Things you should know about senior photography

Where are you located?

Our studio is located at 305 Commercial Street, on the corner of Commercial and Center Streets, in Downtown Portland. We're across the street and just down the road from both Becky's and DiMillos floating restaurant on Commercial Street, and just down the hill from the Civic Center.

We have free parking on the side of our building (on the cobblestone lane adjacent to our studio); meters directly in front of our studio; and free parking across the street as well. Our studio has a sign out front, and lots of pictures hanging in the windows!

If your session is scheduled at either the park, the beach, or at Fort Williams, we'll send you directions to meet us there. Otherwise, come meet us on Commercial Street..

Will you retouch or airbrush my images?

Unless you specifically tell us not to fix something, all your printed images will be flawless!

Our HS Senior photographer (and cofounder) Will didn't let his mother order a copy of his senior portrait, because his face broke out the day before his photo shoot, and he hated the way he looked in his images. He guarantees that won't happen to you, and insists that you love the way you look in your senior portraits.

That's actually a written guarantee for our studio - you will love the way you look in all your finished prints, or we'll redo it or refund your money.

How much artwork will you do?

All of our printed images include retouching of blemishes, stray hairs, scars, moles, and circles under the eyes. On special requests we can digitally remove braces for an additional charge. Sunburn and peeling is impossible to fix - so be careful in the sun before your session!

Will's digital artwork shows the true scope of his creativity, and is very popular. Let us know if there's a particular art print you want, and we'll ensure that we capture the images to create it.

What if it rains or there's bad weather?

If you're scheduled to have some images created outdoors and it looks like it's going to rain, call us before you leave and we'll decide if we need to reschedule. Regardless, we'll still have the indoor portion of your session (if you have one). Keep in mind summer and autumn showers come and go quickly; it might be raining where you are, but sunny here.

However, this is New England, so we do get some rescheduled sessions in the course of the summer. Don't worry, we'll reschedule your session when it's convenient, and you won't miss out on anything!

When will I be able to see my images?

We usually schedule your shopping appointment about a week after your session. Your images will be projected larger-than-life, and you'l be able to see everything clearly.

If your folks love you and want to remember you when you're not around, they'll probably want to hang a portrait or two of you on the wall. At Focus Photography, you're able to virtually see the finished product before ordering - size, color, and even framing - exactly like it will look in your house.

During your shopping appointment, Lucia will help you sort out your favorites, listen to your wants, steer you clear of unnecessaries, and squeeze you into a portrait package that saves you money. This helpful process allows you to see the pros and cons of each image, and find the best possible price for the images you want.

Bring anyone that you want to be part of the decision process with you, because you'll be placing your order at this time. We're sorry, but because of our very full appointment schedule, we can not always accommodate a second shopping appointment, and must include a $50 second appointment fee.

Can I bring someone else along??

Of course! Most seniors find it helpful to bring Mom, Dad, a brother/sister or a friend along, both to help ease the 'camera-room jitters' as well to help carry your gear. You know what they say - 'It's easier to be a RockStar if you've got really good roadies.'

New this year are Portrait Parties, where you can share your session with up to 5 friends.

What should I bring to my session?

Will usually creates 20-30 images during the Contemporary Studio PhotoShoot, and most people are able to wear two to three outfits as well. Our goal is to give you a tremendous amount of image variety from your session.

You should bring at least three completely different changes with you per location (three different colored Abecrombie tees doesn't count!), and one outfit should be jeans and a long-sleeved, solid-colored shirt. More is better, and we're happy to help you select between choices.

If you're coming to the studio, please bring as much as you can of your activities. If you play hoops on the team, a ball and a uniform would make sense. Dance - outfits and shoes (and maybe the music you like to dance to!). Some sports are off season, so if you can't get a uniform, go with under-armor and what you can bring.

If you have specific ideas for your session, please share them with Will when you arrive. Cut out pictures from your favorite magazines or catalogs. More than anything else, Will wants to make sure you get senior pictures you love!

What about my yearbook photo?

Your yearbook submission is included at no extra charge with any collection, and we'll send it in to the school for you on time. You can relax and know that we've got your back.

What tips can you give me for hair, Makeup, and glasses?

Hair - It's best to have your hair cut and/or styled at least a week or two before your session. This will give it a chance to fill in or relax. Please don't try a radically different haircut or style too close to your session - what if you don't like it?

Makeup - Powder and lip gloss are the essentials! A little light powder in your skin tone will stop shine on your nose and forehead, and women's lips always photography better shiny!

Glasses - If you wear glasses most of the time, you'll want them in your portraits. To eliminate glare and reflection, call your optometrist and arrange to borrow a pair of empty frames similar to yours, or have the lenses removed from your own frames. Most opticians will help at no charge.

What if I need to reschedule my session?

Please let us know as soon as possible if you have a schedule conflict.

During senior season, our schedule fills up completely, so we ask that you let us know at least one week before your session if you have a conflict. If you cancel on the morning of your session to play golf or go to the beach, you'll forfeit your session fee.

Can you help us with framing?

Absolutely. We carry a variety of frames for you in all sizes. To determine the size and shape of your framed portrait, consider the wall space where it will be displayed. Interior decorators recommend that a portrait occupy at least 50% of the wall space. If not, the viewer's attention will be drawn to the wall, and not to the image.

8x10s are not good for wall display because they need to be held close for comfortable viewing. That's why they make such good desk displays.

If you'd like the best assistance we can give you, photograph the wall and surrounding furniture where you'd like to hang a portrait, and tape a piece of letter-sized paper on the wall (for size). Even a camera phone image will work for this, and if you e-mail the image to us before your view and order appointment, we'll be able to suggest frames for you and show you how they would look hanging on your walls!

What else can I bring to my session?

Among the reasons Will's photography is unique is he strives to bring out the individual personality in each person he works with. That's where the fun begins. Bring your favorite hat, scarves, musical instrument, pet, sunglasses, hobby, varsity jacket, wheels, uniform, or sports gear.

We've had artists bring paintings, writers bring journals, snow boarders bring boards and parkas, and fashionistas bring magazines. Whatever your into, bring to the studio. Whatever you come up with, Will will find a way to create something unique and amazing just for you!

What if I want my photoshoot somewhere not listed?

We have our "Your Place" session for just such a possibility. We've created senior portraits at family houses, special beaches, horse stables, waterfalls, ballparks, school athletic fields, and churches.

If you can get us access to a place that's special to you, we'll go. Some travel fees may apply.