smacatl wrote in post #14840766
I have a few questions for anyone who is actively shooting high school students:
1.) Do you charge a sitting fee for Senior Portraits?
No. I talk to the client up front about why my work will be important to them and how much it will enrich their lives. Then I'll present a minimum package, and my clients make a 50% partial payment on that minimum package when the session is scheduled.
2.) Do you charge a web posting fee to put Senior Portraits proofs on your website for parents to select from?
I don't do online proofing. I do in-person sales where I show and talk about additional options (such as "coffee table books" and slideshows), reminice about the session to re-generate enthusiasm, and close the sale.
3.) How do you deal with the objections after the sitting of "my spouse needs to see the different poses", or "I would like to take my time and take a relaxed look at the proofs, and determine what I need to order"; that precludes selection and ordering at the time of the sitting.
The same way jeweler would if someone suggested taking a selection of diamond rings home because "my spouse needs to see the different rings", or "I would like to take my time and take a relaxed look at the rings, and determine what I need to order". Like a high-end jeweler, I'll go to their home so that everyone who has an input to the decision can be there to make it.
Some photographers will do this, but only if the client posts a substantial "proof fee" up front that will be credit for an eventual purchase. These days, those photographers even then don't do "proofs" as such, but make slide shows that are more difficult to copy prints from, yet provide seniors something to show to their friends.
I find it works better to have a sales session and get it done--I just tell them to have all the necessary decision makers at the sales session. If you are up-front about packages and prices before scheduling the session, this is not an objection.
Too many photographers are hesitant to talk up front about what the eventual cost might be, but if the mother (and it's generally the mother making the decision) knows what the upper end is likely to be, I expect her to field that with the husband (if necessary) before the sales session.
If she knows the likely costs, that's all the spouse needs to know. For the most part, only one person really counts in choosing poses, and that's usually the mother. If you make the mother estatic about the purchase, everyone else will go along because "If mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy." The father usually just wants a say on how much is spent.
A point to make: Do not make choices difficult. Do ruthless culling on your own so that there are clear differences. I will usually show only about 15 images from a session, comprising maybe five significantly different poses. Mom can make those choices on her own if you give her clear choices to make. This is another reason, too, that I prefer in-person sales sessions so that I can help her with those selections. I can speak directly about what I (as the artist) like about certain poses or expressions; the client might agree or disagree, but that inpels her to make her decision.
4.) If you don't have a website, or the family declines to view on the web, do you charge a fee for "holding" the proofs until the parent(s) returns the studio to review and make selections?
I don't do web proofing.