Want to hold a promotion benefitting Photographers for Charity, but don’t want to wait until Celebration of Smiles Day or Family Portrait Month? Go for it!
We want you to be able to help P4C anytime of the year and hopefully incorporate us in to your promotional calendar throughout the year.
Most studios have themed mini-sessions throughout the year and during several holidays. Why not use our Celebration of Smiles Day or Family Portrait Month promotion guides as your own “guides” to help run or revamp your current mini-sessions to help raise funds and awareness not only for P4C, but for local charities as well.
We contacted three studios and asked them to share how they conducted their Celebration of Smiles Day promotions. The following are a preview of just what they did and can be used as your guide to setting up successful programs.
Pete Rezac, Cr. Photog., CPP of Pete Rezac Photography in Reno, NV shares his Celebration of Smiles Day promotion and how he partnered with a local orthodontist and received great exposure with local news media in Reno as well! “I reached out to the largest and best (In my opinion) Orthodontics Practice, Pitts Orthodontics, here in the Northern Nevada area. They accepted immediately as one of the doctors had been on an Operation Smile mission several years prior and was personally familiar with the work Operation Smile performs. Pitts also has a marketing partner that helps them with their marketing and other promotions they do within the community so they put that to work helping to get the word out about the event that we were doing. This included a press release that was picked up by the local paper and also a couple of the local television stations here in Reno. They really went to work on promoting the event and using all means possible. Their reception area made for a great area to set up for portraits along with plenty of parking. We had several planning meetings prior to the event to make sure we were prepared for the potential number of people wishing to take part in this event. Pitts is as much in the scheduling business as they are the orthodontics business, and very much in sync to time management. We allowed seven minutes and $24 for every face we photograph so if it’s a family of four, that’s 28 minutes and $96. My assistant has who ever is making the image selection pick out the image that we will be providing the 5×7 print for and records the image number directly on the image release that was signed when they checked in with the Pitts receptionist. That is pretty much how it goes throughout the day. I do have some additional add on sales products that I have a reduced rates and help to benefit Operation Smile. I don’t want this event to be about selling me but about saving smiles and that philosophy seems to be working as I have had several families come back and book sessions later in the year. I know a lot of studios want to know how they can market themselves and make some money during that event, but my advice would be to just make it about the kids we’re helping and be genuine about it and the rest will take care of itself.”
Meggan Harper of Meggan Harper Photography in Ormond Beach, FL shares how her relationships with local parenting magazines in her market work great in planning her annual Celebration of Smiles Day event. “Since I already photograph the covers of our local parenting magazines, I thought it would be a great idea to combine the excitement of a cover contest with my fundraising efforts for additional charities. We ran a cover contest with a minimum donation amount of $48. That included their photo session, a set of 5×7’s and entry into the contest. We also gave clients the option of investing additional money, up to $200. And if they did, we matched the amount in portrait credit. Most clients opted to invest the maximum amount, so this really increased our donation amount. Some clients cashed in their $200 and didn’t purchase any additional products but most clients purchased up and above the $200. So, all things considered, it was a great success for our studio and also for Operation Smile!”
Lastly, we asked Larry Lourcey, M.Photog.Cr., CPP about their Celebration of Smiles Day promotions. “We first found out about Celebration of Smiles a few years ago when my wife sat in on a program at IUSA. We went pretty small-scale the first year, then got things rolling for year two- with much better results. In our third year- 2014 – my son Dean took over as the event chairman for our studio. He needed a community service project for school and seemed very interested in Operation Smile. When he took over promotion of the event, his goal was to basically double our money raised from the year before. We tried some new things – like a different location and a different day. Some changes worked, others didn’t. We ended up falling short of our goal, but were still happy with the overall result. For me, it was really nice having someone else handling the promotion part of things. I don’t mind doing the photography part – but all the other details tend to fall through the cracks. Having Dean spearhead the promotion provided us with a more planned-out exposure and helped him to better understand how much work goes into something like this. Our procedure is still very much a “work in progress” as we try to fine tune things for next year. I’ve got no idea what kind of goal he will set for the future, but I look forward to creating the images!”
We’re so excited and appreciative to have Pete, Meggan, Larry and Dean share their events and to give everyone ideas to take home with them to help make their charitable promotions better than ever!