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by Chris Wunder, Cr.Photog.
Prom books are becoming more popular every year and in many parts of the country, they are a required part of dance photography programs. If prom books are not traditionally offered in your area, they can help set you apart from the competition and get you more business.
Prom & dance books are short-run “memory books” produced from images taken at school dance events: proms, homecoming dances, cotillions, Sadie-Hawkins Dances, etc. Typically, a prom book consists of posed couple photos, group photos and candids taken of the event. Dance books are easy to create and the layout is simple since the photos are not usually identified with names or captions.
You can find specialized software to help automate the layout process. This software can electronically flow the couple photos into a layout in minutes from your digital camera files. Candids and group photos can also be easily placed using pre-templated page layouts. You can also use InDesign, QuarkXpress, Microsoft Publisher or even Photoshop to layout your pages
Dance book marketing ideas:
- Include prom books in larger, selected packages to help drive sales to higher levels.
- Dance photography is very profitable, but you have to get the business first. To book new business, offer one book complimentary to each couple attending the prom. Since both the girl and guy will want a book to remember the dance, you’ll end up selling an extra book. Price the extra books high enough to cover the cost of printing all of your books plus make a little profit.
- Offer dance books as an add-on sale after closing on the prom portrait package. Many photographers price them at $10-$12 for one book, $18-$20 for two books.