Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Value Vs. Price

I believe the most often asked question (especially online) is, “Do you have a pricelist?” I suppose the short answer would be “No”. But since that just may sound rude or arrogant, I will get into a little more elaborate answer.

I do have some very basic guidelines for portrait work with a set hourly rate and a minimum of 2 hours. I also give certain incentives the more prints a client orders. Each and every client’s needs are different and, in order to understand those specific needs, I think a personal conversation is really required. I want to fully understand what type of images you want and how you would like them done. I would love to discuss all the nuances of a session so that there are no surprises or misunderstandings at the time of the shoot or at the viewing of the finished proofs. Maybe you have a particular idea of a special setting or styling for a session and I am very happy to try to accommodate that, if at all possible. Perhaps I can make a suggestion that helps you achieve the styling that you want in your images based on the years of experience that I have in this industry. Without that initial conversation, there is really no way I can give an honest answer to price.

I do try to make sure that all my clients know the difference between price and value. Trust me when I say, they are not the same thing. While one photographer will quote a price of $50 for a full session, what are you really getting? Most likely, you’ll get a CD with 20 mediocre photos that have no color correction, retouching, or other “extras” that are common with a professional photographer. That CD will eventually wear out and the image files can very easily become corrupt meaning that every penny you have paid is gone forever. That is price.

Value, on the other hand, is what you get when the photographer takes the time to fully understand what you want and has the experience and proper equipment to make that a reality. While the overall monetary expense may be somewhat more, the value of the final product will be much more. A finished photographic print that you can hold in your hand, hang on your wall, or send to Grandma will mean so much more to you in the long run. Yes, I will provide you with a digital copy of all finished images that will be appropriate for use on social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. No, they will not be the full, raw files of the entire shoot on a copyright released CD. I take great pride in the work that I put out into the world. I want every image that is in the final proofs to be something that I will be proud to claim as my work. If I were to give you an image in which you’re eyes were closed or you’re expression was not flattering to you, then you posted that image online for the world to see, my value as a professional is diminished. No one is going to look at that type of photo and say, “Oh, I want him to do pictures just like that for me!” That is where value comes into play.

Above and beyond the question of price versus value, my goal is to put a smile on your face and for your eyes to light up when you look at the proofs of your session with me. I want you to be genuinely happy with the entire experience. If you are, then you will tell your friends, they will tell their friends and maybe I can help them be as happy as you are with you photos.

At the end of the day, one fact remains constant. This is my profession. It is how I pay my bills. It costs a lot to buy the proper cameras, lenses and lighting equipment needed to provide you with the quality you deserve. My experience also figures into the equation. My college education was not cheap and I really want to know that I made a good investment and got VALUE for the money I have spent.

I hope this helps to explain why I don’t have a posted cookie cutter price list. You are unique in your own way and you deserve for the experience of having your images made by me to be just as unique.

Thanks you for considering me to be your photographer.