Archive for April, 2009

High School Senior Photography Market

Many high school seniors will soon be in the market for senior portraits!   There is a huge market for this in almost any city or town, so make sure YOUR studio stands out!

1. Get some great samples. If you are just starting out, this may mean that you will need to do some low cost or free sessions just for the portfolio-building. Make sure that you have signed model releases for all of these images so that you may use them on your website and in your advertising. Remember, if the subject is under 18 then their parent or guardian will need to sign. If you do any free sessions, make sure to encourage the student to show off his/her portraits to friends at school and even pass out business cards for you in exchange for any free portraits they receive.

2. Bulk Mailing. This is a great way to reach a wide audience. You can create some great looking postcards at places like Mailing lists of high school seniors are available through places such as Remember that only doing one mailing probably won’t be enough. Plan on repeating your promotions fairly often – up to 5 or more times a year. It’s a good idea to offer some kind of incentive for replying to a particular promotion (such as a free 8×10 print, for example). Vary your mailings so that each one looks different than the last, and be sure to have all of your contact info in an easy to read font.

3. Cater to teens. This might mean that you offer two or three images digitally (with your logo or website address on each) for the student to put up on their “myspace” page. The senior will love this and it will provide some free advertising for you as well. Allow the seniors freedom of choice when it comes to things such as clothing choices, locations, props, etc.

4. Consider advertising in high school yearbooks and football programs. Contact your local high schools to find out how to do this.

5. Offer a two for one friend special: two sessions for the price of one when you bring a friend. This is a good promotion for those just starting out and needing more business.

My friend Steve Bedell is an expert on high school senior photography.
Go to to read more about how to successfully market to seniors!

Market Your Photo Business With Moxie Moms

Have you heard of Moxie Moms? It is an online group for moms that has local chapters. Find out if there is a chapter near you, and join them in becoming a business partner.  They will market your business to their members as long as you offer a 15% discount to the group.

Go to to find out how to become a business partner.

This could be a GREAT low-cost way to advertise your photo business to the best market of all - moms!

Little Graduates Portrait System Preview

The Little Graduates Portrait System is almost ready to ship out!  Here is a little sneak preview of what’s in the box.  You’ll also see the painted muslin in the background.  Go to for the full scoop on the system!  There are still a few available at the presale price, so don’t miss out.

Live Your Dream

This isn’t photography-related, but it is so inspirational. Unfortunately, embedding was disabled by request on YouTube, but here is the link:

How Blogging Can Generate Buzz About Your Photo Business

Hi Everyone!

Here is just one small way blogging can increase your photography business.

For every portrait session you do, post two or three images from the session on your blog as a “sneak peek” for the family (be sure you have model releases).  Include a little background info about the shoot.  Email the client that they can view the images on your blog and send them the link.

How does this help business?  The hope is that the client will be excited about the images and will then email all of her friends with the link so that they can see them, too.  Once this happens, you just received free word-of-mouth advertising!

Need help getting started with a blog?  Wordpress is my favorite - go to to get your free blog.

On a personal note, sorry I haven’t been posting much this week.  I’ve been super busy getting the Little Graduates System ready to ship out! I promise to do better next week.

For Photographer Moms - You’ll Appreciate This

Just saw this today and thought I’d share….it made me laugh and I’m sure many of you can relate!

The Sales Page is Now Available For A Sneak Peek!

Just a quick post to let you know that the sales page for the Little Graduates Portrait System is available for a sneak peek before tomorrow’s launch!  Go to to read about everything that is included, and your questions about price are also answered.  See you there!

More Info On My Upcoming Little Graduates System

I’m so excited about the upcoming release of the Little Graduates Portrait System!  I love these portraits, and moms go crazy for them.  They definitely have a HIGH “cuteness factor!”  I also love seeing how proud the little ones are of their achievement.

I wanted to give you something that you can use “right out of the box” - meaning that I wanted you to be able to start as soon as you get your package.  All you need is your camera and lighting equipment.  I’m including EVERYTHING ELSE you need - from a background and the caps and gowns to the final portrait delivery envelopes!  Here is a listing of what you will receive:

1. The complete hard-copy business system manual that explains each procedure (from marketing to creation to selling) the graduation portraits, STEP-BY-STEP. (no fluff, no filler…just the info you NEED to get started).  I’m leaving nothing out (I’m even including a script of what to say on the phone to give you some ideas!).

2. Fifteen “fill in the blank” ready-to-send professionally copy written marketing brochures (If you would rather use your own design and images, you are free to copy or modify all of my text and wording).  These are GORGEOUS and include several of my graduation images.  All you have to do is place a sticker with your contact info on the back, and they are ready to send!

3. Fifteen “fill in the blank” ready-to-send proposal letters (again, you are free to copy or modify the professional copy writing)

4. Fifty ready-to-send portrait announcement pre-pay fliers (printable on back for your custom info)

5. Three digital image files to use as samples, on your marketing pieces, and on your website

6. Fifty portrait delivery envelopes for finished portraits (up to 8×10 in size)


Check out these BONUSES that will get you started even faster:

Bonus #1) One scenic muslin background (similar to the one in my sample image at the top of this post)

Bonus #2) Four complete children’s cap / gown / tassle sets (one red, one blue, one green, and one white)

So, as you can see, this is a complete system that will allow you to get started the very same day if you so choose - and NOW is the time to start booking appointments for these portraits since the end of the school year is approaching.

The official sales page is going to be up tomorrow (Tuesday, April 7th), and
pre-sales will begin on April 8th.  There will only be 50 systems available initially, so mark your calendars! :)

See you then!

Some questions on my upcoming Little Graduates Portrait System

Hi Everyone!

If you have been following my emails, you know that I have something HUGE in the works - The Little Graduates Portrait System.  I received a flood of emails after yesterday’s ezine announcement, and wanted to answer them here for all of you to read.  So, here we go!

1.  The big companies already dominate the school market…how can I compete?

This is an excellent and very valid question.  Here’s the good news.  While it can be tough to compete against the big companies for a contract to photograph an ENTIRE SCHOOL, what I’m offering is the opportunity to photograph just one SMALL SEGMENT of a school or daycare (just the Kindergarten and Preschool Grads).  Most often, big companies won’t come out “just” to do a small population at a school.  This means that you - the individual photographer - have a great chance at getting hired to do these specialized portraits that are “too small” of a job for the big school companies.

2.  I don’t have enough time to get started before school is out

The Little Graduates Portrait System has EVERYTHING you need - right out of the box - to get started (all you need is your camera and lighting equipment).  You can start calling schools to schedule sessions the same day you receive your system.  Much more on this to come in the next few days.

3.  I don’t know how to approach schools / daycares

I know that this is something that holds many of you back.  You simply do not know what to say or how to present your business.  I’m including tips on contacting schools, and I’m also giving you a script of what to say if you need it!  You’ll also get marketing materials ready to mail out the same day you get your system!

4.  I’ve never done school photography - can I do this?

YES.  I’m making this so easy that really any photographer can do it!  Everything you need is there to help you at every step of the way.  From beginning of your marketing campaign to the final delivery of each portrait.

5.  When is the system available to order?

More info is coming your way very soon (including a FULL description of everything that is included)…but I’m planning on opening up pre-sales for the first 50 orders next Wednesday, April 8th.  Why just 50?  Like I’ve said, this is a HUGE package and I only have enough stock to fill the first 50 initial orders.

MUCH more info to come - so stay tuned!  Shuttermom will be a whirlwind of activity next week!  Have a great weekend!

April 2009
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