Susan White & Mark O'Connell Photography Logo
Call us: 781.826.8189
21 Kallio Path ~ Pembroke, MA
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Questions about senior pictures?

Hopefully many of the answers are here. If not, just Contact us with your questions.
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That depends... Some schools do make it seem that way. You may be required by your school to get the yearbook photo only taken at the school but You DO NOT have to go to the “School Photographer” for the portraits and wallets for your friends and family! Some schools sign a contract (in your behalf) with a large “corporate chain” studio that may require you to be photographed by them for the yearbook, BUT ONLY THAT! You shouldn’t have to pay for the yearbook photo, it should be put in there at no charge. Many schools allow you to replace the contract yearbook photo with one that you actually like taken by your own photographer.
The school may strongly suggest that you be photographed by a certain studio, but it's just that, a suggestion.

    Most of the schools in our area allow the use of our yearbook portraits in their yearbook. You can bring us the yearbook guidelines provided by your school, or you can go to your school's photographer for just the yearbook shot, and then come here for your real senior pictures. This approach has the additional benefit of freeing you from your school's early yearbook deadline. That way, you can schedule your pictures for when you want them... in the fall for great outdoor shots, in the spring when you are closer to graduating, or even in the winter if that's when you'd prefer. 
Remember... it's your choice, not your school’s
Most often, the school has a contract with that studio for team photos and other services, and the school derives some financial benefit from making the recommendation. And unfortunately, a few schools like to have them standardized with cookie-cutter yearbook photos. Remember, since you are paying the bill, you have the right to choose your own studio for your personal portraits and if necessary, only go to the school photographer for the yearbook photo.. If you have questions regarding the rules of your school, please contact us.
Photography by Susan White will work with you to meet all the technical and posing requirements for your school's yearbook, while creating a unique and personalized portrait for you. In fact, the regional representative for one the nation's largest yearbook companies recently stated the following to us: "All of the senior pictures you took were of excellent quality! You offer a digital photo that will insure good reproduction in the yearbook. I commend your excellence and appreciate your effort! Your quality was far above the other photos and showed me that you understand the digital business."

There are a whole bunch of reasons! But one of the most important is individual attention. You may think you have to go to your school's contract photographer, but you don't (see above). They photograph everyone exactly the same ... and often up to 50 seniors in a day. With that type of quantity to deal with, you practically get snapshots that are convenient and easy for the photographer (or in some cases, “camera operator” is actually a better term because they are told to do only a certain kind of shots!) and end up with pictures that are ordinary and look just like everyone else's.

We think that is the wrong approach for seniors.

Being a senior in high school is major milestone in your life — a special time that deserves special images. We may only photograph a small fraction of seniors compared to other studios, but that's fine with us. We rather get to know you individually, have a great time creating your photos, and actually remember who you are next time we see you! Susan limits her sessions to only two per day. This gives us plenty of time to carefully select the proper backgrounds, and locations that fit your "look". No rushed posing with us. We'll guide you into flattering positions, and relaxed expressions. Aren't you worth having a great senior portrait to "WOW" your friends and family?

OK, how about these:

I'd bet you want photos that are unique and different from everyone else... you want your photo shoot to be fun... you want to jam to your favorite tunes on your iPod during your photo shoot... you want to work one-on-one with a photographer instead of being part of a group... you want lots of variety with a bunch of outfits... you want fashion poses that remind you of what you see in magazines and modeling portfolios... you want lots of pictures to choose from... you want designer composite images.... you want personalized wallets... you want color, black-and-white, sepia and other toning options... you want your wallets to stand out with the cool new metallic paper...

The list goes on and on! We offer options you won't get anywhere else.


While some studios force you to pick from only one or two types of looks in your session, we offer choices of cutting edge studio photography styles (such as for black and white photos, modeling-style poses, wet hair looks, sports, prom dresses, etc.), fun outdoor poses right in our own private park.  View our session page here.

There are no hidden charges. Prices are clearly listed in our brochure, and your investment includes artworking, professional mounting and coating of your prints.

No way! Getting your senior pictures done should be fun and exciting... you shouldn't have to stress about whether you should wear this outfit orthat outfit... bring them all... including your prom or homecoming dress if you want.

It is actually better to bring too many choices so that we can better coordinate your clothing with various backgrounds. We may not use all of them, but it's better to bring them rather than saying “I have an outfit that would've gone perfect!” Our only limitation is time. We find that a one hour session allows you to use 4 different outfits. The faster that you can change, the more options we'll have.

Definitely bring that stuff along! Also bring along glasses, sunglasses, your letter jacket, a jeans jacket, your leather coat, hats, stuffed animals, umbrellas, parasols, scarves, boots... anything that helps portray who you are and what you do... clothing is a big part of awesome-looking senior pictures, and the more stuff you bring, the more variety there will be in your poses!

After you schedule your photo shoot, We'll send you recommendations on what to wear (and what not to wear!), how to pick out your outfits, make-up tips, etc.


So that we may be on time for you and the person scheduled just after you, your reservation to be photographed has a start and an end time. We have reserved this amount of time to ensure a relaxed and comfortable creation process. Please be punctual. Late arrivals may cause you to feel rushed, and may limit the number of poses and outfits we can do.

We recommend not scheduling anything else on the day you are to be photographed. You don't want to be late for your reservation. Rushing in or worrying about being somewhere after your reservation may cause you to look stressed in your portraits.

Before arriving, you should be dressed and ready for your first portrait. We will photograph the yearbook portrait first if this is one of your selected poses. Please plan on arriving 15 minutes prior to your session.


We actually suggest that a family member accompany our seniors during their photo shoot. They are a second set of eyes to help us make sure you are looking your best. And if you bring a friend and want them to be with you in a few of your pictures, that's no problem.

However, one thing we don't  recommend is having your boyfriend or girlfriend around for your photo shoot. They tend to be a distraction and can prevent a natural expression of your personality.

In most cases, this is not a problem at all!

It is probably best to have somebody bring your dog or cat to your photo shoot for the limited time that we'll need to work with him or her instead of being there the entire time.

Contact us to discuss what you had in mind and tell us a little about your pet, and we'll work out the details.

No problem! Almost everyone has days with less than perfect skin. Proper make-up application is very important and can help immensely in making sure your images look as good as possible. But after you've selected your final poses, part of the artwork process we go through with each image involves removing minor skin blemishes. This is often referred to as “retouching” and is one small part of what is involved in creating my finished prints. (Note that severe acne problems and other time-intensive retouching does incur an additional charge.)

When you schedule your appointment we will send you complete information on what's best to wear for great senior portraits. Here are some other suggestions:

Portrait tips for Guys

Shaving ~ Make sure you have a fresh shave. A five o'clock shadow cannot be removed through retouching.

Hair ~ If you plan to have a haircut, try to schedule it at least a week prior to your session. It is especially important in the summer when a fresh cut may reveal untanned skin!

Expression ~ Bring your smile! We won't force you to do anything that you don't want to do. Generally, we do about 50 percent smiles and 50 percent serious expressions of guys unless you have a different request.

Accessories ~ As you plan your wardrobe, don't forget the accessories! The right belt and clean shoes are really important!

Attitude ~ Relax. A lot of guys say they had more fun at their session than ever expected. It's a one-time deal, so leave your worries at home. Be prepared to enjoy this experience and don't hesitate to call us if you have any questions.

Skin ~ Facial shine is a problem that will show in pictures. Luckily you can do something about it. Translucent powder which will reduce the oils on your skin (which reflect light-creating shine.) Remember, all your favorite stars and anchormen wear "full" makeup when in front of the camera! Also remember, too much sun darkens skin unnaturally, dries hair, shows bags under the eyes, and makes skin appear shiny. Sunburn cannot be repaired.

Wardrobe ~ Guys these days are coming in with totally new attitudes about Photography by Susan White sessions! They've seen the great looks we can create...real, casual, and masculine. For your session to have real variety, put some time into your wardrobe selection. Don't be afraid to look good!

Here are some general reminders: Make sure all the outfits you wear for all sessions are complete. You should dress from head to toe! You don't want to limit our creativity, and that will happen when we don't have the option of photographing you in a full-body pose. Be sure your wardrobe is clean and pressed! Wrinkles, rips and stains will show, and cannot be removed. Be sure your clothes fit. Super-oversized clothes aren't as flattering in photographs as they might be in person. On the other hand, anything too tight may confine you and make you look uncomfortable. Important: if you plan to do the Traditional session, bring a white dress shirt and tie for the cap & gown session.

Don't be afraid to get a little creative! It's nice to have some different looks! Try something more formal, business-like or really GQ.

Portrait tips for the Girls

Hands ~ Make sure your nails and hands look good. If you don't want to get a manicure, at the very least, remove old, chipped polish. Apply a clear coat of polish and use some hand lotion just before you are photographed. Even if they're not your "best" feature, you can't escape that they are noticeably attached to the end of your arms, and they will show in portraits from time to time. Remember, if you paint your nails, do your toes too. You may do some barefoot poses and you'll want your hands and feet to match.

Makeup ~ Most senior girls do a nice job applying makeup for every day wear. We strongly recommend that you bring and apply translucent powder to reduce shine; a light lip liner, a clear lip gloss and mascara. Don't overdue the makeup. What you normally do plus just a bit usually works great!

Accessories ~ As you plan your wardrobe, don't forget the accessories! The right jewelry, hats, belts, and shoes really make the outfit work!

Hair ~ If you plan to have a haircut, schedule it about two weeks prior to your session. This will give you time for it to lose that "just cut" look, and if it's not a cut you like, you'll have enough time to reschedule without losing your reservation fee. If you color your hair, don't forget that roots do show. You may want to make arrangements to have your hair colored before you are photographed.

Skin ~ Shine is a problem that shows in pictures. Luckily you can do something about it. Bring translucent powder! It's just clear powder which will reduce the oils on your skin (which reflect light-creating shine.)

Also remember, too much sun darkens skin unnaturally, dries hair, shows bags under the eyes, and makes skin appear shiny. Tan lines and sunburn cannot be fixed. They will show in the finished portraits.

Wardrobe ~ Make sure all the outfits you wear for all sessions are complete. By that we mean you should dress from head to toe! You don't want to limit our creativity, and that's what might happen when we don't have the option of photographing you in a full-body pose. Be sure your wardrobe is clean and pressed! Wrinkles, rips and stains will show, and cannot be removed. Be sure your clothes fit. Super-oversized clothes aren't as flattering in photographs as they might be in person. On the other hand, anything too tight may confine and make you look uncomfortable too!

Undergarments ~ It may seem obvious, but in the preparation process, it is sometimes overlooked. Undergarments must be the right shape and shade for each outfit!...You know what we mean!

Attitude ~ Relax. You're gonna love this. It's a one-time-deal! So leave your worries at home, be prepared and you'll really enjoy this experience. Don't hesitate to call us if you have any questions! We want you to be a positive part of the creation process! We can't do it without you!

Weekends are normally reserved for our
personal family time.

Well expensive is a relative term. We the first to admit that we are not the senior photographer for everyone. At the same time, it is important to remember that senior pictures are truly once-in-a-lifetime, and the investment you make in them will last forever. For most people, this will be one of the only times they can work one-on-one with a professional photographer!

forever 7To use a pair of jeans as an analogy, We are more “True Religion” than “Levi's”. Don't get us wrong, Levi's are great, but every now and then (in the case of senior pictures, once in your life!) you splurge and get something really special... and it's totally worth it!

Many clients love their photos and will invest a lot in them. But it's really up to you. You can “Create Your Own Package” which allows you to get exactly what you want — without  being restricted by pre-determined packages. For a detailed price list, go to the Contact page and request pricing information or visit our Pricing page for some basic information..

Well, you could... but we can pretty much guarantee you won't be happy with the results! It takes much more than just having a camera to be a photographer (just like buying a sweet guitar doesn't make you a rock star!) We've had years of training and won awards for our images. Applying what we know about proper portrait lighting, posing and digital artworking, we can make you look your best. And although great photographers can take fantastic pictures with just about any camera, the right equipment definitely helps. Our camera, lenses, strobes and lighting modifiers are high-end, professional-grade tools — the same things you see being used on the sidelines of sporting events and on TV shows like America's Next Top Model.

The Susan White Process . . .

Scheduling your Appointment

Scheduling is easy.

First: Have a look at our session information to see if we're a good fit. Click here.

Next: Just give us a call at 781-826-8189. With just a few simple questions, we can get you scheduled for the most awesome portrait session ever!

Prepayment of the session fee is required to confirm and schedule your session. Sorry, but we cannot "pencil you in" without payment. All major credit cards are accepted.

Then: Kick back and relax! The hardest part is over. We’ll make it easy for you, starting with a brochure we’ll send you, that gives you all the details on how to plan for a great portrait; what to wear, what and who to bring, directions, where to park, what to do if it rains and you want to go outdoors, and many other helpful hints, etc. We’ve thought about it all in advance, so you don’t have to.

The Portrait Session

The portrait session is where we carefully create your portraiture based on our design consultation plans. Most sessions last up to 1.5 hours depending on the session itself.

The View & Choose Session

Once the session is complete we schedule a time to show the "previews" using our digital projector in the comfort of our studio. It is a really fun way to see them! Bring your friends along for the show! After the show you will be able to see any of your poses in almost any size from a small 5x7”, 8x10”, 11x14” desk print, to more appropriate sizes of 16x20”, 20x24”, or larger.

Since this special service takes a little time, please allow 60-90 minutes to go over your poses. It is necessary that a parent attend this viewing since you will be placing your portrait order at this time.

Don’t worry if you see any blemishes, or under eye circles as those will all be removed on your ordered portraits. We carefully help you select the best poses and expressions.

Placing your Portrait Order

Placing your portrait order is simple as we help guide you through the process. You may wish to consider selecting frames at this time. We offer a wide variety of custom quality frames for both wall portraits and desk portraits. All orders require a 50% payment toward the total order amount.

The Finished Portraits

Your finished portraits arrive back to our studio about 6-8 weeks after the original order is placed. Each portrait is inspected for quality to insure the highest quality portraits. We make it easy to reorder with a reorder label on the back of each portrait. If frames were ordered, we will also professionally frame your portraits at no extra charge.


When everything is ready we will contact you and arrange for pickup. Please plan on picking up your order within 10 days after notification. After your order is checked and found satisfactory, payment of any balance is due at this time. Payment can be by Cash, Credit Card, or Money order, as personal checks are not accepted for final payments.

Now you can proudly share with family and friends all the awesome portraits we created together. Enjoy!

© all images copyrighted by photography by susan white ~ site design by mark o'connell

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