We all know how difficult the 2020 school year was, but one studio in particular took the pandemic as a jumpstart to expand their studio into the school photography industry.
Solis Images, established in the summer of 2020, is a studio out of Washington that’s taking a new and unique approach to picture day. With their team being entirely full-time photographers and videographers, they are reshaping the traditional picture day experience.
Powered by Life N Light, a creative agency, Solis Images booked their first school picture day in February of 2021 by a school that had been turned down by other photographers. Taking this opportunity to test the waters, they were able to use their photography knowledge to provide a great experience for both the school and students.
“Doing a little bit of research and watching YouTube videos, which is how we found ImageQuix & PhotoLynx, we were able to kick start our way into the school photography industry. With the help of both ImageQuix & PhotoLynx, we can provide the school and kids with a great experience and deliver pictures every parent will love.”
Nathan Nicholson, Director of Operations at Solis Images.
Even with their background in photography, the team had to come together to figure out ways to improve their workflow and increase efficiency while on site. From setup to tear down and everything in between, entering the high volume photography industry was a challenge the team was ready to tackle.
“It honestly took us a little bit. We couldn’t just go to another studio and ask them ‘Hey, how do you do this?’. We were doing a lot of testing and research at our studio, all trial and error.”
As many know, even with all of their testing and research, the Solis Images team was still not entirely prepared for the stars of the show… the kids.
“We also had to navigate how to handle hundreds of (somewhat crazy) kids all at once. Finding ways for our photographers to deal with the pressure that comes with picture day while still making sure things are running efficiently.”
One adjustment the studio made to improve their efficiency during picture day was increasing the amount of set up time they gave their photographers. Before this increase, the photographers were rushing to get their stations ready, causing both stress and delays.
Another steep learning curve for the studio involved was understanding how to communicate and set realistic/manageable expectations with their schools. In the high volume photography industry, having a good relationship with your schools is essential to keeping them as customers and continuing to grow your business.
Once they got a handle on the picture day process, it was time to tackle the launching side of the business. Making sure your studio gets pictures online and ready for the parents to view and order in a timely manner is crucial.
With many schools not providing email addresses to studios, Solis Images worked with our (ImageQuix and PhotoLynx) team to find the best way to capture email addresses and ensure parents view and order their pictures.
Solis Images uses our (ImageQuix’s) QR codes to scan each student and their picture(s) into their online system (Blueprint), as well as capture parents’ email addresses for future marketing purposes. Once the student’s picture(s) has been taken, the student can then bring home the QR code for the parent to scan and input their email address, allowing them access to their child’s unique online gallery. But, knowing how kids are, and that not every QR code is going to make it home, Solis Images also has their schools send out the generic gallery link where the parents log on and are asked to enter in their email address and student’s unique online code to access their gallery.
Once the pictures are online and parents start to enter the gallery, it is time to start putting your initial marketing campaign into action. Working closely with their dedicated marketing strategist from ImageQuix, Solis was able to automate their entire initial marketing campaign. This means that reminder emails and promotions will be sent out to their designated audience, without them ever having to lift a finger.
As Solis Images continues to grow their studio, taking time to reflect and learn from their past, they want to work towards improving their efficiency and expanding the marketing side of their studio with the help of ImageQuix.
“Now that we have been in the industry for a year, we will be using the knowledge we gained to then transfer into next year and make our photographers, schools, and the students’ picture day experience that much better.”
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