Summer Checklist for Professional School Photographers

It’s June and the school year has either finished or is close to finishing for summer break.  While you may feel it’s time for a break (and I do too) there are many important things to do to prepare for a SUCCESSFUL upcoming school photography year.

One of the most important things school photographers can do for any school that is new to you is to get any ID cards set up and tested.  You should get test data from these schools now! That will allow you to get the card designed and produced (even though you have no student images).  Once you have the sample, take the card to the school and have them approve the design and scan the card to ensure that the cards function and provide the data the school needs.  The prompt delivery and accuracy of ID cards is one of the significant items that school use to judge the level of service they receive from their photographers.

Another thing you can do for your financial success is to review your sales for this past year.  eZevent has a great report called “Package Sales Summary”.  I use this report extensively when working on pricing, packaging and evaluating account profitability. Things to look for: If your top and bottom packages are selling at a rate of more than 5% of your total package sales they are priced too low or the contents are too desirable.  Is your most popular package one of your most profitable?  Once you have reviewed your results make your changes and then get your flyers done.

summer checklist for school photographers

Order your flyers! Once you have determined what changes to make to your packages it’s time to get your flyers ready.  Your flyer IS THE MOST CRITICAL thing for your financial success.  It is virtually the only method to communicate to the parents who pay for the portraits what you have to sell.  H&H Color Lab will be offering some great discounts on flyer design on printing for orders placed in early summer (watch our photo lab’s newsletter for details).

It’s more than just making sure you have a flyer though, you need to make sure your flyer is 100% accurate and free of typos. The following suggested list is provided to assist you to check for accuracy of your proof plan design. These items are only guidelines and do not include a comprehensive list.

  1. Studio logo
  2. Studio name
  3. Studio address
  4. Studio email address
  5. Studio phone number
  6. Studio policy/procedures
  7. Quantity of proofs is correct
  8. Proof color tones are correct
  9. Barcodes & image names are present and correct
  10. Order due date included
  11. Make checks payable to:
  12. Add-on items policy (only with package or available ala carte?)
  13. Add-on items mapped to correct proof image
  14. Package names correct and match package setup in software
  15. Package prices are correct
  16. Package letters correct and match package setup in software
  17. Package contents correct and match package setup in software
  18. Bonus wallets (if used) is price correct?
  19. Add-on product names are correct and spelled correctly
  20. Add-on item packages match names and contents in software
  21. Add-on item prices are correct
  22. Add-on item theme(s) is correct
  23. Spelling in general information is correct
  24. Spelling in student / individual section correct
  25. Student information mapped correctly
  26. Prices on order form (if listed) match the prices of packages at top
  27. Credit card information section has enough fields and squares for credit card info
  28. Text to remind parents to consider grandparents & extended family when they purchase photos

There is a lot a detail to school photography.  If you need help getting organized I might suggest you download a copy of the school task calendar available in the resource section of the website, it’s a great tool.

And finally, don’t forget to take some time off to recharge your batteries.  Have a great summer!


Guest Post by Jeff Edwards – Jeff’s studio is in Milwaukee, WI he has been an H&H customer since 2003 and has rapidly built his studio’s school business and they photograph about 40,000 school students a year.

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