Canadian seniors

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by Christie Photo, Mar 27, 2007.

  1. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    We fought this battle in my area about 25 years ago. At that time, it was thought that students HAD to use the "school photographer." In fact, the school cannot dictate where students spend their money. They can, however, demand YEARBOOK photos be made by the "official" photographer, but, if they do, it must be free.

    The contract photographer is providing a lot of concessions to the school. In exchange, they can demand a shot at doing the seniors, but that's it. We had to educate the buying public that they truly had a choice. There are at least two schools in my immediate area that insist seniors be photographed at the school by the contract photographer. Most will then go elsewhere for portraits for their family and friends.

    The school, of course, cannot provide the names and address of the seniors. Here in the states, a fairly accurate list can be purchased according to postal zip code. One local school provides students with a list of studios that can provide photos that meet yearbook publishing specs.

    I really think you're sitting on a wonderful opportunity.
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    My first step will be to get my web site up. Once I get some senior portraits, I'll be sure to have a section on the site dedicated to that. At first, I'll be sure to include some pricing/info for perspective seniors.

    Then I'm thinking that I will make up some cards; business cards or post cards...or something in between. I can give these to my sister and she can pass them around to people she knows. I'm not sure if my in-laws, the teachers, will be allowed to actually give the students any advertising material...but they may be able to have a few cards...laying around. Having a web site, I think that student e-mail would be a good way to pass the info around...I think a lot of the schools now have their own websites with ways of contacting/e-mailing the students.

    I realize that the marketing would probably be more effective it it's directed toward the parents, rather than the students. In which case, actual mail may be the best way...if I can get addresses.

    Any more ideas or thoughts?
     
  3. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Well.... I think it's actually more student driven. The kids are deciding WHERE they go, but it's usually the parents that decide WHAT they buy. If a kid doesn't want to use a particular studio, it's not gonna happen. And, if a kid is really excited about a certain look, it's likely they will seek it out. This is an age when image is soooo important. It is important too to make a departure from what everyone else is doing. Often times for kids, if it's different, it's better.
     
  4. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Maybe do some invitational sessions... just a few. I would make paper proofs too. You can be sure they will get passed around quite a bit at school.
     
  5. smyth

    smyth TPF Noob!

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    I'll agree that these senior portraits are fairly uncommon around here (N.B.) I only know of a couple people in my class (i'm graduating this year) who have had them done, and while they were nice, they were not nearly as nice as some of the shots i've seen on here. And I might add, most of the people who have these casual senior portraits done come from families that are quite well of financially.
     
  6. rp1600

    rp1600 TPF Noob!

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    Mike, I'm in Louisiana and I know the students in my area, probably statewide, are not obligated top purchase portraits from the school-contracted photographer. In fact, most of the schools pay the photographer for the standard yearbook shot, with the students purchasing additional prints if the want.

    My daughter is in the 10th grade and I know a lot of her senior friends go outside of the school photographer, some of them to me. :) ... She has been a great marketing tool so your idea of getting business cards, flyers, etc. into the hands of your sister, in-law teachers, etc. is a good one.

    I too am in the processing of trying to get my site off the ground, but what has worked for me thus far are pictures of my daughter I've taken, and she's posted on her myspace page. Amazed at how many of her "friends" ask who took the pictures, and in the process I've even had a few call me to do theirs.

    Thus I am rambling, but I will agree that you are sitting on a very very good opportunity. Go for it.
     

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