Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Photography Pricing

Hi Everyone,

Hope this finds you all well.  I've been really busy trying to re-do my web pages.  As some of you know, I was contacted by a guy who said that he owned my business name.  So I did some research.  Now, I did pay for my domain name and I registered my business name in my state.  I'm just starting out so I'm really small time here.

I looked at his site, and I did some research on trademarks ( I think I understood), and neither of us has trademarked our name, but if it came down to a court room, I believe he would win because he has been using his name for longer than I.  I sat on that name for 2 years before I finally registered it and went with it.  I mean, I didn't want my name close to anyone's name, I like being different.  So, I was a bit shocked to be contacted by someone and then to find out that our names were way too similar.

I decided to change my name before I got any deeper and made a name for myself.  So in the process, I have to update my business cards, flyers, ads, websites, and whatever else that I can remember where I put my name.  I just started a Flickr account and cannot find a way to change that one.  I guess I'll have to start another one.

Fortunately, the business cards that I have already passed out will still be fine because when they type in that web address, it will take them to my new one.  God blessed me there.

One thing that this guy commented on was my prices.  So that got me started thinking again about my pricing.  That is where I struggle the most.  I don't want to over price myself out of business or offend someone that thinks I'm too expensive, but at the same time, I want to get paid for my time and talent.

When I set up my prices before, I just took an average of 10 different photographers and adjusted my prices accordingly.  I was actually offering all of my prints a la carte.  I have since changed that because I read a post where another photographer said that with that kind of structure, people may only purchase all the poses in 4 x 6 and that's the end of that because sometimes they go and print what they want from those.

I also spoke with someone about Senior Packages who told me that it was so easy for her parents when she graduated because they could choose a package.

So now I offer package pricing with reprints.  They can only purchase individual prints as a reprint rather than adding onto a package.  In other words, the poses that they pick for reprints must be poses that they chose in their package, and of course I'm offering several packages to choose from.  We'll see how this works.

I've also decided to add a Senior Rep Program to offer discounts to a selected few students who will represent my business and help me get my name out there and add some new clients.

At the moment, I'm offering a CD of images.  Not sure if this is a good idea just yet because in my research, there are mixed views in doing this.  Some photographers offer a digital package where the client gets the CD and orders their prints on their own.  Other photographers offer the CDs at a hefty price because they are selling the copyright to the images.  Still others offer the CDs at a small cost.  I'm still undecided.  And then, how much do I charge!  I mean, if I sell my images on a CD that could potentially be the end of business with that client until they need updated pics.

What do you think?  Right now I'm offering the CDs with display quality watermarked images for use on the internet at $1.00 per image.  Or high res images, no watermark at $25.00 per image, and these images are just the basic images, no specialties like collages or double exposures.

I'm thinking of offering a digital package.  I guess if I do that, then should I still offer the CD of $25.00 per image.  Decisions, decisions.

So that's been my week so far.  I think I'm about done with my website, next it's off to update my flyers and business cards.

On a more personal note, this weekend I'm off for a fabulous camping trip.  We're having Church on the Mountain.  This is our second year to do this and we are so looking forward to it.  I love the outdoors....I could camp every weekend. 

Till next time,

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