So You Wanna Be a School Photographer?

Start by checking out “All About Schools” at WPPI in Las Vegas.  Click here to find out more.

A franchise is a good way to get started in school photography, but it requires some up front cash.   The advantage to a franchise is that they give you a “turn key” solution.  They also provide training and counseling along the way.  This one is run by a friend of mine, Mike Oakley.  If you call him, tell him I sent ya… (I get nothing but brownie points if you do).

PhotoLynx will be happy to be your coach and give you some ideas for marketing materials.  But, we can’t spend nearly the time with you as a franchise such as Mike’s can.  Another good source for “pre-fab” marketing materials is Marathon Press.

Like they say about almost any business, “it’s not what you know, but who you know”.  Unless you are a great salesman, I think it’s really hard to walk into a school “cold” and ask them to let you be their photographer.  In today’s market, schools are looking for way than just a good local photographer.  They want to know what you will give them back for the business.  In some areas of the country, it’s all about money.  You give the school back a commission, based on your sales.  In other areas it’s about services, such as free ID cards, yearbook CD’s, mugbooks and candid dates for the yearbooks.  It’s important that you know your sales area so you can be prepare to “wow” the school with what they are looking for.  It may be a good idea to go to work for a school photographer in the area to see the ins & outs for a season.  Some companies keep what they give the schools a close guarded secret from their employees, unless they are in sales for the company.

Another very important thing to consider is a good school lab.  They will often times give you a hand in helping you with your schools to.  You can visit the PhotoLynx website for a list of volume school photography labs.

School photography can be very lucrative, if done correctly.  It’s a great way to supplement any type of photography business.  Some high end wedding and studio photographers do school photography because it is a “cash cow”, but a lot of times they keep that in the closet, as it isn’t always regarded as “real” photography.


2 Responses to So You Wanna Be a School Photographer?

  1. Pingback: More Ways to Beat Lifetouch « PhotoLynx

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