I get this question from just about every single parent that looks at my website. And I’m really not trying to avoid the question – I actually have a full online digital brochure listing every product & package I sell. But in the end, when I present a lot of beautiful proof images to a client and their parent, it can be a LOT of options. And so for most people, it is overwhelming to think about what they will do with so many beautiful images.
But I don’t want you to go to a different photographer because you’ll get less proofs you might like, so what to do?
Well, ok…I know it’s hard. When trying to figure out what types of packages and products to offer, I also had to consider the session types I do – and what clients would want AFTER we did those. So I have to backtrack a bit to explain why I sell what I do typically, and why I think it makes sense? Ok?
For high school seniors, the most popular session type is the Split Studio session, which is a 3 hour session giving you 1/2 the time in the indoor studio and the other half in the outdoor Portrait Park. And that session type, depending on the subject, their poses, their expressions, their outfits, the weather, and more…can yield anywhere from 90-150 amazing proof options. Will they all be the same image? No. Will there be similar – in expression maybe – but since I work the poses and outfits to match the environment, they will all be different. Will you love them all? Not usually…and that’s ok.
On average, a parent and senior will narrow the favorites down to 40-50. And then I help you. Because typically in about twenty minutes you and I can take those 40-50 favorites and whittle down to 30-40 pretty easily.
Now what? 40 favorite images????
You see – if you have a session with that many different backdrops, environments, outfits, and 3 hours of your time…well, most often people want a book or album of the session. And in a book we typically get 30-40 images on the page spreads, depending on sizing. So see? It works.
Don’t think you want a book? Well, the second favorite session type is the all outdoor Portrait Park (1.5 hours outside, typically 3, maybe 4 outfits). You’ll most likely still see 60-80 proofs. Which means you’ll not see as many in variety or environments as the split studio, so if you know you want to fall in love with less, then we should do less.
Typically an outdoor session client is looking for a wall portrait, and/or a storyboard or collage. Small gift prints, etc are also typical, and even, yes, sometimes even a book. (But in most cases it’s an album sale – which highlights just 20 favorite images and is a simpler presentation.) The average outdoor session sale is a storyboard, and print order.
Make sense at all? I’m am not trying to pressure sell anyone – but if we do a session with LOTS of outfit changes, LOTS of different locations or scene sets, YOU are typically wanting to showcase a good amount of the images…so a book or album can accomplish that. If we do a session with less, you typically will get less options, so therefore, your order is usually a little smaller.
Why not print packages? Honestly? Most people do not want exactly the same thing as “everyone else”…and putting together a package that says you get X if you spend X is really, really hard – when I did the ordering that way I found every single client needing to swap something out, or add something more. So the “packages” just don’t work for anything but a beginning number….and even then, I found they put OFF more people than they sold. And also – I could never remember all the different packages and what was in what…I had to have, like, 20 different ones!
So the Create Your Own Package came about…and in it you can put a storyboard, or wall portrait and/or book or album – then add some gift prints or even digital files. And you still benefit from the “discount pricing” of a package – but the BIG discounts come into play in the gift prints or digital files you might want. It is actually the same math and “behind the scenes calculations” I use for traditional print packages, but in this case you can order from ALL your proofs and you don’t have to start with only 5 or 10 favorite “poses”. And you won’t end up with 20 miscellaneous small prints sitting in a drawer you will never need and will never give away.
If you think about it – when you purchased that “print package” from the school or other photographer – did you really need all those little print copies of the exact same image? Well, that was your discount pricing – because giving you the same print over and over again made the photographer money – and saved him or her time but only retouching one or two images and printing that same image over and over again. But you only really wanted one or two 5×7’s of that one image – so why did you get all those wallets or even worse, MINI WALLETS? Who uses those anyway????
So instead of getting a bunch of the same image over and over again, I’ll make sure you get what you want and will enjoy – and it starts with the session type. So it won’t end up with a craft project using all those mini wallet prints you have no use for….
And if you are curious, I do have a few thoughts on the photographer that will give you a session with “everything” and then just give you “everything” afterwards too…but let’s save that for another blog post, ok?
For the record, if you’ve come this far…I do offer shorter sessions which can give you less proof images you’ll love and therefore make your ordering quite easy! And the “traditional” print packages I offer have what clients typically want “size wise”, at a more reasonable investment than just the same image over and over again…but if you want TONS of the same image, just ask…I can accommodate the same image over and over again at discount…it’s just not what most people want in the end…
Traditional Print Packages start at $95.