Pricing Conundrum in the Digital Age

KavikaKavika Registered Users Posts: 42 Big grins
edited November 19, 2013 in Mind Your Own Business
I like to do group portrait sessions in local parks, 15 mins per family, no sitting fee, and sell the results on Smug. If these families spend $100 it's a good sale; more would be rare. If I make $1000 for the day, that's great.

Problem: One family had 3 kids, new baby, and I ended up with 55 great shots of the whole family, kids, individual kids, baby, mom/dad, mom/kids, dad/kids. Whew! I guess that was a 30 min session.

So I want the family to have all the images, on a disk, but at what price? Even if I sell them for the price of a 5x7 ... that's $550! If they pick and choose prints off Smug, maybe I get $150-$200.

My desire to make the most $ possible is at odds with my desire for the family with the new baby to have all their images. To offer the disk at an affordable price means I'd be selling original files for less than a single 5x7 print.

Thoughts?

Comments

  • johngjohng Registered Users Posts: 1,658 Major grins
    edited November 15, 2013
    Based off the information you provided - $250 sounds very reasonable. In the end you said $100 per 15 minute session is a good sale for you and you spent 30 minutes with this family. Don't sweat that they get the digital files - you're not getting re-print business from customers anyway.
  • GlortGlort Registered Users Posts: 1,015 Major grins
    edited November 16, 2013
    Kavika wrote: »
    My desire to make the most $ possible is at odds with my desire for the family with the new baby to have all their images. To offer the disk at an affordable price means I'd be selling original files for less than a single 5x7 print.

    Thoughts?

    With respect, I think you need to decide if you want to run a business or a charity before anything else.

    If giving charity is what you want, shoot for free or go help some local charity out by working for them Volunteering your time and/ or skills. I have done it and it's bloody rewarding.

    If you want to run a business, then do that and don't bastardise the market for every other shooter out there by charging tiddly winks money.
    You know what happens to people who want sit on the fence, they get knocked off. In this case your good intentions will soon bite you on the backside. Guaranteed.

    A few years back I set up a sideline with a friend in one of his dads offices that he was trying to lease.
    The place was right outside a very busy bus terminal and had heaps of passing trade. Our sole advertising was the signage we put on a small section of shop window and wall.

    We were doing sessions for families and averaged $500-750 per sale. We had the $1100 sale and we had some $350's but most were the 500-750's.
    Shoot time was probably around 30 min because I talk a lot pre selling and building rapport and most clients did 2-3 outfit changes. When the shooting was over, one of us did a quick edit/ cull while the other got coffee/ cold drinks for the kids and we then sat them down to take their orders.
    I showed them how different pictures complimented each other and how they enhanced one another in different layouts. I showed how the combinations I shot intentionally worked together and how to get the best out of their images they really wanted a lot more than a shot of the family together, one of the kids and the kids individually.
    And when I was done with their order, it was now, which ones do you think the grandparents will like best? Then it was something like " You mentioned you have family overseas. I spose you don't see them too often, I'm sure they would like some up to date pictures of you all".
    That is a hell of alot different to the clients satisfaction and your bottom line than leaving it up to them to pick off the net when they are most likely going to have the dominating thought, " What's the cheapest I can get out of this?"

    Come to think of it, I'm wondering how I ONLY averaged 5-750 per sale now???? :uhoh

    Personally, I think your perception of $100 being a good sale is ..... Well, lets just say, Extremely low, even for a 15 Min shoot. I'm guessing like most other shooters, you will then go home and spend many times that in editing, retouching, uploading, burning etc. It's impossible for your time investment to be only the time you are working the camera.

    The idea that spending $550 on photos is so over the top to you is a worry.
    Frankly, the industry doesn't need any more cheap arse weekend warriors making pocket money and taking the work from those who do it seriously and for a living.
    If I were ONLY getting $500 for every 15 Min shoot I did, even if it were a shoot and burn, I'd be asking myself where the hell I was going wrong.

    And just in case you are going to tell me the economy is bad and people don't have money and all that usual defence and excuses, Please spare us all.
    Some people will always have the arse out of their pants and some people will always have good jobs, good incomes and good DISPOSABLE amounts of money they are looking to spend.
    If you are targeting the down and outs, then a person would not only be a poor business person but an idiot as well.

    If you are targeting average families, then $500 on a luxury, infrequent but long lasting purchase is the starting point you should aim at.


    I think you are a bit naive to think you are going to get 10 clients too many days to get your $1000.
    Your 10 shoots a day would take you at least 3 more days from start to completion.
    And why in gods name would you want to be selling on snubmutt instead of making an appointment to go to their home and service them properly as clients and walk out with at least 5 times more than you would selling off the net?

    Oh, that takes time right?
    I'll guarantee I could shoot and do the sales in their homes for 3 clients a lot faster than you could shoot 10 and make at least 5 times more dollars AND, I would GUARANTEE, if we did a survey of the clients, the one that paid me more would say they were more happy with their experience with me than they were with you. I'd also bet a lot that if I used your pics ( taking away any difference in photographic quality/ satisfaction) they would still spend more and be more inclined to recommend me over yourself.

    It's not about price, it's not even about how wonderful the pictures are.
    It's about the EXPERIENCE the client has with you that makes more difference than anything else.
    You can't do garbage work and have happy clients but you can do average/ standard work and have clients a lot happier than someone who did much better work and charged less but didn't give the people the feel good experience.
    Service is the most lacking thing people crave these days. By telling the people you will come to thier home and advise them on what pictures and layouts would best suit their decor and you want to make sure you are as happy with their pictures as they can be, They will think you are a legend and automatically be more pre disposed to spending more. That's a hell of a lot different to shooting and then saying You can order off the net and leaving them kind of empty and cast aside.
    And did I mention at any point the PROFIT you are going to make from your time investment is going to be magnitudes higher?

    Seriously, You say you want to make the most $$ possible but you seem to have a real fear and self sabotage of doing that. I'm wondering what your prices are but I'm too scared to ask. You might make me despair by first off all telling me you offer 6x4's, secondly, that you price them at $2-5 and 3rdly, that every other size you offer is similarly way too cheap.

    I understand I come across about as subtle as a hand grenade here but If I haven't ticked you right off or bored you to tears and I can offer any other advise regarding this, Feel free to send me a PM and I'll be happy to help you wherever I can.
    I realise there is a big difference between starting out as I am making the assumption you are and being in the game.... too long, but if I can help you speed up the learning curve, then maybe some good Karma will come back my way one day. :D
  • chrisjohnsonchrisjohnson Registered Users Posts: 771 Major grins
    edited November 16, 2013
    @kavika, if it makes you happy to give them all the digital images then that is what you should do.

    As for pricing, I am 100% with Glort. Someone happy (and able) to spend 100 US on photos can be persuaded to be even happier spending 500. Good luck!
  • jeatleyjeatley Registered Users Posts: 4 Beginner grinner
    edited November 19, 2013
    Glort wrote: »
    With respect, I think you need to decide if you want to run a business or a charity before anything else.

    If giving charity is what you want, shoot for free or go help some local charity out by working for them Volunteering your time and/ or skills. I have done it and it's bloody rewarding.

    If you want to run a business, then do that and don't bastardise the market for every other shooter out there by charging tiddly winks money.
    You know what happens to people who want sit on the fence, they get knocked off. In this case your good intentions will soon bite you on the backside. Guaranteed.

    A few years back I set up a sideline with a friend in one of his dads offices that he was trying to lease.
    The place was right outside a very busy bus terminal and had heaps of passing trade. Our sole advertising was the signage we put on a small section of shop window and wall.

    We were doing sessions for families and averaged $500-750 per sale. We had the $1100 sale and we had some $350's but most were the 500-750's.
    Shoot time was probably around 30 min because I talk a lot pre selling and building rapport and most clients did 2-3 outfit changes. When the shooting was over, one of us did a quick edit/ cull while the other got coffee/ cold drinks for the kids and we then sat them down to take their orders.
    I showed them how different pictures complimented each other and how they enhanced one another in different layouts. I showed how the combinations I shot intentionally worked together and how to get the best out of their images they really wanted a lot more than a shot of the family together, one of the kids and the kids individually.
    And when I was done with their order, it was now, which ones do you think the grandparents will like best? Then it was something like " You mentioned you have family overseas. I spose you don't see them too often, I'm sure they would like some up to date pictures of you all".
    That is a hell of alot different to the clients satisfaction and your bottom line than leaving it up to them to pick off the net when they are most likely going to have the dominating thought, " What's the cheapest I can get out of this?"

    Come to think of it, I'm wondering how I ONLY averaged 5-750 per sale now???? :uhoh

    Personally, I think your perception of $100 being a good sale is ..... Well, lets just say, Extremely low, even for a 15 Min shoot. I'm guessing like most other shooters, you will then go home and spend many times that in editing, retouching, uploading, burning etc. It's impossible for your time investment to be only the time you are working the camera.

    The idea that spending $550 on photos is so over the top to you is a worry.
    Frankly, the industry doesn't need any more cheap arse weekend warriors making pocket money and taking the work from those who do it seriously and for a living.
    If I were ONLY getting $500 for every 15 Min shoot I did, even if it were a shoot and burn, I'd be asking myself where the hell I was going wrong.

    And just in case you are going to tell me the economy is bad and people don't have money and all that usual defence and excuses, Please spare us all.
    Some people will always have the arse out of their pants and some people will always have good jobs, good incomes and good DISPOSABLE amounts of money they are looking to spend.
    If you are targeting the down and outs, then a person would not only be a poor business person but an idiot as well.

    If you are targeting average families, then $500 on a luxury, infrequent but long lasting purchase is the starting point you should aim at.


    I think you are a bit naive to think you are going to get 10 clients too many days to get your $1000.
    Your 10 shoots a day would take you at least 3 more days from start to completion.
    And why in gods name would you want to be selling on snubmutt instead of making an appointment to go to their home and service them properly as clients and walk out with at least 5 times more than you would selling off the net?

    Oh, that takes time right?
    I'll guarantee I could shoot and do the sales in their homes for 3 clients a lot faster than you could shoot 10 and make at least 5 times more dollars AND, I would GUARANTEE, if we did a survey of the clients, the one that paid me more would say they were more happy with their experience with me than they were with you. I'd also bet a lot that if I used your pics ( taking away any difference in photographic quality/ satisfaction) they would still spend more and be more inclined to recommend me over yourself.

    It's not about price, it's not even about how wonderful the pictures are.
    It's about the EXPERIENCE the client has with you that makes more difference than anything else.
    You can't do garbage work and have happy clients but you can do average/ standard work and have clients a lot happier than someone who did much better work and charged less but didn't give the people the feel good experience.
    Service is the most lacking thing people crave these days. By telling the people you will come to thier home and advise them on what pictures and layouts would best suit their decor and you want to make sure you are as happy with their pictures as they can be, They will think you are a legend and automatically be more pre disposed to spending more. That's a hell of a lot different to shooting and then saying You can order off the net and leaving them kind of empty and cast aside.
    And did I mention at any point the PROFIT you are going to make from your time investment is going to be magnitudes higher?

    Seriously, You say you want to make the most $$ possible but you seem to have a real fear and self sabotage of doing that. I'm wondering what your prices are but I'm too scared to ask. You might make me despair by first off all telling me you offer 6x4's, secondly, that you price them at $2-5 and 3rdly, that every other size you offer is similarly way too cheap.

    I understand I come across about as subtle as a hand grenade here but If I haven't ticked you right off or bored you to tears and I can offer any other advise regarding this, Feel free to send me a PM and I'll be happy to help you wherever I can.
    I realise there is a big difference between starting out as I am making the assumption you are and being in the game.... too long, but if I can help you speed up the learning curve, then maybe some good Karma will come back my way one day. :D

    Feel free to send me some of that good Karma! I am willing to listen!
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