packages vs. prints : LUSENET : Photographers Communicating : One Thread

I'm thinking of changing my pricing from price per 8x10 unit, going down the more you buy, to a package set up. Minimum packages range different for families or children. They way I'm set up now, the more I sell, the less I make. I need a change!! Any suggestions, what price schedule works for others out there?

-- stephen (, March 05, 1999


Have you ever heard of Angela Carlson? She's a family photographer (specializes in young children) who uses a totally different, more high-end approach and I've used some of her tactics when I've done family shoots.

Her emphasis is on creating keepsakes that will have a lasting value. IMHO the whole 8x10 unit game is all about turning photography into a commodity; I think it's way too competitive--Wal-Mart can deliver unit prints for less than most package print labs charge individual photographers. If you have the creative ability, you could rise above the super-competitive family portraiture-as-commodity game and create a higher end, lower volume but higher profit per client business.

That's in an ideal world of course--you may be in a market that coudn't support a high-end family photographer, although I think there are many out there who say that doesn't matter, because you'd be offering quality and people are willing to pay more for your creativity.

Anyway you might want to look for Angela's videos about shooting & marketing kid photography. They're inspiring. I'm pretty sure they're available through PPA.

Good luck!

-- Mason Resnick (, March 17, 1999.

The unit game in professional photography can really be an albatross around the neck. The difficulty comes in re-educating your potential and or existing clientele. Many people have grown up in households where the trip to the local department store or mall franchise outlet is equated with "professional studio" photography. A lot of resistance can be met in trying to introduce something different. This can be especially true in smaller, rural markets, where change of any type can be met with much skepticism.

I am still working at changing the buying patterns of my clientele and still meet the resistance to pricing images as individual creations versus the 90 piece package that so many families expect.

Some marketing suggestions:

Try easing into the higher end market by offering packages only for special events or promotions.

Raise your pricing on your exisiting 8x10 units or sheets and then give your clients the option of "customizing" their packages by purchasing single images of different poses instead of everything on a unit from the same one.

The key, I feel, is to keep your existing clientele happy with your work and what you offer, while introducing them and potential clients to a new and more pleasing method of customizing what they receive from you. This will keep your current clients happy and set you apart from the department store studio.

Hope that these suggestions help.

Michael D. Davis Studio D Photography

-- Michael D. Davis (, August 22, 1999.

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