time with you so you begin to feel comfortable and confident about how you can trust me and take my advice.
This is going to make an enormous difference in how natural and confident you look on the day of your photography! It's almost like magic! You will be impressed!
I can't stress this enough. You see, most senior portrait photographers just are not willing to do this. Why? Because it takes time. All they want to do is crank people through their studio like a "factory." They want to do your photograph as if they were building a car. They want to put you on the assembly line, and run you through, click-click-click-turn this way - click, etc....Next person please.
I will not do that to you. I am going to treat this as if it were the most important photo of your life - because it is.
See what a huge difference this will make in how you feel on the day of your senior portrait photography? You'll feel great. You'll have met me. You won't be posing for a stranger. You'll know that what you're wearing is perfect. You'll know that your hair is going to look perfect. You'll know that no blemishes will show! So You'll be confident, and excited - not nervous and apprehensive.
Mistake #5 Will Ruin Your Senior Portrait
If You Aren't Aware Of It!
Most seniors don't realize that it takes longer than 10 minutes to create outstanding senior portraits.
One of the unique things that separates me from all the other photographers in the area, is that I take all the time that is necessary to create graduation portraits that you will be proud of. Senior pictures that your friends and relatives will really love. Yes love! They won't just like your senior portraits, they will absolutely love the graduation pictures we create together.
That's what this is all about. I'm not going to rush you through your senior portraits like it's a factory. I'm going to help you through this whole thing. This senior portrait is important to you, so we're not going to rush through this. It's important to me that we get the perfect senior portrait for you. This is my life's work.
Now, You May Be thinking, "Give me a break. This is just a photo."
Well, yes, but this isn't just a selfie. This is YOUR SENIOR PORTRAIT, and it's the only one you're ever going to have. And all the people who matter to you are going to see this portrait! So let's be sure it's fantastic! Right? And that's what we're all about. That's what's so special about us.
It's not the camera we use. It's not the backgrounds we use. (Although we use the best of everything!) The thing that separates us from everyone else, is how sincerely we want to help you look absolutely perfect - stunning - fantastic - better than ever - in your senior photographs.
Mistake #6 Is A Little Technical, But
Extremely Important To Your Senior Portrait!
High school seniors (and an awful lot of photographers) don't realize how important light is in photography. The wrong light, and the wrong direction of light can add up to 27 pounds to you on film, and also, bring out your worst features!
It's really a matter of life or death in portraiture. The light is the "paint brush" with which I "paint" your senior portrait. It's very important! Did you know that the word photography means to paint with light?
Now, one of the things that separates my photography from all the other photographers in the area is that I have studied light from the true Masters of fine portraiture for over 20 years.
I understand that there is only ONE type and direction of light that will help you look your VERY BEST. Only one. And this is different for every person and every situation! When we do senior portraits on the beautiful beaches of Gulf Shores, Alabama in the morning the lighting needed for the perfect senior portrait is completely different from the lighting we would use in Orange Beach, Alabama in the evening. That's just one example, but the list is endless. Each individual senior should be lit differently and every setting would change the lighting needs even more.
You see, there are five major highlight areas on your face. They must be PERFECTLY lighted, or you won't look your best! Also, I don't want to get too technical here, but if you're still reading this, you realize how important this senior portrait is and you sincerely want to look your absolute best. So... the "Transition Zone" of light, between the highlights and the shadows is what "paints" the contours of your face, and brings out your personality and "SPARKLE." So we want to be sure that this "Transition Zone" is perfect, too! I could go on and on, but you get the idea. It must be absolutely PERFECT if we are to create a portrait of you which truly "Sparkles". So, the type of outdoor portraits you like will then determine the perfect TIME OF DAY to create the portraits. It's so important.
Mistake #7 Determines A Great Portrait Or A Terrible One!
Nine out of ten seniors don't realize how important posing is to senior portraits. The most important word when it comes to posing is "NATURAL." You absolutely don't want to look stiff and fake! One of the most common comments we hear from our clients is how "natural" the senior portraits look. Our seniors love how good they look, but they also love how "natural" they appear in the pictures.
You see, I understand that you want to look really great, but also you don't want to be put into some weird, stupid, cheesy, pathetic pose that makes you look stiff and unnatural.
Yes, I will "guide" you so the composition and "look" of your senior portraits is really great. You and I will work together to help you look confident, comfortable, and just plain great.
You Should Be Pushed Into A Pose, You Should Be Guided Into A Natural Position (At Least It Should Look Natural)
You want to be sure to select a senior picture photographer who will not "manhandle" you with the posing. Most senior portrait photographers tend to touch their clients and push them around way too much when posing them. (In my humble opinion) The posing is so important, and should not be done by sticking you in the middle of your back if you aren't sitting up quite straight enough! But that's what so many senior picture photographers do. Why? Because they're in a hurry. They have another 12 seniors to photograph before the day is over, and they can't take the time to "guide" you. They just stick their hand into your back, grab you by the shoulders, and get you to sit up straight. Not only does this make you really uncomfortable, but it also makes you look stiff in your senior pictures!
That's why I call it "guiding". I will guide you. This is so important to helping you feel comfortable!
However, I am really picky. I'll be very careful, and very attentive to detail. I may pick a little at your hair if something is out of place. I straighten your collar or sleeves. I straighten your shirt if it has a funny wrinkle in it. Don't worry about a thing! We'll make sure you look "like a million bucks"! We're very picky, but we don't manhandle you - and we won't drive you "nuts" with being overly picky either!
Mistake #8 Ruins More Senior Portraits Than Any Other Senior Portrait Mistake!
Mistake #8 is wearing the wrong clothes in your senior portraits! This is very normal. Even if the senior were a professional model, he or she still wouldn't know what to wear that would help him or her look the very best in a still photo. The "Art Director" would say what to wear! The "model" would just show up, and wear what has been arranged! The hair person does the hair. The Art Director plans everything and tells the subject what to do next.
You see, most people don't know what really photographs well. Why should they know. Well, I know. That's my job. I'll help you select clothing that will help you look your very best. We will help you with this. Don't worry.
Mistake #9 Is So Obvious, And Yet Most
Seniors Or Their Parents Don't Do It!
What's this mistake? Not asking lots of questions when you're talking with photographers. Now, if you're still reading this, you certainly have the questions to ask, right?
Remember, you are the customer - you have all the rights! You have the right to ask the tough questions, before you make any decisions!
You ask them first about their guarantee, and see how they respond.
Then you ask them if they will meet with you in person, at no charge, to discuss the clothing, locations etc,.
Then you ask them if they will guarantee that they'll remove any and all blemishes you might have at the time of the senior portrait photography.
Then ask them about how they light the hair perfectly. Ask them if they have studied with the greatest photographers of all time.
Then ask them how much time they are going to spend with you. And do they do outdoor portraits, as well as indoor portraits.
Ask them if they understand the importance of the correct lighting of the "Five Major Highlight Areas." Ask them if they know what a "Transition Zone" is.
Ask them how they keep the posing from being "posy and stiff."
See how much you have learned about senior portraits so far? Pretty amazing, when you think about it, isn't it? I might have to stop before I teach you enough to be my competition.
Mistake #10 Can Ruin Everything!
What's this mistake? It's choosing the WRONG PHOTOGRAPHER FOR YOUR SENIOR PORTRAIT. Everything depends on that one decision.
And hopefully, now that you know these 10 major mistakes that most seniors or parents make - you won't make those mistakes! You'll be able to chose the right photographer for yourself, based on all this new found information you now have about senior portraits!
Now, I may not be the right senior portrait photographer for you. But the fact that you're still reading this means I just might be. Because I care about all the things I've talked about to you here. But the only way you'll really know for sure if we are right for you or not is to call us.
So What Should You Do Right Now?
Now, while it's fresh in your mind, pick up the phone, and call me so we can chat on the phone. No charge. No obligation. No sales pitch. We're not that kind of studio. We'll just chat. You can ask us any questions you may have. We'll see if there are any session times still remaining for seniors. If there are, and if you'd like to, we can set up a time for you to come in and we can show you around the studio, and chat a bit. There's still no charge or obligation. You do not need to have made a decision to hire us, before you can come in and chat with us! No way!
Then, after we meet and chat, if you feel you'd like to have us create your senior portraits, great!. If not, ok. We are here to help you in any way we can. But we're not here to pressure you into doing anything you don't want to do. The decisions are completely up to you.
However, I do want to urge you to act immediately! My schedule is almost completely full at the time I'm updating this site. Very few senior session times remain! Why? Because I have such a great reputation from my past seniors I have worked with. They tell all their friends, and then they all call me, and my book just completely fills up. Plus, because we spend so much time with each one of the seniors we photograph, we can't photograph as many seniors as other photographers who have more of a "factory" approach to senior portraits.
So if anything I have said here sounded the least bit interesting to you, CALL NOW! DO NOT WAIT EVEN ONE DAY ON THIS! The phone number is 205 750-0222.
I Have A Very Special Offer For You!
(But ONLY if you're one of the next 4 people to call me!)
As long as you are one of the next 4 people to call me - just to chat - I will make you a FANTASTIC OFFER! You can save 50% off a full price sitting fee for the creation of your senior portraits (or those of your son or daughter)! That saves you a bunch of money! But you'll need to act quickly!
Call right away. I can't wait to talk to you about your senior portraits!
Professional Senior Portrait Photographer in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, Alabama
PS. Call us now. We have an excellent reputation in the community, and we'll take really good care of you. So call us today. We'll just chat. No charge, no obligation, no sales talk. But don't put it off. I know that at this moment, you aren't sure about your senior portraits. That's fine. But, please understand that because we spend so much time with each one of our seniors, we only have 4 session times remaining for this special offer. Once they are gone, you will not be able to get the 50% discount off a full price sitting fee for the creation of the images. So call right now.
PPS. One last thing. Having your senior portrait taken is such a personal thing, that you want to be sure you select a photographer who is not only really driven to help you look fantastic, but who you (or your son or daughter) also like and trust. That's why I urge you to read the comments from some of the other people we've photographed, and then call us and chat on the phone. This will give you an immediate feeling as to the type of people we are, so you can decide now, while we hopefully still have some session times available, whether or not you'd like to at least come in and chat. We will enjoy hearing from you!
“You gave me so many beautiful pictures to choose from that I wanted to put all of them in my album. Picking my favorite was the only difficult thing about working with you; for that I thank you!”
Miss University of Alabama
“Thanks for the great pictures! My mother loved them. I can’t wait for my next chance have some pictures made.”
“We were looking for a timeless portrait and Dale worked with us every step of the way to get us just what we were looking for”
"We couldn't have been happier with our pictures! My mother cried tears of joy when we gave her a canvas print for a gift."
“Everyone that views my album is in awe of the quality and creativity of the work that you have done. In what could have been a stressful, uneasy situation, I found a photographer that made the day flow elegantly and smoothly. I will never ever forget what you have done for me, my husband, and my family.”
"I'm Glad I chose Haverkampf Photography to do my senior portraits! I was able to have the individuality I wanted in my senior pictures."
“Dale has a gift for wedding photography! Our wedding pictures are priceless. If you are lucky enough to get him on your date you won‘t regret it!”
Gulf Shores, Alabama
“Thanks for being so helpful every step of the way. Everyone loves the pictures!!!
“When I started my search for a senior portrait photographer, I didn’t just look in my area. I wanted the best I could find. I think I found that. Haverkampf Photography was well worth the drive. Dale was easy to work with and made me feel comfortable. I actually had a lot of fun. But the best part was looking at the pictures. Wow! What beautiful pictures; and so unique. I would recommend Haverkampf Photography to anyone.
“You are the most easy going and understanding photographer I’ve worked with. I’m so glad we’ve found the photographer we want to photograph our family. I will treasure Cole’s pictures forever.”
“The pictures look fantastic! I could not be any happier with the way they turned out. We have so many favorites. They are truly wonderful! You really captured our memories. Thanks again for everything you do.
“Thank you so much for all that you’ve done. Our portrait looks beautiful in our home. I would highly recommend you to anyone.”