You might have read in one of my recent blog posts how this year was a huge learning experience for me in so many ways. In addition to the decision to specialize in a lifestyle approach to photography, I realized something about my business model. MOST people want their digital files with their session, but a quick survey among my clients revealed that 9 times out of 10 – those files never make it off the hard drive and into the home. They go onto Facebook and then they’re forgotten about. I can’t tell you the joy it brings me when I walk into a home and see my images all over the walls – not because its my art and it makes me proud (which it absolutely makes me want to cry every time), but because that’s the true reason behind this career choice of mine. Creating beautiful, lasting, TANGIBLE memories from their portrait sessions.
I want your art to be on your walls. I want your grandchildren to be able to dig through a box of old photos, just like we’ve all done. I don’t want them to have to sort through a hard drive and live through the pain of having that hard drive fail for whatever reason. And I’ve lived it, and it’s physically painful to lose all of that. That’s the way I approach every session as I shoot it, and what’s going through my head as I process and edit your images. I’ve been a photographer for almost 5 years, and we’ve been in our house just a few months longer than that, and I just printed family photos to hang in our home for the VERY. FIRST. TIME. To all the photographers who sat awake with a cup of coffee long after their kids were in bed, holding their eyelids open with scotch tape just to get my images finished within the promised time – I am so sorry. You deserve more respect than what I’ve been giving. And to my clients, I also apologize. I haven’t been valuing your art the way I should.
Having said all that, I am switching to a slightly different business model in 2015 in which your session fee includes ONLY my time and talent spent at the session and on editing. Your session fee must be paid up front, and when you receive the link to your online gallery 2-3 weeks post session, you will be able to make your print and product selections directly from the gallery. If you would like to view my samples and see what the difference is in my products and the products you can order from Shutterfly or cheaper 1-hour labs like in chain stores, I would absolutely LOVE to get with you and go over studio samples, as well as make professional suggestions and recommendations on what would work best in your home. I would love that!
I’m not doing this to be greedy. I’ve already been told that, and honestly, even though I have a fairly thick skin, that hurts my feelings. Photography is certainly not a get-rich-quick kind of career, and that is not my motivation at all even if it were. My reasons for switching to this business model is to ensure that YOU as a client and as a consumer are getting the most out of your portrait sessions. I know how much chaos goes on around my house around picture day, what with organizing outfits and getting everyone ready and making sure everyone naps on time so they aren’t cranky, and so on. It seems like a lot of work to just post a few photos to Facebook and then forget about the rest of them. My reasons for switching to this business model is also to send a very clear message: I value your time. I value your memories. And I value the fact that you are entrusting me to create lasting, tangible art for you.
And don’t be discouraged, because I am still offering digital files! I even have a few special packages and offers to sweeten the deal (you can message me if you’re curious, but they are awesome!) I understand that you can value prints and still want digital files. I, personally, do too. Good news: with me, you can have it all! 😉
You can view my updated pricing here. I know this is a bit different than what a lot of my past, current, and future clients are used to. I realize there will be a bit of a learning curve, and it’s all good. We’ll help each other through it. 🙂
To help ease the transition, I am offering a special discount. The first 5 sessions booked at my new pricing will have their session fee WAIVED completely! Clients will still pay their session fee as a retainer and guarantee towards the session appointment, but will receive the same amount in a credit towards prints and products, so its essentially a wash. These spaces are obviously very limited, so if you are interested please use my Contact page or email me at email@example.com to claim your spot.
I am really and truly excited to make this change, because I honestly believe it will be more rewarding for everyone! Get that art on those walls, people!