By Chris Wunder, Cr.Photog.
Underclass School Photography can be an excellent add-on profit center for your studio business. Here's why:
1. It's one of the most profitable uses of your non-prime time. School photography programs are typically conducted on weekday mornings, usually Tuesday through Thursday, and the work day often concludes by early afternoon. This is typically the "slow" time in your studio and provides maximum profit opportunities in the shortest length of time. Plus, many schools do programs twice a year—in the Fall AND Spring, so you double your potential.
2. You will build a powerhouse database for your year-round marketing efforts. Collect customer information including addresses, phone numbers and even email addresses through your marketing of school photographs. Parents of school-age children are your potential future clients for all types of family, senior, and children's photography. Collect all that data and put it to good use.
3. You can greatly expand your market area. As this work is location-based, you can go get school account clients all over your area, not just those in close proximity to you. You'll have a much wider sphere of business to take advantage of, which is particularly important when competition is tight in your own locale.
4. Successful school photographers can have an enviable lifestyle. True, you'll work hard for 2-3 months in the fall and spring, but there are many perks you'll really enjoy. Imagine having no weekend work and the ability to take off two months in the summer and have all school holidays off, including spring break. That's lots of time to share with your family.
5. Do it right and you'll not only make great profits now, but you'll develop a market segment that can provide an excellent retirement fund down the road. School photography businesses are in high demand as acquisitions by the large national companies. Build a significant number of accounts and sell off your school business when you're ready to retire. You'll get top dollar for the sale of these assets—far more than you most likely will for your studio business itself.
Click here for more information on how to get your start in the school photography business.