Also visit my Beyond the Photography by DonnaKay blog @ http://blog2.photographybydonnakay.com ... a way to get to know a little more about me personally...
I know....I've blogged about it before! Maybe even a few times! And here I am again... talking about pricing issues. But if it didn't seem to be such a big deal, I wouldn't feel such a need to keep on talking about it.
In the past few weeks I've been hit from both ends of the spectrum where pricing is concerned. There have been the clients who want as big a discount as they can get from me, who want the pictures on a disk in high resolution so they can print as many as they want from wherever they print and who think paying a session fee is ridiculous when they get nothing else from that fee but to have pictures taken. But for a change of pace, I've also had those clients in the last few weeks who were thrilled with the quality of the work they were getting for the price they were paying. I even had one client say "I feel guilty not paying you more than what you are asking - I'm putting more in your payment" and that made me feel so very appreciated!
Now I don't claim to have the cheapest prices around... nor do I want to be able to claim that, honestly. But I also know my prices aren't outlandishly ridiculous -- and I'm a firm believer in "getting what you pay for." What I do want to tell my clients, or potential clients -- is that you will get your money's worth from the work I will do for you. I will not settle for average - but will deliver something to you that will offer a lifetime of memories to share.
So just to review some of the points I've made in the past...
When you are contemplating a photo session and maybe scrutinizing over the prices think about a few things:
~You are getting several hours of my time... and I will be working to capture the most special moments during the time I spend with you. It's not a matter of walking into a cold studio, sitting in front of a bland background to be shifted into a few poses and a few ordinary shots taken. But each session I do is custom for that family, newborn, child or whoever the subject is that I'm shooting. And to the other degree - you are not going to get a bunch of weird photos that seem outlandish or simply trendy and weird. (Now, if you request something that I feel is a bit odd, that may be different.)
~Your photos will be edited with the best editing software money can buy. Of course, my main aim is always to take a picture that is great straight out of the camera (SOOC) - yet even then, since I shoot only in RAW format, some editing is always necessary. For the average photo session the time I spend in editing is usually well in excess of 10-12 hours. And that editing is my view...my vision for what I want for that shot. I'm not going to leave you with odd coloring, or looking like an alien, or half one color & half another... my photos are my work - my art. And I always feel that each one of them is also a reflection on my talent. I will only present you with the best I can offer.
~I don't (and won't) offer a high-resolution disk with all of your pictures NOT because I want to make tons of money off of you in printing -- but because I do want to maintain the quality of my images when they are printed, and believe that can only be guaranteed with high quality professional printing. My print rates are set at a very competitive price, and they are guaranteed to be correct in color and representation of my work. Having professional photos done means you should expect something special & unique. It shouldn't be something that's as easy as everyone having access to it or taking it to Walmart or CVS and having 40 copies made for $6.
~Most of all, please remember and respect that this is my career. To provide the best for my clients it has cost me a lot in the beginning, and making money from my work is necessary to keep my business going. It has cost me a lot of money to go into business as a professional photographer... to do things the right way. When I am spending the time to do your photo session, I want you to feel that paying me for my time and talent is worth every penny to you. I want to earn your respect for me as a professional, and feel that you are getting something very worthwhile for your money.
I hope that as you get to know me better you will see that I want to only provide you with the very best. The goal I strive for is to never stop learning and growing in my talent, art and skill...and to be able to provide you with a fun time and lots of memories to last for many years to come in the photos you buy. I'm in this for the long haul... and I want to develop lasting relationships with my clients. The most rewarding experiences has been doing sessions for people over and over... getting to watch their family grow with a new baby, or change as their kids get older. And I look forward to the time that I'm taking prom pictures of some of the babies I did newborn photos of one day, and them knowing me almost as an extended part of their family. I'm willing to pay the price.... and I hope you will be too!