Students on tight budgets are turning to other college students for less expensive alternatives for their graduation portraits and are turning to other college students for help.
Fritz Bacon, an eighth-semester communication major, takes photos for graduates looking for portraits or group shots.
“This year I have already shot five graduate photoshoots,” Bacon said. “There is such a high demand for my photos it seems this year, so much so that I have been telling people that I just don’t have the time to work them into my shoot schedule.”
Bacon said he thinks more people are offering photography services this year.
“A lot of people see it as an easy way to make a quick buck if they have a camera, even if they don’t exactly specialize in this kind of work,” Bacon said.
Bacon said he charges on a shoot-to-shoot basis. He speaks to his clients in advance to see what they want to get out of it, and estimate how long it will take to shoot and edit. In the end, clients are handed anywhere from 50 to 200 photos.
Photographs taken through the University of Connecticut’s official photographer, Lauren Studios, are taken earlier in the semester in a traditional photoshoot set up. Students can then select the photo they wish to see in the Nutmeg Yearbook for no additional charge.
Lauren Studios packages range from $60 for a couple of basic prints, to $550 for multiple poses, print sizes and retouching.
Cayla Franco, an eighth-semester communication major, said she had her photos taken by Lauren Studios earlier in the semester.
“I personally didn’t end up buying any photos,” Franco said. “It’s not because I didn’t like how they turned out, but ultimately didn’t think I really needed them. It’s way too expensive. My mom wanted a graduation photo of me, though, so she bought a few and spent around $70.”
Franco also said that her and her friends are doing a photoshoot separately, so she expects to get good pictures from that as well.
Kaylee Ho, an eighth-semester allied health sciences student, had her graduation photos taken through a photoshoot with her sorority, Alpha Chi Omega. The photographer was a UConn alum.
“We hire him all the time,” Ho said. “He's a good friend of the sorority and his sister was in our sorority too, so it's always fun during the photoshoots.”
Bacon also said that having a student take photos adds a more personal feel to the experience.
“Having another student take your graduation photos makes it so much easier to relate with each other,” Bacon said. “I know in all my shoots I’m constantly joking around with whoever is shooting with me that day and in general it is just a really fun time.”
Bacon also said that the photoshoot style is one of his favorites.
“I’m a huge fan of portrait work. It’s one of those unique experiences where you really get to know someone,” Bacon said. “Personally I love meeting new people and this is one of the fastest ways to do so.”
Claire Galvin is a senior staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.