Picture Perfect with Kyle Yates – The Senior Photo

It is inching closer to Autumn here in Pennsylvania, and with that comes the season of Senior Photography.  Hopefully you have passed a few early birds as they had their photo taken. It is a rite of passage for every 12th grader to undergo before they start their last year in High School.   However, not too long ago, this was a blasé ordeal that was done in a studio.  I remember my senior photos in August of 2004, I only had 20 shots and three wardrobe changes.  Now, thanks to the digital age, senior photography is a growing trend. One of my smallest packages can yield 200+ images for an hour’s worth of shooting.  

Senior photos are about celebrating a milestone in a teenager’s life.  It freezes in time how the teen looks, acts, and chooses styles of clothes.  Have you gone through your old photo books and commented on the styles of your parents and grandparents?  It is amazing to see how people have changed since their senior portrait. That is the reason why we capture the teen at this stage of life, it’s the last year that most of them will be at home.  It helps us remember all the love, sweat, and trust we instilled in them before they break the adult barrier.  

It’s big business too.  You would be hard pressed to not see flyers or advertisements for photographers offering deals or packages to the young budding adults.  But buyer beware, not all photographers are the same. Today we see that everyone who owns a camera is a photographer. If you look closely on online classified sections, you will find the occasional person charging to take photos with their latest iphone.  Yes, the digital age has made everyone a photographer, but how do you know you’re getting the best deal? According to, the average American pays between $190-200 for their session. When you look at that statistic, what you will notice is that the high-volume, newer, or under-experienced photographers will charge less than the national average, while the low-volume, experienced photographers will charge over the national average.  You might even find a studio photographer charge upwards of $5,000 for their package. Therefore, when looking for the best photographer for your seniors, look for these things:

  1. A Portfolio: good photographers have a working portfolio of previous shoots.
  2. Style of Editing: not all photographers edit photos the same way, find one that catches your eye and matches your own style.
  3. Word of mouth: good photographers will have their clientele singing their praises, bad photographers will leave a trail of unhappy customers. Research the artist on Google, Facebook, and ask friends.  
  4. A Clear List of Prices: If a photographer does not have a price list with services they offer, then there is a high chance they are not experienced in running a business.  A question that gets over-looked is “when can I expect the final result to be given to me?”

I offer four packages for seniors from a package for people on a budget to a VIP experience.  I have found that a majority of men do not want to invest in long photoshoots with many changes of clothes, therefore I created a package for them, so they are only paying for what they are comfortable shooting.  Conversely, I have a package for those who want to shoot multiple hours, locations, and changes of clothing. As a photographer, I want to give the seniors a moment to shine and create beautiful memories that will last a lifetime.  For more information: or

Rev. Kyle D. Yates is a Pastor and Photographer out of Brookville, PA.  He has been in professional photography since 2011 and has been recognized over 260 times for his fine art.  You can find his work at the Winkler Gallery in DuBois, PA.  Kyle was named the 2018 Artisan of the Year from the Pennsylvania Wilds.  For more information, find him on Facebook ( or at his photography website (

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