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How Many Locations Do You Need for Senior Photos?

A common question from seniors planning their sessions is, “How many locations do I need for my senior photos?” 


The answer, of course, depends on the vibe you’re after. But it also depends on how and where you’ll use your final photos. 


In this post, we’ll explore the three main choices for senior photo locations: 

  • All indoor/in-studio sessions

  • All outdoor sessions

  • A mix of both studio and outdoor


Planning a senior session can feel overwhelming with all your options, but it doesn’t have to. While I’m all for variety, too many choices can make the session feel too long and make the job of choosing final photos much harder in the end.


I'm sharing examples below to help you decide how many locations are right for your senior sessions. 


First up, let’s explore what an in-studio senior photoshoot looks like.


How many locations you need for senior photos depends on what vibe you choose. Do you want indoor, outdoor, or both?


The One-Stop Shop: In-Studio Senior Photoshoot


In terms of choosing locations, an all-studio senior photoshoot is the easiest selection. It’s a one-stop-shop kind of deal. 


You’ll have the benefit of a set location, year-round perfect weather, and privacy with a studio session.


An all-studio photoshoot is ideal for seniors with busy schedules (or those with tight deadlines). Ohio weather gets pretty moody. Iykyk. 🙂 


Benefits:

  • One location (no decision fatigue here!)

  • Ideal for seniors with busy schedules.

  • Perfect weather conditions, so there’s less need to reschedule.

  • Privacy (great for seniors who are shy).

  • Perfect for yearbook photos and professional headshots.

  • Great for casual and formal looks.



Considerations: 


Just because you’ll be indoors doesn’t mean the photos will all look the same.

We’ll swap out backgrounds to compliment your wardrobe. So think outside the box when you’re choosing what to wear. 


Bring a mix of casual and formal wardrobe pieces. 

Consider bringing outfits you might hesitate to wear outdoors, like a cap and gown, prom/homecoming dress, band/school uniform, or a nice suit and tie for formal headshots.


Already know what college you’re heading to? Bring your college gear, and we’ll include it in a few fun photos.


Below are examples of all-indoor senior photo shoots.

We can create PLENTY of variety with a studio session.


senior girl photos taken all in-studio with a rangle of variety from formal to casual looks
Can you tell Theodosia had a blast in her all-studio senior shoot? We'd planned to go outdoors too, but she enjoyed the studio stuff so much that we stayed indoors and kept creating new looks.


senior guy photos taken all in-studio with a rangle of variety from formal to casual looks

four photos of high school senior girl in portrait studio outside Columbus, Ohio
One way to include more variety in a one location senior photoshoot is to convert some photos into black and white. I'm happy to do this, free of charge, if you're interested.



How Many Locations Do You Need For an All-Outdoor Senior Photoshoot?


Usually, one outdoor location is perfect for an outdoor senior photoshoot. I know, I know. You’re probably thinking you need 3-4 locations. 


If you choose more than 1-2 locations, it usually involves more traveling than actual photo taking.


Yes, we want variety for your senior photos. But we don’t need to run around all day to get it done.


Most outdoor sessions can go one of two ways: 

  • Park or city - to show off a certain style (urban, woods, country)

  • Or go to your school - to show off school spirit


When clients pick a location, they usually see a birdseye view. They see one specific spot or background. But as a photographer, I see so much more opportunity. For an all-outdoor session, I’ll ask you to trust the creative process (and me) more. 


Benefits:

  • Outdoor photos can feel more relaxing to some people.

  • Your photos will be one-of-a-kind, depending on your location.

  • Can highlight your favorite season/time of year.



Considerations:

  • Consider the time of year and how much daylight time we have.

  • Be ready to reschedule for unpredictable weather.

  • Choose a location that resonates with your style and personality.

  • Bring a few wardrobe changes for variety.



I want your senior photoshoot to be fun and exciting from beginning to end. The less time we spend running around to multiple locations, the more time we can spend getting unique/creative photos, unlike everyone else’s!




collage of photos showing how many locations you need for outdoor senior photos
This downtown Columbus session was so much fun. Can you believe all of these were taken within two city blocks.

photos of outdoor senior session in westerville ohio in two locations
This session took place in two locations, but most were taken at one spot within walking distance between shots.

outdoor senior photo session in one location at horse farm in Johnstown, Ohio of girl with horse
One location, multiple looks!
senior girls photos taken in winter at one park location in columbus, Ohio
One location. One change of clothes. Plenty of variety.

four photos of senior girl posing in sunflower field outside of Columbus, Ohio
22 Acres Farm is stunning. One location provided us plenty of photo opps here!

senior photos of girl taken at Innis Woods Metro Gardens in Westerville, Ohio
All of these senior photos were taken at Innis Woods Metro Park. It has so much to offer as a one-stop-shop outdoor senior photo location.


Multi-Locations: Mix of Both Studio and Outdoor Senior Photos 


For seniors who want maximum variety, a mix of studio and outdoor sessions is an ideal choice. This option provides a great balance between casual and formal and a chance to highlight a favorite outdoor vibe.


For these mixed sessions, I still usually stick to two locations. One is the studio, and the second is an outdoor location with photo opportunities.


Benefits:

  • Options to create formal headshots in studio and casual outdoor photos.

  • More variety in your final photo selections to choose from.

  • If you chose one spot and didn’t love it, you’ll have other photos to choose from.



Considerations:

  • Studio and outdoor sessions can take a little longer, so plan your day accordingly.

  • While the studio always has perfect weather, we may need to reschedule the outdoor portion if the weather doesn’t cooperate.

  • Bring a variety of clothes that will work for both indoors and outdoors. 



The sessions below highlight what an indoor and outdoor session can look like. It’s the perfect blend for someone who wants maximum variety.



photos of high school senior guy posing for photos in portrait studio and outdoors
This session was the perfect blend of studio and outdoor, providing formal and casual looks.

five senior photos of girl in portrait studio and outdoors in Westerville, Ohio
Variety in two locations - studio and one outdoor spot in Westerville, Ohio.

three senior photos of guy posing for formal photos in studio and casual photos outdoors at his school
From studio to school, this two location session was easy AND provided variety.


Caution Against Overplanning and Decision Fatigue


While variety is great, too many locations or outfit changes can lead to decision fatigue during the ordering process.


When your photos are ready to view, I'll provide a link for you and your family to choose your favorite shots. Once you have everyone together, having 50-60 proofs is a manageable process compared to 150 proofs. 


Decision fatigue is real, so keep that in mind as you plan your senior session.


Variety= Great

Too much variety = Analysis Paralysis! (Ain’t nobody got time for that!)




four senior photos of Dublin, Ohio guy senior in studio and outdoors
Whether you choose studio, outdoors, or a mix of both, you'll get a variety of looks when we work together.


Have Questions About Planning Your Senior Photo Locations?


Every senior session with me is a personalized experience, regardless of which location(s) you choose.


If you still have questions after reading through this, which is totally normal, I’m happy to help you navigate and plan your session. 


Book your free call with me below, and I’ll walk you through the entire process.



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