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Thread started 09 Aug 2010 (Monday) 09:28
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STICKY: How to photograph a high school Senior

 
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5DmkX
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Jul 10, 2012 22:28 |  #8341

GerryDavid wrote in post #14699797 (external link)
Just to make sure I understand, senior A comes to you and pays $500. You tell them that if they refer new customers to you, the referred person and them get 10% off their purchase? So senior A gets $50 back for each senior?

Gerry - yes, that's it exactly. I do cap it at $75 -- so the least amount a senior and his/her family could pay is $75 even if they refer 10 people (just to refer back to your example).

Tom


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umphotography
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Jul 10, 2012 22:29 as a reply to  @ 5DmkX's post |  #8342

4 8x10's
5 5x7's
16 wallets


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Jul 10, 2012 22:50 |  #8343

umphotography wrote in post #14699850 (external link)
4 8x10's
5 5x7's
16 wallets

Is that a special package for them or part of your regular pricing? do you charge a separate sitting fee?

Im trying to redo my packages and im hoping im not making it to expensive that people wont want to come back to me.

I use to offer prints as sheets, so a 5x7 would be two 5x7's of one pose, a 3.5x5 would be 4 per sheet. all of the same pose. but Im trying to decide if I should just go to a print instead of a sheet. Its cutting the value down by half and 1/4.


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5DmkX
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Jul 10, 2012 23:00 |  #8344

GerryDavid wrote in post #14699930 (external link)
Is that a special package for them or part of your regular pricing? do you charge a separate sitting fee?

Im trying to redo my packages and im hoping im not making it to expensive that people wont want to come back to me.

Gerry, my suggestion would be not too worry so much about the pricing, obviously it has to be within reason, but focus on the product aspect and by that I mean are you making it a fun experience for your customers. I've noticed when kids comment on the portraits the one repeating theme is how much fun they had getting them taken. Kids will recommend you and people will come back if you if they feel a rapport with you.

Clearly pricing is part of the marketing mix, but it's only one component. Maybe you do that already, but I just thought I'd share more observations I've had over the last several years.

Tom


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GerryDavid
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Jul 10, 2012 23:39 |  #8345

I think its a balance of the two, if you are to expensive then they may not book.

Mike and Tom, when potential customers call you and ask for your package details, do you give them your opening package price and details or do you just say the average customer spends $$$?

I include my sitting fee in my package details, $50 an hour that I am tempted to raise to $100 an hour in my new pricing just to help cover gas etc.

My old opening package was $150 and included the $50 sitting fee an hour of photography and four sheets of prints. A sheet could be an 8x10, two 5x7's, four 3.5x5's or a set of 8 wallets.

My new package is $200 and includes the $100 sitting fee, an hour of photography and four prints.

* I am tempted to offer two free 5x7's if they promise to promote me to their friends, is that cheesy? :) It makes it equal to the old package in terms of prints


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5DmkX
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Jul 11, 2012 07:35 |  #8346

GerryDavid wrote in post #14700095 (external link)
I think its a balance of the two, if you are to expensive then they may not book.

Mike and Tom, when potential customers call you and ask for your package details, do you give them your opening package price and details or do you just say the average customer spends $$$?

I include my sitting fee in my package details, $50 an hour that I am tempted to raise to $100 an hour in my new pricing just to help cover gas etc.

My old opening package was $150 and included the $50 sitting fee an hour of photography and four sheets of prints. A sheet could be an 8x10, two 5x7's, four 3.5x5's or a set of 8 wallets.

My new package is $200 and includes the $100 sitting fee, an hour of photography and four prints.

* I am tempted to offer two free 5x7's if they promise to promote me to their friends, is that cheesy? :) It makes it equal to the old package in terms of prints

Good point about the balancing Gerry. When people call, I'll talk to them a little bit and find out what they are looking for - their "hot buttons" so to speak. Even if their first question is, "what are your rates?" Then long story short, my basic package starts at $150 and I go up to $500. Now what I have found best for me is to 'sell' the $150 package and let the work sell the rest. My average sale is $375 and I don't think I've ever offered that up or even been asked. Another thing I do is have a family price guarantee in case the senior has younger siblings. I tell them that if the sibling books with me, they'll have the same pricing as the oldest one. I do that simply because then a parent knows they are paying the same amount for each kid.

Tom


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Jul 11, 2012 07:53 |  #8347

How many packages do you offer? And why do you limit it to $500?

The pricing that I have been using for the last year is $150 - $300 - $600 and - $1200. I didnt think I would actually sell the last one but I figured its guaranteed that I wouldnt if I didnt offer it, and I actually sold it a couple of months ago. My $300 package and a la carte has been popular giving me about $500 sales.

People seem to love press printed books and storyboards! My sales went way up when I started to offer those.

I am trying to decide if my new pricing should be $200-$400-$800-$1600 or $250 through $2000.

If you get a call and you say the average person spends $600 then if they sign up you know they dont mind spending the money :D But you may loose those that plan to spend $150 but will end up spending more because they love the pictures! fun and games trying to figure this out. :)


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dwarrenr
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Jul 11, 2012 07:54 |  #8348

Great discussion crew. Pricing is always tough. Your pricing will be dependent on several different factors, but really breaks down to your competition and marketing. So the first thing you need to do is define who is your competition? Is it a MWC who is shooting friends and friends of friends putting out questionable work, or is it a professional who understands how the camera works, posing, composition, understand lighting and so on, or someplace in between? Once you evaluate where you are between them, you'll get an ideal what your photography is worth. The marketing side is sort of your supply and demand side of the equation. But the main point is charge what you are worth. It does not matter why you are charging (fund equipment, fund some non-discretionary spending or what ever).

I try to KIS (keep it simple), and offer straight forward packages so the clients know what their fixed costs are going into it. Charge a flat session fee (I offer three different fixed session fees (1/2 hour, 1 hour and 2 hour sessions), then have four different print packages, then a short list of A la Carte list.

As far as spokes model's go for me, the past several years I've been blessed with cute girls that are family. Also last year I knew of a boy that is a great kid, but the parents were not going to be able to spend any money for his senior portraits. I'd rather help this kid out with discounted session and prints then someone who is just looking for hand outs. I'm rather sure I got the same amount of exposure with him as I did with the School Jock paying full price. It's a win-win in my book. And the other key is shoot your "spokes models" early and market them heavy before most even think about booking a senior session.

This year it's the same thing, here is my cousins daughters first shoot from this past Monday. C&C is always welcomed.

IMAGE: http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7112/7549197000_b0bcc68a2b_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com …wrphotography/7​549197000/  (external link)
Karmire-158 (external link) by warren.robison (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7109/7549196168_b5afca7b73_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com …wrphotography/7​549196168/  (external link)
Karmire-162 (external link) by warren.robison (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7260/7549197584_a5932a4eaa_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com …wrphotography/7​549197584/  (external link)
Karmire-124 (external link) by warren.robison (external link), on Flickr

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5DmkX
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Jul 11, 2012 08:37 |  #8349

GerryDavid wrote in post #14701100 (external link)
How many packages do you offer? And why do you limit it to $500?

The pricing that I have been using for the last year is $150 - $300 - $600 and - $1200. I didnt think I would actually sell the last one but I figured its guaranteed that I wouldnt if I didnt offer it, and I actually sold it a couple of months ago. My $300 package and a la carte has been popular giving me about $500 sales.

People seem to love press printed books and storyboards! My sales went way up when I started to offer those.

I am trying to decide if my new pricing should be $200-$400-$800-$1600 or $250 through $2000.

If you get a call and you say the average person spends $600 then if they sign up you know they dont mind spending the money :D But you may loose those that plan to spend $150 but will end up spending more because they love the pictures! fun and games trying to figure this out. :)

I have 3 packages and tons of ala-carte. I don't really limit it to $500 per se, it's just that I've found in talking to customers that some of their nits is that some places around here have so many different packages that it's hard to choose which one is best for them because they don't need XXX wallets, or 1, 8x10 is not enough, etc. Since many of my seniors are athletes, I'll typically get poster orders from them in each of their 4 yrs of HS -- posters range on up to $200. So while my average senior order is $375, quite often that same family has spent several hundred more dollars on posters and sports pictures by the time they get senior pictures done. So I've kinda sorta adopted the philosophy of bid it low and watch it grow! Plus we're in a pretty economically depressed area right now, so I need to keep that in mind as well.

Tom


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Jul 11, 2012 08:42 |  #8350

dwarrenr wrote in post #14701107 (external link)
Great discussion crew. Pricing is always tough. Your pricing will be dependent on several different factors, but really breaks down to your competition and marketing. So the first thing you need to do is define who is your competition? Is it a MWC who is shooting friends and friends of friends putting out questionable work, or is it a professional who understands how the camera works, posing, composition, understand lighting and so on, or someplace in between? Once you evaluate where you are between them, you'll get an ideal what your photography is worth. The marketing side is sort of your supply and demand side of the equation. But the main point is charge what you are worth. It does not matter why you are charging (fund equipment, fund some non-discretionary spending or what ever).

I try to KIS (keep it simple), and offer straight forward packages so the clients know what their fixed costs are going into it. Charge a flat session fee (I offer three different fixed session fees (1/2 hour, 1 hour and 2 hour sessions), then have four different print packages, then a short list of A la Carte list.

As far as spokes model's go for me, the past several years I've been blessed with cute girls that are family. Also last year I knew of a boy that is a great kid, but the parents were not going to be able to spend any money for his senior portraits. I'd rather help this kid out with discounted session and prints then someone who is just looking for hand outs. I'm rather sure I got the same amount of exposure with him as I did with the School Jock paying full price. It's a win-win in my book. And the other key is shoot your "spokes models" early and market them heavy before most even think about booking a senior session.

This year it's the same thing, here is my cousins daughters first shoot from this past Monday. C&C is always welcomed.

QUOTED IMAGE
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com …wrphotography/7​549197000/  (external link)
Karmire-158 (external link) by warren.robison (external link), on Flickr

QUOTED IMAGE
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com …wrphotography/7​549196168/  (external link)
Karmire-162 (external link) by warren.robison (external link), on Flickr

Nice set, I really like them! Now this brings up a question I'm always asking myself, in #1 she has what looks like an insect bite on her right upper chest on on her right thigh. Same in #2 -- is that something most would try to remove, or do you leave it as is?

Tom


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bobbyz
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Jul 11, 2012 09:02 |  #8351

For me, clone it out.


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Jul 11, 2012 09:38 as a reply to  @ bobbyz's post |  #8352

GerryDavid wrote in post #14699930 (external link)
Is that a special package for them or part of your regular pricing? do you charge a separate sitting fee?

Im trying to redo my packages and im hoping im not making it to expensive that people wont want to come back to me.

I use to offer prints as sheets, so a 5x7 would be two 5x7's of one pose, a 3.5x5 would be 4 per sheet. all of the same pose. but Im trying to decide if I should just go to a print instead of a sheet. Its cutting the value down by half and 1/4.

Stay away from sheets. That's so sears.

My pricing in case anyone was curious. http://rfpstudio.com/s​eniorprices (external link)


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Jul 11, 2012 09:41 |  #8353

Tiff, I swear you posted it but I cannot for the life of me find it, but I was after your "Does and donts list" for clients regarding clothing, hair, makeup, etc. Being a dude, though a pretty feminine one, I dont know much about those things. :D


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sevillafox
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Jul 11, 2012 09:44 |  #8354

Http://rfpstudio.com/w​hat-to-wear-senior-girls (external link)

Http://rfpstudio.com/w​hat-to-wear-senior-guys (external link)


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JakAHearts
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Jul 11, 2012 09:44 |  #8355

hahahaha Thanks! I guess I could have just looked huh?

Your previous link to the prices is no good btw.


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How to photograph a high school Senior
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