Many photographers feel conflicted about offering photography classes to their clients or local parents. After all, wouldn’t teaching photography classes inevitably mean that parents wouldn’t need their family photographer any more? It’s a reasonable (and wise) concern to entertain.
That’s exactly what I was afraid of when I first started teaching the classes to my clients six years ago. Financially, we were in a place of needing our photography business to produce more income for our growing family, and I couldn’t see adding more sessions to my already over-booked schedule as an option. The editing was killing me!
After finally deciding to take the risk, I put my first Photography for Parents curriculum together and nervously announced the class on my blog. I was terrified that no one would sign up, or that the price ($99) was too high, or that I wouldn’t be able to explain photography to parents on their level like I thought I would.
But guess what?
The class filled up in an hour. We quickly opened up another class for the following day, which filled up by the end of the evening. And we still had a waiting list of parents hoping for a cancellation so they could grab a spot. We limited the class sizes to 12 participants… and it was the fastest $2400 I’d made up until that point!
Even though I was nervous teaching my first class, I quickly realized that these parents were here because they believed that I could teach them some important things about photography… and I did! By the end of my first Camera Class, I was flying high. In one weekend, I discovered that teaching photography to parents was as fun as it was rewarding!
Our larger fear, of course, was that the class would enable parents to capture their own children through photography, which would keep them from calling me to schedule photo sessions. As I continued to teach the classes, however, we quickly realized that the number inquiries we had on a weekly basis was growing, not shrinking! As our classes began to fill with friends of clients (word of mouth marketing is the most valuable, right?), we began getting more and more calls and emails that started with, “Hi! I was at your Camera Class last Saturday and would love to book a session…” True story.
I began scheduling our camera classes (which we’d named Sweet Shots classes at this point!) quarterly… then monthly, and our business boomed.
Teaching DSLR classes to parents strengthens your photography business in the following ways:
- Demonstrate your authority and expertise, gaining your clients’ respect
- Interact with your clients outside of photography sessions, solidifying your relationship with them
- Teach photography classes within your community an entry-point for potential clients. Often, class participants come back for a photography session based on their comfort level with you and appreciation for your personality and proficiency.
- Boost your income. A class of ten participants at $99 per student adds an additional $990 dollars to your bottom line. Teach one class per month to add nearly $12,000 to your annual income. Teach two classes per month (Level I + Level II) to boost your yearly revenue by over $23,000. Not only are Sweet Shots classes fun to teach, but they require no follow-up work, such as editing of photos, posting of sessions, print consultation meetings, etc.
Learn more about our Sweet Shots DSLR Instructor Pack and start offering camera classes to your market!