How to Take Elementary School Portraits

Elementary school photos can be a very lucrative business if you pull it off right. Parents love buying the latest photos of their children when they're young. By offering multiple photo packages to choose from, you will get a lot of customers.

Set up Deals with School Districts

You won't break into the elementary school portrait business without a school to work with. Call the district offices and find out who you need to talk to. Often, you can get their exclusive business by donating a portion of your revenue back to the district. Just be careful and think through any deal before you make it. The goal is to make money, not lose it.

Invest in Backdrops

You need to find out which backdrops are most popular and buy a few of them. You want the customer to have options. Do they want a gradient, solid color or a library? You need to have something for everyone.

Develop Packages

Parents want to have photos for the frames at home, as well as wallet sized photos to take around and show off to their friends. Grandma and Grandpa might want a few too. Offer packages to suit your customer's needs. Have small, medium and large sized orders, and set prices that make you a profit while being fair.

Send Order Forms to the School Early

Print more order forms than you think you'll need. Young children are going to forget to tell their parents about the photos, so make sure you give the forms to the school early for distribution.

Setting Up

Try to get to the school as early as you can. They'll designate you an out-of-the-way spot to transform into your studio for the day. Find a spot to work in and set up you backdrops so that they can easily be changed on demand. Set up your lights after that. The lighting will stay the same through the day, with the occasional rising and lowering of the stands to compensate for changes in height.

The Shoot

Since the kids are missing class and there are a lot of them, you need to turn this into an assembly line. Have the children line up. When it's their turn to have their picture taken, they'll hand you the order form and you'll pull the back drop. The kid sits down, you adjust lights, take a couple shots, and move onto the next one.

Since you're shooting digital you should hold the order form to the lens so you can read the child's name and take a picture of it before you shoot him. This way, you know who is who.


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