Successful Senior Photography

Are you doing any senior photography? If not, you are losing out on a huge market for your photography business! Senior photography has become more and more popular, and is now viewed as a rite of passage. I know of many photographers who make nearly as much or more with seniors that they do with weddings! And if you ask me, senior portrait sessions are MUCH easier than weddings and other events.

senior-portraitsNow, that being said, competition for the senior market can be stiff. But don’t be discouraged! There are plenty of seniors to go around and you have just as good of a chance at getting their business as the next guy. Here are some tips to get you started:

1. Get them talking about you. A good way to do this is to offer some free sessions. That’s right – free! Start out with kids you already know. Chances are you have a neighbor or a co-worker (if you still have a day job) who has a senior or will have a senior soon. OFFER THEM A FREE SESSION. Do a terrific job. Make them a nice album. Now, here’s the catch. In exchange for their free session and prints, they must show their photos to their friends and hand out your business card (or print up some wallets with their one of their images and your contact info). You could even offer them extra prints (or even a little cash) for every senior they refer to you. Oh – and you might want to stress to them to keep quiet about their free session, or everyone will ask to do this.

2. Offer group discounts. This is especially good for senior girls! This is where you give a special discounted price when 3 or more seniors come for a session at once. You can take some nice group shots and individuals. Do some in the studio and on location. It is fun for the seniors because they are with their friends, and profitable for you!

3. Offer great collages and composite images. These are very popular and are easily done with Photoshop. Also, placing proofs online for anyone with a password to see is a great idea! These will be shared with friends and other moms, who will give you a call to schedule their own session.

4. Allow freedom with ordering: in other words, don’t make them buy something they don’t want. Allow any pose and any size to be ordered.

5. Create slideshows for CD or online presentation. Make sure to include some cool royalty-free music for added impact.

6. Purchase a mailing list of households with seniors. You can find mail order list distributors online. Create a great postcard with some of your best images to mail out.

7. Create business cards especially for the senior market. Leave these at the mall, fast food restaurants, on cars at the Friday night football game, at your church, etc.

Cindy Bracken is the founder of http://www.shuttermom.com, an online community for photographers of all levels. Stop by to create a free blog, enter the photo contest, join in the discussion forums and more!

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