From A–Z: How to Succeed in Nursery and Preschool Photography

Blog  »  Business & Marketing, June 28, 2018, Jacob Stickel (Guest Author)

Get ready for the upcoming Back-to-School season with GotPhoto’s Back to School series! Learn step-by-step, from A–Z, the ways in which you can become a pro photographer by elevating your kindergarten and preschool photography!

Acquisition

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It all starts with acquisitions…

✔ Use Google Maps to pinpoint all the local preschools in your area (a simple search of “local preschools” will do the trick). Then, send them all an introductory email. Follow this up by trying to visit as many as possible.

✔ Use your network of parents to establish initial contact with preschools

✔ Introduce yourself personally to the staff

✔ Take them through your child photography portfolio

For more insider acquisition tips and the perfect sales pitch, download our free Preschool Acquisition Cheat Sheet

Branding

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Ensure immediate recognition by building a unique brand for your business.

✔ Identify what makes your photography style stand out

✔ Decide on a consistent message which sums up what your business stands for

✔ Separate your preschool photography from your other specialisms (e.g. wedding)

✔ Always keep your target group in mind for everything you post/do: whether this be your choice of words, choice of images, or choice of color scheme

Creativity

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Do not take the traditional approach to preschool photography. There are more photographers in the US today than ever before, which means you need to make yourself stand out. Think outside the box and be creative!

✔ Treat each child as a mini photo session, challenging yourself to differentiate from the uninspired appearance of traditional preschool photos.

✔ Take around 25-30 shots per child, incorporating a multitude of unique poses and expressions

✔ Make the children re-enact stories and play instruments to get natural and playful reactions

For more creative preschool photography ideas, read tips and tricks from one of GotPhoto’s leading preschool photographers, Janine Wienick.

Download

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To master an art or talent, whatever it may be, it’s important to continue building on your current knowledge.

With preschool photography, there are endless possibilities for improvement! Every new year brings with it new trends, interests, and technological developments to try out.

Stay on top of the hottest preschool photography tips by downloading our school guide, free of charge!

Equipment

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While the gear certainly doesn’t dictate a photographer’s ability, it can definitely help in capturing stunning pictures. But what about the basics? There are a few pieces of equipment that every preschool photographer should have:

1. Professional Camera

2. Mobile Studio, including…

  • Backdrop (2.5 m x 6 m)
  • Compact studio flash light (1 main light, 1 side light)
  • Softbox
  • Stool for the child to sit on

3. Props – sporting equipment, costumes, trinkets… anything to add additional interest to your photos

Facebook

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Facebook can be the perfect platform to advertise your business to potential customers, in addition to allowing you to stay connected with old clients. Ensure that you are utilizing the world’s largest social network to your advantage.

✔ Create a Facebook Business Page, not a personal profile – this goes back to branding yourself as a professional and maintaining a consist image and message for your business

✔ Enhance your page by adding a Call-to-Action button, such as “Send message” or “Call now” option so customers can easily reach you

✔ Regularly post engaging content and examples of your work to keep people interested and further the chances of referrals

See how we utilize Facebook and stay up to date with us by clicking here.

GotPhoto

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Say goodbye to the time-consuming and stressful after-shoot processing of preschool photography! Our software contains automated procedures which can cut your administrative effort by 50%.

How it works:

1. You upload your photos to the GotPhoto platform

2. Parents purchase your photos and pay for them, all online through your personalized shop

3. Our partner labs produce and ship the photos directly to the parents

Just like that, there’s no need for troublesome prepay envelopes and the burden of spending hours manually inputting individual orders for the lab. Work smarter and save time with GotPhoto.

Help

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At GotPhoto, we know that sometimes the hardest thing to do is to simply reach out and ask for help. We value your time as much as you do, which is why we ensure that you do not end up sitting at your computer alone trying to figure out how all our features work.

With GotPhoto, you are assigned a personal adviser with whom you will receive an on-boarding session tailored towards your business. With personalized customer service, we’ll make certain that you know how to use our system like a pro, well before the date of your photo shoot arrives.

Not using GotPhoto yet? Feel free to get in touch with us today to book a free demo where we’ll show you the basics of our platform and how you can use it to increase your photography business’ success.

Integration

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One of the key steps in GotPhoto’s digitized workflow: the integration between printing photos and delivering them to parents! Like most of GotPhoto’s features, it’s a simple, three-step process:

1. Select which of our US partner labs you would like to work with

2. Relax as your orders are automatically sent to the lab for production

3. Decide where you want the photos sent after production; either to you, the school, or directly to the parents

Joker

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Still coercing smiles by getting children to say “cheese?” You must be joking! Throw out the cheese and instead encourage beautiful, natural expressions. Play the role of a joker – do silly things and pull funny facial expressions to spark cute, genuine reactions. Try buying a hand puppet and test your skills as a ventriloquist to crack a few giggles.

The most important thing is to simply ensure that you are constantly interacting with the child in a friendly manner. This works well to establish trust, and can turn an otherwise overwhelming experience into an enjoyable time.

Smalltalk may also prove successful. Try opening up a conversation with questions such as, “do you have brothers and sisters? Are they being photographed today too?” Use these interactions to make the child more comfortable and give them some sense of control in the situation. As you will be mostly dictating the child’s actions (telling them how to sit, where to look, how they should carry their head) asking them easy questions, which only they can answer, balances out these commands.

Keep-Up

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Preschool and kindergarten photography can be a mammoth, near-impossible task if you do not keep-up with your competition. Compared to you, large corporations have entire workforces at their disposal to handle their proofing process. To remain competitive, you need a streamlined workflow solution in place.

At GotPhoto, we know the stress which comes with offline preschool photography. That is why we have taken the procedure online and simplified the entire process. From photo upload to production, to invoicing and payment processing, GotPhoto relieves you of all the tasks which no photographer should have to do. This means you can spend more time taking photos and less time trying to distribute them.

Best of all, GotPhoto prepares you for whatever comes next. Through our commitment to continuous improvement and substantial reinvestment, GotPhoto works as a consistently updated powerhouse, ready to adapt to shifts in the industry. As our platform continually changes based on your business needs, we ensure your long-term success against the competition. 

Lighting

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Natural light is the finest yet most unreliable source of lighting. You simply cannot plan a shoot around a weather forecast, which is why we recommend using a mobile studio lighting kit. With just a few pieces of equipment, you will have the tools you need to lighten any photo shoot:

✔ Compact Studio Flash Light

✔ 1 Main Light

✔ 1 Side Light

Softboxes can also be used for reducing the harshness of the photo, giving the child a soft glow.

Marketing

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Just as important as taking photos is giving people a reason to buy them. This is where marketing comes in, as you will want to position your pictures to parents as must-have purchases. So where to begin?

  1. Define an audience to market to. For you, this will be the parents of the children whose photos you captured.
  2. Gather contact information. With an online system like GotPhoto, parents are automatically asked to provide their email before viewing their child’s photos. This contact information is stored in GotPhoto’s CRM system, so you can provide marketing materials at a later date.
  3. Create your marketing message. Use customizable templates from GotPhoto to send out email or SMS alerts, reminding parents to purchase their photos. These reminders can be tailored to alert of new or expiring coupons, when new photos become available, or upcoming deadlines for when photos will be archived.
  4. Distribute your marketing material. Remember that database of customer contact information collected in Step 2? Well, now it is time to put it to use. With a few clicks, personalized marketing communications can be sent to parents, encouraging and enticing them to purchase your photos.

Get more details on how to perfect your marketing strategy with these top tips from photography pros.

Networking

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If you would like to sell as many photos as possible, then you need to take photos which have value and are worth buying. Do not stick to the classic school photography style, but rather offer parents something different which they will want to cherish forever.

As a preschool and kindergarten photographer, you are already at an advantage as you will be taking photos of children during their most formative years. Thus, there is already a sentimental value tied to your work. Nevertheless, you still must create value amongst other photographers in your area in order to differentiate yourself and create demand.

  1. Make It Personal – use props or settings that have emotional significance to the child, such as getting them to bring their favorite book, stuffed animal, or an inherited heirloom
  2. Double-Up – consider taking some photos with more than one subject, such with siblings or best friends
  3. Apply Filters – sometimes applying a simple black and white or sepia filter is enough to evoke a sense of nostalgia in parents, elevating the value of your pictures

Online Selling

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In an increasingly digital age, it goes without saying that almost everything is moving online. The swelling popularity of mobile and online purchases necessitates that school photographers provide an online option for parents to purchase their children’s photos. Not only does selling online simplify the sales process, but it also provides unique benefits compared to the traditional route.

✓ High revenue potential – a nicer, simpler, quicker shopping experience puts your photos in front of customers eyes faster than ever, and entices them to make larger purchases

✓ Unlimited photo selection – there is no limit to the number of photos you can offer online, or the combination of packages with creative touches such as filters and cropping options

✓ Opportunity for marketing – send emails or text messages to parents reminding them to buy their photos. Add a little more pressure by including a countdown which archives the photos when it expires

✓ Receive payments faster – online payment means no more chasing after cash from the school. Receive your money into your bank immediately when a purchase is made

Pricing

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Do not underestimate your photography talent and charge prices which are not competitive. With pricing, a balance must be struck between maximizing revenue and remaining attractive. Finding the right price is an art, and requires an analysis of several factors.

✓ Is the preschool in an economically deprived or wealthy area? Adjust prices accordingly.

✓Is the photo shoot for a special occasion, such as the start of classes or a preschool graduation? For such occasions, you may want to consider increasing your prices slightly.

✓ Utilize photo packages and digital downloads to increase sales without increasing costs

✓ Offer a discount or coupon code for orders over a certain threshold, enticing parents to buy more

QR Codes

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A big hit with our customers, our automated QR Tagging technology is very useful for several reasons:

✓ Quicker upload times – easily upload your photos via web-upload, FTP-upload or Lightroom plugin. Then, rearrange them with a simple drag-and-drop motion or select multiple photos for batch edits.

✓ Automatic photo organization – the QR codes will automatically detect which photos belong to which child and then create individual galleries for them.

✓ Password protected galleries – every child will have their own password-protected gallery, through which their parents can access to view and purchase photos.

Click here to learn more about how QR Tagging technology simplifies the process of organizing and uploading photos.

Revenue

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GotPhoto’s aim is to make kindergarten and preschool photographers more successful by reducing their administrative effort and increasing their revenue. Our integrated workflow platform accomplishes this in a few ways:

✓ Offering a leading online sales system, enabling you to sell photos through a personalized shop

✓ End-to-end workflow solutions which relieve you of administrative effort so you can focus on making your photography the best it can be. This means creating an increased likelihood of parents buying your photos

✓ Savvy email marketing and SMS tools that remind and put pressure on parents, encouraging them to buy photos before they are archived

✓ Quick, easy, and secure payment methods for parents, facilitating smooth and transactions

Security

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Parents and photographers alike want to be assured that their photos are safe and secured online. It is especially important to keep these photos protected not only from accidental deletion, but also from prying eyes. GotPhoto has built-in, state-of-the-art security features to keep your photos safe online.

Integrated QR Tagging technology not only organizes photos according to each child, but it also secures them. Each card contains a barcode and unique individual passwords, meaning parents only have access to their child’s photos. Want to add group photos into the mix? No problem! You as the photographer can choose which photos to share between customers.

Photo Archiving ensures that your catalog of photos is safely stored, even when you are no longer selling them. This allows you to make photos available for sale on and off again throughout the year, giving you the opportunity to create seasonal sales.

It is all in the cloud! No need to worry about misplacing or forgetting your SD card, as all your photos are stored remotely in the cloud for easy access from wherever you are.

Time Limit

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Make sure to put a time limit on how long your photos are available for purchase. Find a balance between giving parents enough time to decide on what to purchase, but not so much time that they forget about it altogether. The goal is to create a high enough sense of urgency so that parents are inclined to purchase more photos over a shorter period of time.

While some photographers choose to remove photos from sale after around eight weeks, we recommend six weeks as the optimal length of time to quickly sell large volumes of photos. Utilizing “last chance” emails or offering limited-time promotions can also increase the pressure on parents and drive purchases.

Utilize

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Make the most of the resources that are here at your disposal! You can find a wealth of useful materials on our Downloads page, including our professional School Photography Guide and our Preschool Photography Acquisition pamphlet. For a more personalized experience, see about connecting with a member from our dedicated staff team to walk you through the GotPhoto system. You can easily reach us by email at service@gotphoto.com or by calling 646-362-5100.

If you’re eager for more information about GotPhoto or photography success tips, check out one of the many insightful posts available on the GotPhoto Blog. Whether it be business or technical advice you are searching for, we have the resources readily available for you to use!

Value

The letter V in the A-to-Z Back-to-School Photography Blog

If you would like to sell as many photos as possible, then you need to take photos which have value and are worth buying. Do not stick to the classic school photography style, but rather offer parents something different which they will want to cherish forever.

As a preschool and kindergarten photographer, you are already at an advantage as you will be taking photos of children during their most formative years. Thus, there is already a sentimental value tied to your work. Nevertheless, you still must create value amidst other photographers in your area in order to differentiate yourself and create demand.

  1. Make It Personal – use props or settings that have emotional significance to the child, such as getting them to bring their favorite book, stuffed animal, or an inherited heirloom
  2. Double-Up – consider taking some photos with more than one subject, such with siblings or best friends
  3. Apply Filters – sometimes applying a simple black and white or sepia filter is enough to evoke a sense of nostalgia in parents, elevating the value of your pictures

Watermark

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A step so simple you might forget it! Be mindful to add a watermark to all your images to ensure digital protection. Without a watermark, parents can easily save your photos straight onto their desktop without paying you anything. The most effective watermarks are repeated multiple times across each photo, guaranteeing that they cannot simply be cropped out.

X

X

X marks the spot, and so should you! Photography is all about making your mark and having an impact, whether that means through showcasing a unique style or offering the best-looking pictures in your area. When parents think about school photos, ensure that your business comes to their mind.

Progressively work your way around your locale to become known as your town’s designated school photographer! Talk to your hairdresser, grocery clerks, or your local repair man. You never know who might be seeking your services but simply has not heard of you yet. So, get out there and mark your spot! After all, word of mouth marketing is your best friend.

Year-Long

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Look at the big picture, and transform your seasonal photography business into a continuous stream of revenue. With GotPhoto, you can extend the selling period and interest associated with your photos. We provide you with opportunities to unarchive photos and offer special discounts at high-demand times like Christmas. This enables photographers to continue making sales in December from a shoot they did in February.

With GotPhoto’s integrated CRM system, and customizable email templates, you can reach out to parents long after the shoot is done. Send emails to parents letting them know that you are offering a special promotion or alert them that you will soon archive photos. Photographers can achieve all this and more within the GotPhoto platform using hassle-free sales and marketing features.

Zoom

The letter Z in the A-to-Z Back-to-School Photography Blog

Full speed ahead! The tools and knowledge are at your disposal, now it is time for you to act. Off you go to becoming a top preschool and kindergarten photographer! Amplify your business today by giving us a call at 646-362-5100 for more information.

Jacob Stickel