Here is your initial contact e-mail preamble.
Copy and paste then add your own words after. Do not interview in the initial contact. Ask, get permission then interview. After you get permission, make sure you e-mail me your interview questions before you e-mail them to your photographer. I want to review them.
Here you go:
Thank you for taking the time to read this message.
I am a teacher at Midland Secondary School in Ontario, Canada. You can find out more about us here.
My grade 12 photography classes try to understand a bit more about the industry and what it takes to be successful by completing a study unit where they explore the background and current activities of a professional photographer. We define professional as one who makes a living from their images.
This student has see something in your work that inspires them and they have chosen you as the subject for their biography assignment.
It’s ok to be a bit flattered.
I know you are busy but please consider helping aspiring photographers by answering a few questions about you and your profession. This should not take much of your time.
I’ve explained that they must use your online profile to answer as many of their questions as possible. They are only to ask what they cannot find for themselves.
Thank you in advance for your willingness to assist. If you are unable to help, please indicate so that my students can move on to another person.