When I’m checking out studio websites, the biggest thing that captures my attention is the type of images they use.
Generally, there are two types of studio photography – styled or natural (here are some examples below)
They say a picture tells a thousand words…
Styled shots are great for showing the scale and professionalism of your studio – but when a potential parent is looking for a studio, it’s a great idea to mix it up with photos that show the vibe of what your studio is really like day-to-day.
For my money, I love seeing the more natural style shots on a studio’s website. It really gives me a feel for what I can expect if I were to walk through the door of a studio and helps make me feel comfortable in making a decision.
In our super competitive industry – our goal is to highlight how your studio is different from the one down the road and custom photography is the BEST way to do this (and it means you don’t have to worry about any of the copyright palaver)
Drop-dead-gorgeous photos of your studio will make the difference between an average website and a student-attracting-website- machine!
I’m not a big fan of overly-styled staged photos of students.
To me, seeing kids with their faces beaming from real joy – not posed- is what’s going to sell me on a studio.
I want to see their natural smiles, their happy little faces, how relaxed they look.
It’s so reassuring to a potential parent to see the classroom environment, the teachers interacting with students and visually show them what to expect when they come to their first class.
Here’s an idea for you…
When you are taking photos of your students, it’s pretty challenging to get a good photo of a whole class of kids, so when you’re taking photos of your students, you’re better off focusing on one child or just a few kids.
When you’re photographing an entire class, everyone’s faces end up itty-bitty and small. On social media and websites, we want to grab as many eye balls as possible – and that means choosing pictures that really connect with people.
eg it’s the difference between this… (which is a really fun picture – but nearly half of it is taken up by the backdrop and flooring)
and this… (a photo that shows his joy and personality and makes you smile just looking at it)
Knowing the right photo to pick is just one of the things I’ve learnt from my gorgeous friend Clare. She has this absolute knack of taking photos of kids without making it seem staged.
Clare and I caught up for drinks on Friday night and she was telling me about the success of her program “Kids Through a Lens” that teaches mums how to take beautiful photos of their children – and I realised that this is an essential skill for studio directors too!
I figure it’s going to cost you hundreds of dollars to hire a photographer
And you certainly can’t be hiring a professional every week to build a library of fabulous photos of your students for your website and social media.
If you could whip out your camera a few times per week at the studio, you’re going to be able to collect a huge volume of high quality images to post to your Facebook page, to create videos from and use in all your marketing materials – great for attracting new students and retaining your current ones!
Wouldn’t it be better for you to learn how to take great photos yourself?
For example, here are two pics taken by the same mum of her little boy – one before Clare’s Bootcamp, and one after.
To me, learning how to photograph your students is going to make a huge difference in how we market your studio.
Let’s move away from sterile stock photography and instead showcase YOUR students.
Custom photos are the best representation of what makes your studio so unique and special.
And if you can learn how to take beautiful photos of your students yourself, it’s going to present your studio in a really professional way for a fraction of the cost of paying for a photographer.
I’m about halfway through Clare’s Bootcamp myself – and I’ve learnt SO MUCH about finding the right light, how to frame a shot and how to relax the kids ready for photography.
One of my favourite things I’ve learnt from the “Kids Through a Lens” online course is NEVER EVER EVER say “Smile” to students. You’ll end up with forced, fake smiles that look silly. We have to create a vibe where they smile naturally.
That’s what I love about Clare’s style. It’s all about being real. And making it fun for everyone.
Here’s an example of the difference it makes when you know how to take photos of kids:
And couldn’t resist this one (this cuteness is doing nothing for my cluckiness – what a little angel!)
Clare’s running her next ‘Kids Through A Lens’ Bootcamp in a few weeks, where you’ll learn everything you need to know about how to take amazing photos of your students.
If you have a fancy camera but don’t know how to use it – or even a iPhone, this course will help you create magical photos that capture the beautiful moments your students have in your studio – and share them with the world.
I’d really like to encourage you to check out Clare’s program by clicking here (and because it’s still in Early Bird land until 6 May – so you’ll save $50. Gotta love a bargain)
What questions do you have about photographing your students? Ask them in the comments below and I’ll get Clare to help you out!
p.s I always included a media release clause in the terms and conditions a student had to sign upon joining my studio to ensure that we had permission to photograph the students for marketing purposes. If you’d like a copy of the clause, simply send me an email 🙂