A Complete Workflow for School (and Sports!) Photographers

Kristi Kvenild is ShootProof’s Content Strategist, but her first love is her thriving preschool photography business, Up and Away Photography. She loves photographing young students, and readily shares her hard-earned insights with new photographers!


School photography is not exactly glamorous: it’s a ton of nose-wiping, shirt-straightening, wiggly arm-repositioning, goofy-sound making (and the occasional hitting yourself in the head for laughs). It’s knowing how to handle children (“Is there a booger on my camera?!”) AND adults (“Mom, I promise– little Johnny will do so much better if you’re not in the room!”) AND all of the normal mechanics of running a portrait photography business.

Sure, it’s fun– little kids with doe eyes peering into your lens, you laughing with a colleague when it’s over about how adorable the toddlers were, and hours spent dreaming up sets and props that will make every parent ooh and aaah.

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Photo by KRISTI KVENILD

But let’s not forget that school photography is work.

I repeat: RUNNING A SCHOOL PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS IS A TON OF WORK.

A few years ago, I was running blind into a niche that fell into my lap when I was asked to take portraits at my son’s daycare. I imagined I’d run it like a mini-session: set up some lights and a backdrop, bring the kids in, take their pictures, ask the parents what they wanted to order, and then deliver the prints to the school.

Like with most things in my life, I dove in head first and realized very quickly that I was in over my head, but being as stubborn as I am, I refused to admit it. Looking back, I realize now how much time was wasted, how inefficient I was at handling the business side of things, and how much room I had to improve. I learned the hard way that I wouldn’t be able to scale what promised to be a profitable business unless I figured out a sensible workflow.

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Photo by KRISTI KVENILD

School Photography: A Process That Works

Now, with thousands of student portraits under my belt, I’ve got a system that I love to share with other photographers who are looking to expand into school photography. It takes the guesswork out of the process and sets photographers up for success not only with the photos themselves but also with the school directors and employees. It’s a great pathway towards making school photography a profitable niche for your business!

Long before online galleries were commonplace, I was using ShootProof to display images to clients of family and newborn sessions. However, the recent integration of Snapizzi with ShootProof is the sports or school photographer’s dream come true. Snapizzi, in a nutshell, does all of the heavy lifting for you: you upload your photos through Snapizzi and they end up in your ShootProof account, organized and ready for sale.

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Photos by KRISTI KVENILD

The secret to an amazing workflow is using Snapizzi and ShootProof in tandem to get you well-prepared for every school, dance, or sports shoot you have scheduled, and to take all of the guesswork out of how to share proofs with parents and watch orders roll in while you’re humming along with the next job on your list.

This handy downloadable checklist explains (at length) what to do before, during, and after the shoot. Plus, it’s got a printable workflow checklist that you can use again and again to ensure you never miss a step!


Ready to start making money with school photography? Use promo code SP20 and take $20 off of your first month of Snapizzi. (That means that including the 14-Day free trial, you’ve got six amazing weeks of Snapizzi for only nineteen bucks!)

Using Snapizzi and excited to get started with ShootProof? Get a free account now and get your school photography business up and running in no time!


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