Minimum purchases are hotly debated in the professional photographer’s world. Many folks feel you don’t protect your business unless you have one. After all, someone could come in – have a session and only buy 3 5×7’s. Is that worth your time?
Well…honestly…no. I really hate to say that. But no, my business can’t survive if everyone only purchases a few small prints. So why don’t I make people buy more?
Simply put, if you aren’t buying more – there is usually a reason. Maybe it’s financial, but maybe you didn’t like anything we did. I offer so many things to offset the “I don’t have any wall space” objection, so honestly if you only purchase a few small prints I most likely did not do a good enough job either validating the type of session you wanted or needed, or you weren’t in love with enough of what I showed you from the session.
I do offer Mini Sessions for anyone only wanting a few small prints, and less of an investment. That’s new this year and it is my answer to not forcing a minimum purchase. I will avoid that until I can’t any longer. I make sure everyone knows my FULL pricing before a session, so I do take a big risk. Sometimes my pricing turns away folks…which is hard, but I understand. Some people don’t see the value in what I offer, or how I offer it … but knowing what many of competitors are charging, and what they can offer, I know I’m a huge value in all my speciality areas.
But I also have to watch out for my session timeslots – it’s a balance. There are only so many hours in each day, and only ONE sunset each day. I need to maximize the opportunities to make as much as I can out of each sunset and therefore, I have to try to pre-qualify my clients before we book a session. I’d rather prequalify as best I can then tell you upfront you will be obligated to spend XXXX.
I can’t say I’ll never have a Minimum Purchase. The world around me is changing and other photographers do tend to force change in the area…but for now, I’m sticking with my business plan as it is…no forced minimums for ANY session types.