Case study: How to maximise your investment in professional photography

When it comes to communication and marketing of your school, professional photography is sometimes seen as unnecessary while enrolments are strong, and a lavish expense when your enrolments are lacking. But don’t confuse the price you will pay with the value you will receive.

Here are just a few reasons why professional photography should be high on your list.

Is it pretty or is it great?

It is possible for anyone to take an aesthetically pleasing image. It doesn’t matter if it is captured with professional equipment or with the camera in your phone; most people are capable of the occasional pleasing image. The difference that a professional photographer brings to the table is the ability to do it consistently and to deliver the images that tell your school’s brand story to its maximum potential. Great images are judged not only by how they look, but by their usefulness and flexibility. One great image is worth a thousand pretty pictures.

A picture is worth a thousand words

You’ve probably heard this before, but at imageseven we don’t believe this is true. A good image is worth at least 10,000 words. Think of a great image that tells your brand story with just a glance, then multiply that by the number of people who will see it, and then multiply that once again by the number of times you can use the image. Each time your image is seen, you get to show prospective and current parents what your school offers rather than telling them. The internet has made your school’s imagery more important than ever before. Prospective parents will make a judgement about your school in just a fraction of a second. Can you afford not to put your best foot forward?

Stock photography is not you

Using stock photography is an abuse of your brand. Stock photography is intentionally generic and doesn’t depict reality. Most of all it doesn’t tell your brand story … it tells a generic story.

Poor quality imagery on your website and in your printed material signals that your school is likely to be a poor choice for prospective parents and undermine the confidence of current parents.

Great images are versatile assets

Online, photos can make your website infinitely more engaging. They can be used to build your school brand in your enewsletter, on social media, featured in blog posts and articles — the possibilities are endless. Offline, photos can be used in your printed material such as your prospectus, brochures, annuals and magazines. Great imagery is vital for your out-of-home advertising (think billboards and shopping centres), online display ads, print and recruitment advertising as well.


So, how do you maximise your investment in professional photography?

The School Marketing Journal asked Gavin Blue OAM, a professional photographer with more than 30 years’ experience, for his top tips on how to make a professional photoshoot a truly productive investment for your school.

“Taking photographs in schools is one of my great professional passions. Setting staff and students at ease during the shoot is the first step to being able to confidently produce a high volume of quality images. 

“All schools have an ‘essence’ — a blend of history, energy and pride. It’s what makes them stand out from the crowd. That essence can be hard to put into words and it’s even harder to capture in an image.

“School budgets are always tight (and so they should be), so it is important work to ensure schools get maximum value from each shot and each location, capturing images that can be used across many formats and for extended periods. This careful planning also helps to minimise any disruption to a school’s important and busy schedule.

“Here are my tips to ensure schools have a successful and productive photo shoot.”

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