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11-07-2016, 10:23 AM - 2 Likes   #1
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First paid shoot - child photography - reflections and advice sought pls!

So I've been kicking around here for a while, taking photos of everything and anything, doing SIngles In for the last 3 years, and generally shooting for close to 10 years or so (my goodness, has it really been that long?!).

Got started into children's photography documenting my little girl three years ago and caught the bug hard. She became my muse. I'd take my camera with me to play dates etc and start documenting her interacting with her friends. I found the candids I took the most satisfying. Grabbing the look of joy or laughter as the kids played.

I also enjoyed the challenge of grabbing the shot of her friends, and the chance to edit and process photos of children other than my own.

I'd send the photos to the parents and they started commenting that I should make a business out of it. Initially I laughed it off, but I've been toying with the idea more and more of late. And when the opportunity to do my daughter's 'preschool photos' came up, I jumped at the chance.

That's 23 kids.

It's taken about a week's worth of work, and including photo editing, I'm guessing in total it's going to be about 50 hours worth of work. (Still need to go back in tomorrow to grab 2 more kids and finalise editing)

Getting stranger kids to smile at you is harder than you think. And being constantly 'up' is exhausting.

Because I spent so much time chasing the kids around trying to grab those 'perfect' shots that I personally love (the candid smiles etc), I am now swamped with dozens of images that I'm happy with.

The downside is that I only charged $30 for a group shot (which is actually individual portraits of each child rather than them all sitting together in a group setting) and $50 for a group shot and a selection of additional portraits. I based my prices on what the previous photographer had paid. But I'm starting to wonder if perhaps what worked for a seasoned professional might not be what will work for me..

The previous photographer only provided 3 shots per child. But this was my first gig, and I had no idea if I could trust myself to grab the shots I needed, and wanted to be safer than sorry, so took a lot more than I probably needed.

It's a lesson learned.

I need to be more efficient in the photo taking (and possibly even the picture editing - although I'm using lightroom and I'm thinking I'm not that slow...)

If nothing else, if I only provide the best 3 (or 4) shots, then I'm saddled with so many others that I love for one reason or another, that will never see the light of day. And all I want to do is share and have the parents see a. the pictures and b. the work I do. Which means effectively that there's a lot of wasted time and effort happening for them just to be buried in my hard drive somewhere...

But now I'm starting to think Big Picture.

I'd like to do this again next year, but for the amount of money I'm going to make after I get the images printed, I think I'll be lucky to have been paid $15 an hour for my work. Which, if I want to turn this into a professional gig long term is not sustainable.

My husband has suggested a more tiered pricing system, and pointed out at the base level all the parents really want is 'a' picture. Not 'the' picture. If that makes any sense.

I've thought about it, and he's right, but I'm also worried that people won't be willing to pay for 'the pictures' and will settle for less. I also have an inner desire to only give you 'the picture' not just 'a picture' as it goes against my nature to do anything half cocked..

Pricing wise, it probably doesn't help that I'm in a rural community and I haven't had all 23 sets of parents jumping at the packages - I've had a few decline outright due to financial reasons. I guess that just means I need to move target markets. I guess I'm just scared that I'll charge too much and won't get a chance to do what I enjoy. Because at the end of the day, I love being able to sit in front of my computer and open up a bunch of shots of happy children. It makes me happy.

So I'm thinking for next year:
  • $35 for the group shot
  • $60 for the group shot plus 3 images (most likely set up in one room with some props which I have found worked this time around - a tent with some books and one tunnel for them to crawl through)
  • Maybe $90? for the group shot plus 5 images including 1-2 black and whites and some candids. the candids was what took the most amount of time - chasing the children around the playground, encouraging them to smile and really engaging with them as they chose their toys of choice (bikes, slippery dip etc). But also the most satisfying, as they were more natural smiles of children in their element.
Or would charging over $100 be better? Or should I have another mid level tier of say, $80 and then $120?

I'm just thinking if I was doing this outside of the school situation, i.e. a custom shoot I'd probably want to be charging around $100-$200 for an hour or two anyway... (or is that dreaming) so I don't want the price discrepancy between preschool photos and customised shoot to be too much. i.e. it has to make sense. Or is that overthinking it? I guess I'm just hoping that taking these photos will help get my name out there and lead to bigger shoots.

The parents at this stage don't know what they're getting. Just that they paid $50 and are getting some portrait pictures and the group shot. I started out with 4 images including one black and white. But am now starting to think perhaps I should drop it down to 3 images (possibly one black and white), even though the work has essentially been done. I'm just laying the images out now (using indesign before sending to the printer), and starting to realise how much time I've been spending on these photos etc.

I'm just trying to guess what the parents will think of the price hike next year and whether or not they may feel like they're getting jipped etc.

I plan to include my details along with the photo portfolio and make a point of saying 'for additional prints, contact...' to subtly upsell. But I also don't want to be in your face salesman about it.

I'd be interested in your thoughts on the matter and whether you think I'm on the right track, and any advice you might be able to give me.

...You know it's weighing on my mind when I start dreaming about editing photos and wake up with all these things running through my head at 3am and feel the need to come online to write to get it off my mind!
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11-07-2016, 11:55 AM   #2
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I wish you the best of luck with your dream, and can't help with the financial planning I'm afraid, but as an impartial observer I'm concerned at whether you actually have the market?

You mention living in a rural community. Parents who have already declined to pay this time round. Unfortunately this seems to be pointing to a very limited base of customers who could be very price sensitive.

Have you considered the bigger picture yet? No matter how good you are and how much effort you put in, if the paying customers aren't there you're going to struggle to hit your financial numbers.
11-07-2016, 01:12 PM   #3
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My son is in preK and just got his school pictures done. I'm not sure the details or pices but I know the pictures were just put on a site and we were given a password where we can go and order prints. If I were to do any kind of photography business, I would do the same. I know providing prints is not the majority of the work but it does cut down on some time if you just edit and upload to a site. Let the parents order what sizes and how many pictures they want. Like any business, you may not make any money the first few times but you will begin to get a feel for what to charge and what the parents wants are if you, say, charge $20 per picture and each additional is $10. Plus it could help with the families who are tight on money. You can always offer free Facebook quality images and then charge for prints too.

It's hard wanting to run a business and do what you enjoy at the same time. It's also hard to not let your morales and decency control your prices. From a business standpoint, I'd tell you don't sell anything to someone who can't afford it. Don't waste your time. Find some place where the parents will buy 20 pictures of their child from you. But not everyone can be that ruthless and committed - I know I can't. Just remember everything is a compromise and you have to find a middle ground on what you want and what you have to do in order to get what you want. And all of it takes time to learn. So even if you don't make money now, at least you're gaining experience and knowledge.
11-07-2016, 01:31 PM   #4
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Good on you for doing all this!

Pricing is probably the hardest thing about paid work, at least starting out when you don't know what you're time is worth vs what customers are willing to pay.

I suggest getting some feedback from the parents if possible, along the lines of "I feel that the base price was fair, I'd be willing to pay more for additional pix" or not.

I think your husband's suggestion of tired pricing compliments this idea in preparation for next year.

I don't doubt that you have many keepers from this session, but now that the pressure is off and you have time, take a look at those keepers, rank them from good to best, then evaluate why you think so. Also, ask some trusted folks for their opinions and ranking of a sample. This may help you next year in preparing, and point out some favorable locations, angles, times, activities, etc.

I look forward to seeing what the more experienced members suggest.

11-07-2016, 03:10 PM   #5
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Shoot with a speed light, and do away with post. The Westcott Apollo 43" Orb is a pretty handy softbox.

I shoot (for Free) an annual Childrens Party for my work colleagues. Santa comes in, tells some stale jokes, then sits in a chair in front of a Christmas Tree. I have a strobe set up, and the camera set to the reversal film jpg development. I shoot a few shots to tweak the set up, then I shoot the twenty or so kids one at a time as they sit on Santa's lap. I then print the photos on a 4x6 using a Canon Selphy printer, mount in a greeting card and send mom and dad home with a nice memory. (The company looks after my materials).

By controlling the light with a strobe, and using a preset JPG development I eliminate post 100%.

As far as pricing goes... in my part of the world for school children sitting is free, but the prints are over priced by 50%. An 8x10 print sells for $30.


So sounds like you are right on the money here: the goal should be to make the photos easily, then SELL SELL SELL photo packages for the parents... selling one print per kid wont make you rich, but if you sell upgrades then you are doing it like a pro.
11-07-2016, 07:13 PM - 1 Like   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by wolfiegirl Quote
So I've been kicking around here for a while, taking photos of everything and anything, doing SIngles In for the last 3 years, and generally shooting for close to 10 years or so (my goodness, has it really been that long?!).

Got started into children's photography documenting my little girl three years ago and caught the bug hard. She became my muse. I'd take my camera with me to play dates etc and start documenting her interacting with her friends. I found the candids I took the most satisfying. Grabbing the look of joy or laughter as the kids played.

I also enjoyed the challenge of grabbing the shot of her friends, and the chance to edit and process photos of children other than my own.

I'd send the photos to the parents and they started commenting that I should make a business out of it. Initially I laughed it off, but I've been toying with the idea more and more of late. And when the opportunity to do my daughter's 'preschool photos' came up, I jumped at the chance.

That's 23 kids.

It's taken about a week's worth of work, and including photo editing, I'm guessing in total it's going to be about 50 hours worth of work. (Still need to go back in tomorrow to grab 2 more kids and finalise editing)

Getting stranger kids to smile at you is harder than you think. And being constantly 'up' is exhausting.

Because I spent so much time chasing the kids around trying to grab those 'perfect' shots that I personally love (the candid smiles etc), I am now swamped with dozens of images that I'm happy with.

The downside is that I only charged $30 for a group shot (which is actually individual portraits of each child rather than them all sitting together in a group setting) and $50 for a group shot and a selection of additional portraits. I based my prices on what the previous photographer had paid. But I'm starting to wonder if perhaps what worked for a seasoned professional might not be what will work for me..

The previous photographer only provided 3 shots per child. But this was my first gig, and I had no idea if I could trust myself to grab the shots I needed, and wanted to be safer than sorry, so took a lot more than I probably needed.

It's a lesson learned.

I need to be more efficient in the photo taking (and possibly even the picture editing - although I'm using lightroom and I'm thinking I'm not that slow...)

If nothing else, if I only provide the best 3 (or 4) shots, then I'm saddled with so many others that I love for one reason or another, that will never see the light of day. And all I want to do is share and have the parents see a. the pictures and b. the work I do. Which means effectively that there's a lot of wasted time and effort happening for them just to be buried in my hard drive somewhere...

But now I'm starting to think Big Picture.

I'd like to do this again next year, but for the amount of money I'm going to make after I get the images printed, I think I'll be lucky to have been paid $15 an hour for my work. Which, if I want to turn this into a professional gig long term is not sustainable.

My husband has suggested a more tiered pricing system, and pointed out at the base level all the parents really want is 'a' picture. Not 'the' picture. If that makes any sense.

I've thought about it, and he's right, but I'm also worried that people won't be willing to pay for 'the pictures' and will settle for less. I also have an inner desire to only give you 'the picture' not just 'a picture' as it goes against my nature to do anything half cocked..

Pricing wise, it probably doesn't help that I'm in a rural community and I haven't had all 23 sets of parents jumping at the packages - I've had a few decline outright due to financial reasons. I guess that just means I need to move target markets. I guess I'm just scared that I'll charge too much and won't get a chance to do what I enjoy. Because at the end of the day, I love being able to sit in front of my computer and open up a bunch of shots of happy children. It makes me happy.

So I'm thinking for next year:
  • $35 for the group shot
  • $60 for the group shot plus 3 images (most likely set up in one room with some props which I have found worked this time around - a tent with some books and one tunnel for them to crawl through)
  • Maybe $90? for the group shot plus 5 images including 1-2 black and whites and some candids. the candids was what took the most amount of time - chasing the children around the playground, encouraging them to smile and really engaging with them as they chose their toys of choice (bikes, slippery dip etc). But also the most satisfying, as they were more natural smiles of children in their element.
Or would charging over $100 be better? Or should I have another mid level tier of say, $80 and then $120?

I'm just thinking if I was doing this outside of the school situation, i.e. a custom shoot I'd probably want to be charging around $100-$200 for an hour or two anyway... (or is that dreaming) so I don't want the price discrepancy between preschool photos and customised shoot to be too much. i.e. it has to make sense. Or is that overthinking it? I guess I'm just hoping that taking these photos will help get my name out there and lead to bigger shoots.

The parents at this stage don't know what they're getting. Just that they paid $50 and are getting some portrait pictures and the group shot. I started out with 4 images including one black and white. But am now starting to think perhaps I should drop it down to 3 images (possibly one black and white), even though the work has essentially been done. I'm just laying the images out now (using indesign before sending to the printer), and starting to realise how much time I've been spending on these photos etc.

I'm just trying to guess what the parents will think of the price hike next year and whether or not they may feel like they're getting jipped etc.

I plan to include my details along with the photo portfolio and make a point of saying 'for additional prints, contact...' to subtly upsell. But I also don't want to be in your face salesman about it.

I'd be interested in your thoughts on the matter and whether you think I'm on the right track, and any advice you might be able to give me.

...You know it's weighing on my mind when I start dreaming about editing photos and wake up with all these things running through my head at 3am and feel the need to come online to write to get it off my mind!
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Deep breath, exhale. First, whats your business plan? Who are your customers? What are your costs?

First, you cannot completely change the perception of parents about annual school pictures. People expect mediocrity, buying the pictures is almost obligatory, you're a bad parent if you don't.

What you can do is make good annual school pictures and use that relationship to sell real portrait sessions. Ask yourself, what would I want with my children, what special things that require a lot more time would I want and how much would I pay? Can you show them to die for examples? You can't sell what you can't show.

You're trying to put 2lbs in a 1lb bag. Make the canned shots and connect with the parents who are willing and able to order a real portrait session. Build trust. Be honest about costs, including your time and price with your eyes open. Don't apologize for being paid for giving parents photographs of their children they won't get from their phone cameras, who don't understand lighting ratios. We all cook but we all look forward to a great restaurant, spending 10x what it would cost at home.

And as gently as I can say it, getting a speedlight and an umbrella won't solve your problem. I have a bunch of speedlights, monolights, tungsten fresnels and experience and it misses the point.
11-07-2016, 08:49 PM   #7
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I would keep your sitting fee low for right now. The first few times you do this it will be a learning experience. I would recommend getting a website that allow for parents to buy prints online. If 3 shots is the expectation, then provide 3 shots that you chose and a link to your website. You want to give everyone the same basic 3 shots and keep the premium work on your website for purchase. Parents will send that link to grandparents who may also by a print or two. If there are some special shots, you will sell more. People who have the budget will buy and people who don't have the budget won't. You don't have to worry about it. The low sitting fee will get people in front of the camera until you build a reputation and a name for yourself.

Try and use an indoor play area for your shoot. Outdoor playgrounds introduce a lot of challenges with weather and harsh lighting. You need consistency with lighting. IF you set it up right you can give people quality that they will pay for. You really need as assistant for shooting a lot of kids.
11-07-2016, 11:28 PM   #8
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Thanks everyone for your comments and encouragements. It helps to hear from everyone and it's enlightening to know what everyone is doing too.

QuoteOriginally posted by Winder Quote
I would keep your sitting fee low for right now. The first few times you do this it will be a learning experience. I would recommend getting a website that allow for parents to buy prints online. If 3 shots is the expectation, then provide 3 shots that you chose and a link to your website. You want to give everyone the same basic 3 shots and keep the premium work on your website for purchase. Parents will send that link to grandparents who may also by a print or two. If there are some special shots, you will sell more. People who have the budget will buy and people who don't have the budget won't. You don't have to worry about it. The low sitting fee will get people in front of the camera until you build a reputation and a name for yourself.

Try and use an indoor play area for your shoot. Outdoor playgrounds introduce a lot of challenges with weather and harsh lighting. You need consistency with lighting. IF you set it up right you can give people quality that they will pay for. You really need as assistant for shooting a lot of kids.
My customers are parents of kids who want special pics of their kids. Preferably the ones who prefer candid and 'lifestyle' type. Not just the posed shots. Having said that most of my shots that I took ended up being posed. They were the quick and easy ones. The more candid shots I really had to work for. Ironic, really. But it's what I take. And it's been an interesting lesson taking the posed stuff. It was surprisingly more easy than I thought. Directing eager to please pliable children who want their photo taken are a dream. Then there's the ones you need to run around for.

Yes, my plan was to get my name out there using these photos and then sell real portrait sessions to the parents.

I have a portfolio of my daughter in candid lifestyle poses. As well as a lot of the keepers that I took of the kids at preschool. But I was thinking of just giving the 3 best of the ones I took to each parent.

I spoke to the preschool today and we talked about me doing more 'canned' posed shots and being more efficient on the whole. I explained to her how at the end of the day I was going to be lucky to make $15 an hour doing this. She was understanding and supportive. Which was good. She also suggested I talk to the parents at the christmas bbq to gauge interest and see if they were happy with their shots and get some feedback for next year.

I use a af280t atm for when light is bad. It does the job when needed (in areas when chasing the kids inside when the windows are too far away), but the reset time drives me crazy. And I'm using eneloops!

I've used it maybe for 3 of my sessions with the kids, and they've done the job. But they have a room at the back with a floor to ceiling window, and the shots from there work much better. So I think next time I'm going to just confine my shooting to there.

I did that this morning for my final child (one while they were playing, one crawling through a tunnel and the third just standing in front of a kid's kitchen area. They did the job. I didn't sweat it and try to be too arty. She was my last subject, and I had lots of errands to run in town today. I also decided that I would stick with the 3 shots, and really, I need to be more efficient. The images look ok to my eye.

QuoteOriginally posted by Winder Quote
I would keep your sitting fee low for right now. The first few times you do this it will be a learning experience. I would recommend getting a website that allow for parents to buy prints online. If 3 shots is the expectation, then provide 3 shots that you chose and a link to your website. You want to give everyone the same basic 3 shots and keep the premium work on your website for purchase. Parents will send that link to grandparents who may also by a print or two. If there are some special shots, you will sell more. People who have the budget will buy and people who don't have the budget won't. You don't have to worry about it. The low sitting fee will get people in front of the camera until you build a reputation and a name for yourself.

Try and use an indoor play area for your shoot. Outdoor playgrounds introduce a lot of challenges with weather and harsh lighting. You need consistency with lighting. IF you set it up right you can give people quality that they will pay for. You really need as assistant for shooting a lot of kids.
I don't have permission to use the images I took this week to put on my website. I guess I could ask for referrals and see if I could do it that way. What you're suggesting is not to give the best cream of the crop shots in the portfolio. That's a gamble, isn't it? Is that too much upsell? They've already paid the $50 and now you're holding the best stuff for ransom? No? Am I overthinking it?
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11-08-2016, 06:08 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by wolfiegirl Quote
If nothing else, if I only provide the best 3 (or 4) shots, then I'm saddled with so many others that I love for one reason or another, that will never see the light of day. And all I want to do is share and have the parents see a. the pictures and b. the work I do. Which means effectively that there's a lot of wasted time and effort happening for them just to be buried in my hard drive somewhere...
I'm not a professional or even a people/event type of photographer, but a few days ago I was at a talk given by one on his workflow. He demonstrated his culling process for us. He had ~200 images from an event and on his first pass he had deleted ~80 of them, never to be seen again. This took maybe 5-7 minutes, maybe less, he was deleting images so fast and with a very brief explanation for our benefit ("eyes shut", "mouth awkward"...) that I hardly had time to register the image before it was binned. I thought I was pretty good at culling, but I'll be reevaluating my process and all the images I end up saving so they can linger on the hard drive without purpose. Being ruthless looked liberating - show your best, bin the rest.


I'd also say ending with $15/hr on your first paying job doing something you love to do? That wouldn't be too shabby. Good luck!
11-08-2016, 08:12 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by wolfiegirl Quote
I don't have permission to use the images I took this week to put on my website. I guess I could ask for referrals and see if I could do it that way. What you're suggesting is not to give the best cream of the crop shots in the portfolio. That's a gamble, isn't it? Is that too much upsell? They've already paid the $50 and now you're holding the best stuff for ransom? No? Am I overthinking it?
What I'm suggesting it that you set expectations for 3 posed images. This is probably what has been provided in the past. The candid photographs are above and beyond. These are more work and a lot harder to produce consistently. They should pay a premium. As long as you set expectations on what people are getting (3 posed shots) for the basic setting fee, you are not miss leading anyone. The extra candid images are just that. Extra.

I don't know about Australia, but here you wouldn't need the rights to put the images in a secure gallery (not public). It should be a website that supports e-commerce and printing. Give the link to the parents. They will be the only ones who have access unless they send that link to other people (and they will). Tell them the pictures will be taken down in 90 days. You are not selling these images to them and the people they send the link to. You are not displaying them for the public or putting them Facebook. But always get commercial rights to your work.

Little flashes really don't cut it. As you know the recycle times are very frustrating and you will miss a lot of good shots. Color temperature is also inconsistent across the power range. But bigger lights are expensive. Smaller flashes or good for posed shots where you control everything, but they are limiting if you want to do a lot of candid shots.
11-08-2016, 02:50 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Winder Quote
What I'm suggesting it that you set expectations for 3 posed images. This is probably what has been provided in the past. The candid photographs are above and beyond. These are more work and a lot harder to produce consistently. They should pay a premium. As long as you set expectations on what people are getting (3 posed shots) for the basic setting fee, you are not miss leading anyone. The extra candid images are just that. Extra.

I don't know about Australia, but here you wouldn't need the rights to put the images in a secure gallery (not public). It should be a website that supports e-commerce and printing. Give the link to the parents. They will be the only ones who have access unless they send that link to other people (and they will). Tell them the pictures will be taken down in 90 days. You are not selling these images to them and the people they send the link to. You are not displaying them for the public or putting them Facebook. But always get commercial rights to your work.

Little flashes really don't cut it. As you know the recycle times are very frustrating and you will miss a lot of good shots. Color temperature is also inconsistent across the power range. But bigger lights are expensive. Smaller flashes or good for posed shots where you control everything, but they are limiting if you want to do a lot of candid shots.
Ok. So put them up the extras without the option to buy? Just so they get an idea of what else i can do?


I'll go take a look at website gallery options.

The candids are all done - no going back in time!

I also don't have the same amount for every child, so not 100% sure parents will think that's fair. Although i guess i could do family specific albums..
11-08-2016, 04:10 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by BrianR Quote
I'm not a professional or even a people/event type of photographer, but a few days ago I was at a talk given by one on his workflow. He demonstrated his culling process for us. He had ~200 images from an event and on his first pass he had deleted ~80 of them, never to be seen again. This took maybe 5-7 minutes, maybe less, he was deleting images so fast and with a very brief explanation for our benefit ("eyes shut", "mouth awkward"...) that I hardly had time to register the image before it was binned. I thought I was pretty good at culling, but I'll be reevaluating my process and all the images I end up saving so they can linger on the hard drive without purpose. Being ruthless looked liberating - show your best, bin the rest.


I'd also say ending with $15/hr on your first paying job doing something you love to do? That wouldn't be too shabby. Good luck!
Thanks Brian. You have a point

Yes, I am also trying to be more brutal when culling. Easier with your own photos as opposed to photos of someone's child.... but I guess the same theory does in fact apply..
11-08-2016, 05:15 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by wolfiegirl Quote
So put them up the extras without the option to buy?
Always leave the customer with an option to buy above and beyond the agreed upon pix, you never know what they might like, if the price is right. Also, while you are looking at websites, you might one that can track what is ordered by style, price, size, etc. Always assume your business will be successful and the customer base or number of order will grow, and you'll want to know what sells best, and what type of picture, or package, gives the best return on your investment of time. It can also help you gauge times when demand might be high or low, so you can schedule your time better.

QuoteOriginally posted by BrianR Quote
Being ruthless looked liberating - show your best, bin the rest.
I agree, I might not be ruthlessly culling in the first week or month after shooting, but I do try go reexamine my shots 6 months to a year after, and then it is easier for me to judge those pictures. If it is a subject or location I shoot often, or consistently shooting with a certain piece of gear, I probably have made a better picture more recently, and don't really need to keep those old shots.
Reexaminig older shots before returning to that same location or subject also helps me determine how best to capture it, and encourage me to try to capture it in a new way.
11-08-2016, 07:36 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by wolfiegirl Quote
Ok. So put them up the extras without the option to buy? Just so they get an idea of what else i can do?


I'll go take a look at website gallery options.

The candids are all done - no going back in time!

I also don't have the same amount for every child, so not 100% sure parents will think that's fair. Although i guess i could do family specific albums..
No. You want to create a private gallery for each family. Send them the link. so they can see the other photo options. Let them send the link to other family members like grandparents. Give them the option to buy. That is where you will double your money. You want to sell prints. You want them to order prints through your website (online). There is cost involved in an ecommerce site like this, but there are advantage. Those parents are going to give you and e-mail address and you can stay in contact with them.

I offer a "year one" deal to parents. I start with maternity pictures and I offer them a package for pictures every 3 months for the first year. At the end of the first year I given them a printed and bound album from maternity all the way to the first birthday. I usually sell 2 additional copies to the grandparents. They pay for the booking fees upfront and them buy prints from each of the sessions. The 1st book is included in the initial fee. It is typically 5-6 sessions that get booked. Some people continue year 2 & 3. I have only been doing it 3 years so I don't know how long they will keep booking this. Its definitely good filler work and a way to build a client base.

The book is important. I have gotten lot of referrals from expecting mothers who saw a book I did for a previous client. Think of it as a way to get your current customers to show your portfolio to all of their friends for you. New moms are going to show the book to a lot of people if the work is good.

Don't worry about having the same amount for every child. Parents will only see the prints for their child.
11-08-2016, 09:57 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Winder Quote
No. You want to create a private gallery for each family. Send them the link. so they can see the other photo options. Let them send the link to other family members like grandparents. Give them the option to buy. That is where you will double your money. You want to sell prints. You want them to order prints through your website (online). There is cost involved in an ecommerce site like this, but there are advantage. Those parents are going to give you and e-mail address and you can stay in contact with them.

I offer a "year one" deal to parents. I start with maternity pictures and I offer them a package for pictures every 3 months for the first year. At the end of the first year I given them a printed and bound album from maternity all the way to the first birthday. I usually sell 2 additional copies to the grandparents. They pay for the booking fees upfront and them buy prints from each of the sessions. The 1st book is included in the initial fee. It is typically 5-6 sessions that get booked. Some people continue year 2 & 3. I have only been doing it 3 years so I don't know how long they will keep booking this. Its definitely good filler work and a way to build a client base.

The book is important. I have gotten lot of referrals from expecting mothers who saw a book I did for a previous client. Think of it as a way to get your current customers to show your portfolio to all of their friends for you. New moms are going to show the book to a lot of people if the work is good.

Don't worry about having the same amount for every child. Parents will only see the prints for their child.
Thanks so much for your awesome advice! I feel less sick about my initial pricing and how much work I put in now. Your photobook idea is awesome!
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