Feb 19, 2013

New Pricing Explained

I'm sure many of you have seen my new pricing for this year. Of course, a few of my lab costs have increased so naturally, that has affected a few products on my menu. I have had to make a few adjustments to allow for proper profit margins (a few items were out of whack over the past few years and I was actually losing money on them). But in the grand scheme of things, I haven't made big changes. A few products have been dropped but that is to make room for new things. I have streamlined the structure for how portrait sessions & products are chosen by the client and it truly will make your life easier.

Previously, I had a total of 14 different packages. That was crazy-talk. Now I have two. And those two packages are exactly in the price range of where the vast majority of clients were investing since I opened my studio in August of 2011. Session fees have increased slightly and this is also to your benefit. By paying a higher session fee, I don't have to see as many clients in a year/month/week to generate an income which also allows me to spend more time with each of you, delivering a high-quality studio expereince without being herded through the studio like an assembly line. It means that I can slow down, be more creative and take better care of you. Sounds good, no?

Also, many new clients were confused by the initial payment of a session fee and then further payment at the ordering appointment for printed goods. All the while, I was hoping to capture images that they wanted to use. Sometimes my vision and their vision weren't the same. By having you select one of the two packages at the outset, I have an idea of what products I'm shooting for, better tailoring the images for how you plan to use them. Again, better for you! I don't want to waste your time... or mine.

So the way the two new packages are designed, they include the session fee ($400) as well as printed goods. The first package is $2400 and includes the session fee and a gorgeous leather image box and ten 8x8" mounted prints (images of your choice). Hair & makeup services are available complimentary wherever applicable. The second package is $1500 and includes the session fee and a stunning framed,matted & mounted 16x20" print (image of your choice). Both packages can be built upon from the A la Carte product menu and you will receive a lovely keepsake disc containing copies of every image you purchase a printed copy of.

These two packages are your only options for booking a full portrait session. Returning clients will have to pay the $400 session fee to secure their booking (that hasn't changed) but they will receive it back at their ordering appointment in the form of a print credit that they can redeem for any printed goods they wish. Also the two products included in each package will not be a mandatory selection for returning clients either. Of course, if they wish to select those items, they may do so but rather by selecting an investment level of either $1500 or $2400 to redeem for anything I offer on my A la Carte product menu. (translation - returning clients get $400 free to use on any printed goods they want!)

To help you understand the WHY behind the pricing, as I do realize it is a significant investment for many, I spend hours upon hours preparing for your session beforehand and exponentially moreso afterward. On average, I spend somewhere around ten hours handling each client's portrait experience from start to finish. But only about 1/4 of the revenue I generate from each session is the "wage" portion. So that $400 session fee leaves me with about $100 divided over about 10 hours of work. So I'm actually only getting about $10/hour from the session fee. That's not even minimum wage. Of course, product sales help me earn a higher hourly wage but they have a significant cost to produce.

This business is not a get-rich-quick scheme. I do this because I think it is vitally important to celebrate our children. Their self esteem benefits from growing up in a home where it is made clear that they are loved & treasured by seeing their portraits hanging on the wall. I also have a blast working with kids. They are small for such a short amount of time and while you may think you'll never forget these days,  you will. And in time, the memory will become more and more faded, harder and harder to recall without a visual reminder to take you back to this moment.

Also, to put things into perspective, your 64Gig iPhone 4S, it's about $900. Will you save it for your grandchildren? I doubt it. Will you replace it soon with the iPhone 5? Probably. Will that stick around for future generations to remember you by? Bet not.

Portraits stop time. they ensure that we are not forgotten and they are proof that we were here. They help our future generations understand where they come from and who they come from. They are part of your legacy and are an heirloom to give to your children's children. Unlike your iPhone.

So despite a few structure changes, it's actually gotten WAY better for you, the client. Less rush, better care & attention and FREE PRODUCT. What's not to love??

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