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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos The Business of Photography 
Thread started 10 Aug 2012 (Friday) 12:45
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A few questions for High School Photogs

 
smacatl
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Aug 10, 2012 12:45 |  #1

I have a few questions for anyone who is actively shooting high school students:

1.) Do you charge a sitting fee for Senior Portraits?

2.) Do you charge a web posting fee to put Senior Portraits proofs on your website for parents to select from?

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.

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?

Just curious - thanks in advance for any feedback you can provide.


Smacatl
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Joe300
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Aug 10, 2012 20:47 |  #2

I am just getting into senior gig's but do a lot of youth sports in my area.

1. No sitting fee is in the price package.. if you do a sitting fee they might feel everything is extra , extra , extra... one nice package and you get your sitting fee.
2. No, fee there either...(wow, am I cheap or what). it is in my print price when they buy photos.
its in the package price as well.. then we tell the client I have free web posting for all the family to look at, even the family across the country can order too.
3. I leave my proofs on my web site for a very long time.. take your time an order when you are ready. but if you paid for my package up front like they should then you have your fee's for the rest.
4. No fee agian, (wow I think I am going out of business...LOL), give them a low low rez image on disk with a good wter mark on images. then when they are ready come over and lets look at high rez imgaes on my big screen TV... Lets sell some photo's..

hope this helps, it works sometimes and sometimes it doesnt..
good luck,
Joe

'A Plumber came by my house the other day charge me $45. to look at my sink, then ordered parts,etc.
I ask him was the $45. a sitting fee, he said no its part of my package for service. I worte a check and we were both happy...


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cdifoto
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Aug 11, 2012 03:14 |  #3

1. No
2. No
3. I don't try to sell images right after the session. At MINIMUM I need to cull first. I probably need to shower and change too.
4. No

I have packages that include different products and services. The more you purchase together, the less you pay for each individual product or service. If a client wishes to add more product or service after the package is purchased, he or she is free to do so.

All packages include online proofing. The package is paid in advance of the session; it doesn't matter to me how long they take to order, or if they ever order.


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RDKirk
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Aug 13, 2012 07:45 as a reply to  @ cdifoto's post |  #4

All packages include online proofing. The package is paid in advance of the session; it doesn't matter to me how long they take to order, or if they ever order.

What I've emphasized here is an extremely important point for anyone doing online proofing. Essentially, the sale is made up front and only specific choices are made later.


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RDKirk
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Aug 13, 2012 08:08 |  #5

smacatl wrote in post #14840766 (external link)
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.


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cdifoto
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Aug 13, 2012 19:42 |  #6

RDKirk wrote in post #14851565 (external link)
What I've emphasized here is an extremely important point for anyone doing online proofing. Essentially, the sale is made up front and only specific choices are made later.

Yep I sell x number of y sizes. The only proofing decision is which images are used.

Additional purchases are always welcome but they're seen by me as a happy bonus. I might pay some bills sooner with the windfall but it isn't required to keep me afloat.


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Mark1
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Aug 13, 2012 21:17 |  #7

1) I do charge a session fee. It tends to weed out the cheap clients and bargin hunters.They are not in my market anyway. But I counter it with slightly cheaper prints. In the end it ends up being about equal. But I dont offer "packages" per se'. I sell a package that fits their needs. But this is covered in the initial meeting. I dont wait till after the session. If I know what they want/need I can shoot to that need.

2) No web posting fee. It is calculated in to the cost of everything else. It is really only an elimimation round.

3) I have never had the "My spouce needs to see" excuse. But, I say up front in the beginning that everyone who is going to make the decisions needs to be at the viewing. Never leave stating that for after the session, it only delays the process.

4) As said above. My web gallery is just to sellect proofs. There is no charge for any of this. Its all calculated in, as before. Sales are ALWAYS done in person. Never left to be done online.

Adding in charge after charge is just bad form. Its better to raise your prices and act like you are doing them a favor with "extra" services. Its simply psychology 101 stuff. Example... raise your prices 10% across the board. Then offer a 10% discount to everybody that orders in 2 weeks. Your bottom line is not really any different, but they think they got away with something and are happy about it. Much better than charging 10% late fee to thoes that are slow.. Then they lose the good feelings about you just because they could not meet the deadline. However if they dont know they are getting charged extra. Its not a problem. But in reality you are indeed getting 10% extra out of them for the extra hassle.


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A few questions for High School Photogs
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