What is a fair price to ask for what I do? I think photographers agonize over this question almost as much as we do over getting our photos "just right". With the start of a new year, I thought it was a good time to agonize............
I think that, when your profession is something that you really love doing, the temptation exists to think "it's not even like work when I enjoy it this much, so I would feel guilty asking what I really think it's worth". We tend to overlook the cost of equipment, insurance, gas, taxes and of course our time, which is, I believe, chronically undervalued.
On the other hand, I have no illusions about the fact that I live in a rural area, in a challenging economy, and expecting to be successful setting prices comparable to a metro area would be foolhardy. Weddings for $5000? Portrait sessions for $500-$1000?. Maybe on rare occasions, but not if I want to be busy and active.
With all this in mind, I do think the time is right to take a fresh look at how we do things, and what we ask in return.
Over the past few years we have worked very hard to constantly improve and learn, and I like to think that it shows in our results. Until now, we have offered one basic "package" for portraits - $100 for a session with a DVD of the edited images. We think the time is right to expand the offer a bit, as follows:
Package 1 - The "Mini" - A 45 minute session, on location or in studio, with a minimum of 20 edited images delivered in full resolution on a DVD disc. Price - $100
Package 2 - The "Full" - A 90 minute session, on location or in studio, with a minimum of 40 edited images delivered in full resolution on a DVD disc. Also includes a print credit of $25. (We'll be talking print prices in an upcoming blog post.) Price - $150
Package 3 - The "Super" - A 2 hour session, on location or in studio, with a minimum of 60 edited images delivered in full resolution on a DVD disc. Also includes a print credit of $40. Price - $200
Why switch to these packages? I guess our thinking is that we want to price our sessions fairly for us and our clients, without putting professional photography out of reach for someone who might just want a smaller session with a few photo memories. We work with families and individuals who are delighted to spend 2 hours or so with us capturing tons of poses, but we also encounter clients who would shudder at the thought of spending that long in front of a camera.
This approach allows us to serve all preferences, and be compensated fairly for each. The increased cost in the cases of Packages 2 and 3 are partially offset by the print credits and since we absolutely LOVE seeing our work printed, we are more than happy to offer those!
Hopefully this new pricing approach will work for everyone. We are certainly eager to get another year of photography underway, and look forward to meeting new people and reconnecting with existing clients over the coming months. Thank you!