If you’re looking for a way to boost your photography business, I highly recommend adding high school senior portraits to your list of services. In this article, I’m going to share with you a few simple but important concepts that can be easily added to your high school senior workflow that will help elevate the value and bottom line of your photography business. These are tips that I have used to explode my business in Detroit and serve my clients well.

Shawn will be one of several speakers at WPPI (Wedding & Portrait Photography Intl.) 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. This five-day conference (Feb. 23-27, 2020) is the perfect place for wedding, event, and portrait photographers and videographers to come together, be inspired, and discover the latest trends in wedding & portrait photography. You can find more information on Shawn’s presentations at the end of this article.

Here are seven tips for delivering a high school senior experience that will boost your business:

1. Remember, Attitude is Everything!

Treat the HS Senior’s upcoming session as if it were your own or your kids’ session. Be authentically more excited than they are about it. Keep that energy throughout the entire process from start to finish. It will translate to some awesome photographs and some pretty amazing rapport between you, the HS Senior and the family.

2. Their ‘Stuff’ is important to them. Use it!

Young woman standing with athletic medals hanging from her arms
Photo by Shawn Lee

I don’t know any High Schooler that doesn’t like their ‘stuff’! Their fashion, favorite shoes, name brand glasses, latest smart phone, the hottest new headphones and the list goes on and on. Make life easy for yourself and increase your odds for better sales by using the things they ‘love’ as props.

3. Technology helps keep you on the cutting edge and makes the experience better for your client.

Young woman's close-up headshot
Photo by Shawn Lee

Using technology like booking software and confirmations for parents that make life a little easier for them is always good. Also, using ‘Alexa’ or ‘Siri’ to instantly call up music playlists during sessions, shooting tethered to 4k televisions or projectors or even photographing wirelessly to an iPad while on-location can help the experience be a cooler one for your HS Senior and make the process more enjoyable for family.

4. Explore the Family Dynamics and feature them.

Pay attention to and ask about some of the key relationships in the HS Senior’s life. Maybe there’s a special handshake that the Senior and Dad share or certain smile or look they give mom. Maybe there is a great reverence that is shown in a special way to grandparents. Highlight those if you can during a session, it will always translate to higher sales.

5. The Parents are just as important as the Seniors during the session.

During a session I provide food and snacks that are favorites of the HS Senior. I also ask the parents, family and decision makers what their favorites are and provide them for the session. I provide a very comfortable environment for decision makers that includes favorite movies, tv shows and music.

6. Brand yourself with strategic partnerships that are relevant to your HS Seniors.

Young woman stands in elegant dress under a dark sky
Photo by Shawn Lee

Make efforts to find the local coffee shop or restaurant that’s popular with your high schoolers and create partnerships with them. I have menu items named after myself and my studio at these places. I also hold special events for teens at these places which also create win-win for me and the franchise owners.

7. Clients will not be led to spend big dollars with you if they are not well served. SERVE YOUR CLIENTS BETTER THAN THEY EXPECT TO BE SERVED!

Young man leans toward camera while standing in front of a small plane
Photo by Shawn Lee

High dollar clients expect high end service. Customer service and attention to detail are very important. Having great imagery and skill is a part of it, but client service will always push you over the top when it comes to lifting sales averages.

Come Join Shawn at WPPI 2020!

Delivering a High-Energy Senior Photography Experience with Innovative Strategies – Expand Your Business

“From shoot to post production to final sale, Shawn will go through everything that makes him relevant to his potential and current clients. Shawn will tell the story of how he thrived and exploded his business in Detroit at a time when the city was and still is the nation’s largest municipality ever to go through bankruptcy. It takes innovative thinking, relationship building, the creative use of photography skills and a NO QUIT, NO DIE ATTITUDE to build a niche that will thrive no matter the environment or economy. He’ll do live shooting techniques that anyone can manage, show you simple post production techniques and workflow to help you process more high school seniors while keeping the photos amazing, hence heightening your bottom line. Shawn will also talk strategies for getting the best out of a sales session so you don’t leave money on the table.”

When: February 25th, 2020 at 8:30 – 10:00AM
Where: Platform Classes | Portrait

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Diversity in Photography Panel

“Join us as we have an upbeat, productive and authentic conversation about diversity in the photography industry today. Shawn Lee will moderate a panel of experienced industry leaders who have insight into how to make our industry more inclusive and relevant to all who are interested in professional photography.”

When: February 25th, 2020 at 6:00 – 7:30PM
Where: Platform Classes | Panel Discussion

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