You aren't just buying photos!

February 24, 2020

A couple weeks ago, the Focal team came across this Facebook thread on one of our photographers' pages advertising “Glitter Minis.”

It saddened me — not because this potential customer 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 they've done other mini-sessions for $50 and normally receive 8-10 photos.

At Focal, we understand that a $200 mini-session isn’t for everyone. It’s just that comparing the two sessions solely based on how many photos they provide ends up reducing and commoditizing both of the respective photographers. Perhaps this other photographer offering a $50 mini-shoot is wonderful — so why not talk about the reasons they are? What makes their mini-sessions special, beyond the fact that they're cheaper?

To compare photographers based solely on the number of photos they offer is like comparing houses based solely on their square footage, or two meals based on their size. You're missing the good stuff! What if the smaller house has a view of the ocean? What if the smaller meal is an ice cream sundae?

With all that being said, I don’t blame the commenter for their opinion. In fact, I totally understand why they would think this way.

The way photographers often display their pricing is something like this:

Mini Session, 1 Hour, 10 Photos

When everyone is doing this, it becomes very hard for customers to differentiate. The only tangible information they are given is how many photos they’re going to 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 with, 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.

Photographers should 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 10-photo mini-session and another.

For customers, they should try and consider that a huge part of photography is the experience and service that a photographer provides. Remember, you aren’t just buying photos! That's merely the end-result.

The Focal marketplace is designed with both sides of this equation in mind.

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 you'll spend with clients and how many photos you'll produce.

More from

Focal UniversityFocal Blog

April 19, 2021

Why your photography investment page needs fixing

If all you're using your website for is to share photos, you might as well stick to Instagram. Your goal should be to answer your photography clients' questions before they get in touch with you.
READ MORE
April 9, 2021

Finding your ideal photography clients starts with you

Reaching your ideal photography clients hinges on one key principle: you don't choose your ideal clients; they choose you. To bring in bookings, focus on what makes you stand out. Then tell your customers about it.
READ MORE
March 21, 2021

How to create a photography business plan

Whether you are fresh into your photography business or two years deep, it is essential to create a business plan. A business plan is the key to your success in the photography industry. It ensures that you aren’t stumbling around blindly, but rather making productive decisions that will propel your business in the right direction. Read on to learn about the 5 key parts to every photography business plan.
READ MORE
Success! Thank you for subscribing.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.