Sealing The Deal - Booking More Senior Inquires

Sealing The Deal - Booking More Senior Inquires

Like most photographers, you have probably had in influx of senior calls recently. Schools will be back in session in less than a month, parents are trying to squeeze in appointments before their kids get busy with their final year of high school. What are you doing to turn your calls into appointments?

I have carved out a niche market in my area for senior girls; approximately 90% of the calls my studio receives turnover into appointments. I believe that my branding and marketing has a lot to do with this booking rate; my clients already know they want to book before seeing my pricing. However, if they are on the fence about booking, I have created high-end material and benefits for booking with my studio. If you are having trouble sealing the deal, below are a few tips to aid in the process.

Pick Up The Phone 

I receive many inquires via email and sometimes text messages. Instead of communicating through long drawn out emails and text, call them! It will help get relay the information quicker and they will get a feeling of your personality over the phone. This is the perfect time to give your “elevator speech” or sales pitch on why they should choose you. If you have a studio, invite the senior and their parents to come in for a pre-session consultation. You will ease their minds about the process by simply being available to answer their questions and inform them on what to expect. Keep in mind; many seniors are nervous about having their picture taken and how this process will work.


You must have a professional way to present your information and pricing. Are you giving your clients information and pricing in a high-end presentation of some form or are you emailing them a PDF price list? A couple years ago, I put together an online senior magazine that all of my clients receive. It includes photos from my rep sessions and features some of my best work from the year before. Not only does it highlight some of my favorite work, but there is information on styling, props, locations, and an overview of what to expect and how the process works.  Every client that receives the private link raves about the magazine and is very thankful for all the information. Take the time to create something that highlights your work and shows your professionalism.  I try to stay as green as possible, but you could always print and mail your presentation. Consistency in your branding should shine through in all the materials your client receives.

Partnership Marketing 

Many seniors and parents are lost when it comes to choosing outfits and styles. If you can alleviate some of this concern, you have made the process much easier and more enjoyable. Our studio has partnered with two local clothing boutiques that are targeted towards that age group. When booking with my studio, each of my seniors will receive 15% off their entire purchase and the boutiques offer a personal stylist to help choose the right fit and outfit. In addition to finding the perfect outfits, offering professional hair and make-up is a must. We have partnered with a salon that is proficient in editorial make-up and hair. Find a salon or a stylist that knows what looks good in front of a camera. There is a difference between daily make-up and photo-shoot make-up. We encourage seniors to add on hair and make-up to any collection for an additional cost.

Your senior clients need to know that you offer something more and/or better than your competitor. The above suggestions should help you provide more of an experience not just a photo session. Actively engage with your clients and offer suggestions and ideas. Seniors are looking for more than professional images; they are looking for professional advice and guidance to bring their experience full circle. 

Log in or register to post comments


Aaron Ottis's picture

Good info. Regarding the presentation materials: A nice, concise packet applies to all kinds of clients. If you show them you care about your presentation, it helps them understand you will care about their representation through the images you produce. Good stuff, Lindsey.

Bert McLendon's picture

Hey Lindsey great article. Could you elaborate on the magazine at all? Are you using issuu or another type of online magazine? Thanks!

Lindsey Pantaleo's picture

Hi Bert, thank you! I use a template from Design Aglow and then upload it to issuu. I keep it a private link and only email it to those who inquire.

Christian Berens's picture

Great writeup! Do you have any tips on what to say or how to initiate a conversation with boutiques and local stores? Thanks!!

Lindsey Pantaleo's picture

Hey Christian, I have contacted each of my parented companies though email. Most of them I have had a connection of someone who recommended me and I stated that in my email. When they emailed me back, then I set up something in person to chat about how we can benefit each other. Everyone I have contacted has been receptive and interested in working together. Best luck to you!

Jason Switzer's picture

When a senior (or their parent) opts for the hair and makeup "upgrade," do you have the hair and makeup done at your studio, or do you have the seniors just meet you at your studio (or on location) after they've gotten all glammed up? Thanks!

Lindsey Pantaleo's picture

Hey Jason, Last year I had all seniors hair and make-up done at my studio. However, this took me away from normal work for an additional hour to an hour and a half as I felt obligated to sit and chat with them and the parents while they were getting glammed up. Time is money. This year they are going to the salon which is only 5 minutes from my studio. I meet them there right before they are finished so I still get that "chat" time. I shoot mainly on-location so we just leave from there. I am happy with that decision thus far :)