Note: This is a guest post from Teri Fode, a senior photographer, photography speaker, and Snapchat guru from Granite Bay, California.

Teri Fode


Snapchat is the number one marketing tool for our senior business, and it’s only growing bigger. It’s reported as being one of the top platforms seniors and teens are on and with the debut of “Stories” last year, it’s quickly becoming successful as a marketing platform for businesses.

I only use Snapchat Stories with my teens and ask them to follow me prior to their senior session. When asking how teens are finding us, we’re now hearing “I saw Britney’s Story you did!” — which is a huge indicator of the success we’re finding with this platform.

Here are some of the ways I’m using Snapchat to grow my senior base:

1. Prep before session

A few days before every session, I text my senior to let her know she’ll be my “Snapchat Story” during her session, and I ask her to be sure to have her friends follow me. By this time, she already follows me and can’t wait to be “that girl” in my Snapchat Story. With this tactic, I usually gain a minimum of 5, and up to 20 new teen followers on Snapchat for every session I do.

2. Engage Mom

Mom probably knows about Snapchat as “that teen platform.” So at the very beginning of the session, I pull mom into why I’m on my phone the entire session. Then she gets to see the Story at the end of the session (which she loves, by the way). This plants a seed for the sale (read on).

3. Behind the scenes

I’m using Snapchat as a complete “behind the scenes” of every senior session: from the moment the teen walks into my studio through to the end.

4. Product reveals and more

Unveiling new products, grad cards, client product pick-ups, editing sneak-peeks at my desk, “day in the life” of a photographer — all of these play into an interesting Story that engages my teens and other followers. Authenticity is key, so I also, allow myself to be in the snaps from time to time.

5. Sales presentations

I save every Story to my phone and then to Dropbox. This allows me to pull in clips of each Story into my Animoto videos. I pull in professional video clips, but handsdown these Snapchat “real-life” behind-the-scenes video clips are more engaging, authentic, and enhance story-telling. While I can allow the music to play over the video and turn off the sound of the Snapchat, I often pull the voice of the senior in for more emotion. The final video is the single biggest seller at my sales presentations, and both mom and the senior love that I’m saving the memories of the day.


Style: Documentary
Song: “Pacifica” by Daniel Christopher O’Donnell-Smith and Jon Dix


Snapchat is huge, and now that we can save Stories and integrate them into a keepsake memory, they have even more value.


Teri Fode specializes in stylized senior portraits that also grow into family portrait opportunities. She has created a successful brand in her market, having started 10 years ago in a small in-home production studio using the client’s home for sales and consults to, most recently, a boutique-style store-front studio. Teri is also the creator of Voice Your Brand, teaching photographers actionable marketing strategies to engage authentically, connect consistently, and voice their unique message to the world, with style.