How much do senior photos cost?

It’s the summer before your senior year. Among the chaos of college applications, essays, scholarship forms, and sports physicals, not to mention the flurry of camp applications, you’re diligently marking dates on your calendar for homecoming, prom, graduation, breaks, and ALL THE THINGS! The last thing you want is something sneaking up on you when […]

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September 11, 2023

Neely Roberts

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It’s the summer before your senior year. Among the chaos of college applications, essays, scholarship forms, and sports physicals, not to mention the flurry of camp applications, you’re diligently marking dates on your calendar for homecoming, prom, graduation, breaks, and ALL THE THINGS! The last thing you want is something sneaking up on you when you aren’t prepared. Senior photos!

Senior photo costs can vary significantly depending on various factors. In the greater Nashville, TN area in 2024, the *average starting price for high school senior photos is $850, excluding prints and custom wall art.

When looking for a senior photographer, not only do you want someone who fits your style, but you also want someone who fits your budget. In your decision-making process, you’ll need to consider a multitude of factors, and these choices will directly impact the total expense of your senior photos.

Continue reading to find out how much senior photos cost in Nashville, TN.

Pricing Structure

Fixed price:

Your photographer has one set price. This includes their time, artistic discretion (editing style), a set number of digital-only images, and a digital gallery to download and print at your leisure. This is often referred to as a shoot and burn.

Variable price:

This could look like: A photographer who has multiple packages with add-ons like a print release for an additional cost, creative fee (this includes a sit down or online meeting to discuss locations, date/times, if you want professional hair & make-up, outfit choices and printed packages. This is the cost before a single photo is taken), prints and custom wall art like canvases, albums and folio boxes

Prints & Products:

Your photographer may offer a variety of printed items like framed images, acrylic boxes and large canvases. They may have a minimum print price purchase, meaning if you want printed images, you have to spend a set amount. This is in addition to their creative fee. A single 8×10 may be $250 while a custom 24×36 canvas could cost over $1200 dollars.


How many outfit changes does your photographer allow? It may be one, two, or four, OR you could get two outfit changes and more would be an additional cost.

Click these links to see some of my favorite local boutique shops for outfit inspiration.

Poppie’s Boutique


Iddy & Oscars


Blush Boutique

High school senior girl in various outfits.


How much time is included? Most senior photographers in the Nashville area include one or two hours. However, this varies between photographers and the packages they offer. Some photographers offer smaller packages such as 30 minutes, one location and no outfit change. Some offer 60-90 minutes with 1-2 outfit changes while others offer 120 minutes with multiple outfit changes and locations. Please inquire with your photographer the exact number of outfits and locations. And remember, depending on the extravagance of the outfit, it may take longer getting into it, therefore cutting into your portrait time. The same goes for locations. You will be cutting into your portrait time if you locations are over 30 minutes from each. You may be able to add on an additional outfit change or time for a cost.

Delivery system, backup systems:

Are you wondering whether your photographer is giving you a link to a digital gallery, or do they have everything stored in their cloud space? Additionally, it’s important to note that your photographer’s pricing setup may entail additional costs for cloud storage.

Gallery Access:

Photographers may charge a re-opening fee to retrieve your images if it has been longer than six months from gallery delivery. Some charge a fee after 30 days. Double-check and see.

Hair & Make-up:

Is the cost for hair and makeup artist fees included, or are they a separate expense?Hair & Makeup Artists in the Nashville area are around $150-200 for up to 90 minutes. Consult your photographer to determine if it’s included or to get their recommended options. Some of my favorite artists are:

Amy McElroy

Nancy Make-up Artist

What’s included:

What do you get with your baseline price? Will you get digital images? Do you have to pay for a print release (this is not copyright as the photographer owns that). If your photographer sells custom prints and products, do you get each digital image per printed product you purchase?

Payment plans:

Does your photographer offer payments in increments or do you have to pay everything up front? Does it cost more to make payments?

Image delivery:

When & how will you be getting your images? What is the rush fee if you want them sooner and what is the cost if you want extensive editing (adding flames, braces removal, changing the entire background, etc.)


What, if any, are the travel fees? In large cities, some photographers will waive the travel fee if it is within an hour of the city, while others charge if the location is over a certain amount of miles from their home. Also, if you want to have something completely different than the cityscape where you live, i.e. Las Vegas, or NYC, ask what the cost of your photographer’s flight and hotel would be. They can put together a custom quote.

Rainbow Row in Charleston, SC for senior photos.

Location cost:

What location/s are you looking at to have your senior pictures taken? Is your photographer using a studio or will you be outside? State Parks like Long Hunter and Cedars of Lebanon *currently charge $250 and they will ask to see the photographers license & insurance. Make sure you know this before showing up for your session. Other places like Cheekwood charge a fee and you are only able to shoot on certain days due to events they host there. Many historic places also charge. Please inquire before scheduling your date as they may not be available.

Check out the best places in Nashville to take photos, as well as travel time from different Nashville locations. Nashville Photo Locations

Photographer’s expertise:

One often overlooked consideration, for instance, is the photographer’s expertise in posing, handling different lighting conditions, adapting to changing weather, and selecting the right lens. Furthermore, the more of an expert they are, the higher the cost of senior photos will be. In addition, it’s important to inquire: Are they a licensed business?

Gallery reveal:

Will this be a digital gallery that you download, or will you schedule a reveal in a studio or over zoom?

Client closet:

Does your photographer have a client closet? This is a wide variety of clothes such as big, flowy dresses, hats, jewelry, and cute tops or pants. Is this an additional charge to gain access to that?

As you can see, there are indeed a lot of factors that go into the cost of senior photos. Keep in mind, that not everything on this list will affect you, however, you will need to double-check with your photographer. Ultimately, you want to make the best choice that perfectly fits your vision.

Have questions? Contact me

Want MORE tips for your senior session? Snag my FREE SENIOR GUIDE!

*I cannot stress this enough. Cheaper does not always mean better.

*Starting at around $850 for the baseline senior photo cost, adding prints, custom products, and/or travel, could elevate the final price to over $5500.

*prices taken from licensed photographers with legally established businesses. Subject to change


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