Working with photographers

Everyone knows that professional photographers work with schools for formal photos, but have you thought about involving them in PTA events too?

Working with a professional photographer means having professional products and services for which you can charge a premium. And building a relationship with any local supplier means you can access each other’s support bases and push your PTA out into the community. From donating photography sessions as a raffle prize to bringing their services to an event, there are a number of ways in which a local photographer can assist a PTA.

Raffle prizes

Asking a local photographer to donate a raffle prize for your fair should be an attractive offering as it allows them to promote their business, and will probably lead to additional profits. For example, if the prize is a free photoshoot with one print, the PTA gets a free raffle prize while the photographer can make money from extra prints ordered by the winners.

Fair photo booth

A photo booth is a great event attraction that everyone can take part in. All that’s needed is a backdrop and some silly props for people to choose from. While this can be run by PTAs, last year’s GDPR regulations mean taking the photos yourselves and then storing and distributing them can be a red-tape nightmare. By drafting in the help of a local photographer, you can charge more for a photo, plus they will have better-quality props and equipment. They will also have knowledge of dealing with images, especially of minors, correctly. Charge them for a pitch or take a percentage of takings.

Photo shoots

Give your families the opportunity to get studio-quality images with a family photo fundraiser. This type of fundraiser offers a great profit for little outlay, and benefits both parties.

Run the event at the weekend and book 15-minute timeslots in advance. Charges depend on how you’re going to make a profit. There are two ways to do this – keeping part of (or all) the ticket price as profit, or making commission on the photographer’s photo sales after the event. Consider whether any prints or digital copies will be included in the price.

Ask people for preferred timings in the run-up to the event, and book them in as close to the time as you can. Leave the odd slot free to give leeway for overrunning or latecomers. Ask for payments in advance.

At the event, have seating and refreshments available for anyone waiting. Families will come in at their chosen time, be photographed, and then after the event the photographer will follow up orders and contact parents. This means limited effort for the PTA and fewer GDPR concerns.

Getting a photographer on board

Approaching a business may seem intimidating, but the key thing to remember is that the event will benefit the photographer as much as it will the PTA. Not only will working with you give them access to the whole school as a potential customer base, but it’s also a way for them to get a foot in the door and show their skills to the school, lining them up for other things such as formal portrait and event photography.

When seeking support from local companies, make sure you approach them with a few different projects in mind, with varying levels of commitment. Giving a choice means they’ll be more likely to pick one rather than say no. Why not propose all options to a photographer and see what they’re happy to do? You may even find that together you can come up with your own fundraiser.


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