All About Schools Part 1

We just broke for lunch from WPPI “All About Schools” presentation.  Traditionally the WPPI trade show has been directed toward wedding photographers.  The presentations, so far, has been directed toward showing about the School Photography Business.   It is designed for those who are looking to expand their wedding photography business to do schools also.


Paul Schulz of PhotoLynx is the MC of the program.  He opened up the program with a short presentation of what school photography is all about.  His golden rule is that you don’t “shoot” school children, but you photograph schools.  Later in the week I will post his PowerPoint presentation for download.


Pat Cahill from Cahill Studios spoke about how he got involved in the photography business.  He and his wife started out photographing seniors and after a few years learned that they were pretty much spinning their wheels.  Everyone was getting paid except them.  His studio is within 60 miles of Lifetouch’s main headquarters in Minneapolis.  His philosophy is to make sure to at least get the schools in your own backyard.  He demonstrated that the School Photography business is recession proof and that the population in elementary schools is constantly getting larger.  He finished by showing his lighting system.  He passes out cards to each student that have a barcode and a hole punched into one corner.  His photographers stack the cards onto pegs to help keep them in order.  They then put a tie strap through the hole in the cards to help keep them in order.


Paul Schulz and Tim Kaiser co-presented using green screen technology in schools.  Tim Kaiser was fast announce, that, for his software, he uses products by PhotoLynx.  Tim he pointing out that the distance between the subject and background is important to help prevent green reflections back on the subjects.  He mostly spoke about his marketing approach.  Parents really don’t care about the technology used to replace the background, they just want to see that they have many background choices.


Gary Kranz of Kranz Photography went over what he offers at his school photography business in Los Angeles, California.  He photographs 100% of his business using green screen.  His order percentages are small, but he makes it up in volume.  When it comes to sales, he makes sure he stays in peoples faces.  He makes sure to personally attend every school principal’s conference and district meetings for the area he services.  His business if primarily focused on elementary, he stays out of the senior portrait business.  He has a thriving panoramic business that grosses over 1 million dollars a year.  He photographs the entire 5th or 6th grade classes as a large group and sells them as 8×20 inch prints.


2 Responses to All About Schools Part 1

  1. Thanks for the excellent business tips! It’s all about the relationship building, more so than the technology.

  2. He leido sus Tips y me parecen muy buenos! Tratare de implementarlos!

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