What do you offer? (Wedding Photogs)

Discussion in 'The Professional Gallery' started by elsaspet, Dec 5, 2005.

  1. elsaspet

    elsaspet TPF Noob!

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    Hi all,

    I'm just wondering what people are offering in the way of products.
    Do you offer CD/proofs only, or albums, books, slideshows, ect?
    If you offer more than CD or proof books, what would you say is the largest benefit of doing so, and what is the largest con to doing so?
    If selling products ala carte, what do you find your most wanted products are?
     
  2. Alison

    Alison Swiss Army Friend Supporting Member

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    Good questions! Right now I offer several packages, ranging from a few hours of coverage with no album, just proofs to full packages with unlimited coverage the day of the wedding, full set of proofs in an album or proof box and couples + parents albums. All weddings are put online as well so out of town family and friends can view the photos. Some packages also include a framed 16X20 portrait as well. However, I am changing my pricing structure as of Jan 1st to be all a la carte. The reason is that people who buy the packages almost all want to substitute for other products. So, my new offerings will be:
    -Hourly rates for coverage
    -Online proofing (with option to purchase traditional proofs at an additional cost)
    -Albums priced by the page and style desired
    -Parents albums available

    I've also done some weddings where they just wanted the prints on a CD. At first I was hesistant, but there is a really good profit margin for that kind of shoot and the clients have all been happy with the results.

    I have to say that I really enjoy the look of an album when it's all done, it's probably my favorite part of the proofing process, to see it all come together!
     
  3. elsaspet

    elsaspet TPF Noob!

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    Thanks Alison! That's exactly the type of info I'm looking for. I'm trying to figure out if it's better to go with packages or no packages, prints or CD/release. Perhaps it's just best to be flexible?
     
  4. Lally0724

    Lally0724 TPF Noob!

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    There are lots of pro's and con's to al the options. I finally made the decision to keep the digital files, and sell prints. Remember that when you give out a CD with the files on it, they can print them anywhere, even on their own printer at home, which might be low on one color of ink or something, so they end up with some pretty awful photos, but they are running around telling everybody that you took this photo. This was probably my biggest reason for keeping the files myself. What I do is have my set price of $1000, plus taxes and traveling expenses. This gives them a proof album of about 200-250 proofs, plus a $300 credit towards purchasing their enlargements, albums, thank-you cards etc. They can purchase more, but they seem to feel like they are getting $300 worth free. I also have no "packages" so they just order whatever sizes they want. I hope this helps a little.
    Lally
     
  5. elsaspet

    elsaspet TPF Noob!

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    Yes it does Lally. Thank you very much. One thing I was thinking about doing is giving them an option to buy the CD rights, but I'm with you on this. I don't want them running around with crap prints from wherever and saying that I was the photog.
     
  6. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    This is some REALLY good reasoning. This was always a concern of mine, even "pre-digital" with poor copies.

    But, back to the origanal question... Needless to say, one cannot offer ALL the posible packages. I offer four very basic packages so that a couple can compare my pricing with other photographers to determine if I'm high or low. My starting package is 24 5x7 in a custom album (Art Leather). Proofs are not included. I begin about 1 1/2 prior to the ceremony and work into the reception for about an hour. I make about 130 images. My starting price is $1340 and is paid complete before any previews leave the studio.

    Nearly all my couples create their own package, mixing print sizes. I'd guess my average wedding order with all additional prints is around $3500.

    To date, I have not offered a DVD. In my area, weekend warriors are producing these as a slide program with effects and music and often include engagement photos and childhood images. I'm not sure I'd enjoy making these, and certainly couldn't charge what I'd need... not with the "others" out there. YEARS ago, I did a couple of these at the reception with multiple projectors and a disolve unit. It was TONS of work. I charged a bunch for this ($1200 in 1983). Only did a few.

    If I do show previews on a CD, they will be low res files and have some sort of watermark or series of specks... something to make it harder on those who would steel from me. I'm not in business to sell proofs. In fact, I won't sell any proofs EVER without a print order.

    Just some more for you to think about. I should include a disclaimer... I've done this for a long time, and haven't kept pace. My thinking may be (is likely to be) outdated.

    I can share more if you like.

    Good luck!
    -Pete

    [​IMG]
     
  7. elsaspet

    elsaspet TPF Noob!

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    Thank you Pete for your detailed response. Basically, I'm still trying to find the "close", which is sometimes difficult with Brides. For some, it's all about price, for others it's all about prints. Still others want to shoot the moon.
    I've been offering CD/rights and ala carte pricing, but most brides I meet want prints, even at 4x pricing, which I thought was kind of strange. It seems that CD/rights aren't very tangible (at least in my market).
    I've picked up a good deal of work thanks to the WPJA, but at the same time, I always seem to go into meetings ready to swing this way or that. I know I can't close everyone, and it's getting confusing bending to the wills and wants of each particular couple. That is why I'm thinking that packages might be the way to go. A set number of prints/whatever in my head so that I'm not just flying off the bat in each meeting and trying to figure out all this stuff in my head (while trying to do it looking effortessly, no less-hehe).
    Thank you guys again, because this is REALLY helping me decide which way I go here.
     
  8. JonK

    JonK I want MORE!!

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    Just wanted to say I'm following this thread closely. Tons of good info for someone (moi) who finds the whole thing so confusing but is trying to sort it also.
    Keep throwin those ideas in people. :D Thanks!
     
  9. danalec99

    danalec99 TPF Noob!

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    Starting from Jan '06 I'll have the following in my 'Shopping Cart':

    +The basic rate will include
    1. coverage up to 8 hours (additional hours will be billed per hr.)
    2. a DVD or CD's of fully post processed hi jpeg files
    3. a 60 day website/webshow with collages.net (where their friends and families could order their favourite prints)
    4. a complete set of 4x6's in an album

    +At an additional cost(s) they can order:
    1. Leather Craftsmen 3500 Flush Mount album or AsukaBooks (Coffee Table albums)
    2. DVD/CD Slideshow
     
  10. CrazyAva

    CrazyAva TPF Noob!

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    I offer many different possibilities from packages to a la carte. I leave it up to each individual client to decide what they would like. All proofing is online. I offer proofbooks at an additional cost. It seems most I deal with enjoy the online proofing best.

    What I like to offer is flexibility on the packages, so they can make a few adjustments to the packages in the event they don't like it exactly how it is. Most couples I deal with aren't quite sure of what they want and I think having flexible packages at least gives them an idea of what they could get. Different areas are different though and you will have to kind of decide what is going to work best for you.

    I do offer DVD's. I never thought about people printing them on their own computer, I just always figured if they print them on a crappy printer they are the ones who will have crappy prints not me :lol: Guess, I should maybe think about that some more.
     

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