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Thread started 18 Feb 2014 (Tuesday) 12:43
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Engagement vs Family Portrait pricing

 
huntersdad
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Feb 18, 2014 12:43 |  #1

I just received my first call regarding doing an engagement session. She asked about pricing and I said $125 for 2 hours, no CD. She said well your website says $75 with CD for family portrait sessions. She was right so I agreed to do the session for that amount.

I don't do weddings and really don't care to. I am curious though, for those that offer engagement sessions, are you charging any differently than you do for say a family session? Her question actually got me thinking that they're really no different, so why charge differently.

As a side note out of this, I am probably going to remove the CD part.


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juicedownload
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Feb 18, 2014 13:09 |  #2

It seems if it has keywords wedding, couple, bride/groom the price goes way up for any wedding related item or service.

If they book a wedding with me, the couple gets a better deal. If they booked separately with no wedding, it's about the same as a family session.

As you mentioned, I would update your website for price/service. Eventually, raise the price. $75 is way too low for a session with cd. I require more than that just to show up with my camera.


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huntersdad
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Feb 18, 2014 13:18 |  #3

juicedownload wrote in post #16699274 (external link)
$75 is way too low for a session with cd. I require more than that just to show up with my camera.

Not in eastern NC. Anymore than that and you'll get laughed at.


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HiepBuiPhotography
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Feb 18, 2014 13:26 |  #4

huntersdad wrote in post #16699296 (external link)
Not in eastern NC. Anymore than that and you'll get laughed at.

Those who laugh are the ones who are looking for a photographer, but a cheap deal. If you're good enough, you set the bar high and it automatically weeds out those who can't tell the difference between a good photographer and a cheap one.


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rhommel
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Feb 18, 2014 13:49 |  #5

I usually don't shoot family portraits, so when asked I give them my engagement session price ($350).


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qdrummer21
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Feb 18, 2014 13:55 |  #6

My engagement photographer charges more for engagement sessions that for family portraits. I actually had asked her about it out of curiosity and she explained that her engagement session is longer than a family portraits for the following reasons:

-Engagement session always has multiple wardrobe changes.
-It usually has multiple locations.
-There are far more shots taken and processed due to a larger variation of photo compositions.

More time = more money. Of course the above is common in my area, your mileage may vary.




  
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Fernando
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Feb 18, 2014 14:07 |  #7

qdrummer21 wrote in post #16699383 (external link)
My engagement photographer charges more for engagement sessions that for family portraits. I actually had asked her about it out of curiosity and she explained that her engagement session is longer than a family portraits for the following reasons:

-Engagement session always has multiple wardrobe changes.
-It usually has multiple locations.
-There are far more shots taken and processed due to a larger variation of photo compositions.

More time = more money. Of course the above is common in my area, your mileage may vary.

Did you ask her why these things were the case? Everything mentioned for engagement sessions holds true for family. Add in that a family shoot will involve more combinations of people and her answer sounds more like a random justification.

I think the REAL reason is what was mentioned above. It's wedding related. Don't get me wrong, the wedding industry gave my family a nice chunk of change when I was a kid. My mom could get $10-$15/serving for cake (in the late 80's. A serving is 1" x 2" x height of the cake by the way) or a minimum 100% mark-up for her coordination work when it was for a wedding and people were happy to pay it. Graduations? Nope. Anniversaries? Nope (unless it was a vow renewal). Birthdays? Not a chance unless grandma was about to hit 100.


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veritasimg
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Feb 18, 2014 17:42 |  #8

Engagement, family portrait, newborn, dogs, maternity, ponies, me & my car, anniversary, boudoir etc.... just charge enough so that you are making more than the kid flipping burgers. Be consistent. Respect yourself and be professional so that this will be reflected by your prospective clients.


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memoriesoftomorrow
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Feb 18, 2014 21:44 |  #9

Why not just offer a one hour family shoot at on location abd a two hour e-shoot at two locations? You can't compare apples and oranges.


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cdifoto
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Feb 18, 2014 22:00 |  #10

Fernando wrote in post #16699419 (external link)
Did you ask her why these things were the case? Everything mentioned for engagement sessions holds true for family. Add in that a family shoot will involve more combinations of people and her answer sounds more like a random justification.

I think the REAL reason is what was mentioned above. It's wedding related. Don't get me wrong, the wedding industry gave my family a nice chunk of change when I was a kid. My mom could get $10-$15/serving for cake (in the late 80's. A serving is 1" x 2" x height of the cake by the way) or a minimum 100% mark-up for her coordination work when it was for a wedding and people were happy to pay it. Graduations? Nope. Anniversaries? Nope (unless it was a vow renewal). Birthdays? Not a chance unless grandma was about to hit 100.

My family shoots are usually at one spot with one outfit...and my most recent one only took 6 minutes from first shot to last.

My engagement shoots are the ones where we go more places and do more cutesy things and I have to set up and tear down frequently (same for high school seniors).

Having said that, I charge based on what will be happening and how long we'll need to get it done. That means 2 hours costs more than one hour no matter what it is. And then there's products...


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cdifoto
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Feb 18, 2014 22:06 |  #11

veritasimg wrote in post #16699933 (external link)
Engagement, family portrait, newborn, dogs, maternity, ponies, me & my car, anniversary, boudoir etc.... just charge enough so that you are making more than the kid flipping burgers. Be consistent. Respect yourself and be professional so that this will be reflected by your prospective clients.

You only want to make more than the kid flipping burgers? That sounds like a rather low goal...


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Thomas ­ Campbell
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Feb 18, 2014 22:51 |  #12

In order to better serve each of my clients, I don't offer sessions to people that don't book weddings with me. :)

I wouldn't charge differently for most consumer sessions unless there were different amounts of time involved (like a newborn session can run hours depending on how the baby is sleeping/eating.)


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huntersdad
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Feb 19, 2014 08:07 |  #13

Thanks guys.

When she originally asked for the quote I said $125 for 2 hours, no CD. She came back with the "what your website says" and they only need an hour. So an hour is what they will get. I don't do weddings so this is actually a little bonus for me, assuming she follows through - we'll see.


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qdrummer21
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Feb 19, 2014 12:23 |  #14

Fernando wrote in post #16699419 (external link)
Did you ask her why these things were the case? Everything mentioned for engagement sessions holds true for family. Add in that a family shoot will involve more combinations of people and her answer sounds more like a random justification.

In my area family portraits generally do not entail all of those items. IF someone gets family portraits done, most don't, they are usually done in the studio only and it's a few variations of the same group of people. You're in and out in less than an hour. My engagement session totaled three hours. I am sure if she had a client who wanted to have their family session run like an engagement session, taking the same amount of time, she would not do it at the her standard family rate.




  
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Christopher ­ Steven ­ b
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Feb 19, 2014 12:33 |  #15

I think if I contacted a photographer for a service and then found some obvious loophole in their pricing and they quickly ceded, I'd really be wondering how long that photographer has been working professionally. I say this not simply to chide you for not having answers to these obvious questions (e.g. why an engagement session might cost more than a family session; why you schedule the amount of time you schedule for engagements vs. family shoots), but just to give you a heads-up that appearing wishy-washy and uncertain about the products and services you offer is generally not a good thing.



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