Picture perfect

Students with photograph businesses capture memories of others

Some might say a picture is worth a thousand words. Some might say a picture is just a quick photo taken on a cellphone. To seniors Lindsey Koster and Jeffrey Zimmerly, a picture is everything. 

There are so many factors that go into the perfect picture, and  Koster and  Zimmerly know this all too well. Both seniors have their own photography businesses and spend long hours organizing photo shoots, editing photos, and picking various locations for their clients to pick from for photoshoots. 

Photography may look easy to any normal person, but to these two, it is a form of art that must be perfected through practice, patience, and commitment.

“I started my business a little over two years ago, however I didn’t start taking [it] seriously until about a year ago.” Koster said. 

Having a business while being so young can be a lot of work according to Koster. 

For senior Jeffrey Zimmerly, it is not just work but something he truly enjoys doing. Not only does he do numerous types of photoshoots, but he is also a photographer for the school yearbook. 

“One of the biggest things I have learned in the last 3 years of journalism is how to work effectively as a team and how to help others learn.” Zimmerly said. 

In Walsworth Yearbook’s annual photo contest, Zimmerly had entered photos from the yearbook and ended up winning two awards this summer. His sports action photo came in first place out of over one thousand entries. 

Being now known as an award-winning photographer, Zimmerly has been able to capture the attention of new clients.

“Winning the awards was so exciting,” Zimmerly said. “It was super validating to win the state and the Walsworth competitions.”  

Senior Delaynie McDonough had her senior pictures done by Zimmerly, who also happens to be one of her good friends. For McDonough it was an easy decision to have Zimmerly take her pictures as she loves his work and knew they would turn out well. 

“Jeffrey is super fun to work with and is so incredibly talented!” McDonough said. “I had a wonderful time working with him, I would recommend him to everyone!”

Even though taking pictures allows you to meet and connect with more people, a lot of time goes into taking and editing photos for several clients, conducting  a senior shoot, or even just taking a quick photoshoot for a group of friends or a family.

“The average senior photo session takes me somewhere between ten to fifteen hours to edit.” Zimmerly said. 

Trying to figure out how to charge people is a difficult thing for any business. On average, a normal senior photoshoot costs about $125-$400.  Koster explains that she is still getting comfortable with different price points for senior packages. 

“I have three senior packages starting at $125 and going up to $250. I’m still experimenting with pricing, but for now, this has worked for me and my clients.” Koster said.

Senior Makayla Pankonin had her senior pictures taken by Koster. Pankonin had many options to pick from for photographers but she went with Koster because she loved the style of her photos. 

“I loved her.” Pankonin said, “I loved how easy she was to work with and I love how the photos turned out.” 

Koster gave different places to choose from for locations and also a list of suggested poses that look good in pictures. According to Pankonin the pictures turned out very professional and she got them back within a week. 

Both Zimmerly and Koster want to continue growing their businesses beyond high school. With expanding the types of photoshoots, there is always more work to be done in the world of photography. 

“I really want to continue taking photos into college.” Zimmerly said. “It would be really exciting to turn my photography into an actual career.”