I’m in! How do I get started?


Once you decide you’d like to work with me, it’s best to get a date on the calendar ASAP. In past years I’ve filled all of my available timeslots and have had to turn clients away. Email, call, or text me and we’ll find a date that works for both of us. Then I’ll follow up with a photography agreement for your parents to read and sign and I'll collect a $100 deposit to secure your session date. Once those details are nailed down, I’ll send you a link to my online questionnaire which will help me get to know you a little better and gather info to plan an amazing senior portrait session for you. Can’t wait!


Tracy Waitkus Photography

info@tracywaitkusphotography.com

805.264.2771

It's that time.......the Class of 2019 is getting ready for senior portraits!  Many of you have questions about how it all works, so I thought it would be helpful to answer some of the questions I get most frequently during senior portrait season. Of course if you have additional questions that are not answered here, I'd love to hear from you and answer them personally.

Where will we shoot?

We have so many great locations in our area! First I’ll find out whether you prefer a location in natural scenery, the beach, or in a downtown/city setting. From there, I’ll offer a few options for you to choose from. No idea what type of location you like best? I have a private online gallery with example senior portrait images from a range of different locations which I'll be happy to share with you once we decide to work together. Or, if you have a specific location in mind, let me know and I’ll check it out in advance to see if it will work well for your session.

What should I wear?

Something that you LOVE and feel comfortable in! Girls have many options from dresses with heels to jeans with boots to rompers and bare feet. Prints can work as well as solids. Accessories add texture and personality. For guys, keeping it simple and comfortable works well. Jeans with a sweater or button-up shirt look great, or shorts and a tee-shirt for a more casual look. Some senior guys add a favorite tie or a letterman jacket. I’m happy to help you choose from items in your closet, and I encourage clients to text me photos of their outfit options so together we can select what will work best, keeping the location in mind for a cohesive look. Click here for some additional tips.

What if I’m nervous?

My goals as a photographer are to create great portraits, and to make the experience as comfortable and (hopefully!) fun as possible for each of my clients. I will guide you through your entire session, directing you with poses and expressions so that we get a nice variety of both posed and more candid shots. Each client is unique, and I will do my best to interact with you in a manner that puts you at ease and helps us create the best possible images together. I’ve worked with a wide range of personalities and it can be especially rewarding when an apprehensive client begins to feel comfortable, enjoys their session, and loves their images! 

Are you the right photographer for me?

I want you to be 100% happy with your senior portraits, and choosing the right photographer is the first step toward making that happen. The images I post on my portfolio and share on Instagram and Facebook are representative of the style of work I do.  If you love what you see there (and here in my blog), then YES, I would love to work with you! Although your senior portraits will be unique, they will be comparable to what you see on here on my site and on my social media accounts. If you’re looking for a style that's different from mine, I encourage you to continue looking. We have many talented photographers here on the central coast and there is a perfect fit for everyone. 

Should I bring anyone to my session?


Whatever makes you feel most comfortable is best. I’ve had many helpful moms, best friends, and even a few dads come along and they can be great for helping with clothing, eliciting big smiles or laughter, or just putting everyone at ease during the shoot. I don’t recommend bringing more than one or two people with you, as it can become overwhelming to have too large an entourage. But if you want mom, dad, or a bestie there with you, they are more than welcome.

Do you have any special offers or fun freebies?


Yes! Clients who purchase their entire digital gallery will receive a free set of three mini accordion photo books. They make great gifts for grandparents. These books are also included with my Ultimate Session. And, ALL my senior portrait clients receive a free phone app with all purchased images from their session with unlimited downloads for two weeks. 

Do you offer hair and makeup services?

Yes! Though it’s optional, professional hair and makeup can take your portraits to the next level. I work with a talented hair and makeup artist who has offered a special hair + makeup rate of $100 (normally $120) exclusively for class of 2019 clients who are shooting with me. Her work is beautiful and her style is clean and natural. Let me know if you are interested and I'll provide her contact information so you can schedule your appointment to coincide with your portrait session. (You will schedule with and pay her directly.) You can also opt to do makeup only or hair only. I’m happy to provide more details, pricing, and example photos upon request. 

How do I order my portraits?


When your gallery is ready, I’ll email you with detailed information about ordering. Many clients know exactly what they want to purchase and complete their order online through their gallery. Some clients prefer to meet in person to see sample products (photo books, canvases, prints), to discuss options, or to get help narrowing down their choices. If you would like to meet in person to place your order, I am happy to schedule an ordering session with you at your home, at a convenient Starbucks, or at my home office.

Tracy Waitkus Photography 805.264.2771

​Avila Beach, California

Copyright © Tracy Waitkus Photography. All rights reserved.

Senior Portraits: Frequently Asked Questions

May 8, 2018

I have some ideas for my session. Can you incorporate them?


Most likely, yes.  Definitely share your ideas and vision with me. Whether it’s a prop, a location, or an entire concept, I love trying new things, and will be very candid with you about what I feel will or will not work from a photography standpoint. It’s best to talk about your ideas during the planning stages, so I can make sure to accommodate your ideas during your shoot.

Will you retouch my images?


Yes. After choosing the very best images from your session, I edit each one for overall color tones, exposure, and style. Your session fee also includes standard skin retouching to remove moderate blemishes (guys and girls) and light skin smoothing (girls). On the rare occasion that more in-depth retouching is needed or requested, an additional fee of $75-$100 will be added. If there is any question about how much retouching is necessary, I will communicate with you before proceeding with the editing process and will discuss any additional fees with you.

How long before I see my images?


Within 48 hours of your session, I’ll post one or two sneak peeks on Facebook and Instagram. Your complete gallery will be ready 1-3 weeks later. I know you’ll be excited to see your portraits, so I really do strive to get my clients’ galleries out as quickly as I can, within one week if possible. But during the peak of senior portrait season, it can take a little longer. Be assured that the minute your gallery is ready, I’ll email you with the link and password!

Which schools do you work with?


  • Arroyo Grande High School
  • San Luis Obispo High School
  • Central Coast New Tech High
  • Coastal Christian School
  • Mission College Prep
  • Orcutt Academy High School


If you attend a different school, let me know and I’ll be happy to contact them to get their yearbook requirements. If you attend a school that requires a yearbook photo taken by a photographer from their approved list and I am not on that list, I can certainly still work with you for your personal senior portraits for you and your family (though you'll have to get your yearbook portrait elsewhere).

How much will I spend on my senior portraits?


My sessions start at $245 and I offer three different types of session depending on how long you’d like to shoot, how many outfits you’d like to be photographed in, how many proofs you would like to choose from, and what types of products you want. Many of my clients opt to purchase their entire digital gallery, which is $450 for a Basic one hour session, or $495 for a Deluxe 90 minute session (in addition to the session fee). If you know you’ll want digital images as well as an heirloom-quality photo book, my Ultimate Session offers the greatest savings at $965, which includes a LOT of products and images. Click here for detailed information about each type of session and what is included.