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Has anyone else encountered this trend? Senior Models for High School Senior Portraits?

Posted by on Apr. 5, 2014 at 8:23 PM
  • 32 Replies

High school senior portraits are getting more elaborate - and expensive

Video: Long gone are the days of laser backdrops in pop-up portrait studios. Now parents are investing serious money in senior class pictures taken by fashion photographers.

 Back in September, Kayla Chernof had her school picture taken. It was the usual scholastic photo op: Sit. Awkward smile. Click. "Next."

But the 17-year-old from Potomac, Md., wanted something more for her senior portrait.

Something like this: "Oh, gorgeous. Oh, that's stunning. I love that head-back thing you're doing," cooed photographer Brooke Daniels as Chernof preened and pouted in the October sun, her salon-coiffed hair and professionally applied makeup aglow in the reflected light held by an assistant. Daniels's Canon click-click-clicked with high-speed, high-fashion intensity. "Good. Hands a little higher. Gorgeous!"

Chernof is among a growing number of 12th-graders who are thinking well outside the frame for their senior shots. The Instagram generation, devoted to "selfies" and bombarded with digital imagery, is increasingly forgoing the time-honored cap-and-gown pose in front of the blue-mottled screen for portrayals more elaborate, personal and, of course, expensive.

By the end of Chernof's two-hour photo shoot ($300 before a single print gets made), the softball player at Bethesda's private Holton-Arms School was arrayed in a spectacular Bollywood outfit of her own design. The sari and bangles paid homage to her mother's Indian heritage and, furthermore, promised to pop dramatically off the yearbook page.

"I love it. This is so much more individual than the school picture," said Chernof, who figured that about half her classmates were opting for customized portraits this year.

Portrait photographers in the region have noticed the uptick in families paying hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars for senior pictures. Some photographers are devoting their whole business to seniors eager to be photographed with their dogs, their cellos, their pickups and their motorcycles.

“It’s growing every year,” said Daniels, who has largely dropped family and baby work in favor of high-concept senior portraiture, which pulls in an average of $2,200 per package. She has a waiting list of clients. “When something becomes popular with teenagers, it just spreads,” she said. “They see these pictures on Facebook, and they want to do what their friends are doing.”

More here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/the-instagram-generations-senior-portraits-get-more-elaborate--and-expensive/2013/10/20/c303a430-3748-11e3-80c6-7e6dd8d22d8f_story.html

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So- my son got an invitation to "interview" to be a senior model. He's quite handsome, but so are other kids. He's not super stunning... like I might imagine a model to be...Anyway. He does however know a ton of kids (he's the class president, now just elected as student body president for next year, that plus his sports teams, and everything else, he has a big facebook and instagram following...) So, he went through the interviews along with 200 kids, and was selected. Lots of hype...and...they chose 40 out of the 200...ok. I saw some of the kids... it's not about modeling to be polite. There's something else at play here.... so, what is that? I do a little internet search, and find tons of articles like the one I posted... this is the latest trend, and we got caught up in it.

THEN, I got the contract. It was never quite clear what the cost would be. I calculated about $695 minimum, but again, it wasn't clear....I haven't signed it yet- just because it isn't clear.I'd post the contract here- it's pretty outrageous quite honestly, I'm not comfortable posting it though. I'm not interested the the fancy hair and makeup/ several hour deal they have, some of these people are spending thousands... some haven't read the contract yet and are in for a surprise.... if he chooses to do this, we will only do the minimum. this isn't even my choice of a photographer for senior pictures...

This is ALL about money. I discovered they pick the kids who know alot of kids.. have tons of friends on facebook have huge instagram followings, etc. WHY? Money. People who know people will get more people to go there for pictures... then this "hype" is created to be a model. They aren't paid, the parents pay. the parents buy the clothing, even pay for the locations if needed....

I could go on but won't, or Ill get all irritated again.... anyway, has anyone else encountered this?

by on Apr. 5, 2014 at 8:23 PM
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Replies (1-10):
stacymomof2
by Bronze Member on Apr. 6, 2014 at 12:07 PM
Sounds like a scam to me. The marketing aspect is what makes it more like a con and less like a really trendy or expensive photographer. Personally paying someone to take pics of you so they can advertise to your friends isn't "modeling."
For that kind of money you can pick a great photographer and get some pics you really like without all the pushing for extras that tbey will likely do to you.
29again
by Gold Member on Apr. 6, 2014 at 12:22 PM
1 mom liked this

I'm gonna say it is a scam.  I wouldn't let my son do it.  I believe that a true modelling agency would pay YOU rather than you pay them.  (I could be wrong, all my modeling knowledge comes from ANTM, lol)

 

Ziva65
by Bronze Member on Apr. 6, 2014 at 12:31 PM
1 mom liked this

 I agree- so, I gave the emails to my son, and told him if he really wants to do this, he gets to work it off. (I have a lot of things he can do :) And- I'm still not signing the contract, so we will see how gutsy this gal is :)

(There were things in the contract like, no parents at the photo shoot for senior portrait, photographer selects clothing and location, 3 days to select pictures ocne complete, etc. hmm, I've never seen another photographer request that. Sounds like a control freak or she had some severe problems in the past... IDK.

We did however make arrangements with a photographer who has done our family pictures for many years. She will be doing his "real" senior pictures. I didn't want to "slam" this lady to another photographer in town, but we'll chat about it sometime I'm sure.

I totally think this woman has a business scam going. When all is said and done, I may tell her that too- in a nice way, from a business perspective. It's like "preying" on seniors, and the parents who aren't objective or something IDK.

Quoting stacymomof2: Sounds like a scam to me. The marketing aspect is what makes it more like a con and less like a really trendy or expensive photographer. Personally paying someone to take pics of you so they can advertise to your friends isn't "modeling." For that kind of money you can pick a great photographer and get some pics you really like without all the pushing for extras that tbey will likely do to you.

 

ABCMomma0211
by on Apr. 6, 2014 at 12:33 PM
1 mom liked this

I will tell you right now 

if you ever have to pay for any type of modeling it's a scam. 

Ziva65
by Bronze Member on Apr. 6, 2014 at 12:41 PM

 I thought that - but I think I'll let him decide. Maybe a good growing up experience. He's 17, and I wnat him to understand it's a scam. I think he's starting to get it.OH- if he wants to do it, he gets to pay for it.

I'm also not signing the contract- and they started with the photos which is odd to me too. If she asks about it, I will be clear on that, my email to her outlined aobu t4 things that made no sense at all, and I was careful in my terms. (I'm no attorney, but did go to law school and took contract law, so I know just enough to be dangerous LOL)

I'm thinking now since photos started- Does it mean the contract is implied? IDK, I have to look that up. The thing is the contract isn't clear anyway, it's all online, and even has a link to a fb page that can be changed. Seems to me that would void the contract right there.

(He's not even interested inmodeling, he's doing it for fun- mr social)

Quoting 29again:

I'm gonna say it is a scam.  I wouldn't let my son do it.  I believe that a true modelling agency would pay YOU rather than you pay them.  (I could be wrong, all my modeling knowledge comes from ANTM, lol)

 

 

Ziva65
by Bronze Member on Apr. 6, 2014 at 12:53 PM

 I agree- she does it under the guise of a senior photo shoot- I'm trying to tread lightly so he figures it out too- (I'm always the critical one, can be a real bitch when I see a flaw like this, and I'm really trying not to be like that. If it were just me I'd rip her to shreds). Small town, she's highly visible, he is too and I don't want to pull the rug out from under him- AND she goes to the same church as we do.

It's a choice that will cost him about $600, that's lots of lawns, cleaning the garage. He doesn't even want to be a model, I think is flatterd by it all- which is exactly the crux of her scam.

the funny thing is, my youngest is photogenic. We were camping several years ago, and he was approached with my husband to do photos for Camping World. He was paid, he even had a union rep of all things- which is apparently required, he made about $600 and it wasn't anything this complicated. That was 6-7 years ago...

Quoting ABCMomma0211:

I will tell you right now 

if you ever have to pay for any type of modeling it's a scam. 

 

29again
by Gold Member on Apr. 6, 2014 at 12:53 PM

I understand that, about the growing up experience, but I still wouldn't do it.  He is 17, and cannot legally sign a contract, right?  So, even if he does, you would held responsible, right?  And then, I would be concerned about long-term ramifications of this.  Would there be a possibility of him being sued in 5 yrs if he does X, something like that... 

I would definitely make sure that he understands it is a scam, that is sometimes hard to teach.  And you can't just say, nope, that's a scam! at his age, you have to point out all the details that make it a scam...  (speaking with a general you, here!)

Good luck to both of you!! 

It sounds like you have a really great young man there!!

Quoting Ziva65:

 I thought that - but I think I'll let him decide. Maybe a good growing up experience. He's 17, and I wnat him to understand it's a scam. I think he's starting to get it.OH- if he wants to do it, he gets to pay for it.

I'm also not signing the contract- and they started with the photos which is odd to me too. If she asks about it, I will be clear on that, my email to her outlined aobu t4 things that made no sense at all, and I was careful in my terms. (I'm no attorney, but did go to law school and took contract law, so I know just enough to be dangerous LOL)

I'm thinking now since photos started- Does it mean the contract is implied? IDK, I have to look that up. The thing is the contract isn't clear anyway, it's all online, and even has a link to a fb page that can be changed. Seems to me that would void the contract right there.

(He's not even interested inmodeling, he's doing it for fun- mr social)

Quoting 29again:

I'm gonna say it is a scam.  I wouldn't let my son do it.  I believe that a true modelling agency would pay YOU rather than you pay them.  (I could be wrong, all my modeling knowledge comes from ANTM, lol)

 



ABCMomma0211
by on Apr. 6, 2014 at 1:09 PM

If he doesn't want to do it, then do not do it. 

Addison is in modeling classes at Barbizon, and while yes I paid for it, I know exactly what it has entitled. She has also had three auditions, and is getting ready for another one on Saturday with a talent agent who has discovered Eva longuire, or whatever he name is. And is going to DC in May. 

But I am telling you, if you have to pay then don't do it, and if he doesn't want to then don't. 

Quoting Ziva65:

 I agree- she does it under the guise of a senior photo shoot- I'm trying to tread lightly so he figures it out too- (I'm always the critical one, can be a real bitch when I see a flaw like this, and I'm really trying not to be like that. If it were just me I'd rip her to shreds). Small town, she's highly visible, he is too and I don't want to pull the rug out from under him- AND she goes to the same church as we do.

It's a choice that will cost him about $600, that's lots of lawns, cleaning the garage. He doesn't even want to be a model, I think is flatterd by it all- which is exactly the crux of her scam.

the funny thing is, my youngest is photogenic. We were camping several years ago, and he was approached with my husband to do photos for Camping World. He was paid, he even had a union rep of all things- which is apparently required, he made about $600 and it wasn't anything this complicated. That was 6-7 years ago...

Quoting ABCMomma0211:

I will tell you right now 

if you ever have to pay for any type of modeling it's a scam. 



1stmuslimah
by Gold Member on Apr. 6, 2014 at 1:57 PM
1 mom liked this

I have never know anyone not to have their make up, hair, (if they don't cover), and nails done professionally for senior pictures and I have never known anyone who's photos weren't in the hundreds. If you can get away with paying only $300.00 for the photos alone then you got a hell of a bargain.

blondekosmic15
by Blonde on Apr. 6, 2014 at 4:58 PM
1 mom liked this

Oh my. Thank goodness my 2 sons are adult now. 

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