Timeless Images: How To Raise Revenue In School Photography

Blog  »  Business & Marketing, November 8, 2018, David Bühn

Timeless Images, one of our customers from the UK, is delighted with the services GotPhoto has to offer. Rose Stacey, co-owner of Timeless Images, took the time to sit down and share her experience of using the online sales platform with you. 

Timeless Images have photographed schools and nurseries for over 10 years. We visit most of our customers twice a year. The two most important parts to successful school photography are making sure the nursery or school is happy, and that the parents want to buy the images we offer. We have long been looking for a system that will not only fulfil both of the parts above. But it needed to be time efficient for Garry, our photographer, and myself, in processing all the orders.

We had already made the change to online sales, but we had to find the right sales pitch for both the nurseries and parents. We wanted them to still use us twice a year.

To begin with, the nursery and school staff are there to do a job of looking after, teaching and caring for the kids. They are not there to provide beautiful images of the children in their school uniforms. That is why there are professional studios available.

Unfortunately, my parents still have some treasured photographs of me in my school uniform on their mantelpiece. Even now, many years on, I’m still their daughter and they like to remember how I looked when I was 5! This is a tradition that we as school/nursery photographers love, as it helps to market our businesses. Parents now expect these images to make their way home each Autumn and Summer, so they too can have memories in the future.

Improve your school photography skills still further with these handy tips on capturing a child’s genuine smile.

We need to make it easy! Easy for the nurseries, so they have time to care; easy for the parents, so they can purchase and move on with their busy lives; and if we can make it easier to manage, then that is a bonus. 

So, we were introduced to GotPhoto, which appeared to give us what we wanted. Little did we know how much it would help. With the help of our account manager, we set up our first job. We tested the system processes, so we could sell it to our customers. 

We have long been criticised for several issues. The first was that proofs could take up to a week to arrive back with us, then we had to find time to make the delivery. The second was that parents could not mix the images within the pack of photographs. The third was that digital images were often eaten by the email gremlins. Based on these issues, we personally took the time with our nurseries and schools to inform them we were using a new system, and all the benefits it had. It wasn’t a hard task to do this, but you can never guarantee schools want you back every year. The nurseries welcomed the fact that they did not have to wait for the proof cards; we welcomed the reduced number of visits to the nurseries, and the parents welcomed the speed at which they can see and purchase the images.

Our first nursery in the autumn season was photographed on a Thursday. The day before the photoshoot we prepared and printed the QR-cards. On photo day, we placed the pile of cards under a tripod and photographed each one before taking the respective child’s photo. The nursery assistant then named the child on the QR card and brought in the next child. The teacher or child provided the QR card to their parents for ordering photos. My husband Garry then came home and checked through the images. We uploaded the images to the album and activated the job. That automatically notified customers, who had already provided their email address, that their photos were now available. By Monday evening over £500 worth of sales had been completed. The whole process had taken us less than a week.

The nurseries were happy, as they were able to continue the job of caring and teaching. We were happy, as we had a very quick return. Lastly, the parents were happy, as they had either downloaded the images or knew that the packs would arrive soon.

We have seen a 13% rise in revenue so far and we hope that this growth will continue. The nursery orders are batch processed at our chosen partner-lab and delivered to us. We here at Timeless Images, check that they have all arrived correctly. It’s so simple and hassle-free.

Stay motivated with these inspiring examples of school photographers around the world.