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Senior Portraits Business Idea

Take advantage of your expert photography skills by learning how to start a senior portraits business.

This business venture involves making teenage girls and boys look their best and capturing quality memories in preparation for their final year of high school.

Most students will want to take advantage of several poses and backgrounds in order to choose the one that they like best to give to friends and family, as well as to represent them in their final yearbook. In addition to taking photos, you will need to attract potential clients, book appointments, create proofs, print the final pictures, and collect payments.

Learning How To Start A Senior Portraits Business

When deciding how to start a senior portraits business, find a location that is easy for inexperienced drivers to get to with plenty of off-street parking. It should be in a safe area that parents feel comfortable with, but doesn’t have to be in a prime shopping area.

If your home provides enough space, you may be able to keep costs low by starting there. You will also need professional photography equipment that includes cameras, lenses, filters, props and lighting. A variety of backgrounds and props should be included in addition to the classic velvet drapes that many senior portraits feature.

Include items that contain the school colors of each area high school. You will also need professional quality photo printers, paper, and photo editing software. An organizational method to keep track of customers, their portraits, appointments, and payments will also be required.

What Training Do I Need?

While no special training or certification is required when learning how to start a senior portraits business, you should have professional level photography skills in addition to experience with photo editing techniques. Some level of business management and organizational skills will also help your new business run smoothly.

To become successful after you learn how to start a senior portraits business, you will need to be able to provide an unparalleled photo environment and be able to bring out your customer’s best features.

While many photographers who specialize in senior portraits rely on the standard pull-down backdrops, the more successful ones have created “photo gardens” with outdoor backgrounds. If you’re in an area where you can provide this, you may even want to add a few water features for additional contrast and interest.

For locations without that kind of space, nothing prevents you from taking portraits in a local park or near any other interesting site. To make your customers look their best in their senior portrait, you’ll want to make sure that your photos are at a higher quality level than the standard school picture.

Take advantage of professional lighting and touch-up procedures to make sure that your portrait is the best one that they’ve ever had. Once all the younger students see the amazing quality of your senior portraits, they will definitely find their way to your studio during their senior year.

Finding Customers For Your Business

Finding customers when you first start may be a challenge if there are quite a few studios in your area. Make sure that you take the time to visit each area school and provide your information.

Have a large number of pamphlets on hand that can be given to the students, and ask if they can be included in the graduation packages used to order caps and gowns.

To get started, you may want to offer substantial discounts and provide a percentage of your revenue as a donation to the school. If you don’t have any luck with the school administration, purchase advertisement space in the school yearbook, become a sponsor for school athletic events, or hand out coupons directly to the students as they leave school for the day.

When To Expand

Once your senior portrait studio is a success, you may want to expand your business. If you want to stay in the specialty photo area, you could add baby pictures, pet portraits, or glamorous photos.

In addition to portraits, you could hire a makeup artist or hair stylist to prepare your clients for their portrait session. If you find that you’re particularly good at promotional shots, you could market your services to local businesses for their advertisement needs.

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