When I first started my photography business, I photographed mostly families. A lot of you may have started out in the family genre as well. And when I decided to specialize in seniors, I didn’t stop photographing families, I just set aside certain times of year for families. This allowed me to specialize in seniors but not lose the families I had photographed for many years. I think families and seniors go together well and I believe that you can be a senior photographer but still incorporate families into your business if you want. And I strongly believe that seniors and their families need family photos too! What better time to capture a family than right before their senior leaves the nest!! So you can extend your senior business by offering your senior client’s family photos and there are some ways to do that while still specializing in seniors.
So today, I am joined by family photographer and educator Ashley Ammons who is going to share with us three ways to incorporate family sessions into your senior photography business!
Ashley is located in Jacksonville, Florida and loves helping photographers master family session and have a successful and profitable business! So let’s get to the interview with Ashley…
I always say that my ideal client is a five year old. I love children and I have this unique ability to relate to children and get them to open up. I specialize in family beach photography and I love to watch and capture families having fun and being kids again with their kids. I always say to my families, “enjoy the season you are in with your family.” Whether that is the newborn stage and you are running on no sleep or whether that is your kids running around, throwing sand and having fun! I want families to remember those moments, not the perfect moments of everyone smiling and looking at the camera but those in between, not perfect moments of families being families!
I definitely have photographed families with kids of all ages. I do capture more of the younger age kids but I also capture families with older kids.
You can’t expect your senior boy to run around mom and dad while they are kissing. Ha! The best advice I have to that is that you need to relate to them at the age they are, how would they like to be spoken to? I think questionnaires to get to know the families really well before the shoot are a great tool. I also think finding games or prompts that are age appropriate will help you with families as well. These will help connect the mom and the kid or dad with kid or the kids together. One of my favorites I do with a senior boy and their mom is first capture that looking at the camera shot with both of them smiling. Then I ask them to look at each other and really think about something they love about the other or something they are proud of about the other. I always have mom go first and capture that reaction of her thinking of something she is most proud of about her son. You can get some really emotional reactions but you can also get some fun reactions as well. It can be such a unique relationship to capture because moms don’t get a lot of photos with their kids because moms are typically the ones either taking the photos or in charge of the photoshoot.
One of the easiest ways I think is to have the family of the senior join in at the beginning or end of the senior photoshoot. I use a timer to keep me on track and remember that this isn’t a full on family session but it is to capture a few photos of the senior with his or her family. And by doing this you can upsell more photos or an album because it creates variety and more photos to choose from.
Including a few minutes in the senior session to capture the senior with their family – My personal thought process in this is that by incorporating it in the session, mom will be so impressed and you will offer something above and beyond which will underpromise and overdeliver. You will not only have the opportunity to upsell and make money on the prints and products after the session, but the word of mouth marketing from the mom that is so happy that you captured these family photos at the end of the senior session is priceless!
Set aside a day to offer a family mini session day where you invite your senior’s and their families to sign up for a mini session. Use your email list to send out the information for this mini session day and get them to sign up for a 20 minute session to capture the entire family.
You can also offer this to your senior model team. Senior Model Team family day is a great way to capture your senior models and their families, get tons of behind the scenes content, promote your team and the relationship between your models and their families! I once did a mom and daughter shoot for my senior model team and they loved it!!
This would be an option if you plan on taking more than just a few photos and want it to be more like an actual mini session or family session. Having that option allows you to offer something extra to your senior and their families and charge for it. This can be an option they can add on when they book the senior session through your booking system. Thirty minute add on’s can be a great option for the families of seniors.
I offer these on a day that I am not typically booked and I can stack a few back to back but not as many as a mini session day where you are booking so many at a time.
Certain times of year work best for these options especially with seniors. Fall leading into the holiday season as well as the summer before the senior leaves for college. But don’t forget about marketing these types of sessions in your less busy seasons to fill your calendar when you aren’t photographing as many seniors.
Thank you so much to Ashley for sharing her tips on incorporating families into your senior photography business! If you want to learn more about capturing families, Ashley has some amazing resources available for you! From her free Facebook community to tons of resources on her website to her mastermind for photographers, you can find all the links below!!
Facebook Community: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ashleyammonseducation
If you want to find out just how profitable you are currently in your photography business, I’ve got a free training just for you!! Sometimes getting the courage to raise your prices comes from that place of realizing you are working way to hard and too much for not enough profit and sometimes getting the courage to raise your prices comes from seeing the numbers in black and white!! It can be very eye opening and can immediately give you the courage and the confidence to raise your prices!! And not only raise them, but be able to share them with potential clients and not feel bad about it!!
So if you want to sign up for the Are you profitable free training, click the link above! You will get immediate access to this training! This training is just a small taste of all the work we do inside The Seniorologie Semester to make sure you are priced for profit.
In the words of one of my students, “when I started the seniorologie semester I was unaware of how little I was actually profiting in my business. Leslie challenged us to sit down and look at all the numbers, from the amount of money we spend on equipment, subscriptions, our time invested in our business and more…I was seriously blown away by the numbers and how little I was profiting. With Leslie’s help, I was able to restructure my pricing and increase my margins by 225%!”
This can be you too! You don’t have to do it alone. You don’t have to continue working so hard, putting everything you have into this business and not getting out of it what you deserve. I would love to work with you. The next round of the seniorologie semester is now open for enrollment. The program starts in January but you can enroll now and save $1000! If you are ready to build a more profitable, successful senior photography business, let’s chat! You can set up a discovery call so I can help you see if this program is right for you or click the button to go ahead and apply now to the semester.
Thanks so much for joining me today! I am so glad to be back!! If you got something useful out of this episode, I want to hear from you! Send me a DM on Instagram or share your favorite tip from today’s episode on social media and tag me so I can see it! And if you would do me a huge favor and leave a quick review about this podcast that would be amazing!! I have so many great episodes coming your way but if you have anything specific you want to hear on The Seniorologie Podcast, let me know!
I’ll be back next week with an all new episode!!
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