Church directories make it easier for members to put names to faces and remain connected. With planning and preparation, your church directory can achieve a professional look. Some churches prefer to use local directory publishers, but others prefer larger companies or even online companies. Consider all of them and compare prices and options to receive high quality and a positive experience.
Before You Begin
Gather a directory-planning committee, perhaps with the pastor or priest presiding. Volunteers must be able to make phone calls, schedule photo appointments, send appointment-reminder cards, run the photography table on appointment days and assist with directory delivery.
Call photography companies that offer church directory services and ask for information about their pricing and designs.
Visit online church directory companies. These businesses allow you to produce your own directories online by importing photos in just a few hours by following their steps and guidelines.
Visit photography-company websites and read testimonials from previous customers. Reading customer reviews will help you gain a feel for the quality of workmanship.
Discuss the company options with the committee members and make your choice.
Once your church decides upon a company or private photographer, schedule dates to photograph members of your church.
Choose one person to handle communication with the photography studio and directory publisher. This helps to avoid confusion.
The Directory Itself
Agree on a design for the cover. A photography studio that often works with churches will have cover options to consider.
Include a section for the missionaries in your church who are serving in other states or countries. Place a volunteer in charge of contacting the missionaries to request photos if the church does not already have some.
Include a section for college students who are away. Place a volunteer in charge of contacting the students to request photos. Students' parents may have family photos available with the student included, and there will be no need to duplicate that student in the college section.
Include a military section for church members who are on deployment. Place a volunteer in charge of contacting the military members or their families to request photos.
Recruit someone to be in charge of visiting church members who are in nursing homes or who are shut in and cannot come to the church for a photo shoot. These members may have a photo that they can provide, or the photographer may be able to go to the location and take a photo for an extra fee.
Consider scheduling a potluck meal on the same evening that the photo shoots are scheduled. This promotes a higher rate of directory participation.