How Much Do Senior Pictures Cost?

Written by: Staff

Senior pictures are taken during a student’s senior year of high school or usually slightly before the school year starts, and the price for senior pictures depends on the number of poses, the number of pictures you need, outfits, the photographer you choose and where you live.

Senior 036 by aimeescottphotography, on Flickr
Senior 036” (CC BY 2.0) by aimeescottphotography

How much do senior pictures cost?

On average, the cost to get senior pictures taken can range anywhere from $25 to $340 per package.   For example, a package that includes one 8×10 and four 5×7 pictures can cost $85 to $200, while a larger package with one 11×14, four 8x10s and eight 5x7s could cost upwards of $500.

Depending on the photography studio, some may offer an “a la carte” based package, where you can pick and choose the exact pictures that you want.  For example, one 5×7 could cost $25 to $55, and an 11×15 could cost $215 to $325.  A mural picture as larger as 30×40 could cost upwards of $1,200.

Bently Photography says their session fees range anywhere from $25 to $125 and they offer 12 different packages ranging from $180 to more than $1,600.

Another photographer, Palmer Photography, charges $195 for a 90-minute session with six clothing changes, 80 or more photos and either an indoor or outdoor sessions.  Other packages range anywhere from $89 to $149.

Prestige Photography, a popular chain students get their pictures taken, costs anywhere from $25 for a basic session to as much as $55 for the ultimate session.  This won’t include the picture you purchase after the sessions complete.  The Sears Portrait Studio, another popular photography studio, charges about $225 for unlimited poses and about six sheets of photos. wrote a pretty extensive list and said senior portraits should cost $125 to $300 for the sitting fee, and this all depends on many factors such as the number of locations, change of clothes and reprint package you choose.

Geographical LocationType of PackagePrice
Cleveland, OH3 scenes, 3 outfits and small picture package$620
Tulsa, OK3 hour session in studio with rights to the photos$550
Boston, MAIn studio for 2 hours$480
Traverse City, MI1 outfit change and one location, along with six edited prints$280
Indianapolis, IN1-11X14 and 2-8X10 or 3-5X7 prints$125 sitting fee + $180 for the pictures
Seattle, WASitting fee only$300 + cost of prints
Mesa, AZ75 minute session with unlimited poses/outfits$1,400
Denver, CO200+ picture package with one hour session$549 with CD
Chicago, ILOne hour session with basic photo package$400

Senior pictures overview

Depending on the type of package that you will get, the inclusion can be different.  Most of the time, you will be able to choose the location where they want the picture to be taken depending on the theme.  A photographer can also recommend his or her favorite spots if you have something in mind.

The average senior picture session can last one to three hours, and most students will wear three to five outfits.

What are the extra costs?

Each additional pose outside of the package guideline can result in an additional charge.

Fuel surcharges may apply for those that want to have the photographer travel further than he or she usually does.

Some photographers will charge a sitting fee, in addition to the price of the pictures, usually no more than $50 to $100.  This fee will be charged regardless of how many pictures you choose to purchase.

Some photographers may charge $25 to $50 per hour to edit your pictures.  Retouching can often be offered for free, but some may charge $25 to $50.

Adding the photos to a CD with full rights can cost anywhere from $50 to $150, depending on the number of photos taken.

If you choose a package and need more pictures than what is listed, plan on spending an additional $5 to $25+ per picture, depending on the size/amount.

A headshot for your yearbook may often be an additional fee.

Tips to know

Do you need cap and gown picture/posing ideas?  Pinterest and Getty Images have thousands of ideas to browse through.

How can I save money?

Check with the student’s high school to see if they have any ties with local photography companies.  Many photography studios may offer coupons or special promotions to local students.

In today’s age of digital photography, many people are choosing to take their own senior pictures or even hiring an amateur photographer who is looking to break into the business.  This is an option and will save you a lot of money over going to a professional studio.

According to our research, having the pictures taken inside the studio will often be much cheaper than driving around the city to a natural scene.

Don’t forget to negotiate the price as many photographers will be more than happy to work with your budget as long as it’s reasonable.

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