The Business of Photography

Smiling Graduations

The impact smiling can make on your sales

We have seen some very good success with our customers selling “extra shots” of SMILING graduates.

Using the standard ID’ed images normally taken at a graduation as the reference images for facial recognition, it becomes easy to offer your subject more poses. This will result in more sales if the right images are taken. Photographing the graduates in the processional is a great way to get a large number of SMILING faces.

I spent some time talking to some very sage customers who have had good success shooting and selling SMILING processional shots. Here are some key points to consider.

  • If you don’t shoot it, you can’t sell it. This profound statement goes for processional shots as well as extra on-stage shots, and friends and family shots.
  • If the subject is not looking at you and SMILING, the extra poses seldomly sell. This is critical to success. It does not make a small difference – it makes ALL the difference.
  • Any photographer involved must enjoy SMILING. There is no place for staff with chronic RBF.
  • Processionals commonly have two graduates walking side by side – taking a photograph of the two in the same image seldom sells. The two graduates likely do not even know each other.
  • You must get ONE graduate looking at you, cropped at the torso and SMILING.
  • You must have a separate SMILING photographer on each side of the moving line of graduates and just shoot the single graduate closet to you.

SMILING subjects are the key – You must get them to look at you and SMILE:

  1. Do it by yourself and SMILE constantly, be animated and suggest “look here and SMILE” several hundred times. Done properly, your face may hurt from excessive SMILING.
  2. Have a tripod in front of you with a 12″x12″ sign on it that says – “Look here and SMILE” – have the height such that the sign is comfortably below your SMILING face.
  3. Have a SMILING graduation assistant stand next to you that interacts full time with the approaching graduate saying, “Look at him/her and SMILE” and point at you.

These SMILING ideas incorporated into your next job are sure to make you extra money and have you truly SMILING!

Jack Counts

President of Candid Color Systems