Hey! I know it's been a while since my last blog, it's just not really my thing. I have to get better at it, I know. Today I want to talk about pricing. Photographers get a lot of inquiries, whether it's someone who just loves your work and wants to book you, or random people who come across your page and inquire. I most frequently see 4 different people. They inquire, I send them my pricing list and they respond....maybe.
Person 1. Awesome, thanks for all this info. You make it super easy... where do I sign?
Person 2. HOW MUCH???? I could do this for free with my iphone!! Thanks, but no thanks.
Person 3. Thanks, but That's out of my budget, what about $______.
Person 4. .........................*Crickets*..........................
okay, let's recap.
Person 1. We love people like you. You value our work, value us as business owners, and want the very best for your wedding/family/occasion. You take everything we suggest to heart and you're not overwhelmed by the tons of questions we ask in order to serve you better. PLEASE BE PERSON 1!!!!!!!
Person 2. While I do know the iPhone 49z (or whatever ridiculous name it has) has a great camera.... really? This person does not value the time, skill, education and investment us as photographers spend. Yes, I'm sure your iPhone can do the trick for some things, but have fun printing those bad boys :-) And while i'm sure 'portrait mode' has a nice blurr effect for your background, enjoy your orange skin tones, sun in the eyes and all the other defects! Make sure to invest in a good selfie stick!
Person 3. No. Stop doing this. If you do this, just stop. We own businesses. We (for the most part) do not negotiate. Can you imagine the look on the best buy's employee's face if i asked to buy the macbook for $400 less than they're selling it for? LOL! Hey publix employee, can I get this milk for free? This is the service we offer, and the price it is. Sorry but do not undermine our talents and time. Cheap photography isn't good, and good photography ain't cheap! I'll touch on this person a little later.
Person 4. The ghost, the Casper, the online shopper. These people usually message 15 people in minutes with the same message looking for the price, and price only. Which I get. But when we take the time to try to get to know you, and send you our price lists, at least answer us! If you're not interested or are going with someone else, we won't take it personal! it's business. But let us know!!! (This person I get the most)
I know sometimes photography can be pricy, and not everyone values the skill the same, I ask you not to be rude when it's out of your budget. Ask for recommendations! We all usually have Photography friends all at different levels and if you can't afford me, I can help you find someone who you can afford.
I think there is a misconception that photographers:
1. show up
2. act bossy
3. snap a few pics
4. upload pictures on their computers
5. send them to their clients (within months and don't touch them)
6. Roll around in a bathtub full of money
I can tell you, if you think any of that is true you are mistaken!!!
We do a ton of work before we even meet you! We try to get to you know you, your family so that we can serve you in the best possible way. What you like, dislike, what you hope to walk away from this experience with, etc. We take your answers and research the location chosen to make sure there's not an event going on, there's enough options for a variety of photos, ways to avoid rain/weather if necessary. We then research the best poses based on your family. Their ages, body types, etc. We suggest what to wear so that patterns and colors don't conflict. And this is ALL BEFORE we even show up! Then that day, we spend time with you trying to make you feel comfortable. Maybe deal with a cranky child or baby that makes it 10x harder for us to capture your memories. (All with a smile on our faces) We take our photos, with our expensive gear, using all our expensive education to make you and your family look spectacular. Maybe we are bossy, but we're trying to get the most out of you so you can have awesome memories. You expect the photos back immediately. We go home and slave over our computers for days/weeks editing all your photos with our expensive editing programs on our expensive computers needed to produce our work. We attempt to perfect your skin tones, your environment, and anything else that isn't 100% perfect. This takes HOURS! One photo could take an hour alone. Imagine how long a family session or a wedding takes? We finally feel as though your photos are the best of what we can give you and send them to you. Most love it, a few hate it, and then we have to deal with that. "I hate the way I look" "I'm too fat" "my roots look bad" "my husband isn't smiling" "my kid has his eyes closed in every shot" "my outfit and his outfit look weird together" etc. These are things unfortunately out of our control, but we do our best to help. To say we're underpaid is an understatement. And I think I can speak for almost every photographer, we do not roll around in a bathtub of money. What little money we do make goes right back to buying new equipment and things needed to grow our little seeds so that they blossom to better serve you next time.
So please, do us all a favor- do not be that person 2-4. Either you value us, our time, our work, and our skill- or you don't. And that's okay, we can't convince everyone. But please, do not ignore us, or make snarky comments about your iPhone camera quality. And it's totally possible that you DO value what we do, and it's not in the budget right now. We get that too!! But if you want the new macbook from best buy, you save for it right? Think of it this way, if you want us for your wedding, you save for it. =)
Here are a few before and afters, so you can see just how much work goes into just one picture!!!! The left is SOOC (Straight out of camera) and the right is the final project! These are just a few that i've done in just a few days. They take HOURS!
Hopefully this gets rid of a few misconceptions!