How much investment info do you give out?

lapequesalsera

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How much info do you have on your website, I have heard pros that don't even give any fees for anything at front, other add asmuch as they cam think of, I'm in the process of building my website and that concerns me.
 
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lapequesalsera

lapequesalsera

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Anybody? I'm not looking for your prices, but the overall info
 

Bossy

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Check out your favorite/inspired by photographers and see what they do. I've done both, (not that I'm a pro though, so take that for what it is), there's a book/pdf by Alicia Caine who spelled out pricing really well for me, called Easy as Pie and Pastry School.

As a consumer, I like having a minimum price to see if its even worth my time (or the photographers) to contact them for further details. So like, Session prices start at $100, weddings $3000, etc. Then if its in my price range, I'll find out more about the print costs and cd's etc.
 

Christie Photo

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What I settled on over the years is providing a starting price for casual replies. What I mean is, when I get a call asking how much for a family portrait, I say pricing starts at $325 and includes a 16x20 wall print; or wedding packages begin at $1350.

It's a fair question to ask. If I'm shopping for a service, especially one I've never used and of which I have little understanding, I first what to know how much money I'll to budget. Then I can decide right away if I will continue. For instance: I've never had a fence installed. I have NO clue what it takes. I don't want to waste my time or anyone else's with having someone meet me for a quote if I don't first have SOME idea how much it might cost. Suppose I'm thinking $800, but the installers don't do anything for less than $2000. I know right away that I have to budget more, or settle for less, or that I just can't afford a fence.

So my suggestion is to let folks know where prices start and then, once you learn just what they want/need, give a more accurate quote.

-Pete
 

The_Traveler

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When I see 'investment', when I know it's really a cost, I get wary and start to look for a big rock.

Pretty words just seem like you're afraid to say what you charge and are trying to make it more palatable.
Be straight-forward.
You are charging a fee for your knowledge, time and equipment - and they don't get that back so its not an investment.
 

Big Mike

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There doesn't seem to be a 'best' way of doing it....and if you look around, photographers are all over the map of showing prices or not.

The idea behind not showing your prices, is that you want your images to be the main (only) focus when people view your site. You don't want them to hire you based on price, you want them to fall in love with your images, and be ready to hire you at whatever price you're asking. This is obviously going to require that you have a pretty strong portfolio to show off.
Another aspect of this, is that they want to actually 'make the sale' to the prospective clients. They want them to actually pick up the phone (or E-mail) so that they can start a dialog and put their sales skills to use.
Yet another possible benefit, is that it may help to weed out those who are shopping by price. If someone is looking for a wedding photographer and shopping by price, they may not call because they'll assume that you're too expensive. That's usually a good thing, because clients who shop solely by price, tend to be bad wedding clients. We would all rather have clients who hire us because they like our photos...not because they only like our prices. On the down side, some photographers find that they have to field too many calls or e-mails because people are simply asking what their price is. Some photographers get fed up with that, and just post their prices so that they don't have to spend so much time talking to clients who aren't in their target market anyway.

But of course, that is a double edged sword. Price is almost always going to be a factor, and you don't want to miss out on possible clients because they assumed they couldn't afford you. And now that almost everyone is going to look for a photographer via the internet, it's very easy for them to compare you to several other photographers, and if you don't have your price listed, it's very easy for them to just cut you out of the comparison.

So, it sort of depends on the market that you're targeting. If you're marketing the top end of the market, where prices are high....the clients probably aren't as concerned about the exact amount that you charge...they are more interested in the product. But in a less lofty market segment, showing your price (or at least ballparking it) may be a better idea because you want to stay in the competition when clients are looking at 5-10 different photographers on the web.
 

TimGilbertson

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Well this is interesting because Mike and I are more or less in direct competition :).

We were all over the map with this in the past. What we've found from speaking with people, reading, etc., is that it's quite annoying when there is absolutely no pricing on a website. Even when photographers will say "Packages starting from..." If they don't mention what that gets you, how do you gauge what you're paying for?

People choosing by a photographer by price isn't great, but often it's the reality. The first thing couples do when planning their wedding is set a budget.

Anyway, what we've settled on is "packages starting from $$$ which gets you... to $$$ which gets you..." You want to entice people to come meet with you in person (or at least contact you), because it's a lot easier to sell someone that way.
 

tirediron

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It's NOT a ****ing investment!!!! It's a price, a fee, a charge, but NOT an investment. An investment is something that provides a return on capitol. If someone can please explain how a photograph does that (other than of course those one-in-a-million shots that make the cover of NG, NYT, etc), I would love to know, because I should be a millionaire many times over.

To answer your question however, I charge a flat rate for almost all of my work, and that's clearly displayed on my 'site. I've thought about both sides of the "I want to know" and "If you need to ask you can't afford it" argument, and as someone who wants to know up front how much things are going to cost, it would be hypocritical not to provide that information to potential clients.
 

DiskoJoe

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Most people list prices when they first start out because price point will get you the work. If you work is good enough you can let it speak for you and negotiate price later. Take a look at photographer that are close to your skill set and see if they list a price. i bet you they will. Price according to your skill set. Even if you dont list it online you need to know what type of range you fall into for when people might actaully contract you. So either way you need to determine your pricing structure and decide what you actually want to charge for. There are many factors at play here.

How good is your gear?
How good is your work given your gear?
What type of photography do you do?
Are you going to have travel costs?
Can you accomodate the customer with your current gear or would something need to rentsomething to accomplish the job?
etc, etc, etc.............
 

DiskoJoe

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It's NOT a ****ing investment!!!! It's a price, a fee, a charge, but NOT an investment. An investment is something that provides a return on capitol. If someone can please explain how a photograph does that (other than of course those one-in-a-million shots that make the cover of NG, NYT, etc), I would love to know, because I should be a millionaire many times over.

To answer your question however, I charge a flat rate for almost all of my work, and that's clearly displayed on my 'site. I've thought about both sides of the "I want to know" and "If you need to ask you can't afford it" argument, and as someone who wants to know up front how much things are going to cost, it would be hypocritical not to provide that information to potential clients.


lolololololololololololol

I do like your rational for why you list pricing. Never heard it put that way but it makes total sense.
 

Bossy

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It don't know how it isn't an investment. I can put $200 towards my hair and have it have to be redone in a couple months or I can put it towards a photo session with someone whose talent I appreciate (much like my stylist talent who I appreciate) and have something that lasts longer. But I also don't view an investment as something that only has monetary value. I *invest* myself into my children every day. I don't expect to get any money back for that.
 

The_Traveler

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It don't know how it isn't an investment. I can put $200 towards my hair and have it have to be redone in a couple months or I can put it towards a photo session with someone whose talent I appreciate (much like my stylist talent who I appreciate) and have something that lasts longer. But I also don't view an investment as something that only has monetary value. I *invest* myself into my children every day. I don't expect to get any money back for that.

It's weasel wording to call a price for a service and product an investment - and it certainly isn't in the same category as one's effort for children.
 

Bossy

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Why not? Why can't someone consider photography an investment? I know thats how I validated it when I spent hundreds on my childrens photgraphy at crappy chain studios when they were young. I still hold value in those pictures, more so now that they've changed so much.
 

CCericola

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You can sell it as an inventment in your family memories. Or an investment in years of enjoyment. That family portrait can yield years of enjoyment, fond memories and delight. Ok, even I'm getting diabetes reading that but hey the term investment doesn't have to be about a monetary return. Sounds like a nice way of marketing retail photography, I may have to try that.

And as far as cost. I am in the process of listing pricing for portraits but weddings I do not. I only do weddings where photographs are important to the bride and groom because people who don't will never value my services and I become just the hired help. If they don't like my pricing then I have failed to convince them of my worth. I simply ask them when they inquire about photography what their price range is and go from there. If they say $500 then I know nothing I say can make them spend 10x that. If they are in within 30% of what I charge then I am confident that I can persuade them to up their budget to afford me.
 

tirediron

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...I *invest* myself into my children every day. I don't expect to get any money back for that.
and I'm sure you won't be disapointed! :lol:

A return does NOT have to be monetary. The potential return on your investment in your children will be in their becoming skilled, productive members of society. A photograph captures a moment, tells a story, enhances a memory, but generally does not provide a discernable return, monetary, or otherrwise, hence is not an investment. The use of the term (and it seems to becoming alarmingly common) by photographers is, IMO, an attempt to increase sales by use of the subtle suggestion that it is a duty and that the price of the work will be deferred by some unspecified return in the future.
 

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