I am guessing that Business Tips for a photography business fall under Photo Tips - so here it goes.

A majority of my work comes from the private sector - weddings, family portraits, some corporate work, etc. However, I want to start tapping into the "School Functions" market. In other words, I am interested in shooting the Prom Portraits, Senior Portraits, Year Book Photos, Etc.

Does anyone know how do I go about trying to get these jobs? Do the school districts take bids, who do I speak to, and how do I show my intent?

For the photogs here who have done work like this - was the workload worth it?

Thanks In Advance,
Tony Vargas
reekon 10 years ago
for as proms that market is pretty much covered by a set company or guy who has been doing it for years, but i guess you can go to the school with your book and put in your bid. Yearbooks are the same way. Sports photography it is easy as hell to get on most high school fields if you have pro gear, they always think you are with a paper or your some college scout. Take some great shots and start a lil school blog where you post the pics "but have it set where they can't right click" have it set up where they can order prints directly from your site or simply list your contact info.

For as Senior pics that's a easy one. Just find one senior and do their shoot for free and they will spread the word. better yet Offer everyone who gets their photos done by you a lil incentive. For every other person they refer to you give them $5 or $10 or additional prints for their package.
mollyjolly 10 years ago
Speaking as a high school teacher, it's also good to know who is in charge of prom, yearbook, etc. I'm not sure where you're located, but in Ky (at least my neck of the woods), you'd be surprised at how just knowing these people and gently encouraging a relationship with the HS teachers/administrators can earn your business. Buy an ad for the yearbook, buy an ad in the local school papers, etc. Shoot some local charity event that a school group (club, band, sports team) is involved in and send it to the school administrators or the actual person in charge of the event/group. One other suggestion: find out who is in charge (if there exists such a person) of school board PR. This is usually some poor, overworked schmuck who got stuck with the job on top of everything else they have to get done. They'll help you tap into the business of the school if you do some of these other things listed above.

This is, of course, in addition to the wonderful suggestions listed above. One word of caution: if you offer to do a kid's senior portraiture for free, be careful. Some parents will see it as a great opportunity, but others will be very suspicious. Maybe if you also offered to be a guest speaker to the yearbook staff, newspaper staff, art classes involved with photography - this would also make you seem like a natural choice for photography needs. Administrators in the HS especially are always looking for positive male role models from the community.
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Damien Franco PRO 10 years ago
@mollyjolly One way to avoid looking suspicious about doing a senior portrait for free is to have a parent at the photo shoot.
mollyjolly 10 years ago
I know it seems obvious, but I was always a little surprised by how uninvolved parents were in the lives of my teenage parents. Many of them seemed to think freedom for their children meant they were out of the picture as far as supervision went.
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