Common questions about your Senior Portraits

It’s finally getting warm in Wisconsin and that means it’s time for the Class of 2017 and even some in the Class of 2018 to begin thinking and planning their senior portraits. At Vagabond Photography this means our busy season is just around the corner. So we would like to take to the time to invite you to pop over and look at our portfolio and see if we fit your style.

We would also like to take some time to help you answer some of the common questions we get asked yearly.

Where will/can I have my photos taken at?  In a nut shell ANYWHERE. At Vagabond Photography we are an on location photography service so this mean we work in a lot of parks, lake fronts and city areas. When we first meet with you and your parents we try to find a unique place in the area that fits your style.
***Though we do have one exception, we will not work around railroad tracks it illegal and the fines are horrendous.***

What should I wear? During our basic sessions we have a three to four outfit change limit unless otherwise agreed upon. We always recommend that at least one of the outfits should be something that you and your parents would want grandma and grandpa or other close family members to be able to hang on their walls or place on their end table or desk.
As for the other two we suggest going for a style that is unique to you and represents who you are as young adult and can incorporate activities/sports you like or participate in.
When picking out the clothing we like to suggest that our clients stay away from loud designs and writing on clothing that would draw the viewer away from you.
We also like suggesting that our clients especially our female clients try to layer out their outfits so they can have more than one look from the same outfit.

Can we involve my pet? Yes, provided you can bring them and they are allowed at where we are conducting your session. We understand that your pet is part of the family and we don’t want to leave them out of the fun.  For example if you want to include your show horse and we are conducting your shoot at your stables or the stable where your horse is housed, by all means YES lets work your horse into a few of these shots. Or you want to include your dog while we are doing your session in the park, yes bring them because it will only add to your photos.

Can I bring a friend? Yes you can. We can even combine and do a friends group senior portrait session if both of you would like and the parents/guardians agree.

Do I have to bring Mom or Dad? If you are under 18 by our understanding according to the state of Wisconsin YES a legal parent or guardian must be present. If you are over the age of 18 you don’t have too but it is still recommended. Plus they can be useful by helping get a prop or change of outfit ready.

Do you offer hair and makeup? No, we do not offer hair and makeup, though we do recommend a clean makeup on the face with an emphasis on the lips and eyes.

How long until I see my photos and how many will I see? Normally from the time we have our session together until the time we meet to go over your proofs it takes about three weeks.  Also we will show you from your session 15 of the poses from that day completely edited.  After we meet we will also have a gallery set up for you to look at your prints in the client gallery section of our website.

Do you photograph yearbook headshots? Yes we can do this but we always ask that you check with your school to see what the requirements are for submission.

Do I have to fill out the survey? No, you do not have to fill out the survey though it will help us get a better understanding of who you are and what you like to do. In the long run it will help us create a better session for your senior portraits.

How much is this going to cost me? We do have a $225 sitting fee, beyond that the price limit is up to you. Until recently we used to offer a package scale but our clients seemed to need more of one style of prints and less off another and there was always a lot of print trading going on.  We found out over time this style of having a sitting fee and letting our clients choose what photos they need/want is more beneficial for them, this way everyone can have what they want in the end.

What happens if bad weather occurs? In the event of bad weather we will reschedule at the earliest possible convenience. We understand Mother Nature will do what she wants to do and even though the weather man said it should be a perfect day out, Mother Nature might have other plans.

How do I get started? This is the easiest part pick a date out with one other backup date and contact us. We can’t wait to hear from you.

Summer Fun

Well the long winter seems like it has finally come to an end in Wisconsin, so that means it’s time to get out and start working with our valued clients back in the great outdoors.

This summer in addition to working with our customers on their Senior Portraits, corporate and live events, weddings and sporting events, I plan to work in some time for personal projects.

So I would like to take this time to tell you about some four ideas I have for summer projects.

First being “dancing in the streets” it is a simple concept I DSC_0163would like to partner up with several people with a dance/gymnastic background and work them to pose them in areas you might not think to normally see a dancer. (Ex A foggy night on lit street in Milwaukee, on a rock in the middle of a stream, river or lake, basically places you wouldn’t normally think someone would belong.) This idea came to me a reviewing some photos from few years ago. At the time I was working with a few students from UWSP who were dance majors and their elegance and gracefulness started to get me thinking it is something we don’t take the time to appreciate much these days.

DSC_3081Second is “thinking outside the box” this is a project I actually started this winter and it was something to just past time with friends. So by thinking outside the box you and I figure out how to portray our plan inside 4’x4’ cube that I created. This has actually been quite fun for both myself and the models/friends involved so far. I had it suggested by a close friend that I find someone flexible and see what we could come up with involving creative lighting and poses.


Third is “Castaway” I live on a lake in Walworth Co. and it has a small island on it and from time to time I wonder while floating by what it would be like to be stranded on a bigger island. So I would like to try and recreate this image I have in my head of someone sitting on a shore line waiting for someone to come and rescues them.

The Fourth is “Forgotten” while driving around scouting for locations from my senior portrait clients I find quite a few run down places and coming from a journalism back ground I think well there has to be a story there. For this one I would like to partner up with a model female or male or both and have them and have it more themed as I was left behind or forgotten here. I had always intended to use the old Solvay Coke and Gas buildings but a construction company has put fence and the MPD is actively ticketing trespassers. So for now I am looking at using a few old houses and other buildings I have access to and old abandoned car/machinery.

I look forward to teaming up with some very talented people in the near future and start having a little fun with some of my own projects. If you are interested or a have a project of your own you would to collaborate on you can go to my contact page and shoot me a message. Contact

Finding the right photographer


Who is the right photographer for you? This is a question everyone should be asking themselves the moment they decide to propose to or marry the love of their life, when looking to have senior & family portraits done or for any other reason one may have to enlist the services of a professional photographers.

First suggestion: Look into multiple photographers in your area and check out their online portfolios. Do their portfolios suggest they can capture the essence of who you are and what you want? Also meet with them and get a feel for who they are. There is nothing wrong with little interview before you sign on the dotted line.

Second suggestion: Where do you want to do your photo sessions? Indoors or Outdoors? Can the photographer accommodate your needs? Most photographers have their expertise some do amazing outdoor work while other do amazing studio work and some can do both.

Third suggestion: Are they affiliated with any photographer associations such as Professional Photographers of America (, The American Photographers Association (, Wedding & Portrait Photographers International – WPPI ( and American Photographic Artists ( to name the major ones. If you notice the perspective photographer you are looking at has an association with one or more of these group they should have a better understanding of what changes are going on in a fast changing industry and how to better understand your photographic needs.

Fourth suggestion: What are their credentials? Is their degree in photography from where they attended university or have they obtained any certifications from the prior mentioned associations. Did they apprentice with anyone? If they do have degrees and/or certifications this is a good indication of a photographer that knows what they are doing. They may end up costing you the client a little bit more but in the long run you will be happier with the end results. The same can be said for an apprenticeship they were taught by a professional in the industry who knows what it means to be a professional photographer.

Fifth suggestion: Are they flexible? Do they only have select hours of the day they can accommodate a session? This is a good question to ask especially when looking for a photographer who specializes in senior and family portraits. As photographers we understand the seniors we photograph lead busy lives (work, classes, sports, etc.) and so do the parents. So will your photographer be willing to work with you in the mornings/evening or on a Sunday and not just during standard business hours and if you live in Wisconsin a football Sunday because the Packer’s are a fall religion around here.

Sixth suggestion: What style of photographer are you looking for? There are many types of photographers today journalistic, classical, romantic, digital photographers (in this case meaning heavy image manipulation) to name a few. When you meet with a perspective photographer let them know the style you are looking for and if they can provide it for you. For example on a wedding day you might want a combination of two styles romantic and journalistic. Romantic to be able to hang photos of those few precious moments on the walls and journalistic to be able to tell the story of you and your loved ones most special day in album forum.

Seventh suggestion: Don’t cheap out but don’t hand over all your money either. This one is mainly for perspective wedding clients but can also be applied to any other area of photography as well. We all know weddings are not cheap and we try to cut costs where we can. Too often though photographers over hear people who just got married say they wish they would of went photographer X who cost a little more over photographer Y cause even though Y cost us way less the quality and what we wanted just wasn’t there. The fact is you are paying for the peace of mind and the quality of photos a professional photographer can provide you and that is always worth the extra cost in the long run.

Eight Suggestion: Now this is the most important one. Find a photographer you can have FUN with, if they can make you laugh and feel happy/loved it will show in your photos that you are about to hang on your walls or be place in album.