From Picture Day to Your Home in Two Weeks or Less

Each fall, Cady Studios has just 90 days to photograph over 300 schools, print and ship portraits to families across the Southeastern and Midwestern regions of the United States. In just 90 minutes, Cady can photograph an entire student body (some pushing 3,000 students), and then have portraits to families within two weeks.

To say that the beginning of the school year is busy for a school photography company is quite the understatement.

Cady Studios prides themselves on in-house printing, producing a large majority of their products at the company headquarters in Lake City, Florida. What comes from a simple, “Yes, we can photograph your school” to producing each and every student’s prints to be sent home in a few short days is what some would call a wild ride, says Casey Walker, Production Manager.

While photographers manage to capture images from roughly 20 schools a day, they return from schools only to immediately upload images, send them over to data where the photos are matched with names. They are then sent over to the retouching team. Every single image captured by Cady Studios must pass the retouching approval, that includes cropping and editing before the image is sent over to production.

The production team is the powerhouse of Cady Studios. Over 250 employees work in retouching and production Roughly 100 people at a time between the hours of 6am and 10pm use enormous amounts of quality control in order to ship out students’ portraits in a timely manner.

And these jobs don’t appear to be ending anytime soon.

In an ever-evolving digital world, traditional portrait sales have only increased over time. “I would have thought school portraits would have been a thing of the past. But mom and dad, grandparents still want to see their children and have those prints for years to come,” Walker stated, “It’s tradition, though, and I really think it’s something that won’t ever go away. There’s so much more improvement to be made with what we can supply to schools with the way we print, but printing portraits are here to stay.”

Production recently added a new gallery wrapping, large format printer to their tool set and it’s the new favorite. “This is the fun part: seeing the large designs we have been able to print and send to schools is awesome,” the Production Manager noted.

“At the end of the day, we love working together and getting the job done. There is so much to learn each year, but we love what we do,” Walker said.