How can my business benefit from Family Portrait Month?

Most successful studios employ one or more charitable marketing strategies
in support of worthwhile causes. Why? Here are just some of the reasons:

  • Personal satisfaction from giving your time and talent to those in need.
  • Increased business profits/goodwill because many consumers simply prefer to shop with a business that gives back to the community.
  • Through Family Portrait Month, you make a verifiable difference in the lives of needy children. This is possible because PPA Charities combines your studio’s donations from Family Portrait Month with those of other PPA-member studios throughout the country, thus increasing your charitable power.
  • For each $240 donation you make to PPA Charities on behalf of Operation Smile in 2013, your name will be entered into a drawing for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to photograph an Operation Smile mission. This drawing will take place at the PPA Charities Celebration on January 11, 2014, the evening before the opening of ImagingUSA in Phoenix. To read the heartwarming narratives and view the images made by PPA photographers on previous Operation Smile medical missions, click here.

What is Family Portrait Month?

Begun in 2005, Family Portrait Month provides PPA-member studios with an annual, high-profile opportunity for participation in a nationwide, charity-driven promotion that benefits Operation Smile and elevates the business image of participating studios.

Family Portrait Month gives you an opportunity to build business profits and goodwill through this nationwide charity-driven promotion. The event is sponsored by PPA Charities for the benefit of Operation Smile, which treats children around the world who suffer with cleft lips, cleft palates and other facial deformities.

How do I market Family Portrait Month in my studio?

Once you have registered your studio as a participant and your $30 minimum donation to PPA Charities is paid, your business will benefit as follows:

  • Your studio information will be listed on the “Participating Studios” page of, PPACH’s consumer website; thousands of supporters of Operation Smile will find that link and read about the PPACH promotion on the organization’s website:
  • You can download a Family Portrait Month Marketing Guide, written resources, and promotional downloads. On this website you will also find real-world information on how different photographers have used Family Portrait Month in their own marketing programs, and other ways in which they have contributed to Operation Smile. These online resources are for your inspiration and use.
  • Please check this site often to learn about additional promotional ideas and news items. You can subscribe to our RSS feed in the sidebar of our “News” blog so that you can be notified whenever new items are posted.
  • You also will receive PPA Charities and Family Portrait Month news through a periodic PPACH newsletter and email blasts.

How can I participate?

Any PPA-member studio can participate in this promotion by doing the following:

  • Make a minimum donation of $30 to PPA Charities (an annual donation, payable each year that you choose to participate in the promotion). Once registered as a participant (and your $30 minimum donation to PPA Charities is processed), You will receive an e-mail that provides password-protected access to marketing tips, written resources, and downloads.
  • You are asked to donate at least $30 to PPA Charities for each family portrait session occurring during October or November. Otherwise, but are free to decide how much to contribute — an entire session fee, part of a session fee, a percentage of each sale, or a specified amount of $30 or more. You can even accept donations for Operation Smile year-round, not just in the fall.
  • The marketing content in this section includes ideas and examples of information that has worked for others, which you are free to use.
  • If you prefer, you can make a personal donation to PPA Charities on behalf of Operation Smile. Remember that it takes only $240 to buy the gift of surgery for a deserving child. So ask yourself: How Many Smiles Can I Save?

Family Portrait Month
Marketing Ideas

  • Learn how Illinois photographer Terry Farmer raised $8,100 for PPA Charities by partnering with local Dentists by clicking here.
  • Learn Texas photographer Angie Weedon’s secrets of fund-raising success by clicking here.
  • View direct mail card designs created by Family Portrait Month donors by clicking here.
  • Learn how Laura Novak used her media savvy to market Family Portrait Month and how she raised funds through an intriguing twist to a Halloween promotion by clicking here.

 To sign up for Family Portrait Month, click here!

What it’s like to win the opportunity of a lifetime . . .
Documenting an Operation Smile Mission:

Each year, Operation Smile allows PPA Charities to conduct a drawing to select a PPA-member donor to PPACH of $240 or more to document an Operation Smile mission. Read about these life-changing experiences from past winners, and you will see how important it is for photographers everywhere to support PPA Charities’ effort to raise funds for Operation Smile. Read these stories by clicking here.

To be eligible to win an opportunity to document an Operation Smile mission, your donation must be received by December 13, 2013.