I shoot many different types of sessions and seniors is definitely one of my favorite sessions to shoot. Now as if photography is not already competitive enough Senior Rep Programs seem to be very competitive. I had earlier in the month put out my Senior Rep program and had made some changes from the last years program. I’m here to be honest so I had quite a few applicants and all was ready to go then I had a few girls back out. There was one that decided to go with another photographer even. There are days when I feel like I’m not good enough as a photographer and question if I should keep running my photography business but this incident really threw me for a loop and honestly hurt my feelings and I was a little depressed about it. I know that what a Senior receives is a big thing in deciding which photographer they want to work with and I know that the incentives that are given in return for the number of referrals is also a big factor. I have done my research and I found that some photographers offer money or gift cards. I personally can not offer that. I am not financially stable enough and also not a big enough photography company where I can pay senior for referrals. I mean this is still a business and I have to make money from it.
I wanted to write this blog post a few weeks ago because I kept having thoughts pop into my head as I was designing my program so the rest of this blog may be some rambling but I’m also going to describe my program and add on some reasoning or other stuff with it. So I offer a session that is 2-3 hours, to be honest I don’t keep track of time and if I don’t have another session following the one I’m working on I usually go over especially if the subject I am shooting is rocking their session. But once I feel like I have what I want and a large number of images I usually call it good. For this session I am charging $75 which is half off the regular price. I have started a new thing this year that with sessions you must buy prints through me but for senior reps I am giving the senior 5 digital images for them to upload to their computer and put on a CD or USB drive. So there is another thing I am saving you money on is not having you pay more for prints. Of course their are special photo items that can still be purchased through me. There are some photographers that only allow a certain number of outfits but I allow unlimited outfits because let’s face it us women have a hard time deciding, lol. Another big plus in my eyes is that if your immediate family needs family pictures done for example they will get 20% off the session. That is my way of thanking the guardian(s) for allowing their senior to be a part of my photography business and help me in getting my business out there and supporting me. Something completely new that I am doing is I am going to find someone to video portions of the shoot so they will be featured in a “behind the scenes” type video. Depending on the number of referrals each senior gets they will be able to get their hair and makeup done discounted or free. I will also have that part videoed too. The Senior with the most referrals will get a 2-3 hour Best Friends Pamper/Shoot day. I will have someone come and do their nails, hair, and makeup completely free. I will be photographing this just as they would as I do with weddings. I’ll also have this part videoed. In all honesty as I said I’ve never done the video thing so hopefully it will work out. The image I have in my head for it is awesome! For the Best Friends shoot they will have unlimited outfits and we will go to several different locations. I usually have an idea of the locations and they are always close to home.
If possible I would also like to have everyone agree on a date and do a trip to one of the waterfalls in Indiana and do some individual and group shots. But this is just an idea. And I may think of more fun ideas and extra incentives along the way.
I have a secret FB group for those that have been chosen to keep everyone updated and on track. I think this helps versus having to msg or email each senior rep and guardian. The reps can always throw ideas out there and post examples of images that they think would be fun.
All I really ask is that the cost is paid, of course and that each Senior Rep uses only me and represents/advertises for me. I mean if they are promoting another photographer along w/ me that doesn’t really help me when I’m giving them a discounted session. I see it as a give and take experience.
I definitely didn’t cover everything but I think that this all is a pretty good deal, affordable, and fun. It may not be the top of the line Senior Rep Program but I try my best and hope that those who are or will be Senior Reps for me enjoy their shoots w/ me and come back as repeat customers.
So in ending this blog thank you to those who have been accepted and will be working w/ me. And anyone who is interested in becoming a Senior Rep for Kirsten Ray Photography will fill out an application. Also, if you know anyone that is a junior and would be a great fit for this please send them my way. If they become a Senior Rep for me I will give you 20% off a session or print order as my way of saying thank you!