In today’s world, Head Teachers are not only expected to be experts in getting the best out of their pupils, in many cases, they are also expected to project manage the ‘sell’ of their school to prospective parents.
Alongside outstanding Ofsted reports and strong test results, school’s now require beautiful prospectuses, fabulous websites and well-curated and managed social media content in order to attract new students and parents.
As part of fulfilling the brief, CuCo also art directed and organised a photoshoot at the school, with our Creative Director Christian photographing the pupils within the school environment.
The importance of school photography cannot be understated when it comes to marketing your school. Beautiful school prospectus photographs go a long way in really showing exactly what your school is all about – it’s facilities, it’s ethos and what parents can expect their child to experience there.
For any school serious about their marketing – photography is one element you just don’t want to do yourself.
Here’s CuCo’s Top 9 Tips for any Head Teacher looking to organise an effective school photography session:
Choose the right photographer – Does their portfolio demonstrate talent? Have they got experience photographing in the school environment? Are they used to working with children? In a fast-paced environment?
Get parental permission – Make sure you have all the correct, signed paperwork well-ahead of time, allowing time for the signed-forms to be received and returned by parents ahead of the shoot. It also allows parents to ensure uniforms are smart and correct on the day.
Choose a suitable date – September works particularly well for students-shot as pupils are fresh-faced, relaxed, and usually wearing new uniform, whereas mid-summer is best for outdoor shots to give you the best chance of a sunny day. An ordinary school day is the best.
Brief your photographer on the school’s reputation – it’s absolutely essential that your photographer understands the message you want to communicate about your school through your imagery. Are you known for your academic achievements? Make sure you show engaged, hard-working pupils. Your pastoral care? Show children interacting with teachers 1-1.
Create a schedule – Whether your shoot is over a half day, a full day, or a full working week, it’s vital you and your photographer have a schedule in place to ensure you all make the most of their time spent in the school.
Involve your teachers – Ensure your teachers are fully-briefed on the schedule for the day so they can build their lesson plans to accommodate. An unexpectedly interrupted lesson doesn’t make for great shoot.
Prepare the classrooms – Make sure any locations to be used in the shoot are clean and tidy. They need a strong visual element – classes that are instantly identifiable and showcase your facilities like science labs and art rooms work particularly well as they have recognisable facilities and lively classroom participation, whereas geography and history can look very similar.
Choose pupils of all ages – Ensure all year groups are represented within your photography. It’s no good realising after the shoot has happened that you only shot the junior school and the seniors are now underrepresented within the visuals.
Don’t forget that any photographs you capture during the shoot can subsequently be used for other purposes including social media posts, e-newsletters and more. Think about what types of imagery you might want and if your photographer has any time at the end of the shoot – speak to them and see what’s possible!
We hope these 9 Top Tips will help you to plan an effective school photoshoot, but if would like to enlist the help of a professional photographer – our experts are here to help! Get in touch today.