Portraits – General Information & FAQ

Answers to your questions should appear below. If not call 452-1456 and we'll take care of you.

General Information

The best time to have your H.S. Senior portraits done.

Because most seniors want their portraits included in the school yearbook, the schedule for the seniors portrait session have to take that deadline date into consideration. For most schools the yearbook deadline falls somewhere between the last week in September to mid November. A lot of seniors wait until school begins in early September to think about having their portraits done. The main problem with waiting that long is that is when the "rush to get portraits" begins and a student is back in school, making a convenient appointment gets much more difficult. So it's best to get your portraits done sometime in late July or August. After that time we can still arrange a session but the students schedule (school & sports) limits their availability to evenings or weekends. We can (and do) take latecomers, so even if you wait until the very last minute we can usually fit you in. Because most schools now accept digital files, we can take your portrait and have it into the school the very next day if necessary.

Setting up an appointment.

To set up your appointment simply call (315)452-1456. We will set up a day and time that works with your schedule. We will also need to know your name, phone number, school and how many outfits you want to be photographed in. We do not need to know what packages you want and we do not need any deposit to hold your appointment date and time like some other photographers. Once your appointment has been made and if something comes up, you can still call to change the appointment date or time.

NEW! Now you can request a portrait session appointment online. Simply fill out & submit this quick Appointment Request and we will get back to you with a confirmation (or an alternate) ASAP!

How to prepare for your portraits.

Wear clothes that look good on you and that are comfortable. Make sure there are no wrinkles or lint and everything is clean and fits you properly. Most seniors want a formal portrait for the yearbook and casual portraits for themselves. Lean toward solid colors and long sleeves, especially for your formal portraits. There are no absolute rules to follow, I have seen all the rules broken and still result in good images. However, the classiest portraits I have seen are those where the subject is dressed in formal attire. Keep in mind that if we are only doing head & shoulders shots, we don't have to worry about your bottom half (formal pants or shoes). For casuals or outdoor photos, wear whatever you like, light colors work good, and some people really like to dress down for casuals.

For families or groups try to coordinate the colors so no single person sticks out too much.

Girls, if you are going to the hairdresser before your portrait, this is not the best time to experiment. Girls "not liking" their hairstyle/color is the number 1 reason for re-shoots. Also, don't forget the accessories and jewelry. Boys, consider shaving if you don't mind.

Please don't worry about breakouts or blemishes. Retouching will take care of that in a hurry.

What to bring.

Bring any change of clothes required (please use a clothes hanger) and a smile. Also, if your school has given you a "Yearbook Portrait specification sheet" please bring that with you too. It will normally contain information such as deadline date, background color restrictions, file type required, where to send file, size etc. If you don't have this sheet don't worry, we can get one from the school.

We suggest that you bring a parent or someone else who can assist in the process. You will also need to bring a pre-payment of $100 (check or cash preferred). If you are only having a yearbook photo done (no prints) then a payment of $50 is required at the time of your sitting.

 If you are looking for portraits that include your favorite sport or hobby, please bring along anything you think will make a good prop. Balls, bats, sticks, gloves or any other sports gear works great. Also, if you have a special hobby or play an instrument bring it along, we can use almost anything.

What to expect at your session.

I run DT Studios out of my home (an attached garage converted into a photo studio), located within the peaceful village of North Syracuse. It is an extremely relaxed, comfortable and private atmosphere, away from people, traffic and parking hassles.

Upon your arrival, we first have a quick sit-down to discuss your expectations and plan out your sitting. Then we get started with your session, which includes setting you up in a series of 4-5 different positions and angles for each outfit. We have a large, private dressing room you can use for your convenience. Each outfit or background you have will take around 15-20 minutes to complete. At the end of your indoor session we’ll go outdoors to get a few shots in a more natural environment. Once we have finished your session, you can expect to see your portrait proofs (online) within an hour or so.

 After your session.

When your session is over, we will get right to work uploading your images to our private online servers. Once your images have been uploaded we will send you an e-mail message which contains a link to your online gallery. The link we send you is the only link which allows access to your private gallery (we do not put any link to your images on our public web site). If you wish, you can sent the link to your family and friends.

Using this link, you can view all the images from our session. The images you see are images straight out of the camera, so they will not be edited or retouched yet. That comes later, after you have selected which portrait(s) you want for the yearbook and your print order.

Choosing images for the yearbook and or print order.

After you have decided which images you would like for the yearbook and or your print order, you can call or e-mail me with your order. I will need to know the image number and the print sizes and quantity desired. We will then finish processing your order and also prepare and send your choice to the school for the yearbook.

Portraits FAQ:

Q: How does the school get my photo for the yearbook?
A: We have been doing senior portraits for 15 years and we have never missed a single student or yearbook deadline. Some schools require the digital files (images) on a disk, some can be sent in via e-mail, and others want prints sent by regular mail. We know all the schools requirements and how they want their yearbook photos submitted. So you can rest assured that we will handle everything.

Q: Do you retouch my portraits?
A: All customer selected images undergo a detailed, complete and thorough editing process. First, your image is cropped (for the best composition) and colors enhanced. Next, we remove all blemishes, stray hair and other undesirables (fuzz balls, stray hair etc.). We then gently soften and enhance the skin tones using special editing techniques that will present you in the best possible and tasteful way. We are very careful not to apply too much editing as it can have a negative effect if overdone.

Q: Should I bring my parents along with me when my pictures are taken?
A: Yes! We have found that bringing a parent along will help you feel more comfortable. After all your parents have known you all your life, so we really value their assistance and input.

Q: I wear glasses. Is this a problem for pictures?
A: Not really, there are usually ways we can adjust the lighting to eliminate any glare present. Some glasses adjust to the light and actually darken as the light increases. Obviously, it would be best to avoid those types of glasses for your portraits.

Q: What if it rains on the day that I am scheduled for outdoor senior pictures?
A: Come in and have the indoor portion of your sitting taken. As long as it’s not pouring, there are ways we can still do outdoor photos. Light rain doesn’t present a problem that an umbrella can’t handle, and you would never know by looking at the final pictures that it wasn’t a clear day. In 15 years, we have never failed to get good outdoor photos. If worse comes to worse, I will reschedule your outdoor pictures for you at that time.

Q: How long will it take to get my finished pictures?
A: Once we get your order finalized, you can see your finished portraits delivered to your home in a week or less.

Q: As I understand it, if I purchase the $99 portrait package and my daughter is interested in an additional outfit change there would be an additional charge of $10 added to the package. And if she were interested in purchasing another image to use with the package there would be an additional $10 charge for that. Is this correct?
A: Yes, that is correct. Each package allows for a certain number of edits or outfits included within the package price. If you need more of either, the cost is only $10.

Q: I didn’t see anywhere that a digital release is an option. Is this available?
A: Yes, but it’s not cheap (the cost is figured on a case by case basis). Call us and we will give you an estimate depending upon the intended use.

Q: Do you take any photos outdoors?
A: Yes, at the conclusion of all our indoor studio sessions, I like to finish up the session with a short casual outdoor shoot in more natural surroundings behind the studio in the back yard. There is no extra charge, it's included in your regular session.

Q: It also states that each session concludes with a short outside visit. Where would the location of the outdoor photos be?
A: Behind the studio on the studio grounds. We keep the grounds well-manicured and there are several spots that lend to wonderful outdoor backgrounds.

Q: How soon we would be able to schedule a session.
A: Call us up, name a date and time and we will see if it’s open. If it’s not we can come up with an alternate that will fit right into your schedule.

Q: Is there any additional sitting fee?
A: All packages include at least a one outfit sitting at no additional cost to you. As the package size increases so does the number of allowable outfits (included within that packages price). All of our packages include a certain number of outfit changes in your sitting before you will be charged anything extra. If that number is exceeded there will be a minor $10.00 charge for each outfit over and above the package allowance. [See package details]

Q: Do you take credit cards?
A: Yes we can, but we prefer checks, cash or money orders at the time of your session ($100.00 pre-payment). The balance of your final cost (anything over $100.00) can be paid via credit card or by mailing us a check.

Q: What do most kids do in regard to number of outfits in the sitting?
A: Most seniors do between 2 and 3 outfits. A formal or semi-formal outfit (yearbook), a casual outfit or two, and a sports, hobby or other "area of interest" type shot which normally would include some sort of prop (please bring these to your session with you). One outfit is fine; multiple outfits can be fun too.

Q: What type of clothes should a senior wear?
A: We want our seniors to be comfortable and wearing their (and your) favorite clothes. There are not really any steadfast rules (I've seen them all broken) but if possible, try to lean towards solid colors and long sleeves. In my opinion there is no such thing as "too formal." If you want very special portraits it helps to have equally special garments. Also, you might be surprised at how many seniors have clothes that don't fit properly (I know, they grow so fast).

Q: How long do I have to order photos?
A: You can take as much time as you wish to place your print order, however we must have your choice for the school yearbook a few weeks before the yearbook deadline date. It’s usually wisest to take care of everything (print order and yearbook selection) all at once so you don't forget. You can always order more prints or announcements later if need be, we keep all your portraits in our photo archives so you can order more at any time.

Q: Do I have to order a package or can I make my own package?
A: Our packages are put together with the most common requests from customers in mind. They are meant to be a starting-off point for your order. Any package can be altered to suit your personal needs. Please feel free to add, subtract or substitute like-priced products and your package total will be re figured accordingly. Or you can make your own package using the Individual Products Menu. Once your order total has been figured you will be given a discount on your package comparable to an existing "like priced" package.

Q: Can you please explain "Image Retouching", how many images are allowed in my package and additional retouching charges I may receive?
A: All images you select for your package/prints must be edited & retouched prior to being printed, to insure the highest quality prints. Each package allows for a certain number of retouches (included in the package price). After that number has been reached there is a $10.00 charge for each additional image you want included within your package (retouched). You can use as many images as you wish to make up your package.

Example: You would like to order package #1, and you want to make up your package using 2 different images. Package #1 allows for 1 Image retouch (included in the price), so you would be charged an additional $10.00 for the second image to be retouched.

Q: I would like my son's/daughter's name and graduation year printed on the wallet prints (i.e. John 2016) can you do this, and is there an additional charge?
A: Yes, by default the name and year will "not" be added to the wallet prints. But at your request it can easily be added to some or all wallet prints (at no additional cost).

Q: Do we have to submit the yearbook photo to the school or is that something you will take care of?
A: We do that for you so you won't have to worry about it. All the seniors we photograph will have their portraits (your choice of images) sent to their respective schools at least several days prior to the school yearbook deadline. Please make sure you let us know your yearbook image choice a minimum of 2 weeks before your schools deadline date so we have enough time to edit and process your portrait.

Q: I would like to order a collage, what styles are available and can I see it before you print it?
A: If you visit our web sites Senior Collages page you can see several different designs to choose from. If none of the available designs appeal to you, we can make a new design based on your input. Before we print your collage we always send you a copy, for your approval, prior to printing.

Q: We would like to order graduation announcement cards/envelopes but we don't have all the information that will appear on the cards. Can we order them later when we get the info.?
A: Absolutely, please contact us with the information as soon as you get it. Please plan for for about two weeks to process them (before the date you will be sending them out).

If you have any questions that are not covered above please don't hesitate to call Dave at 315-452-1456 or e-mail me at dave@dtstudios.com.