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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos The Business of Photography 
Thread started 26 Sep 2016 (Monday) 18:08
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Dance Studio Photography

 
MulesAFpilot
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Sep 26, 2016 18:08 |  #1

I've been searching all over this site looking for a way to answer my question. I've been photographing a dance studio for the past few years, but I'm trying to find a better way to manage photo day.

The way I run photo time is that I have about 4 basic packages, some a la cart options and digital options. The parents pay before I take the photos. I take 3 individual photos per dance and also take the group photo. After I take the photos, I let the parent choose what photo they want for whatever size photo that's in the package or order. Then the parents let me know what photos they want and then I order and deliver.

On picture day, my wife is usually my helper. She takes the order forms and payment, while I take the photos. I've tried doing the yelling across the room with photo numbers, writing photo numbers down on a sheet and having the kid take a photo with a card with their name on it. For choosing photos, I've printed a preview contact sheet right there, done online proofing on zenfolio and e-mailed contact sheets. While all options have worked, I'm trying to find an easier and faster way to make all of this possible. I only have an hour to get through about 20 kids.

How do you guys manage doing photo sessions for 75+ people, getting the photos organized, making it easy for your clients to choose their photos and do it quickly.

Thank you for any tips you guys may have.


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JacobPhoto
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Sep 26, 2016 20:02 |  #2

MulesAFpilot wrote in post #18141321 (external link)
I only have an hour to get through about 20 kids.

How do you guys manage doing photo sessions for 75+ people

So are you shooting 20 kids? or 75 people? I'm confused.

Would it help if you hired a second photographer to help you attack the individual photos? Or a second helper to keep things organized on the paperwork / operations side.


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MulesAFpilot
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Sep 26, 2016 20:08 as a reply to  @ JacobPhoto's post |  #3

Sorry, it's usually 20 max per class. Those are usually the ones that are the biggest pain.... the 3 - 6 yr old kids that don't want to listen to anything. Total is over 75 kids. Sometimes I'm taking photos of the same kid multiple times throughout the picture week/day. So while maybe 75 or more orders, I am managing the kids several times. I hope that cleared it up.


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Buchinger
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Oct 07, 2016 11:31 |  #4

20 Kids an hour should be an absolute breeze (I also shoot the 3&4 y/o dance companies). I on the other hand, do not give parents a choice of which photos got go on what item in the package - 1 picture goes on every item, and I don't have time to wait for them to pick images. That is an administration nightmare and just begging for mistakes and lost profit. It is also a major time suck. I take several photos and choose the best one of the child and that is what they get. I typically do the paperwork and the photos by myself. Kids line up with an order form - I take the form, review the order, make sure I can read the writing, confirm the payment, and have the kid step on the "red x". I have a place on the order for for a frame number and fill it in. With an assistant I did 2 youth football teams (20+kids) in 40 minutes. I prefer to make the style of the images unique, so that the parents like it because its different. I'm ordering through the Millers Sports package and do the same for dance. I tried saving money and creating macros for exporting different sizes etc and going through ProDPI but its just not worth my time. I even pay Millers to Package everything with trinkets.




  
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i_am_cdn
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Oct 11, 2016 12:58 |  #5

I can do 750 kids in a single day using the same basic process you use, except the parents get no option on the photo.

I use 2 assistants. One takes the forms and payments out front, then hands all the forms for that class to the teacher, who brings the group back. we do group photo and all the kids sit down, and my other assistant calls the kids one at a time from the forms. I shoot 3 photos, give the assistant the first number for that set and we step through every person. Assistant also writes a number of each form for that group as we go as a back up, so i know the order we shot in, just in case. I should point out, it is the teacher's responsibility to provide the appropriate pose for the dancers.

End of the day I can edit and submit my order in about 2-3 hours. In the rare case where a parent doesn't like the photo, I will look back and see if there is a better one, and redo their order, or offer them a full refund if they return all the photos. The cost of maybe doing that 2-3 time out of 750 is far less than the time and effort of letting parents choose.

So keep doing what you are doing, just drop the choice piece.

hope this helps


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