February 24, 2020
A couple weeks ago, the Focal team came across this Facebook thread on one of our photographers’ pages advertising “Glitter Minis” and it made us very sad.
Not because this particular person didn’t see the value in the session at $200 - but because the only value they saw was in how many photos it offered. In their second comment they mention that they have done other mini sessions for $50 and normally receive 8-10 photos.
At Focal, we definitely understand that a $200 mini session isn’t for everyone. It’s just that comparing the two solely based on how many photos they provide seems a bit commoditizing for both of the respective photographers.
Perhaps this photographer offering a $50 mini is great value - so why not talk about the reasons they are? What makes their mini sessions special - instead of the fact have a cheaper $/photo offering. To compare photographers based solely on the number of photos they offer is like comparing houses based solely on their square footage!
With all that being said, we certainly don’t blame the commenter for her opinion. In fact, we totally understand why she would think this way.
The way that photographers often display their pricing is: Mini Session, 1 Hour, 10 Photos - and when everyone is doing this, it become very hard for customers to differentiate. The only tangible information they are given is how many photos they’re gonna get.
Customers can’t be expected to imagine the session they’re buying. They can only see the value of what they know. So as a photographer, if you aren’t conveying how amazing you are with kids or how you have a whole wall of props for them to play dress up - you can’t expect the customers to factor that into their purchasing decision.
I think both customers and photographers have a responsibility to each other. For photographers, they should try and focus on conveying the unique value and experience they are offering - rather than simply stating their prices. Otherwise they can’t expect customers to understand the difference between one 1 hour mini session with 10 photos and another. For customers, they should try and consider that a huge part of photography is the experience and service that a photographer provides. You aren’t just buying photos, but a unique experience that the photographer provides.
With the Focal marketplace, we have done our best to facilitate this for both sides of the equation. If you’re a customer searching for a photographer, you can easily browse our marketplace and compare the unique experiences that photographers provide in their detailed packages. If you’re a photographer, Focal’s software platform makes it easy to create unique and tangible photography packages that go far beyond how many hours and how many photos.