Questions to Ask When Choosing a School Photography Company
School picture day is all about capturing students’ personalities, spirit, and growth – hundreds of times over. There’s a definite art to ensuring that every student walks away with a photo that they’ll be proud to display as a memento of their time at school and one that parents can look back on and recall their child at that age. That’s why it’s vital to choose an experienced school photography company for your school photo day.
In the digital age, the barrier to entry for photography is much lower than it was in previous decades. With various photography companies to choose from, it’s crucial to ask the right questions and find the one that will satisfy your school, the parents, and the students. A triple threat, if you will.
Here are questions to ask potential photography companies when evaluating your options.
What is Your Photography Style?
Some school photographers are very traditional and focus on passport-style portrait shots with a stylized background. That’s the standard approach that often comes to mind when you recall your picture days or marching across the stage, sitting, and someone pressing a button. Every student’s picture looks the same. Others are more modern and help guide students using lighting and posing to capture a natural, dynamic shot that captures their individual spirit. At Freed, we pride ourselves on our contemporary, free-form photos. We ensure that every student feels at home in front of the camera. In fact, we’re well known for our “mini photoshoot” approach!
How Does Your Customer Service Work?
Who handles the customer service? Is there a phone number or is it e-mail only? Some photography companies do not have a phone number on their website or order form? If not, there is not a real person to call. Is the school responsible for handling parent’s questions? This leads to frustration from all parties and more work for the school.
What Kind of Experience Do You Have?
Some school photography companies train staff to “point and click,” then call it a day. Often referred to as “camera operators.” But there’s a big difference between knowing how to use a camera and how to take a great photo. Ideally, your chosen photographers will have a strong background in photography – and in school photography in particular. Students of different ages photograph very differently and require different approaches to capture a great shot. At Freed, our photographers are professionals with both extensive camera experience and a strong background in school photography for all ages.
What Level of Involvement Do You Expect From Us?
Different school photography companies have varying expectations regarding school involvement – and so do schools. Some companies may require input and direction from the school and may even expect school personnel to help out with admin tasks on or before photo day. Others may have processes in place that allow schools to take a completely hands-off approach. Freed has time-tested systems that help us run our photo days efficiently and smoothly, but we’re always happy to take input from schools.
How Do Parents Order and Purchase Photos?
Some school photographers send out paper forms for students to fill in and submit on the day; others take payment after the photos have been taken. There are also different pricing structures that depend on how many photos of each student are taken and what sizes of each image are available. Freed offers a convenient password-protected online ordering system that allows parents, students, and family members to order the photos of their choice – we also provide multiple photos of each student.
How Long Does the Whole Process Take?
The turnaround time on your school photos can vary from company to company. Some take weeks, while others can take months, especially if the process is paper-based and manual. Freed’s online order processing system allows us to quickly upload completed photos for review and approval, ensuring some of the industry’s fastest turnaround times.
No school should ever have to settle for a school photographer who doesn’t share their vision for school photo day. By asking the questions above, you’ll be well-positioned to choose a school photography company that’ll be able to deliver photos that students and parents alike will love. The goal is to document the child as an individual during that time, not just point the camera and click a button.
Are you considering an expert school photography company for an upcoming photo day? Get in touch. with Freed!
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