How your photography pricing is losing you dream clients

February 24, 2020

These days, customers take for granted the ease with which they can find the information they need to decide on buying something.

Imagine you’re looking to buy a new phone: it’s simple to look up different models online, see pictures and videos of the product in action, read reviews, and compare prices from different sellers. After a couple hours, most people can get a pretty good idea of what product suits them best depending on their needs and budget.

But photography isn’t a physical product, it’s a service — I’d even venture to call it an experience, or dare I say art! And this is what really muddles the purchasing experience for customers.

A family celebrates their daughter's Bat Mitzvah.
Photo: Marlboro Wang Photo

Unique experiences and art aren’t tangible, so it’s difficult to convey the value of them. When you buy an iPhone for $1,000, you know what you’re getting. You can hold it. Touch it. Use it. But when a client wants to book a photography package for $1,000, it’s much harder for them to understand everything involved in the production.

Read more: 7 Tips for Growing Your Photography Business

Here’s an example. One of our partnered newborn photographers, Christin Carruthers, used to list her packages something like this:

Newborn Only Session

Newborn and Family Session

The problem with the above example is that it fails to convey all the unique intangible value that makes Christin such an amazing newborn photographer. It misses out on showcasing the very things that make her so special.

The first time I went to one of Christin’s newborn shoots, I was blown away by the experience.

A newborn sleeps, swaddled in a blanket.
Photo: Ooh Ooh Darling Photography

From the second you walk into her studio, the lights are dim, she has the heat cranked up to help keep the baby sleepy, there’s a wall with a plethora of adorable little hats and props to choose from, and there’s a relaxing area for the parents with couches, pastries, and coffee.

And then Christin gets started.

She rocks the baby gently, shushes them like a baby whisperer, and gets them asleep like turning off a light! (After the shoots, she often gets emails from parents asking for tips on how to get their baby to fall asleep.) When she’s ready to shoot, she carefully and skilfully places the baby in adorable poses for their photos. All of this she has learned from years and years of training.

That’s what she does. But the way Christin makes you feel is something more. She’s the type of person that you can immediately trust with your baby because you can tell how trained and professional she is. You can tell that she loves what she does. That she loves your baby like her own and truly cares about making sure you capture your little one before they grow up!

A newborn baby sleeps.
Photo: Ooh Ooh Darling Photography

To me, this is what makes Christin so special. Yes, she takes amazing photos, but that is only a small fraction of the overall experience that she provides.

This is why we created Focal packages — to help photographers convey their unique experience and value. By telling the story of the experience you provide and highlighting all of the work that goes into your sessions, you'll win your customers' trust and attract more of the clients you want.

There's a bonus for you if you would like to revise your photography business model or want to know the factors to consider when developing your photography pricing model and some of the approaches you can take to build your pricing model in detail. Please check Pixpa's detailed article on Photography Pricing.

But, it's a win-win. Clients are happy, and as a photographer, your true value shines through.

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