School Photographers in the local area & what they offer Leonie lamb

Jane Stapleton School Photography -

Jane Stapleton Photography Ltd was established in 1991. We started as a small, personal company photographing Schools, Pre-Schools and Nurseries in and around Nottingham and Derby.

After working in a traditional way for many years, the arrival of digital photography helped us change the way we create images and in 2005 we started in-house production of all our prints and products, and increased from a staff of 1 to a staff of 5.

Currently we employ up to 20 staff in our busy periods all working from our offices in Derbyshire, helping us produce the best quality school and nursery photographs available. We are proud that although Jane has since passed away we have continued to grow the company she started, and now service schools and nurseries across the country, keeping close a close eye on the core values of friendly, personal service that Jane was so well known for!

(Above text taken from Jane Stapleton's website)

The images above are examples from Jane Stapleton Photography of her nursery and school images. The images are high key and with traditional poses except the middle image, which is cropped and on an angle. This is image I like the best its got a more modern feel. On the website she states she offers a contemporary style with a choice of poses and backgrounds. She also offers free staff images in two sizes. With a 15% discount on staff purchases available at the school/nurseries discretion. Its a good tactic to offer free images and discounts this can often be an advantage for the customer compared to what the competition is offering.

She offers a multi pose option which allows parents to choose from 3 different poses. Being able to offer a variety of images there is more chance to increase sales. She also offers an online ordering system with over 50% of orders placed that way in 2012. Employing 20 people her business has been quite lucrative and well established. Another advantage for this school photographer is that she does her own in house printing giving her complete control over quality.

Tempest Photography -

Taking photographs is easy. Capturing the spark that makes each of us unique is work for a professional. Which is where Tempest comes in. We’re a family business with 80 years’ experience doing just that, bringing out the sweetness of newborns, curiosity of children, success of sports teams and the team spirit of co-workers. Based across the UK, we have experience photographing a wide range of people, including:

  • Early Years
  • Schools
  • Graduations
  • Large Groups
  • Uniformed Services
  • The right angle

A photograph should be something to treasure for years – so it’s important to get it right. Be it a portrait or group picture, traditional or contemporary in style, our 450 highly trained photographers understand the importance of strong angles, interesting composition and distinctive framing. Our digital laboratory is the most state-of-the-art in Europe, giving you first-class images, every time. Quality is paramount to us. Which is why we directly employ all our photographers and do everything in-house wherever possible.

Beyond the frame - There’s more to us than you think. Whether you want to encapsulate your group just as they are, or smile at memories from a family portrait, we not only produce our own prints we go even further making our own handmade quality frames. But that’s not all. You can choose to have your image printed on a range of products, from mouse mats to mugs, door hangers to purses. These unique portraits make great gifts and everlasting keepsakes.

(Above text taken from Tempest website.)

The above images are from the Tempest website offering classic and modern school portraits. The classic portraits are the traditional head and shoulder shots with the contemporary angled cropped shot along with a variety of gel coloured backgrounds. They have the most advanced laboratory in Europe which they have invested 10 million pounds since 2005. Having there own lab to print and mount themselves on site gives them ultimate control over the quality and also keeps costs down on that front instead of paying another company to produce your packages.

They offer a money back guarantee on the images and packages if you aren't happy with them. Which should be a standard practice from any company really, you want to keep the customer happy with the products they are purchasing from your company.

Red Feather Photography -

Red feather photography is a Nottingham based photography business run by Emma. Who graduated in 2007 with a BA Hons from Nottingham Trent Uni, she then set up her own business in 2010. Red Feather doesn't cover school photos but she does do nurseries around the area. She prides the business on being able to offer a studio experience at a fraction of the cost. She offers four packages along with signature pieces such as block mounts, canvas's, frames and montages. Red Feather also offer buy 1 package and get one half price, along with an A3 size portrait within the packages as a standard size print. She also offers free staff portraits printed and on CD if required. They don't tie you into a contract they are invited back every year due to the professionalism and quality they provide. Her images are of a more modern feel with the children playing with toys or dressing up. angle and cropped shots side profile images. But they all look beautiful and professional with the modern edge, she provides four images to choose from including the classic head and shoulder image along with 3 more contemporary style images. Providing more than 1 image to choose from boosts your sales as parents are often spoilt for choice and won't be able to decide so end up having all the images with additional prints. Being a small business and not a chain she has more of a passion and drive to deliver the best experience and quality, this shows within her images and website. Something that myself and Emma will be driving towards.

SPLICED School Photography -

With over 12 years experience of photographing in schools Gary Rawlings has built up a reputation within the schools he works in. And provides quite a lot of free options for the schools. The problem I found with this company is it is very repetitive. This photography company provides Emma's sons school there services and for 3 years running emma has had the same photo pose each year. Every year Harvey is laying down, it would be nice to see this mixed up a little bit and have something different. The images on the website don't promote his work much, there not images I would personally choose to have on my professional website to promote my portrait skills. There lacking creativity, professionalism and aren't very eye catching at all. He only offers one image for you to buy where I think in this day and age more photographers are offering a more varied range for the parents to choose from.

High quality photos, delivered on time and in a range of fantastic products, simply choose what you'd like and we'll do the rest. Photographs can be mounted or framed and are available in a range of sizes, including swap cards, so there's always enough to share.

Below are the different products we offer.

  • Portraits:
  • Traditional – looking sweet and smart
  • Freestyle – bring out their personality!
  • Groups:
  • Staff
  • Friendship groups
  • Composite
  • Year
  • School
  • Traditional
  • Sports
  • Named, labelled
  • Marketing materials for schools:
  • Branding
  • Prospectus
  • Posters
  • Staff boards
  • Benefits to schools
  • We offer incentives to the school and staff including:
  • Earn commission: Our customer loyalty scheme also means that your commission will be competitive.
  • Free staff ID cards: High quality cards including holders and lanyards, updated every year. Many of our customers tell us that OFSTED view ID cards favourable
  • Free staff board: We’ll also update the board every year to include new starters
  • Free Every Child Matters posters: Fun posters of children dressed up in career-orientated outfits
  • Free prospectus and website photography: We’ll supply all the images on a disk and can put you in touch with a designer should you need one
  • Free career talks: We love to share our experience and can talk to the children at ‘Aspiration Days’
  • School staff discount: All staff receive a 10% discount on our products
  • Income generation calendar: Generate income from local businesses sponsoring your school calendar – we’ll take the photographs for free.

(Information taken from SPLICED photography website.)

.Packages we will offer.

Me and Emma will compare prices from the other companies and put together a package with competitive prices and selections to choose from. This can be done once we have gathered our pricing lists from printing companies (still waiting to hear back from them), to see what our best prices can be. Looking into the companies and what they offer I think it would be good practice for us to start off with the playgroups and nurseries before approaching the schools. I feel we will benefit from the experience and build up on our reputation.

Information gathered from parents on what they want and prefer from the school photographers.

Questionnaire put out to parents to see how they feel about the service they receive:

Research for school photography what you as a parent prefer:

Q1. Do you like your images mounted ( the card board frames) or do you prefer to frame them yourself?

Q2. Do you prefer one image or a selection of images to choose from?

Q3. Are you happy with your current school photographer? If not what would you change?

Q4. Do you think the prices are reasonable & affordable? If not what price range do you see acceptable?

The survey was put out to 50 parents there responses are as follows:

Q1 - 37 Parents said that they preferred to frame themselves and that they never use the mounts. The also said they look cheap and tacky, with 17 of them stating they have been like that since they were children and that they'd like be happy to see a change. 13 parents agreed that they are happy with the mounts as it saves them time and money.

Q2 - 29 Parents wanted a selection of images 2-4 to choose from opposed to just the one. while the other 21 parents said they don't mind having the one as having more they would want all of them.

Q3 - 33 Parents were not happy with the photographer they currently have. They say they look rushed, food on the faces, collars not corrected, over edited, boring as they are the same every year, no variety, look stiff and uncomfortable. 17 parents said they were happy with only a few saying different poses would be nice.

Q4 - 16 Parents were happy with the prices with the remaining 34 parents said prices were expensive and excessive for what they offer. They also said add ons such as personalised pens, mouse mats, mugs etc would be nice to choose from. Parents said for a package they would be happy to pay between £30-£40, while the price for one image on its own is always expensive and would like to see this price dropped.

This survey was carried out on parents on 4 surrounding schools in the area, extending this survey to more parents in more school & nurseries would give us a more in depth knowledge of what we could offer.

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