Senior Photography: Break the Mold

Lesson 8/40 - Model Programs That Work


Senior Photography: Break the Mold


Lesson Info

Model Programs That Work

I'm gonna share where I live model programs are very successful and a model program is basically just a program that you can put into place in your studio that can work for you that you give seniors certain little perks that don't cost you a lot of money and they will go out in the community and bring you like minded individuals such as themselves and then you can photograph them and make money and then they'll go on, bring their friends and no going bring their friends. So the idea is to start a friend share where I photograph you, you go tell three of your friends and then they'll tell three their friends and their friends and before you know it that's how you can go and awesome business now, as I mentioned before the competition part, you know, when I got started the tire, if he wasn't really popular where I live and now, obviously a super popular is saturated and, you know, you guys have been asking great questions, you know, about howto I divers, how do I make myself stand out amo...

ngst the crowd? And this is one of the ways that we're going to do it is by putting together successful programs on, and the good thing about these programs is even if you already have a successful business, these programs aren't gonna work for you. If you don't have any business at all, then these programs are going to work for you. And let me say this just because all this something I share with you guys just because I do it a certain way doesn't mean it's the right way or the wrong way. I want you to take a little portion from each one of these programs and say, oh, you know what? I like that idea, and you can mix and match all three of them together, and it doesn't have to be a certain way that I'm doing it, but let me tell you about our new competition, the newest competition, in my opinion that we have is instagram, pinterest, facebook, on manly instagramming, pinterest how many of you guys are on instagram? Yeah, well, I love instagram, I I'm thirty five years old and I don't even get on facebook anymore, so if I'm thirty five and I'm not even on facebook and I know kids that are eighteen, they probably have been on facebook in like two years and I'm way behind, so instagram seems to be like the newest sensation, especially amongst my seniors, and if you need any guys out there want to follow me on instagram? Is blair underscore phillips, blair underscore phillips oh, that's just a way that I'm I put a lot of my personal life on there you know, so people really get to know who I am and I connect with all my seniors on there as well as facebook but yeah instagram is is the newest thing there's good and bad with it with pinterest as a photographer we can all get a lot of ideas but with pinterest now all of your seniors are going to come to you with much higher expectations because they could get on pinterest and see this stuff that is just over the top and they bring you in these items and say, hey, I want something like this and I said, okay first of all laura, this was shot in sweden on the back of a camel inside of a factory that had burned to the ground and been bombed by someone like you I can't do this here so it's good that we get visually pleased but then again it's bad because some of these ideas they're just not feasible where we are so I don't think it's not still a good thing but we have to keep up with the times if you're not on instagram and facebook and all these social media's twitter if you're working with seniors you have to you have to be there it's just like that old you know the older I get the old days when everybody shot film and then digital came out there I was like I'm not going to see the mess with the digital camera I'm a film guy buddy well right now lot of those guys are probably you know fishing somewhere today or something they're probably not doing photography because they were not willing to conform so therefore they just said forget it I'm not gonna do it so keep an open mind for sure but the thing about our seniors these days is they are so much harder to visually please the days of just doing the regular old work just to get something recorded not gonna work anymore we gotta we gotta always continue to raise that bar so do any of you guys have like, a model program at all have you ever known model program okay this is perfect then it makes it a lot easier to talk about it whenever people aren't really familiar with the model program like I said it's basically taking a potential sr one of your seniors you're gonna photograph it's giving her a few perks that no one else is going to get and then she is going to go out into that in our school and she is going to become a workhorse for you to get more business and I'll show you how so if you want more models I'm going to give you today I'm gonna give you four years of model programs so it's gonna be a good bit to take in but as a viewer of creative live when I've watched episodes before, I never found myself sitting there saying this is just too much information I would much rather give you mohr than not enough so I'm going to give you a lot so if in any time we're going to faster is this too much jot down little key things that you can think of that that interest you just jot them down then when you get home recollect on everything or like I said, I'll see you all after we'll make we'll make sense of it so let's start off when I first started a model program was in two thousand nine that's when I said all right I'm gonna give this a shot we'll see what happens now what we did was we contacted at this point I don't really have a whole lot of senior models anyway I didn't have any excuse me so I contacted all the seniors that I'd shot or that I photographed the previous year all right, contact them and ask them for any junior they could think of. I asked him for their name if you don't have any seniors now you've got to know somebody that has a senior somebody one of your friends, a coworker, anybody you've got to know someone you could start with one person not one person ask her or him for any juniors they can think of any names they'll give you those names and then we sent them. This was back in the day, so we sent them a message through facebook. We gave it to that senior and said, hey, send this to your friends at a little like it's coming from them they said okay, and in that message, if they were interested then way asked for their parents phone number so we could get in touch with him. Then from there, one thing we did different back then was anyone could be a senior model, so I was like, oh, you want to see your model? Okay, you wanna be one, you want anyone, you want to be one? We didn't really have that following that sense of a follower sense of an elite group like, well, anybody could be a model, but at that point, I was just trying to build a following so anybody could find and you want to see the amount of randy, I want to see your model, anybody bring him on, bring anybody you want to sew. Biggest thing if you're going to a model programs, make sure they understand what a model program means. Being a senior model means it's not oh, I get to come in and be a model and he's going to take my pictures and they don't make no mistake about it model program you're gonna come in and pay for your pictures like you normally would but I'm going to give you things that I'm not going to give to everyone else for being part of our group this is what we did the first year and this is these are things that worked really well for me but we've just changed over the years we've put together this thing cash is obviously the best way to get to the heart I mean there's no other way than cash they have everything they want so I figured hey cash that'll work so it's very simple you get cash for referrals so I say if randy, if you're a senior model if you go out if you send me one person, I'll give you twenty bucks cash just shelling out too, you know, like, well, that's that's easy, I know all kinds of people so I could get money for sending people here absolutely you send me six people, I'll start giving you forty dollars for everyone you send me so five hundred dollars for ten seniors will say if you can send me ten of your friends that go through and do the ordering process make make their minimum order, then I'll give you five hundred bucks easy is that they're like are you serious? Well, what I don't mind giving that because the senior could potentially make about eight hundred and you're guaranteed probably just say ten thousand if you can shoot that money if you just say if tenth hour, ten people, thousand dollars your numbers maybe hire your numbers, maybe lower dependable where you are and you know what economy, what state things like that? I don't like to talk about averages because you know, your average maybe a lot higher than my average and, you know, it's it's relative to your area, I believe somewhat so I don't really get involved in that we're not going to go into all that stuff now what we did is we gave model cards, we gave each senior model, we gave her a model card and what we did differently this year way use an actual gift card it's like a hard gift card almost like a room key at a hotel, but is a hard card and we gave them those and that's what they passed out to their friends and that's, how they're friend that's, how they got credit percent of their friends, their friends had to bring that card and for me to see okay, amanda sent you will give her credit for if you're ever interested in one of these goto our store site going blair phillips workshops dot com we're going to give you a free download of a model card thatyou condition drag and drop put your information in there. You don't have to worry about design. Make sure if you do go to that page, though. Make sure that you look through there's several pages and it may be only a third or fourth or fifth page. You kind of have to scroll through all the pages in there. Make sure that you should give each one of them a chance there. Not happening. Where do you keep up with all this stuff? You got models coming from this school and you got this one from this school and their schools, like, oh, man, how do you keep up with it, it's? Simple. Just like this, right? We had an excel spreadsheet. So this is showing you bare bones how to get started with a model program. We kept track of okayo brown high school album, oral, obviously album. Moral was not my target market because we didn't get anyone from there. S so it looks like here we go. Carson high school in a brown. Those are my two moneymakers right there. So I started working these kids working, these kids working, these kids working here, and that worked well, the money programme worked really well, the cash referral. So what that started doing was I created somewhat of a following and next year, going into it, I'm like, hey, wait a minute, I've already got a footprint of all those girls and guys from last year that we're kind of familiar with it now. Let's move to the next year and see what happens. We move into two thousand ten, this is a separate program, and I'm telling you that these all work because I've done it so it's not like, oh, well, try this and try this and this should work. I've done these and I'm going to share with you some of the things I've done within each of these programs that may not have been the best suited thing and what I did to change it, to make it better. So going back to two thousand ten program, same type of thing, we contacted all of our people that we had worked with in the past this past year. We asked for those names, we did the same thing just just like the previous year send the message, they sent us a message that oh, yeah, I want to be a model. This is awesome. Then we lay down the groundwork. So let me talk to your parents first thought their parents let them know what itwas we're trying to build a following. And that we don't want to use your children as workhorses to go out, you know, like, just hand him a bunch of business card and say, hey, go get these to all your friends, we explain it to the parents that, hey, we're giving your kids a lot of stuff that they wouldn't get any other, any other place, and we're making them a senior model representative for our studio so you can call it something. Call it a senior representatives in your rep back then we called it a senior model and what we did for model cars then which actually I chose it was a little cheaper to do it this way, just like before, the little the little square men ease that one on the water bottles, that's what we did, and we put each kid's picture on the bag that way they were personalized to them that worked out really, really well. Part of the perks that we did were different this year. We said way, how cool would it be if I said, all right for every senior that you send being a senior model, you send me someone your name goes into the drawing three times. So if rainey you send me someone but just because you're senior model your name is going to go into the hat three times if you send me someone and you're not a senior model your name goes in once so I'm still giving you the opportunity but I'm starting to make my model's feel like they're really up on a pedestal I want to make it seem like if you're blair phillips photography model you are really on a pedestal I gotta create a diversion a little bit of separation but do it in a nice way so chance chance to win a trip for three in new york city that means a senior and her mother and father or a senior and her side her relative guardian and a friend three people and that was also people said we could go there and I said, you know what when we go there I'll do a whole another session for you in new york just to have fun not great marketing images anyway so I was like let's go I've got relatives live in new york I can go there virtually for free so it doesn't cost me much airlines you can go to new york really really cheap so that worked hungry it ended up costing me about twelve hundred dollars we get three nightsaccommodations you have to give something pretty big or you're not going to get these kids attention I'm like whatever water part big deal who wants to do that anyways so you got to kind of go big and you know, put limitations on it this worked out really, really well it didn't really work that well for a lot of the guys guys were like carrie and I'm not going in new york city like I would rather go shoot a deer so filled in most of the guys in my area did not care about it so if you have more of a girl market this is a good program the guys maybe figure out an alternative for the guys that's where one thing that I wish we would tweet a little bit you know, finding alternate your guys we've got this option for you as well, so create that little bit of diversion well, bit of a difference but I will say on average I don't know how how you know everyone's market is we don't average I would say ninety four ninety four percent of the seniors of that photograph our girls, women god's just mostly guys ashore there like yeah, I'm a mom uh she made me come up here in these pictures made so how long is this gonna take and I'm like, oh, grasshopper, come here and I slowly start coaching them and let them know hey missed me cool man don't worry about it and before you know what he's getting into and he likes it and then he'll tell his buddies he won't say, oh, it was fabulous it was also like, you know what that bad in southern terms? That means it was also it was awesome, so we move forward two thousand eleven and we said let's, let's tweak it a little bit. One thing that I did then was I made the model cards a little more generic instead of having designed model cards for every single model because this time I was by this time I was starting to get a lot of models in your case. If you're just joining out, you could do specific model cards like if this was a model card one model card, you can put her images on it, design it for her, but if you've got forty of them, you don't want to sit and do that for forty people it's just too much to keep up with. So here we want with a generic model card, meaning it was very similar to this year had a bunch of different images on it talked about the talked about studio should've two different props showed our style that's what we did there was generic, I could buyem in bulk and it cost me less money I'm starting to save money, they're now we got away from the trip thing because of I got to thinking into it a little bit and I was like, well, my insurance, you know, I'm good with insurance, I've got a blanket policy take care of everything, but I don't know, I got to think about liability and, uh maybe this year let's don't want trip let's don't wanna trip so I said, well, there's this time, what about a chance to one thousand books? Every kid would love to one thousand dollars, right? So this time I just kept more generic and I said, listen for every senior that you send me, your name goes into a hat at the end of the season, I didn't say into the summer I said the end of the season reaching and I'll pull the name out and it will probably be yours because you're going to send me the most people, right? And you're gonna win a thousand dollars if your name is drawn, I could really one thousand dollars yeah it's, I mean, thousand dollars cash is right here, you can have it and they love that idea they jumped on it. By this time, people really didn't even care about the perks anymore because I've built this program up and they said, man, blair phillips is awesome! Matter of fact, we went to the football game this past week and it was kind of good and kind of weird all at the same time I told you I'm photographing a lot in the high schools and the sports leagues and stuff like that and this poor girl she was selling raffle tickets you know and I walk up and how my girl she's like well, sure you play phillips yeah, she said she and her friend was over here and as I was reaching in my pocket she didn't know that I was listening but of course I was I was listening she's like, oh my gosh, kaylee that's blair films and I was like, look, calm down, I'm like, what is it what's the big deal she's like my friend haley met you a few weeks ago at school and she came t class and she was all messed up because you talked you didn't even know her but you told her how beautiful her shoes were that you really liked her new shoes that she handled and she said she will not stop talking about you because of that. So I just told a stranger that her shoes were nice and I guess I made that big of an impression so the little things you can do in life go a long way so I kind of like it because I felt like a super storm and my brother said he was with me, he said one other job can you get that you feel that way about people saying that? He said, could you imagine that if you met that girl years later and she said, oh my gosh, that's the guy that put the one shooting my car probably not going to get that, I'm not gonna get that. So honestly is I feel like a superstore going to these high schools because the kids look up to me because I respect them and I care about what they get involved in, I'm involved in their sports, I care about him, I communicate with him on facebook and instagram and they know what I'm doing. They'll stop me and you know, hey, blair, you're going this weekend true story about a guy you going this weekend I was like, okay, first of all, take me not hey, yeah, yeah what's up, man the one where are you going? Hunting, have you? Oh, instagram, he scanned those everything that I put out there, he retains it so they know what's going on. So by this point, I don't really have to give him much of a per everybody just like, oh yeah, I want to do I don't want to do what I want to do it and it's awesome but what you have to do with a model programs you have to make sure that you communicate that it's not just a model program that make no bones about it this will be your senior session this is your senior session where you going to come in you're going to pay just like you would go into any other studio but I'm just going to give you some perch that no one else is going to get so you have to lay that foundation that this is a paying job but you're gonna pay for it but I'm just going to give you things now this is where everything started to change one of our pert are perfect for this year was we said hey what about a senior senior model video are seeing senior video session for every one of our senior models you're going to get a video session well okay, that sounds cool what's a video session it's none other than having someone with me while I'm doing the session taking small little video clips we put it together using an emoto and they have a great keepsake when I showed the moms this and the consultations they love it they don't even know this girl but they're like ok, I haven't booked an appointment but I want that I want that so take a look at what we're what we did this year this is kind of video session and this was a senior model perk let's watch this video here wait wait that was one of those things you know that that calls me a little more to produce then giving them a twenty dollar bill in theory because I have to have someone else help me with it at the time of editing some it's a lot to do but if you're just starting and you want to do something that really will catch their eye maybe you even get a little flip me no cam a little kodak hand this year and you give that to the mom and you say hey while working I just had that record body button and just kind of walk around and just takes a little video clips and she does that for twenty, thirty minutes you're going to have some some clips you can use but the girls love you they love seeing themselves and those are the girls that I wanted for my model's anyways, you know, I wanted girls that were really into pictures when I say this about a model program to when you're creating a model program don't leave out regular people you know don't just go for it the only girls like the cheerleader are the most popular get get a couple of people from the band you know, let them have an opportunity to feel like they're special is well get the people that maybe not may not be the most attractive in the world, you know don't just go for the blonde hair blue ah perfect you know everything is just absolutely perfect give other people a chance to because they have friends and they have feelings and sometimes they can be some of your best clients, so don't leave them out um we did give them a chance that year to win an ipad, so I said, hey, you have to have ten or more referrals and then same thing end of the year draw the name who everyone's give the ipad and this was at the time when I passed were like really, really a big deal now they're not so much of a big deal, but still ipads could be a good good incentive as well. This has been one of my most favorite that I've done we started to really incorporate a lot of differences here lots and lots of differences here now the two thousand twelve what I noticed different between that year are the year before in two thousand twelve was a huge falloff in facebook huge fall off and it's weird because it seems like it goes and patterns the kids get ahold of it first and then as parents we're kind of like, oh, she got there wants that face space facebook oh, I'm gonna check out on that too get me one of the cool yeah, I'm going to see what's going on and they were like, dad, stop, get all facebook I'm not your friend on facebook because we're thinking, I we can see what's going on with you and they're like, ok, yeah, I'll show you their hot shot, much delete done done with facebook. I move over here to something else that you don't know about you because you're old that's, probably what they're saying about me was like, yeah, who's old dude with instagram account here, good job, grandpa, don't break your leg there. Um so they're again facebook is still very popular in a lot of areas. Well, facebook me around forever. I know it's just like myspace. Woz, you know, that was the thing. And now if you use my space, you're not the cool kid, I guess. Um, now let me go on record for saying I do not have a myspace account. Okay, uh, but you have to have something visual. You know, the days off if I had this right here with no pictures, do you think a high school senior is gonna pick out up and read through it? No way. Even with pictures, they're probably not going to pick it up and read it and I don't even know why we sent him to school they were buying books and they they tear off the cover and eat the pages I don't know what they're doing, but anyways you have to have something that is very visual these kids and I say kids, I mean high school seniors as well as us adults we're not reading any more it's kind of sad were not taken the time to read a lot of stuff we are such a visual society, we want to see it can you show me? Don't tell me about just show me, let me just see a video and I'll make it I'll make it work and I know this is true because I have recently started falling victim to it myself and it's kind of sad I'll tell you how sad it is I wass I was watching something a while back I was looking for some shoes and this isn't that these aren't the shoes I was looking for, but I put this up just to give you a visual here I'm from the south in case you haven't recognised that from this small bit of accident that I do have I'm from the south and I thought to myself, I'm not a real country guy I'm not a very country guy but I said you know what I need to get me a pair of cowboy boots like that be kind of cool square toed cowboy boots I can wear with some nice jeans when I got a nice shirt the verse if I myself a little bit you know not like too crazy you know not like ride a horse but I could diversify myself some online I'm looking through zappos and I'm looking at different shoes and I click on this one and it's a long bit of text over here and then over the ryan went oh there's this little sweet little sexy looking thing just like this right here it says click here to learn all you want to know about this boot well what are you going to do you think I'm going to sit there and read through all this stuff now so I went okay click on it and it's a young man standing there hey is talking about this shoe like it is his father and this booty is like and what we have here is a double stitch saddle soul with extra vibrant rolls holes here and what this boot is going to do is it's going to allow you maximum comfort for all of your photography need not photography but those hard days on the ranch it's gonna provide you maximum support and I sat there for four minutes and I kept getting closer I was like what are you doing? I'm not even interested in this I wasn't even interested in this pair of boots it wasn't even one that I wanted but I sat there for four minutes and because it was so captivating and it was lazy that I could just sit there and watch it like uh and I remember to this day everything about it versus reading about it I would have never read about it so when we moved I moved from there that night and said wait a minute video marketing why can't I use that in my mind my own business maybe I could hear my seniors and then when I use it for every aspect newborn children families oh my goodness I can use and I can use video marketing for everything that's gonna be the best way because instead of just telling people play film photography is great national award winning nobody wants to read that but if I can put my face in front of them and say hey guys we're self this is blair you know what you see is what you get I can start being more heart filled in text I can tell you guys how much I like you in a text but if I'm here can look you face to face and say I really really, really enjoyed you guys and from the bottom of my heart thank you for being has a lot more meaning right so what we did is we started with video marketing and I said, you know what in true fashion if I'm going to do it, I'm going to try to be the best at it I'm not a video guy have zero background and video whatsoever nothing I didn't know anything about nothing pertaining to video, but I didn't know lighting and I said I know enough to look at a video and notice bad lighting in a video versus good lighting in the video so I started looking at behind the scenes for movies and I started looking at all these various things and I said, well, I must study it on this and see where they're right coming from, you know, like in here there's tons of lights in here where they're coming from there in a key position to make me look good, but they are not working are they, um but they're in a key position because they need to be there. So with video marketing it covers a few things that are very, very important one of those being is it explains who you are, it leads people know exactly who you are and also it lets them know personally about the products that you offer, but it doesn't one thing that is even more important than that it plants that seed and tells them exactly what they need I'm not suggesting you know yeah we do great work if you guys want to come in and I'm like no look this is the deal you have to have this this is the most amazing thing in the world and you have tohave it it's like a car salesman basically I am a car salesman when I'm felt selling my photography but I'm a salesman in my own way if a car salesman at a lot stood outside and when you walked out he's like hey man, you let me know if you need if you need anything I'll be in here waiting I don't want to bother you do you think they would hardly ever sell cars? Probably not but they know if they want to make a sale they got to get out there and aggravate you so I'm a car salesman but I mean I'm a car salesman in a nice way so if I have the opportunity to sell to someone I'm going to use that platform to sell it I have to so you tell them what they need but what you're doing is you're making it very very purse channel very personal you're making it now seem like just directed right towards them you know lorenzo could pull up this video and I've never I've never met him but all of a sudden we now have a connection because he feels as though I am directing it straight towards him so we started doing it with our seniors and then I had an idea and I said, well, wait a minute what funded this for everything that's exactly what we did think about creative love would it have been as easy to understand anything about this program if you wouldn't watch that short little two minute video maybe based coming here upon you know hey, that gas seems really nice he seems like someone we could get along with. I doubt it was one hundred percent because of the text that we put in there, so if we didn't have a video to accompany it, you know you probably won't even be here just like with you guys with your submission videos the reason creative live loves those is because and let's creative lab know who you are and like, hey, you know what? This would be a very good fit for us not that all of you aren't a good fit but there's only six years, so you have to pick the very best fit. So this was the very, very first video that we ever did now don't laugh at it, you can shoot all of these videos with you can shoot it with an iphone if you have to you can edit it in my movie if you have to so there again you guys know I'm not a man of excuses, right so I don't want to hear what we don't have production equipment and all that we shoot hours with a dslr and we use them we use lighting but you don't have to do that but I'm just going to show you this was one of our first videos that we ever did now why if I'm going to shoot a video, why would I want to go to an old dilapidated house and shoot it in a dilapidated house with textures everywhere and just looks like you shouldn't be in there why would I want to do that exactly it's work and he's giving it yes one of you I'm kidding yeah smart if it's my brand I didn't want to stand on a white background and say they're blair film's photography we do all some work and I can't wait to see you so come on down the price is right I can't do that I've gotta be myself or it doesn't come off his original so let's make we'll check her audio make sure this is good and here we go right now watch this what world are you? It was guys I'm blair with careful check and your name has been given to us by your peers, classmates, friends and they seem to think that you would be a great candidate for our passage we're on lee can taking three ambassador so only three people get space school being chosen as an ambassador, you are representing blair, hold entire school friends. Everybody enough? We're trusting you has to be on the forefront of our holes. Okay, so you're in school. You were in your share. What we're doing to kind of get friends pumped up about their session. So what do you get for all for doing all this? What's the catch, right? There is no cat gonna hook you guys up. You're gonna get a facebook ambassador session. You're going to get a video. You're gonna get ambassador car. They're gonna get a chance to win a thousand dollars in cash. You're going to also have a chance, everybody but you and I had you wouldn't want. So where do we go from here? I think the biggest thing with your mom and dad on board, maybe maybe some of the website pull up the website. They don't check out what we're doing. I don't see how different it is. And then probably from there was a call to bring mom and dad and we can go in detail exactly what pastor program they don't understand. They weigh a lot. This new program kicks off anywhere this scene, so we don't have a whole lot of time, so please, please, you gotta get mom and dad to the website. Get them aboard, call us for booking a point if you got to swing by and talk a little bit about it and we'll go from there way can't wait for this year bigger and better than ever, so give a call deflect sinister hurt, but I'm not of course, mccord classics you ever go through life and look back on like some old photos of yourself, and you're like, what in the world without thinking, I just had one of those moments right then? Uh, yeah, wow, some of the things we do with our hair but it's really not a lot different today, but I just know where the bangs all swooped down because I was scared of my forehead, but I faced my fear since then. I'm like, you know, a forehead. I don't care. I'm going to show you off today, actually it's more of a five head instead of the four heads I used to get picked on, so now just embrace it. You know, I had a little girl saturday tell me she's, like you're going bald because you're here doesn't grow right there, and I'm like, yeah, thanks for pointing that out, sweetie, you know, that was my first attempt at video. It wasn't the best in the world, but we put a lot of texture over it to kind of mass that a little bit. The lighting wasn't that great, but it's still served a point. Now you're going to see they're going to get a little bit better a little bit better. So there are a lot of questions come in from the internet right now, and I was wondering if you knew it was a good time to break in china. Questions to a few, all right, cool. So let's see, the first one I'm going to say is from c j b who says, have you ever run into an issue with the school's, not allowing your models to pass out the rep cards or limiting what they can share with the other students we implemented this year? We got a letter from the school boards saying it violates the school district laws. So how do you get around those rules? That's a good question, and I think we've been very fortunate up to this point, but the way I see it is that's arguable because what you, what the kids do on their own time is up to them, you know, maybe you would talk to your students and say, hey, look. I don't necessarily, like, take these into your home room and just start giving them out, you know, pass them out to your friends, maybe after school is out, you know? But they're free to do whatever they want to do, and they're going to do it anyway, so the school board could argue that all they won't. But let me just tell you it's a lot easier, just to say, okay, my bad sorry about that and trying to figure out what another way to get to him. So my answer to that would be, communicate with your seniors and say, look, don't pull all this stuff out of school, but maybe write a school's out that's your chance to talk with him about it because the school board, you know, I understand where they're coming from. You are kind of, in a sense, taking money from the school, sort of, but you know, you're giving the kids what they won't so it's arguable, but don't argue with him just a bod and figure out a way to go around him and do it a different way. Great suggestion. All right, another one from kobe one, two, three, four, five asked, are you okay with a senior being an ambassador for another photographer, and maybe they didn't tell you yeah, I'm absolutely not okay with that? No, that is a complete breach of my contract. Now I'm not a big fan of that because, you know, they either want my style or you know they want someone else's. So I am not a fan of that at all. And if that's the case, it seems like that student would be more interested in the perks versus truly interested in getting good images. So it's either my way or the highway, we are one hundred percent monogamous. We don't get into that crazy stuff these kids are getting into these days. Yeah, good question. Good question. All right. Another question from kobe and also and dido from sleepless in vancouver. Clever name there. How do you handle the taxes for handing out cash to senior? That is such a great question. What we do is we buy prepaid gift cards instead of cash and his tax that way versus giving them cash. A prepaid buying gift cards is definitely the way to go. Definitely for tax purposes, that is way easier. So your account it can help you with that, but buy gift cards that our tax versus given them straight up cash. Definitely good, great question. There is a good question question, all right, and then what months do initiate and conclude your senior model program yeah and it's funny because you know our area I don't know I say this funny it's not funny at all it's just well leading something that's funny it's not funny at all um in our area school gets out obviously in june by june a lot of our lot of our seniors have already had their pictures made and then a lot of people wait until some people wait until you live because I want to have a tan I want to look right so with may I start literally whenever right around christmas that's kind of when I get started right around christmas I start hammering it pretty hard at christmas because I want to catch him leading up to summer because what school is out and they're gone it's so hard to get contact because they're going on vacations there here there everywhere they don't have photography on their mind but if you can catch him throughout the school year when this type of stuff looks really exciting then they will be all about it so I would say christmas right around christmas time is a good time to start one of those okay great question from in studio what's up yes you were saying that you use where do you go through your account for the gift cards when you like doing it for like a cash gift card or you're doing it like their favorite stores that's a cash gift card yes definitely cash gift card and we're using those cash gift chords actually to our advantage as a write off because we're giving those as a gift so we're gifting our clients with those items so we're actually using it for our benefit for a right all because it is a business expanses a legitimate business expense so is helping us really in two ways something listen to it so have you ever encountered any problems with your with your model program? Only problems of encounter of my model program is when I didn't lay out the ground work and tell them up front you know hey this for your referrals has to be a client is going to come in and place a minimum order of five hundred dollars no what happened early on is this girl said well hey I need ten people and I can get x amount of dollars so hey you go get your senior pictures made you go get it you just go get your seeing pictures made you don't even have to buy yeah well I just figured common sense would tell him they needed to buy something well common sense got in the way and fogging up my glasses so I did like thirty sessions for nothing so you have to express to get your referral those clients come in and have to spend x amount of dollars with our program so definitely establish a minimum order you know, say, for every session I do, I want to make it leased this tell clients on the phone we do have a minimum order requirement, it's five hundred dollars something for the client doesn't want to spend three or four, five hundred dollars at that shocks them right away. May not be your target, you know may not be cool uh, now that we're getting into the video part of the model program mgs, kyi's wondering in what format do you provide the video that you give your clients to give them a dvd or download, or is it just shared on youtube and shared through social media for these that we asked them that we asked them to share that's on video, and we provide them with just a video link and now the ones that the ones that they get for their personal use we will actually put that on the dis forum and actually have them come to the studio and pick it up because, well, want to put it in the theater room like their parents see it's like a debut type thing instead of just going through all that work and throw it to him and going back seat of a car. We want to get at me, but we want to get that recognition from doing it again. So we almost have, like a little mini viewing type thing only takes a few minutes and seeing all your beautiful marketing materials that you have behind the scenes here that you're going to be showing that is sharing the next few days. I'm assuming that dvd that you provide to the seniors is pretty cool, looking like you are making a custom dvd cover, and everything is it's. A tri fold five by five from h and h color lab got him. Now you look good, remember, I've got a ferrari. I don't want to put cloth seats in it, right? So, yeah, we'll get to that for sure.

Class Description

Are you ready to add a new, lucrative dimension to your photography business? Join award-winning photographer Blair Phillips for an introduction to everything you need to know about taking portraits for high school seniors.

In this three-day course, you’ll learn about how to market yourself to the high school audience, no matter where you live or who you know. Blair will discuss his signature techniques for effortless, versatile posing. You’ll also learn everything you need to know about both off-camera and natural lighting, including how to create foolproof lighting setups, even if you’re working without an assistant. Blair will also cover strategies for creating a productive workflow and working confidently in a wide variety of settings.

By the end of this course, you’ll have be equipped with the core marketing techniques and one-of-a-kind photography skills needed to connect with high school seniors, give them results they’ll love, and grow your business.


a Creativelive Student

Blair is great. This class is packed full of great info and is a genuine good hearted person.. Really like his approach with high school seniors. I recommend it.


Loved watching Blair Phillips. He has so much energy and is very entertaining to watch. He was extremely well prepared and did a fantastic job.