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School photos.... What do you want?(14 Posts)
I've read a few old threads on the suject of school photos, and there seems to a lot of disfatisfaction as to what's on offer, and prices.
As a school tog, I'd be interested to know what parents would like to be made available, and whether they think school photos are good VFM compared to going to a high street studio
I like standard head and shoulder portraits on a white background. Don't like the blue/green backgrounds. I like group photos done the traditional way with all the children in rows, maybe outdoors.
I don't like the posed casual playful ones or all the children stood in a line.
I also dislike having to choose from a baffling range of packages of different sizes and products. I now just buy one image on CD and get prints made in Boots to overcome this problem, but would appreciate a discount for having two different photos on one CD.
I hate the Venture style school group photos - won't buy them now. You can't make out who anyone is and they'll be useless in the fute should any of then become famous I agree that the permutations are baffling so just get the simplest, cheapest package
My pet hate is the group ones with shoes off. I like shoes , it's part of the school uniform.
I Aldo Luke my children to look like themselves not forced into in- natural poses like dd being made to pose hands on hips looking like a little madam.
I don't mind props which ate appropriate eg sports teams or orchestra but not these long random prop photos
Finally I want a nice head and shoulders shot with good exposure and the freedom to buy so hike pics of both my children not be tied to a package
I don't want pictures of children with their teacher, I like a natural head and shoulders shot on white back ground.
I have 3 DC in different schools and can't afford all 3 individual photos at £11 each, which means we don't buy any and just keep the sample
I realise a profit needs to be made but at £11 per photo in a school of 400 children that's £4000 (roughly, it's late) it would be lovely to have the option of a decent priced, normal sized picture to keep to show how much they change over the years.
Take it back to basics with basic prices to match it I'd say.
Forgot to ask: do the school take any profit from the money charged for school photos?
I don't consider photographers who go into schools to be providing the same service as ones where you go to a studio. Personally I would never ever go to a studio, however I love school photos. School photos are traditional and that's a huge part of their appeal for me. So I like the traditional headshot, sibling groups and also a class photo. Think the traditional class photo where there is a line sitting, a line standing behind etc is very nice. Also like the neutral background.
However, the price tags can be too high. I put into my online basket on the photo company's website a class photo of each of my dc and a moderate "pack" of each child's headshot photo and the sibling shot (2 dc). This came to more than £90 and I just dont see how an average family can shell out like that every year. I therefore started emptying stuff out of the basket to reduce the vast cost.
Frankly, unless you are David beckham, I don't understand how people afford to go for studio shoots. I don't consider my family to be badly off, but we could never justify the cost. Plus these places have a reputation for charging huge unexpected costs.
none of that modern pish with a long wide photo of kids posed in groups holding hoops , balls, trumpets whatever. BOAK
My nursary have what I think are good photos, they give u a choice of four poses, whilst I know at school this is unrealistic I think a choice of two could be done.
DD started school this year, her head and shoulder shot was awful so I didn't buy it, which made me sad.
I agree that a budget package should be an option. It can get expensive if you haver more than one child at school.
<relieved it isn't just me>
I don't like the modern trendy ones. I don't want to see them in 'gangsta' poses or shoes off or girls with hands on hips and sticking their bottom out etc etc . I certainly don't want to see their teacher posing like he's Jay-Z or whatever. <hoiks bosom>
No, when I look at my own school photos
from 1843 what I like is that I can see who is who and what we looked like, and we are all lined up and looking slightly embarassed in our uniforms. Sorry but that's how it should be.
I also like seeing the background in the room in school that the photo was taken in, therefore no white backgrounds please. In years to come, dc's will want to look at those pics and the backgrounds and it would be nice for them to be able to remember things in the background too, that's my experience anyway.
It goes without saying that they are too expensive but hey ho, that's the cost, photographer making a living etc.
Some good replies thanks.
It seems the general wish is to keep it simple and traditional and as a tog that's what I try to get the school to do. But they are our clients and we have to do what they say.
The long panoramics with the funky poses have been around for 5 years or so now. they sold well the first two years, but sales have dropped and it's difficult to make them pay. There is a tremendous amount of post shoot work to do stitching the parts together and cleaning the floor. I avoid if possible. I don't make them take off their shoes as I clean up the filthy floor in photoshop afterwards.
Blue lights...... your costing is way off. 400 x £11 = £4000. That's turnover not profit and assumes every one buys. In reality the take up rate is often below 20%. So that would be 80x11 =£880 turnover
You've forgoten the costs!!!!!
The school keeps £220
The vat man has £110
That leaves £550
From that we have to deduct the cost of the proofs and the cost of the finished prints/mounts.
Doesn't leave a lot.
Then there is a thing called OVERHEADS to consider.
CD is a good option.
Me...... First image =£15
Third and subsequent = £5
I agree there is no comparison between a high street studio and a school tog. School tog does up to 1000 pupils in a day. High Steet tog might not have any bookings whatsover and to cover his OVERHEADS charges a lot
Mulitple poses. Many of us do single, two, three, or four poses depending on the time available.
Remember....... the only reason the school let us in is to help them raise funds via their commision. They are also asking for more and more freebies.
Now they want us to link the photo with the school data base. This is an immensley taxing task and we get nothing out of it.
It's got to the stage where it can be not worth doing some schools
Our primary school photos are well done IMO. They seem to get a balance between classical and informal. They are normally done outside and in relaxed poses - e.g. sitting on log in the trim trail, but not excessively contrived. They managed to get a good picture of DS2 and DS1 together which I really appreciate. IIRC there are 4 poses per child (including the with-sibling one)
They are expensive from the consumer's point of view (£60 for one of each child, one together and one class) but I do appreciate the costs. Perhaps if people could download a digital picture for say £8 or £10 there would be more take up? It's disheartening when there is nothing under £15.
More and more digital downloads and cds are being ordered.
I predict in a few years hardly any paper prints will be sold.
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