Intro by Mark Weber M.Photog., Cr., M. Artist, CPP

Every year there is a new group of students who have reached an important milestone in life – their high school graduation. While the industry has changed, what hasn’t is their excitement, dreams and hope for a successful future.

Each student has their own personality and for those students (and parents) who realize they want something more than a snap shot to represent their senior year, it is up to us as professional photographers to communicate how we can provide that.

Jessica and Brian Baer operate a highly successful studio out of Kearney, Nebraska. They understand this market and what it takes to successfully market to these students and their parents. They also understand how to maximize sales.

If you recognize their name it’s because I did a podcast interview with them on the “Evolution of Senior Photography” in the past. You can access those here –

The Evolution of Senior Photography – Part 1

The Evolution of Senior Photography – Part 2

Check out Jessica and Brian Baer’s top 5 tips for having a successful and profitable High School Senior season.

1- PLAN, PLAN, PLAN |  When you plan out your calendar year for senior marketing it makes that mountain of work a lot less steep.  Brian and I are visual and need to see our “year of marketing” laid out. We will spend the last two weeks of the year evaluating the prior year, and moving forward with what kinds of marketing we are going to use.  

For seniors we have a formula, and we adjust according to trends.  Social media is the big one and just being out in the community is just as important to this generation.  By knowing ahead of time, we get time to plan out our posts, stories, and reels.  Then we don’t have panic moments of what to post.

2- Schedule | I am a major planner and I need a schedule to make things happen.  When we have our plan together, I will schedule when posts are needed, when direct mail goes out and schedule any events or volume shoots that we need to work around.  This will help keep my brain focused, and I won’t feel like a squirrel trying to keep my projects straight.  It’s a linear and visual way to be able to see when things are happening and not jumbling around in my head.  Get it scheduled and on the calendar.

3- Batch Work Day | This is my favorite day for each marketing campaign!  I will pick one day each month and schedule myself out for the day to be very intentional about my to do list for the specific campaign.  If a campaign is scheduled to start on March 1st, I will back up six weeks and schedule that day to batch work every task specific to the event.  

We have a checklist for each campaign, so we don’t skip over anything. I will create emails, build posts, create/order sample prints, produce Animoto shows for social media and mall displays, and create any direct mail pieces and/or catalogs we will need.  It’s a big visual inventory day, but once it’s done, we can let the campaign roll!  It’s a plus to work in my joggers and hoody all day with the occasional caffeine boost.  I don’t have to worry about walking away for a session or a meeting. 

4- Interact with Social Media | You are not done after Batch Workday!  Being present with your audience on social media and in the community is so important.  You must work your marketing with this generation.  Interact with comments, create stories to attract your seniors, and be where they are. And not just on social media.

We do a lot for our local schools whether it’s their volume sports photos, fundraisers, and going to their games!  Comment on their posts when they are putting themselves out there because everyone deserves to be seen!  We are a relationship-based business and the more we can celebrate with our clients, the better.

5- Organize your space | As if you are not busy enough with running a business, having a studio and calendar that is organized is so freeing.  We always reset our camera room, outdoor studio, and sales room each year for seniors.   Knowing what we have and what is new is a great recipe for creativity!  

Also having boundaries on your calendar will keep everyone happy.  We all know when we are open for senior session days and when we are open for other sessions.  Client’s love having a clear and concise schedule and so will you.  I used to be everywhere all the time, and that will burn you out so fast.  Having a calendar with a clear schedule is magic.

© Baer Photography
© Baer Photography
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