Here are my Wedding Packages, What do you think?

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by iflynething, Jul 26, 2010.

  1. iflynething

    iflynething TPF Noob!

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    Intermediate: $1,500
    Includes: 4 hours of coverage (wedding ceremony, reception)
    1 12x12 Custom Designed Coffee Table Album to share at home
    125 Professionally Printed 4x6's choice


    Advanced: $2,000
    Includes: 6 hours of coverage (pre-wedding, ceremony, reception)
    1 12x12 Custom Designed Coffee Table Album to share at home
    1 6x6 Custom Designed Album using same layout and pictures of 12x12 album to easily share with friends.
    200 Professionally Printed 4x6's of your choice
    1 Custom Digital Slideshow
    1 Copyright Released Image DVD containing images from the wedding (up to 500 images)



    Elite: $2,500
    Includes: 8 hours of coverage (pre-wedding, ceremony, entire reception) usually includes
    entire wedding
    1 12x12 Custom Designed Coffee Table Album to share at home
    1 6x6 Custom Designed Album using same layout and pictures of 12x12 album to easily share with friends.
    1 Custom Digital Slideshow (10-15 min in length - see above for example)
    1 16x20 Fine Art Canvas Print
    300 Professionally Printed 4x6's to put in your own photo album
    1 Copyright Released Image DVD containing images from the wedding (up to 750 images)

    Is there something I could change? I have looked around in the surrounding area and these prices are pretty competative.

    ~Michael~
     
  2. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    While I understand that they're pretty much an industry standard, I'm not a fan of packages. That aside, the one suggestion I would make is not to promise a set quantity of images from a shoot, but rather phrase it as "Approximately" or "typically".
     
  3. Restomage

    Restomage No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I'd have to second that. I just got back from a wedding on saturday expecting the traditional set-up which would give me plenty of opportunities available for hundreds of photos. Due to some confusion with the wedding coordinator, the clients only wanted a few formal portraits and the rest just candid shots of the guests, and there were only about 50 people in attendance. It's hard to guarantee a set number, unless that number is specific to a particular wedding.
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Firstly, I'm not a fan of the names. Remember than you are marketing mainly to women, so you might look more appealing with something that you may find silly, like flower names or colors etc.

    Secondly, I think you're missing an aspect of the wedding day, the formal photo shoot. For example, your first package is the ceremony & reception (you won't get much of the reception done with a 4 hour time limit)...but what about the formals? Most 'low' packages that I've seen are for the ceremony & the formals (3-4 hours) and not the reception.
    The next package would likely include the reception and/or the pre-wedding stuff. But keep in mind that many wedding receptions are fairly long. They may not do the main events until 9, 10 or even 11 o'clock. Things like cutting the cake, tossing the bouquet & garter, first dance etc. So you probably don't want to put yourself in the situation where you're hired to shoot the reception, but only book enough time to watch them eat.

    I don't like the idea of telling them how many photos they will get. If you only shoot the ceremony & the formals, you may be hard presses to come up with 100 good (& unique) shots...so you'd be stuck with a bunch of so-so shots, trying to get up to the 125 mark in your package. I'm a firm believer in quality over quantity. 75 great shots is a lot better than 75 great ones plus 25 OK ones and 25 poor ones.

    I think that you are including too much (for too low of a price) in the higher packages. Especially the top one. For example, between the 3nd & third package, they only pay $500 more, but they get two more hours coverage, 100 more prints, 250 more photos...and a 16x20 canvas.
    If you look at it a certain way, you are telling them that the Canvas has very little value, when many would say that you should be selling the Canvas for $500 on it's own.
    It may look better if you take out the number of photos.

    Also, consider this sales technique for packages/options....
    You should have a 'target package'. This is the one that you want/expect the client to choose. In most cases, it's the middle package. So figure out what you want this to cost & include. Then design your lower package with less value, but not costing too much less...thus making your middle package look like a great value in comparison.
    Then design your highest package to include a whole lot of time/products, but increase the price substantially. This shows your clients that you are up to the level of a big expensive package, and gives them something to think about. But because the price is so high, it makes your middle package look like a great value. So either way, you're steering them toward the middle package.

    I was at this photo business seminar, and the guy said that if anyone ever buys your highest package, it wasn't priced high enough. He advocated adding a 'whale' package. Include anything and everything you can...and put a hefty price tag on it. Some of the suggestions were things like a limo rental, a spa package, a round of golf, a trip to Mexico/Vegas etc. Your package may get up to $20,000, $30,000 or more...that may seem silly, but as long as it's somewhat realistic, it gets them thinking....and now your $2500 target package looks down right cheap.
     
  5. iflynething

    iflynething TPF Noob!

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    I really don't like packages either. It limits what the client can get because they can only choose A B or C as what they want. Of course they could add on things apart from the package, but otherwise, there is no flexibility.

    That makes perfect sense. Pricing and what is offered has to take every wedding into account and what may or may not happen in those weddings.

    Mike, thank you for your input.

    The formals is what I should have included in the 'lowest' package. Actually, I shouldn't include anything. I should let it be open and let them choose what they want included in those packages.

    I was trying to do what you are suggesting by making a target package, maybe I didn't accomplish that. This is why I don't like having packages, I'd rather go by what their budget is. Of course now days that seems to be going further and further down the drain. Everyone seems to want to skimp out on the photography aspect and spend the money on other things part of the wedding. The only problem with pricing my packages is, I look at the price and I'm amazed that someone would pay this much. I try to look at it as if I were getting married, what I would think is a good value, but even if I took my cost, and tripled it, it's so high, I normally lower the price. Even though I believe I produce quality work for that tripled price, it's out the window expensive and that will have to be something I get over.

    I will have to re work my packages and get down to the nitty gritty and go by your post Big Mike. Figure out my cost, what I want to make and what I should include and then add in that "whale" package.

    Thank you again for your help

    ~Michael~
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2010
  6. nerelda

    nerelda TPF Noob!

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    Wow...that's some great advice there, Big Mike. I think I will be taking a lot of that into consideration myself as well.
     
  7. Browncoat

    Browncoat No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I agree with a lot of what Big Mike said...

    Package Names
    These are the biggest sore thumb in my opinion. This is essentially your brand at stake here, and while I don't think you have to come up with overly colorful or silly names, what you essentially have now is:

    • Blah
    • More expensive blah
    • Even more expensive blah
    Where is the "basic" or budget package? You have medium, large, and Big Gulp...but no small.

    Included Items
    BM and others have hit the nail on the head with this one too. Geographic areas will dictate some pricing, but it seems like you are including too much for too little.

    I would also avoid setting the # of photos in stone. If I order the Elite package, I'm going to expect all 750 photos. Considering that not every capture is a keeper, this means you'll be taking 3-5 times that many...or up to 2250. That's a lot, man. You're going to force yourself to include photos that are near duplicates or use images you might otherwise send to the recycle bin just to meet your quota.

    Pricing
    If your lowest offering is $1500, then the Big Daddy should be at least $3000. You don't have much of a price spread, which means somewhere along the line, you're selling yourself short.

    And again, I have to agree w/ BM. In addition to packages 1, 2, and 3...create an "ultimate" deal that is so over the top expensive that it makes your others look like pennies in a bucket by comparison. At the same time, be prepared for someone to actually buy it. If you're going to offer limos, golf trips, or vacations, then have that stuff lined up and be able to deliver.
     
  8. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    To add something else to the mix, there are those who dislike packages (or at least dislike giving the client so many options)...so the prescribe to the 'one price/package' theory.

    The idea being that if someone hires you, they get you for the day. They don't have to use you all day, but they are paying for it either way. This makes a lot of sense for those who are in demand. It would really suck if you booked your low package, only to have other couples show up later, wanting that date and willing to buy your larger packages.

    A photographer friend of mine up here, offers two packages; #1 All day coverage and #2 All day coverage with a high end Album. I think he charges $3000 & $5000 respectively (it's probably higher actually). He works as often as he wants to, he could probably book 60 weddings a year, but keeps it to less than half of that.

    You need to remember that you (hopefully) aren't catering to people in your income/money bracket. It may be expensive for you personally, but if there are enough people willing to pay that much, then they should be your target market. I was shooting a wedding with another photographer last weekend. She (they) charge a pretty good price for their weddings, and they are really good. They are super busy and I suggested that they raise their prices even higher, but she was reluctant, saying that she couldn't even afford to hire herself.
    But hey, if higher prices means less clients, it also means less work. I'd rather shoot 10 weddings at $5000 each, than 20 at $2500 each.
     
  9. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Are you intending to give away the ownership of your copyright? That would be negating your right of usage for advertising and promotion (or anything else for that matter), and allow the client full commercial use of your work.

    Or is it your intention to only provide a limited Use License/Print Release, like for personal use only?
     
  10. Browncoat

    Browncoat No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    To Big Mike (and other experienced wedding 'togs):

    You say that you dislike package deals, and that makes sense to me. So how do you handle it? Charge per hour/half-day/full-day? Do you have a modular set-up where clients can pick bits and pieces of services and put together their own custom package?
     
  11. iflynething

    iflynething TPF Noob!

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    I thought that the medium you are refering to was the small. I am going to have to re work everything and create the general consensus, the small small, on up to one that is so far expensive, the the middle one(s) look like the best deal!

    I also thought it seemed like too much for too little but I did it anyways. I need to start listening to my conscious.

    Against my better judgment, I did that anyways. Once again, I should have listened to my conscious. I am getting better and better at getting more keepers, but you have to work extra hard, like you said, to meet that quota. I will definitely take that out, or at least include some different wording - approximatly, typically, etc.

    I don't think I'm to the point of offering limos and other things that extravagent! I could offer it thinking nobody would get it, but I couldn't produce it, at least not now! Someone buying an ultimate package is few and far between, but I know it can and will happen.

    I like this idea. Just have the packages, all of them, automatically include all day service. Could I include a limit, like it's all day but a day is.....12 hours, 10 hours? While I would try to think of all possible weddings, most I am targeting right now is the traditional ones which are 12-12 or.....10-12 hours long for most of the events. I know Indian weddings are insanely long.

    That's what I have to get my mind off. No matter what price it is and if I think it's too high, someone WILL pay for it. I have to put a decent value on my work.

    I would not be giving away full ownership of my images. I have it in my contract that copyright will ALWAYS remain with myself. I would have to be more specific when discussing that with a client. What I would more than likely do is a CD of low res files, for e-mailing, etc.



    Thank you everyone for your input, I greatly appreciate it.

    ~Michael~
     
  12. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I don't necessarily dislike the list of packages, I'm just not sold that it's the best idea for everyone. It's certainly better than nothing.
     

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