Doing troop group photos and individual portraits for scout troops is a largely untapped market. Unlike school kids and youth athletes, there’s no concerted effort to service the over 5,000,000 participants in scouting programs across America. From available Brownies to Cub Scouts to Ambassadors and Boy Scouts, very few photographers reach out to provide service to the multitude of scouting groups. This is a huge missed opportunity.
Approach local scout groups much like you would an athletic league. You can offer traditional Memory Mates and portrait packages as well as multi-image digital composites. You can offer group photos or composites, and a wall composite of the entire troop for meeting room display would be an excellent loss-leader offer to book the program.
Of course, scouts are always trying to raise money to finance their activities. We suggest offering a rebate percentage of the gross portrait sales to benefit their fundraising efforts. 10% to 15% of sales is typically enough to get their interest and act as an incentive for parents to buy portraits to benefit the troop.
You’ll also discover that scouts usually come from parents who were also in scouting. Many are still involved as leaders and volunteers. This is a great opportunity to do family portraits of everyone in their uniforms. For many parents, it would be the first of a kind portrait for them. In addition, they will appreciate you making your service available to them and will likely remember you for other photography needs they have in the future.
Too often we focus our marketing on certain core groups of activities that everyone competes to get. Why not turn your attention to a market that competition hasn’t discovered yet. Become your area’s preeminent leader in photography serving the scouting community.