Q: Last year I had recital photos taken, but very few people ordered any. Is it worth it to do it again this year?
A: Capturing the perfect photo at recital time is a great keepsake and reminder of the fun students had at that age/stage of their dancing. But for parents, the cost of printed photos is unappealing, given that smartphones can take high-quality images that are easily texted and shared on social media. While many treasure a posed photo, the number of parents who order them at our studio decreases each year.
As a result, we’ve created different options for our parents. During our in-studio dress rehearsal week, we have a company come take portraits. Parents order directly from them, and we even earn a small commission from each package sold. Last year, they only photographed the dancers who had pre-ordered images. We also have an action photographer at our theater who takes onstage, professional-style images that can be purchased after the recital for a small download fee. (These action photos have been the most popular.)
Use this as an opportunity to be progressive and try something new in order to make photo opportunities available to your students. You could create an all-inclusive media fee for your recital, which would include a posed photo, an action shot and perhaps a DVD/digital download of the dance number in order to boost sales.