Preschool Photography – You Have Options!

Preschool photography options

Many schools know the typical, traditional big box picture day concept, and are unaware that there is a different way! In fact, the different way is going back to an even MORE traditional way. School photos used to be provided by local photographers who were members of the community and often small businesses. It’s only in very recent history that so much of school photography is handled by national companies.

But you do have preschool photography options! Here are the reasons why so many schools are going back to more classic school photography:

preschool 4 photo collage of young girl

You keep it local

I love supporting local small businesses and have ramped up my efforts on social media to highlight the businesses I support. By shopping locally, you keep your tax dollars in your area. It may be harder to find local school photographers, because the current generation of photographers often don’t think of doing volume work because they, like many others, assume it’s a job just for the big box companies.

4 photo collage of young boy showing preschool photography options

Your photographer is known

Because I specialize in preschools, my directors want to have the reassurance that they know who is coming on picture day. A director might think, I can trust this big box company because they are a national chain. But does that mean you know the photographer who is coming? The photographer most likely did not take the photos that the company presents in their portfolio, and you need to know if they are able to have good rapport with young children.

3 photo collage of school pictures of girl

Your photographer is accessible

With a small business, often the company owner is the photographer and the name behind the business. They are not a seasonal employee and have a vested interest in the success of the business. In addition to that responsibility, they also have authority to make decisions for the company.

2 photo collage of young boy showing preschool photography options

Directors have less headaches

Many of my clients who transition to me from a big box companies have done so because of problems they experienced. We design our processes to make the least amount of work for the school. We give directions to the families, remind them, help them with orders, and tell every parent to contact us directly if they have problems or issues. Our schools know that if a parent sends them a question, they just forward it to us and we take care of it.

4 photo collage of various children showing preschool photography options

You don’t have to have low expectations

Volume photography is fast by nature. I usually only have a few minutes per child, because young children don’t want to stand in one place very long, and teachers want to get their classes back to learning and playing. We work fast also because with preschoolers, as the morning goes by, their appearance starts getting more and more disheveled. But I’ve fine tuned my system to keep picture day running smoothly while still capturing the essence of children and getting beautiful images. A comment I got this spring is:

Thank you so much for the photos. I am so shocked and impressed with the result. I did not have any expectations, because school pictures never turned out great with my boys in the past. But, wow…  Thank you so much. You really captured those moments that I was only able to see with my eyes.

I wouldn’t be doing school photography if I couldn’t do exactly what this parent is saying. Yes, sometimes young children are nervous and do not want to participate in picture day. So we don’t hit this mark with every single child. But if purchases reflect satisfaction, my last school had a 97% satisfaction rate. A valid business plan may be to not care that much about the quality of photos, but a 25% order rate is still lucrative. However, my goal is 100% satisfaction and an end product that families will treasure forever. When I discuss preschool photography options, I’m not in direct competition with the big box companies. I’m looking for schools who want an entirely different concept.

4 photo collage of various children showing preschool photography options

I understand it’s hard to overcome the fear of change

A school director may be unhappy with their current big box provider, but is afraid of change. Or they may have been burned by another photographer who did not deliver on their promises. If you choose a new photographer, there’s a fear that maybe the new one will be even worse.

I can understand that fear. On picture day, the majority of children arrive in dressy clothes – definitely not the normal preschool attire. If you’ve had young children, you know it’s not that easy to pull that all together in the morning. Parents will invest time and energy to prep their children. Of course a director is wary of trusting this day to someone who is going to make them look bad and have frustrated parents. That’s why it’s so important for directors to vet their photographer, check references from other school directors, and trust that the photographer takes ownership of the day. Great preschool photography options are out there.

3 photo collage of boy

If you’re in my area, I provide references, samples, and a price list. I go over my entire system and provide as much information as each director desires. If you are not in my area, find a photographer who is insured, ask for references, check their portfolio, and get a clear idea of how they run picture day and what they offer to parents. Good, local photographers are out there! You can expand your preschool photography options.

5 photo collage of girl
4 photo collage of girl

Interested in bringing fine art school photography to your school?

Ready to expand your preschool photography options? Check out the information page on school photography and fill out the form on that page to get all your questions answered.

Back to Fine Art School Photography

Information on family sessions

My Pinterest Board full of ideas on how to display your children’s photos.

Headshot and Corporate Event Photographer in Northern Virginia

22375 Broderick Drive, Suite 135, Sterling VA 20166, Loudoun County