The art of preschool and school photography
In the entertainment industry, they always say “Never work with children or animals.” That’s because actors know they’ll be upstaged! In the portrait photography business, working with kids can be a challenge, but the right Sydney school photographer knows how to get the best out of the kids. Are you thinking of the stiff school photos of yesteryear? Times have changed! See Preschool Photography Sydney.
Related: Treasure your child’s amazing photos before school. Read about our Child Care Photography Service.
Of course, you can still get the “classic” school portrait if that’s what you want, but I prefer something a little more natural and relaxed. Even when lining kids up in front of a formal backdrop, turning the photo shoot into a relaxed, fun event can be achieved. Preschoolers, on the other hand, are best photographed at play.
A Sydney school portraiture photographer’s recipe for success
Provide high-quality school photography service – Schools are able to raise extra funding through school photos, and parents buy school photos gladly – provided they’re good enough. A lot of what goes into a good school photo goes on behind the scenes.
1. Rule number one is about being professional. Bookings are sacrosanct, and the photographs must be ready in time. This takes some pretty tricky time management because there are always several photography projects on the go, but if you’re focused, being well-organized becomes second nature.
2. Customer satisfaction is related to point one, but it does mean you sometimes have to refuse a project. I know this sounds a little odd under “customer service”, but if there’s too much going on at once, service suffers.
3. Pricing of Sydney school photography sessions is also a delicate balance. The schools need to be able to make a small profit that can go towards school funds, and it’s often tempting to under price since it’s a good cause. I carefully consider time for the shoot, editing time for the number of portraits needed and travel. Ultimately, pricing should be a “win” for all concerned.
4. You have to be on your toes when taking the photos. Each kid is unique and needs to be portrayed as such. There’s no generic rule for getting the best out of each kid and capturing that on film. You have to handle them as individuals.
5. Preschool shots can be wonderfully fun when the children are playing. A sequence of shots of little ones dancing, for instance, is way better than just a formal headshot. Playfulness is part of my recipe for success.
6. It’s important to remember that the real superstars are in front of the camera rather than behind it. Being bossy, pushy or obtrusive is out of the question.
7. I love it when schools give me free creative reign. This helps me to produce unconventional portraits that are way more popular with parents. It’s also good for the school because there’s more than one photo of each child and the parents buy more photos.
8. Ideally, we don’t want the “line up and snap ‘em” scenario. Personality has to shine through, and that means spending a little more time with each child. The quality of the image is important, but capturing personality is even more important.
9. Each photographer has their own, unique style. I think it’s important to be consistent and stick to what I’m good at. After all, people will have looked at my portfolio and will be expecting something similar.
10. Last, but not least, a school photographer needs to enjoy what they do. When you love what you’re doing, it shows in your work. It’s an intangible thing, but I’m genuinely convinced that it makes a difference.
Sydney preschool and school photographer with a difference
By combining these points, I’ve formed strong relationships with several Sydney schools. I’ve even received additional commissions from parents and school staff. Thinking out of the box and being creative keeps clients coming back for more. Skill is a basic essential, but creativity is what makes the difference.