In every person’s life, there are milestones — those events that stand out among all the memories and often mark a turning point. There are milestones unique to each individual, but others are shared among people of the same age. One such milestone is graduation.
Bob and Kim Taylor are honored to experience graduation each year in their hometown of Newberg, Ore., as they take photographs of each graduate during the ceremony. They love the small community and working closely with the people who live there.
Part of the Community
The Taylors know they are community-minded and seldom take jobs outside of the area. While they are preparing for their fifth graduation shoot at the high school in Newberg this year, taking photos during graduation is just one piece of their effort to be a part of the community.
“We do a lot of things in the community. For example, we went to a special needs prom and provided the photos for free,” Kim Taylor said. “Graduation is a great piece of that. We’re the photographer you see up front. One year, it was a horrendous year, because we had an inch of rain during the ceremony. We had baggies wrapped around the camera lens to protect them. People have come up to us since knowing we were the people standing in the rain, getting the photos, and showing our dedication to the community.”
With help from a small amount of staff, the Taylors are able to shoot the processional, candid photos, on-stage shots, and a posed individual picture. The photos represent more than the single moment, but all the moments leading up to it. Sometimes, they can represent a child’s entire life.
“Like in every community, we lose students to accidents from time to time,” the Taylors said. “Two years ago, we lost a member of the graduating class just two weeks after graduation. We reached out to our franchisors and friends at Candid Color Systems to tell them about what happened. In no time they printed up a collection of photo products for us to share with the family.”
The Taylors waited about a month before heading over to visit the family of the former student. They were completely ready to simply drop the package on the porch for the family to find at their convenience, but then the door opened. The student’s mother listened to what they said.
“We told her the truth. We said we’ve lost a child. We were there and took the graduation pictures,” the Taylors said. “And we spent the next hour and a half talking about the emotional path of losing a child. We were proud to be able to share those moments with her and it was an organic and beautiful connection. It allowed us to show her how people in the community can really show up for you.”
When the Taylors ran into that mother about six weeks later, she made a point to tell them about what it meant to her have the photos. She was so thankful she hadn’t had to put the effort into picking out which ones and what sizes to purchase, and it filled her with the feeling of community support.
Getting into Graduation
Bob and Kim tried for years to get the job of shooting all the high school sports photography in Newberg, and for years, while the administration was nice, they stayed with the photographer they’d always used. Then something changed.
“We experienced the graduation photo process with school’s photographer when our oldest child graduated,” the Taylors said. “After experiencing our competitor, we reached out to the school about taking the graduation photos. We thought we could make it run more smoothly and provide a seamless experience for the students, faculty, and parents.”
When they presented the idea to the administration, the opportunity to shoot the graduation ceremony was suddenly theirs.
“We had never done a graduation shoot before,” the Taylors said. “The folks at Candid Color Systems had explained to us how they handle them and gave us all the tools we needed to be able to do a great job. We used the Candid model exactly as it was presented to us, line by line like they did it. We felt like we stumbled through it, but it was a great success.”
The seamlessness of shooting the event, the lack of involvement required from anyone at the school, the fast turn around time for proofs, and the View First online ordering process all added to the professionalism the Taylors were able to bring to the table. Within 18 to 24 hours, students, family, and friends were able to view all the photos online and order all the prints and products they wanted.
After years of trying to get a foot in the door at the high school, they were shooting photos there. Now, they have all the sports photography business, too. Every photography shoot Kim and Bob host is quick, professional, and hassle-free. Everything is done well, and the customers love the results.
Part of the TSS Photography Family
One thing the Taylors stress is that they aren’t special in their ability to take great photos at graduation ceremonies.
“This isn’t something special we were able to offer because we’re Bob and Kim,” the Taylors said. “This is what TSS Photography does for us. They provide us with cards for the students to fill out, and they’ve done it in English and Spanish. They provide us with facial recognition software to help find all the photos of one graduate at the same time. They provide us with support in the field. We’d never have started doing graduation ceremony photography without them.”
When other franchisees ask Bob and Kim whether the formula works for graduation photo shoots, they always answer “yes.” TSS Photography and Candid Color Systems provide resources for all their franchise owners across the country to create successful, thriving businesses like Bob and Kim Taylor’s in Newberg.
Are you ready to learn what TSS Photography could do for you? Don’t wait another day. Download our virtual brochure today to learn more about how you could become the next successful TSS Photography franchise owner.