Why would you want to shoot prom sessions anyway? Renee Bowen :: Senior Photography Coach

Why would you want to shoot PROM sessions anyway?

We’re all at different stages in our senior photography businesses - some of you are just starting out and have never run a prom session, while others have been doing it for years but you may not be sure how to do it without driving yourself absolutely crazy. 

Reasons why you might want to take this on if you are a newer photographer:

● Use prom as a lead gen + to get more senior clients for the following year

● Great way to get your brand in front of a LOT of people all at the same time

If you are a seasoned photographer:

● Great way to serve the team and clients you already have

● Prom is always amazing marketing because the images will be posted all at the same time far and wide

Here are 5 tips for your prom photography: 

1. It’s really important to get really CLEAR on why you want to do this - whether it’s exposure, money, added value or all of the above. Make sure you outline your intention here so you’re not just running around shooting prom because you think you “should” or because everyone else is doing it.  It can be really stressful, so make sure you have this clarity first.

2.  Prom should be profitable in SOME WAY. So even if you are just starting out, I don’t really want you to do these for FREE free unless you have to … you can offer them at a lower rate , but be very careful about this because you will end up attracting more of the low-paying, NON ideal client. If you are just starting out, it might be okay but I’ll outline how I suggest you go about this so you can actually get in front of the right people.

Important : Everything you do - at all times - should be focused on speaking to your ideal clients in their OWN voices. Answering their questions and solving their pain points - just in general.

3.  What are the pain points for YOUR target client in regard to PROM?

  • The photos the parents get are awful; trees growing out of heads; bad light
  • They spend so much money on dresses and makeup and the entire experience and then settle for crappy pics???!!
  • It’s a hassle to get professional images for prom:
    • Time/timing
    • Money
    • Rain/weather
    • Location (needs to be accessible for them and not super crowded)

In any case, you want to be highlighting these in all your communication and emails.


4. Using language that is primed with NLP marketing language:

  • Words that you can use pretty much anywhere are: easily, naturally, unlimited, aware, realize, beyond, before, after, now, new, because, freely, expand, how to, discover, scientifically proven, research, powerful and amazing 
  • Words that generate positive emotions include believe, change, energize, healthy, overcome, thrive, success, refresh and happy
  • Words to invoke curiosity include finally, revealed, truth, imagine, expose, secret, uncover and illegal.
  • Words like proven, guaranteed and leading are used to gain trust

5.  COVID: No Prom or Limited Proms

What does Prom look like where you live? 

We aren’t having proms this year where I am, so parents are doing their own versions and I’ve been asked to shoot some; however, my schedule doesn’t really line up for a ton - and it’s not really financially feasible for me since they are doing these on different days.  If this is something you can do, though (especially if you are just starting out or trying to get some marketing bandwidth) - you could run this like a “regular” mini prom session. 

I’m only really doing a prom shoot with my Rep Team this year.  (If you are interested in running your own Rep Team Check It Out Here for more info) I’m INCLUDING the shoot, along with hair and makeup, in my team experience but will charge for prints - I’m actually planning to make a small book from the images and I will sell that to them. I’ll price it higher and then offer a “special team discount” for them and only offer it for a limited time.  (They will get web images from the shoot as always though.)  

My team is SUPER excited about this since this is really all they are getting and the parents are over the moon about it; the marketing from this will do really well for me locally and I feel like I’m doing something special for them since they literally have had NO senior year whatsoever.


 Wrapping it up...

However you decide to do it, come up with a strategy first. If you are new to this and it scares you, just take on a super limited number … you can use those images in your marketing for next year.

If you really don’t want to deal with Prom shoots, I would suggest working with a salon that option takes a lot of pressure off of you but gives you a LOT of great exposure.

If you do not have any images to market with but want to dive into it this year, grab one or two clients and find a dress store locally to partner with - I bet you that store will want and need Prom promotions too and they want your audience as much as you want theirs. It’s a great opportunity to find a hair/makeup person too if you don’t have one yet .… look to your own community first - most of what you need is right under your nose.

Check out the Recorded Prom Class to learn my exact methods!

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