How to Sell School Photographs

As a photographer looking to dive into the world of volume photography (schools, sports, dance), you’ll need to know how to sell school photographs.

In this article, we will explore various options for setting up an efficient workflow to sell school photographs. We will look at 4 different methods, from self-fulfilment to using specialised software, webshops, and pricing strategies.

1. Self-fulfilment from own Printer or Lab

Starting with self-fulfilment can be challenging, especially at the beginning of your school photography journey, as it requires a substantial investment in equipment, software, and expertise.

This option provides maximum control over the entire process, including printing and packaging.

This route will still require a method of selling your photographs, either through software online or through paper money envelopes.

2. Webshop + Lab

A popular choice among school photographers is to set up an online webshop and partner with a professional lab to handle the printing and order fulfilment. This can simplify your workflow and ensure that you have adequate customer support.

Companies like GotPhoto, ShotProof and PixieSet offer comprehensive webshop solutions tailored to photographers.

This approach can become costly due to the fees associated with paying a ‘middleman’ to make the connection between you and your chosen lab. There will however be experts available to help you with the details of how to sell your school photographs.

Read about labs that print school photographs

3. External Lab with Software

Opting for a lab that provides its own software or workflow tools is like the above option, but without the middleman.

Services like CloudPics, Pics4Schools, Flexschools and Order My Photos offer specialised solutions designed to simplify order management, image selection, production and delivery.

This option can be a great compromise between full self-fulfilment and the expenses of a webshop.

(You can see CloudPics print prices here).

Here are some other print labs that offer their own software:
Dunns Imaging
Sherwood Laboratories
Parker Franklin
One Vision Imaging

4. How to Sell School Photographs… back to the school

This approach can work if you are only shooting small, village schools or nurseries.

The method is to shoot individual portraits for a fixed fee, that the school pays. You then provide the images, digitally, to the school, who can distribute them as they see fit.

It is up to you how much you charge for this. You will need to consider how much room a small school can make in the budget for you, and balance this with how much you feel your time is worth.

Remember that the school or nursery are likely to sell your photographs on to families; to both recoup the costs and potentially make a profit.

Key Considerations:

  • Quality Assurance: Regardless of the chosen method, ensure that your photographs meet your own high standards. Printing through a lab that you might not even be able to visit means that you will need to be sure that you will be satisfied with cropping and colour/exposure corrections.

  • Licensing and Copyright: Understand the rights and permissions associated with selling school photographs, especially when providing digitals. Clarify any copyright issues with the schools or institutions you work with, and state your rights clearly in your terms of sale.

  • Marketing and Communication: Develop effective marketing strategies to reach out to schools and parents. Establish clear communication channels for order inquiries and support.

  • Customer Experience: Providing excellent customer service is crucial. Make the ordering process as user-friendly as possible and be responsive to customer inquiries and concerns. Perhaps choose a lab that will handle these aspects for you.

  • Delivery and Packaging: Ensure that your chosen workflow includes secure and attractive packaging options for physical prints, creating a positive impression with customers.

Selling school photographs can be a lucrative venture. Carefully consider the most efficient workflow for selling your school photograph to be within the best chance at profitability.

Whether you choose self-fulfilment, a webshop with a lab partner, specialised software, or offering digital-only copies, remember that the key to success lies in providing high-quality images and exceptional customer service.

As you gain experience and build your reputation, you’ll find the best approach that suits your unique photography business needs.

How to sell school photographs