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Is Volume Photography Right for You? Steve Melamed of J and S Photography shares his perspective.

When we started out…

I remember when I first started out 12 years ago. We were coming from a retail portrait studio and there just seemed to be stigma about volume photography.

(Kind of like it was looked down upon by the rest of the professional photographer world.)

We knew it would be a good place for us to start because we had knowledge of the business model and contacts with preschools. So, we jumped in.

At that time, though, I was almost embarrassed to come to a convention, expo or seminar and say I was a school photographer. I think now that stigma is gone for the most part. If you are trying to feed your artistic side though, this may not be the right avenue for you. It can be quite repetitive by its nature.

Why Volume Preschool Photography Matters

In reality this is a great business that has a real need for professional photographers. There are a lot of parents that don’t go to professional photographers because of money or time or whatever and these may be the only professional photographs they have of their children. There is a lot of bad going on in this
business as far as quality and customer service is concerned and I am proud to providing something
better than that.

Besides, this is a sustainable, self-repeating business that keeps growing every year with little effort or expense in marketing. Also, as I am not getting any younger, I am looking at hiring others to run the business in the future as I look at retirement. Not that I’m retiring anytime soon, but this business can keep going with very little effort from me and be a source of income. It also has a market value that could possibly be sold as well.

Let me say that I love preschool photography. It is a ton of fun. The kids are funny and unpredictable. They can be cute and photogenic. If you don’t like kids or taking pictures of them, this is not the right thing for you. It certainly isn’t right for everyone. You have to have a lot of patience and be able to kind of roll with things. The staff and parents can also be hard to deal with sometimes. Everybody likes to try to run the show and think they know how to do you job better than you. You have to walk a tight rope sometimes to make everyone feel validated, appreciated and still get good photographs. A lot of times this can be dealt with ahead of time before it becomes an issue. We send reminder emails about picture day and try to inform everyone of what to expect and also give them some dos and don’ts. Of course most won’t read it, but some do. 

Answering all your questions at our next PPNC Seminar

I will be teaching a session at Central Seminar in Durham this weekend, and I am going in more detail about our business model and how we have been able to achieve success in this field with it. It certainly isn’t the only way to run a volume business. It may not even be the best one. But it works for us and I would love to share it with you.

Photographer Steve Melamed shares his expertise with members of PPNC and other professional photographers in North Carolina.


Come join us at our Central Seminar to hear Steven Melamed of J and S Photo and other fab photographers share their knowledge! These regional seminars are free for active PPNC members and only $149 for non-members.

What will I do at PPNC’s Central Seminar?

  • Immerse yourself in two days of photography education
  • Meet world class photographers and award-winning mentors
  • Enjoy both Lecture Style Classes *and* hands-on shooting experiences
  • Meet & Greet other members on Friday night

The 411 on PPNC’s Central Seminar–>

  • Creating from your Shadow Self with Arthur Rainville
  • The how’s and why’s of preschool photography with Steve Melamed
  • Elevate your wildlife photography with Karen Doody

@ Marriott Research Triangle Park, located at 4700 Guardian Dr, Durham, NC 27703

Still not sure? Read more on our website.

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