Hey girl! What do you charge?
Hi! What do you charge? This is my favorite, and usually one of the first questions in any business conversation I have ever been in until a relationship has been built to understand the offering.
Why? We naturally want to know if what we are looking for fits our budget. I mean think
about it, you have probably gone to the vendors site, checked out what they have to offer, you love it (or at least like it enough to connect) and now you want to know how much it is going to cost. Let's be real, if you are completing a home remodeling project, hiring a consultant, an employee, or even grabbing a bite to eat we need to know what it is going to set us back, right? We all make a judgement on price at some point in our life and we will question if the price fits within our means for the service.
Feel free to agree or disagree with my viewpoint as this is simply my position. Don't worry - I won't judge you. I will use my photography as an example... but I can totally write this again using my copy-writing services, website building, or even my personal hunt for the best place to indulge in a great cup of coffee.
I agree that you deserve to know the cost of doing business with any vendor. You have a need for a service or product and of course a budget to stick within, but that is not where I start. However, I do promise we will get there just not right away. I always ask that a client be confident that we will arrive at a mutual place once we understand what they are truly looking for.
I don't believe that I can provide you a price without knowing what you are really trying to achieve, or purchase, because I simply don't have a cookie cutter product, like a 10 oz bottle of shampoo. I mean in all reality I could create one, but would that work? I don't think so, and here is why.
Think of me like a Build-A-Bear Workshop®. I like to start out with what are you looking for... I mean really what you are truly looking to achieve not just the session type... Family Portraits, timeless once in a lifetime Fresh 48, maternity photos, or an engagement session. Do you want in studio shots or on location outdoors? What about makeup and hair? Are we shooting raw or posed, of course I am into natural, but we can pose too! Are you coming fully dressed and ready or am I supplying the glamour and attire? I could go on here, but I think you get the point.
So, please do not be offended when you are searching for a service or session when the vendor responds with the big "what are you looking for" question, and you are like ummm aren't you the photographer? Next! Please, hear them out and play along to achieve a WIN WIN for the both of you - it is in your best interest, promise.
Sit back and grab a drink and get excited, run with the building session, enter your dream world of what the perfect session looks like for you - what do you want to truly get out of this time. What does the end product look like? I mean is this going on your social insta page or above your mantel? Be real, be you, and be true to your desires.
Be honest, I mean be really honest. Anyone will shave off the package price to help take the price down closer to your budget if they can, but start with what you want first! I could go into specifics here, but for example if you wanted 2 hours at this island 3 hours away, but could only afford 1 hour at the photographers lake and gain a similar experience - the pricing could shift lower.
I talked to a client the other day that simply wanted some digital shots for her Instagram so that she can keep posting fresh photos for her business that include her being real. That is a totally different package than a mom wanting to capture her newborn within the first 48 hours of delivery. Agree?
Let's assume we agree and go back to my gal that is only looking for images for her social media pages. She wants to connect often on location so her images stay updated and fresh, also she wants to remain real to her followers; she wants to be shown cooking, working out, etc. and not looking like she is just taking selfies in her car (like me here to the left!). So, we came up with a great package for her... We schedule 30 minutes to shoot on location, I provide unedited digital photos within a 48 hour window, she gets an unlimited copyright release from me, I get a model release from her... etc... I won't bore you with the complete details, because you get the point - we created the perfect package for her and her needs alone.
Realize, my insta girl's deal is totally different than a couple that has hired me to capture the memories of their wedding, they will want edits, soft touches, high-resolution wall mounts, and so much more! Sharing unedited photos is typically a no for me, but she wants to show people the unedited her! I get it, let's be real how many selfie shots in your bathroom mirror are people going to keep 'liking' and 'loving' until they start to 'snooze' you?
I am all about coming to a mutual agreement on price, but first just give me (or any other person/business you are looking to hire) the chance to ensure that what you want and what you are getting are the same thing. Of course, if you are going to go any further with me... please take the time to look over my portfolio. My style is not always considered traditional - I prefer raw, honest emotion over posed photos most days of the week. All I ask is that you are 100% sure that my style is what you would like or that you clearly tell me what you are looking for before we lock in on furthering our relationship.
Best of luck to you my friends -- Happy Building!