It’s something I struggle with every day - how big can I build this business, without getting so big I can’t handle it... because I want to stay small and solo? Some days it feels like I’m walking that fine line of not being able to handle it all alone, and other days I surprise myself, being able to do something I never thought possible, all alone.
So when a school called me to see if my company did school photos, I kind of smirked at the email and just replied, sorry, we are not equipped. I lack blue tie dye or carnival backdrops and the time it would take to develop a system to do pre packaged orders was no where to be found. So I politely declined. But then they called back.
Due to it being a different type of year, and with the less than great experience they had last year from larger, well known school photography companies, they wanted something fresh, something different, something with a little better presentation. I decided to at least take a call. I took the call, and before I knew it I was scheduled for two campuses - around 300 kids total- and an email was sent out that LuvEd Photography would be this years school photographer. I didn’t think much of it...until that morning.
As I got dressed I started thinking... that’s a LOT of parents to please! That’s a LOT of faculty to impress. That’s a LOT of kids to remember and organize! And after I did it, I thought, that was actually a LOT of fun!
It was a fun experience and what I particularly loved - a challenge. A challenge to change the look of school photos - to “erikafy” it as I always say :)
When the photos went live I needed a break. I had been triple checking everything to make sure it was perfect and my eyeballs hurt. I turned off my phone for awhile, and when I went back to it, all I saw were orders pouring in, emails saying the nicest things to me about their kids’ natural smile. I started crying. I described the feeling to my friend as similar to training for a marathon. So much work, so much time, so much stress, and then you do it. I didn’t care about the orders, just that one parent thanking me for a natural smile. It was worth it.
We didn’t use backgrounds, but a fun area on the dock of the school that I went and planned out with a faculty member prior. And at another campus we used their garden. To limit waste, we did not pass out order forms, the school was sent a password protected link where parents could access their children’s photos - safely. Home room composites were made, so kids could remember their classmates and orders were placed a la carte. If you only wanted 2 prints, you only had to buy 2 prints. Every parent had 5 photos to choose from, and had the option to just purchase the digitals if they didn’t need prints. And yes, the school received a percentage of the profit.
So I might be crazy, but now that I have a system down, it’s official and on my website, LuvEd is on board for school photography! Schools under 300 students, unless we can work out multiple days, and I will limit the number I take per year because well... sometimes I need to sleep ..... and travel 😉.