Photographer Tips on: Using Senior Models to Promote Your Business

Hi! I’m Tracy, owner and photographer of Tracy Waitkus Photography based in San Luis Obispo County, CA. I specialize in senior and family portraits, as well as dance and performing arts photography. I have been in business for four years.

Find more of my work on the Web: Facebook / Instagram 

In my area, senior portrait season starts in June and lasts through October. It’s a super busy time for photographers with hundreds of upcoming seniors scheduling their portrait sessions to meet their school yearbook deadlines. But there are many photographers to choose from and competition is tough. So for the last couple of years I’ve implemented a senior model program to promote my business and capture the attention of potential clients.

This year I chose two amazing class of 2018 seniors and came up with a “Tomboy Chic” theme which carried through in our outfit and location choices. I also collaborated with a talented hair and makeup artist who did a fabulous job of getting my models camera-ready. Not only was adding hair and makeup a great way to cross-promote with my HMUA, but it made the experience super fun for my models!

The final images from our 2-hour shoot have been a great tool for marketing my senior portrait sessions. I’ve been sharing them on Facebook and Instagram, using them for print samples, and my models and their families have also been sharing (as well buying!) the images. Word-of-mouth is my most important source of new business, so making the model sessions fun and getting great images is key to the success of my model program.

All images were captured in natural light with a Nikon D610 and 85mm lens.


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