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 vistaprint.com. Mailing lists of high school seniors are available through places such as www.studentlist.com. 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 http://www.ephoto-photo-school.com/seniorsSM.html to read more about how to successfully market to seniors!

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December 2010
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