what clients pay for?

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by Terri Walsh, Jun 10, 2009.

  1. Terri Walsh

    Terri Walsh TPF Noob!

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    1. I am hoping someone can help me. I once saw a great link to a site that someone has written a great page on what it is exactly people are paying for when it comes to a photographer. (compared to like Walmart, editing, time etc.)
    I think it was wonderful and would love to find it again!
    Anyone?

    Also...
    2. What do you tell your customers when they want to compare to lets say Sears pricing?

    3. Or what do you say when they ask about other photos (that may have not turned out?)

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. ShotGunNik

    ShotGunNik TPF Noob!

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    subbing
     
  3. SpeedTrap

    SpeedTrap TPF Noob!

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    I know the article you are talking about, I just do not have the link.
    As for your other questions

    What do you tell your customers when they want to compare to lets say Sears pricing?

    I tell them that I am not Sears, what I am going to create for them is a work of art that they will be proud to hang on their wall for years to come. I will be with them from the first phone call until that print is framed and mounted on the wall.

    I will come to their home and do the shoot there or at any location they would like. I will assist them in picking the right size of print for the location in the home and even assist with the frame if they like.

    We as photographers are offering a luxury item for most people. We need to show that what we do is worth the extra cost because of the product and service we provide.

    Or what do you say when they ask about other photos (that may have not turned out?)
    I would hope thin never happens, because going to the above statement we would never let it. If a customer were unhappy with the photos I would re-shoot it. If they were unhappy with the prints, I would re-print them and I would do this until the client is happy (within reason).


    Now all that being said, don’t be afraid to let a customer go to Sears, If that is all they want to spend then that is what they get. If you discount your prices you may make them happy, but they will tell their friends what they paid and any referrals you get will want the same price.

    I have found that is someone is all about the price I do not want them as a customer. I agree price is an important factor, but I find the ones that make a big deal out of a sitting fee will typically not buy larger prints and are usually a PITA.

    We need to make sure our customers understand the key difference between price and value.
     
  4. Blank

    Blank TPF Noob!

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    Regarding the Sears / Walmart comparison, these are basic forms of "Say Cheese" photography (1 pose, 1 shot with varable sizes to print).

    I cannot obviously confirm this, but here is the urban legend. These in-store studios were never intended to make profit margin, they were there for a convenience to families who either don't have the money for a professional or who are really unwise to the results a professional can offer. The real gem is that while you wait or are at least in store, the chain is hoping you will stay a while and start filling a shopping cart up. Just like casino's who comp you a room. It is easier for them to give you a room at no charge and have you stay with them exclusively and unload your pockets.



    The difference between a professional and Sears is (not in any particular order):
    1. A pro will come to you or meet at an agreed location
    2. A pro will be patient with your kids when they are playing up
    3. A pro will take 40-100 shots
    4. A pro will include professional editing
    5. A pro will offer a professional service
    This is a short list, but to the point.

    Google "why are professional photographers so expensive"

    This is an incorrect statement, because a professional charges exactly what they should (for the most part), it is the chain juggernauts that have set the stage for this question to even be asked.

    Alot of sites use this answer page on their sites.
     
  5. bigtwinky

    bigtwinky No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    My wife's grandma is italian. I thought that I had had the best italian food at this local restaurant. The first time I ate at her grandma's house I found out what true italian cooking is. Where veggies are picked from the garden, the sausage is hung downstairs and everything is home made. Sure, takes her longer to cook, but oh man, you can't compare the quality of the food, the attention to detail.
     
  6. ShotGunNik

    ShotGunNik TPF Noob!

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    Right on, thanks for that insight.
     
  7. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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  8. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Your contract should state that for a 1 hour shoot the client will only be shown the best 20-25 images. The decision as to which are the best 20 is solely at the discretion of the photographer. You.

    More and more photographers are offering all the images from a 1 hour shoot as all 5x7's or a low-res CD for 2.5 or 3 times their sitting fee. Most of these photographers have sitting fee's begining at $200 per hour. They still off a-la-cart purchasing of larger images.

    They don't have any oof or improperly exposed images though.

    As far as Wal-Mart, Sears or some other the loss leader philosophy certainly applies. Everyone else has hit the main points that separate an independent photographer from a chain store.
     
  9. rub

    rub TPF Noob!

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    Great topic.

    I think everyone is right on the mark with saying that its the "service" that makes the price of a professional photographer higher than the Sears studio.

    A professional cares about the work -- they are creating, not just clicking.

    When asked by my clients, I let them know that there images are not just uploaded and printed. Each one is looked at, edited to make it look its best, retouched in some cases, copied, stored, printed through a professional lab and delivered in a professional manner. I want my customers to know that I am working for THEM - not for some store.

    When it comes to customers asking about "missing" shots, I let them know that they are seeing the best, and the others didnt make the cut. Sometimes the customer may be blinking, looking the wrong way, or making a face that is just very unflattering. Sometimes my exposure may be off of OOF. I just let them know that the photo is not up to my standards, and that is why it wasnt included.
     
  10. CrimsonFoxPhotography

    CrimsonFoxPhotography TPF Noob!

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    I think it's far more than just chain juggernauts that cause it. Take a look at my blog (number V) to see my views on it since it's too much to post here.
     
  11. Nicholas James Photo

    Nicholas James Photo TPF Noob!

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  12. Blank

    Blank TPF Noob!

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    I don't disagree at all. I have been down this road a few times already. I didn't read all your post and I will tonight, but I did get the idea of intent.

    People not understanding how to price a photograph or digital image for that matter and what they also don't realize is, they are contributing to a gradual decline in market value that affects every photographer out there...in the long run. There is seemingly more interest in getting the image out in the world, regardless of value, just for the sake of getting an image out in the world. This is an extension of the chain's and in my opinion you are 100% right.
     

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