Want More Family Portrait Business? Go to Church!

Want More Family Portrait Business? Go to Church!

by Chris Wunder, Cr.Photog.

Consumers spend over $100 million a year on family portraits taken at church. Did you get your share? Many photographers don’t realize that the #1 venue for family portraiture is at local churches through Directory programs. Once the dominant market of large, national traveling photography companies, the time is right for local studios to claim their share of this lucrative business.

Church Directory programs can be offered almost any time of the year and are ideal for filling gaps in your promotional calendar. These programs also allow you to capitalize on one of your core competencies – Family Portraiture and provide opportunities to network your studio’s other skills with large numbers of consumers who buy wedding photographs and portraits of seniors and children.

Most Church Directory programs share similar attributes. In exchange for the exclusive opportunity to photograph and sell portraits to all the families in a church that choose to participate, you provide each family with a printed
Pictorial Directory at no charge. Sittings are usually done on location at the church, but can be supplemented by studio sittings as well. The session fee is usually waived in consideration of the volume of sittings that can be done – many Churches have 250-500 families or more that can be photographed.

While there’s no obligation for families to purchase, the majority see this session as a great opportunity to fill their family portrait needs. Usually 75%-80% of sittings result in package purchases. Your average purchase amount will depend on many factors including your portrait quality, price structure and method of presentation. Wall portraits can be sold as well. A Church with 250 families can generate $15,000 or more in sales for photographers that want to take advantage of this opportunity.

Directories typically contain the family portraits with captions, photos of activities and candids and a printed roster section, which contains contact information about each family.

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to have your best sales year ever.  Make church directories an integral part of your marketing plan.

Click now to learn more about Marathon’s Pictorial Directory services.

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This article was written by
Chris Wunder

Mr. Wunder is a 30 year veteran in the photo marketing business. His expertise extends from Portrait Studios to Special Events including School Photography, Sports, Yearbooks and Directory publishing. An industry insider, he has worked with smaller, entrepreneurial firms as well as large corporate clients. He is in demand as a consultant, trainer and presenter for conventions and workshops at the regional, national and international level.

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