Here we are in week two in the Mentor Me Mondays photography blog series! This week we had questions regarding session pricing, traveling with camera equipment, and how to get clients on board with your type of sessions. Are ya ready? Don’t forget, you can ask questions too. It’s Photography Mentoring without the price tag.
To submit your own questions, simply email: firstname.lastname@example.org with your question. Include subject: Mentor Blog Question
I have been invited to take engagement pictures in New York (flying there from Texas). Worried about what equipment to take and is there a better way to fly with your photography equipment? (Anita)
I’ve only ever flown with my gear once. I went to a wedding in the Dominican Republic. It was so hard to decide what to bring, because I have a love for each item I own. I knew that I needed to pack as light as possible. Believe it or not, I just brought a few essentials (3 lenses, 1 camera, extra battery, charger, and lots of memory cards) and carried it on the plane in my Cheeky Lime bag under my seat. For wedding shooting, I like my 70-200mm, a 50mm lens, a 24-70mm lens, and my macro lens. The mack daddy 70-200mm would make fitting my gear into this one bag quite the challenge (especially with two camera bodies). Depending on what your favorite lenses are, I’d do the process of elimination to determine what you can live without. I wish I were more help in this area, but I did stumble upon this amazing article on traveling with gear over on SLR Lounge < click.
How do I raise my photography session prices? Now that I have a studio and my work is coming along well, I need to increase now that I have studio bills to cover. How do I announce this on my page or to loyal clients? (Jemma)
Congratulations on the new studio!! That is crazy exciting! Have you ever thought about a referral program? Or possibly giving a gift to past clients when they book a new session with you? Anyone should expect rates to rise throughout the years with inflation, but as small business owners, I think it’s important to maintain rapport too. So how to handle? With pricing, I would personally spread the increase between your various avenues of income. So if you charge a large session fee and low print prices, maybe increase your prints and then offer a print credit. If you charge a low session rate and then higher print prices, maybe it’s fine to increase your session fee up to where you need. You could also consider offering packages where they get a whole boat load of things in it so the value looks too good to pass up. You may be surprised. I know if I see a pair of shoes buy one get one half off, you know I’m walking out the door with that second pair.
I’m not sure that I’d announced that rates have increased, but I’d announce something a little like “New studio, new adventure, new packages for clients, and loyalty customers get a _________ upon their next booking in 2015.” This way, you are saying your rates are increasing, but you are keeping the announcement positive. Hope this helps, love!
What are some ways to get people on board with this/see the vision of a Family History Session? Especially those with older kids? (Misty)
This type of documentary style photography in modern families I believe in my heart is going to boom. It’s going to grow and when more sessions take place, more families will see their friend’s photos and be like, ‘oh I want Misty to tell MY family’s story.’ Until then, I think it becomes a bit more important to do more in-depth planning up front. In-person consultations may be the ticket here. They can hear the excitement and emphasis in your voice when in-person. Another idea would be to give them a challenge like the Double Dog Dare to Photographers post. I think this would be a fabulous visual for them. I’m never one to push for working for free, but it may help find a couple of candidates and do a couple of sessions exactly the way you want to do them. Once they are in your portfolio, you can use them as a reference to help people see the authentic state of these sessions.