How much investment info do you give out?

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by lapequesalsera, Feb 2, 2012.

  1. lapequesalsera

    lapequesalsera TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2012
    Messages:
    45
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    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.


     
  2. lapequesalsera

    lapequesalsera TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2012
    Messages:
    45
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Anybody? I'm not looking for your prices, but the overall info
     
  3. Bossy

    Bossy No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2011
    Messages:
    1,372
    Likes Received:
    252
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    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.
     
  4. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2005
    Messages:
    7,199
    Likes Received:
    147
    Location:
    Kankakee, IL
    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
     
  5. The_Traveler

    The_Traveler Completely Counter-dependent Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    Messages:
    18,743
    Likes Received:
    8,043
    Location:
    Mid-Atlantic US
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    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.
     
  6. Big Mike

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

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2003
    Messages:
    33,901
    Likes Received:
    1,862
    Location:
    Edmonton
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    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.
     
  7. TimGilbertson

    TimGilbertson TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2012
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Edmonton, AB
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    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.
     
  8. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2005
    Messages:
    45,748
    Likes Received:
    14,778
    Location:
    Victoria, BC
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    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.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. DiskoJoe

    DiskoJoe Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2011
    Messages:
    4,540
    Likes Received:
    519
    Location:
    Houston
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    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.............
     
  10. DiskoJoe

    DiskoJoe Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2011
    Messages:
    4,540
    Likes Received:
    519
    Location:
    Houston
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit

    lolololololololololololol

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

    Bossy No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2011
    Messages:
    1,372
    Likes Received:
    252
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    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.
     
  12. The_Traveler

    The_Traveler Completely Counter-dependent Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    Messages:
    18,743
    Likes Received:
    8,043
    Location:
    Mid-Atlantic US
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit


    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.
     
    • Like Like x 2

Share This Page