Tips for Becoming a Preschool Portrait Photographer

Portrait of beautiful photographer smiling with digital camera i

Taking professional preschool portraits is a unique challenge. Not only is your studio a mobile one and your locations varied, but your subjects are pretty mobile and varied, too! Preschool and daycare photography is a growing niche. Now is the time to explore the rewarding world of professional school portrait photography.

 

As we candidly document each moment of our lives, the value of professional portraits, documenting a specific moment in time, has increased exponentially. Seize the moment and have some fun!

 

Be Organized. Be Efficient.

Your calendar-keeping and note-taking abilities are by no means the most important skills for taking phenomenal photos, but your organizational talents are what you’ll need to take it to the next level. You’ll be communicating with school directors, principals, teacher, teaching assistants, parents, and grandparents from all walks of life. Be clear and be honest. Establish guidelines, schedules, and expectations and stick to them as best you can. Best laid plans change, especially in this business, so have clear lines of communication. Consider sharing Google Docs and calendars with your clients — it’s a great way to make updates on the go in an open and transparent way.

 

Be Realistic. Don’t Overbook.

As hard as it is to say “no,” take a hard look at your schedule and determine the time you need to do the job well. It’s wise to start slow, perfect your process, and then add new clients as your word-of-mouth recommendations and confidence swell.

 

Be a Clown!

All the technique in the world won’t save you if your subjects aren’t having fun. Here’s a tip: preschoolers love knock, knock jokes. They may not get them. They may not be able to deliver them, but they love them nonetheless. Here’s one to get you started:

 

Photographer: Knock, knock

Kid: Who’s there?

Photographer: Banana.

Kid: Banana who?

Photographer: Knock, knock

Kid: Who’s there?

Photographer: Banana.

Kid: Banana who?

Photographer: Knock, knock

Kid: Who’s there?

Photographer: Orange.

Kid: Orange who?

Photographer: Orange you glad I didn’t say banana again?

 

You’re welcome.

 

Be Unique

Each and every child you encounter is a character. Remember that and embrace it. You became a professional photographer because you have a talent, a superpower, if you will. You have the ability to capture personalities and make them shine. You can make time stand still. Even with these superpowers, the steady stream of adorable faces may seem overwhelming.Remember that each child is an opportunity for you to get creative. Take the time to pose each and every one and be mindful of shooting them in the best light and angle. Parents will see the difference and will be much more likely to purchase your work if you make their kiddo shine.

 

Be a Friend

Your work doesn’t end and the conclusion of the shoot. Each and every school director, teacher, principal, and family member is a potential returning customer. Send thank you notes. It may seem old-school, but the power of gratitude is astounding. Make your notes professional and personal. Then follow up a few months later with a special offer. Keep those carefully cultivated lines of communication open.