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Pampered Chef: OT: so if you were going to get family portraits taken...

  1. PampChefJoy

    PampChefJoy Veteran Member Gold Member

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    Would you want a traditional "print package" - ie 1 8x10, 2 5x7, etc... or would you want the digital files and print them yourself?

    I currently offer both but am considering moving to an all digital, all-inclusive format. Meaning, you pay for the session and all the digital files upfront -and I give you all the images from your session and you can print or do whatever you want with them.

    I'm trying to eliminate the whole process of proofing, waiting for clients to hem and haw and select which ones they want printed, agonize over choosing only a few out of the bunch, and then have order prints, package and deliver them. I'd like to provide the images on CD and let people have ALL the images.

    The question is whether or not people will have enough faith in me that they will love their images enough to want all of them (or most of them).

    Some in the industry are moving/have moved toward this business model. I'm just not sure my clients are ready to make the jump.
     
    Oct 2, 2009
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  2. susanr613

    susanr613 Senior Member Gold Member

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    I would want to have a choice of both options. I am trying to secure a photographer for my son's Bar Mitzvah (March, Chicago burbs) and would like to have that choice. On one hand, you can have a lot of leftover pics with a package, on the other hand what if you or your relatives don't have a good printer?

    Sounds like you want to move to an all-digital format for you, not your customers. I would continue to offer both.
     
    Oct 2, 2009
    #2
  3. erinyourpclady

    erinyourpclady Veteran Member Gold Member

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    Joy...speaking of family photos...can you remind me of the company you volunteer with that provides Photographers for military families?
     
  4. NooraK

    NooraK Legend Member Gold Member

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    I personally would love the all-digital option. I hate the pre-set packages that have a gazillion teeny tiny pictures just to make the number of pictures in the package seem greater. Granted, that's mostly at the quicky photo places. I do appreciate the photographers talent in possibly cropping and maybe touching up some photos, so I think it'd be a fun bonus to have a folder of edited pictures along with all the raw SOOC pictures.

    Honestly, for me it really comes down to price. I really don't mind paying good money for a talented photographer, but I think I can get prints much cheaper at Costco, and a nice frame at Wal-Mart or Target. We had some maternity portraits done while expecting DS, and I was really impressed with the examples on the photographer's site. I wanted someone who would take time with us, concentrate and pay attention to the poses. I didn't want to be crammed into a 15 minute session, and then let them delete half of the images within a few minutes because they are only allowed to let us choose from 10 poses. We got a beautiful framed collage, but I don't know if I really think it's worth the $480 we ended up paying for it (This was pre-Dave Ramsey). I would have been happy to pay $100 or $150 for a full hour of the photographers time in order to receive a disk of SOOC photos that I could then print or upload at my leisure.

    Many photographers don't want to let go of their copyrights though.

    If you decide to go this route, let me know, maybe I'll come to Northern California for my next family portrait :D
     
    Oct 2, 2009
    #4
  5. PampChefJoy

    PampChefJoy Veteran Member Gold Member

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    I would upload the images to a site that I recommend getting prints from too - and that makes it easier for them to go in, pick out prints that they want, and pay directly to the print lab.

    Yes, it's true, it is much for me. I do this part-time so I am trying to work smarter -- trying to figure out what would take less time without sacrificing quality and take more time away from my family, my full time job, and Tasty Tidbits.
     
    Oct 2, 2009
    #5
  6. PampChefJoy

    PampChefJoy Veteran Member Gold Member

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    Oct 2, 2009
    #6
  7. PampChefJoy

    PampChefJoy Veteran Member Gold Member

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    I don't ever release SOOC images. They'll always be edited to make sure each one is optimal. A select few from each session always get additional treatment like B/W or sepia conversion or other dramatic effects.

    I don't release copyright either. I give a limited print release that gives permission to print, but the ownership and copyright is always retained by me.

    Times are tough for people, for sure. I've lowered my prices ALOT this year and still people run to Picture People or Sears. People seem to want their pictures back in an hour rather than wait for custom portraiture at nearly the same price. I just don't know what the answer is...
     
    Oct 2, 2009
    #7
  8. NooraK

    NooraK Legend Member Gold Member

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    One thing I have to say about Sears and Picture People: They're always in my face. I'm constantly getting flyers or emails from them reminding me about their services and specials. Also, with most of those places, I don't have to have an appointment. For a lot of people, it's spur of the moment decision, and they'll go with the last thing they saw an ad for.

    But that's the same thing we hear in our PC business. Keep your name in front of them, and when they do need something, they'll think of you. If I were to find a professional photographer who is willing to put in all that work for about the same price that I pay at Kiddie Kandids, I would definitely be a loyal customer.
     
    Oct 2, 2009
    #8
  9. PampChefJoy

    PampChefJoy Veteran Member Gold Member

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    That's an interesting point Noora! I only do quarterly newsletters for my portrait clients. I wonder if I should do something monthly... hmmm....

    On the other hand, I don't want to become one of those businesses who always has something on sale... one of those "oh we'll just wait for a coupon" retailers.

    I guess I could pick one specific special each month ala Pampered Chef and advertise the heck out of it :)
     
    Oct 3, 2009
    #9
  10. ChefForrester

    ChefForrester Novice Member

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    I've done several SEVERAL photographers in a variety of ways (hate the sears option LOL) and these are the breakdowns: One was 90 for one hour session fee; included the CD with release for personal use. Got almost everything that was shot (took out the blinking/sneezing/completely awful ones) and a few were digitally enhanced. That was her craigslist special (half the normal price) that I secured when she was building her client base. My talented and photogenic son usually kicked back almost 100 photos from one of her sessions - LOVED that lady, very very sorry she moved. Even at the 180 normal price that was quite a deal! Then got a 25 dollar special in the park from a lady who had a cute table with a scene of a teddy bear picnic done - she shot for 15 minutes or so and gave the CD with releases of the 15-20 images. She was also building her customer base but I wouldn't use her again b/c the files were too small for good reprints (8x12 or above - think they might have been 350-600k? files), where the photographer who spoiled me was 2.5-3.2 mb. My mother in law did a wonderful photographer while we were in Dallas who did the best pics, but the price was out of this world. 150 session fee, prints available through the site chosen online at wedding album type prices, 200 for a cd slideshow of everything that was shot with some enhancements that DID NOT allow you to print and wouldn't play on a MAC?!?! I'm currently working with a lady who charges 45 dollars for a 45 minute session, with CD and releases and small cropping/editing, decent work with okay file sizes, but the catch is the sessions are with a moms group (but at her house) and everyone picks a 45 minute session, she does 8 in a row. So she works the business hard for one day to make like 360 dollars, minus her small mailing and CD costs. Then she gets the leads/customers who hopefully come back for her full price sessions (125 for an hour to an hour and a half? I think that's right ). She does one of these sessions with the moms every month or so - I think she works with more than one moms group so she may do several a month. She's just getting started, so those prices may increase.

    Wow, that was a lot longer than I thought it would be. Hope that helps.
     
  11. Shawnna

    Shawnna Senior Member Gold Member

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    I like the idea of a cd that you can take wherever you want to get them printed, but you have to have a print release form. Most packages you have to get the same pose for several and then they charge you more to get additional poses. dont' know that it will be cheaper this way, but you do have more freedom with pose selections. On the other hand, I probably wouldn't print them at home. By the time you buy the ink and paper you spend just as much as you would at WalMart and it isn't as time consuming...and most printers at home don't give you the quality you want.
     
    Oct 3, 2009
    #11
  12. lauradahl

    lauradahl Member

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    I just did a photo session here in town this summer. It was $60 for session that was scheduled about 30 minutes. She was so good with the boys that it only took at 20 minutes. That part was fun and easy.
    I was bummed in looking at the packages to try and work in the sizes I wanted and the shots I wanted. It was soooo hard to leave pics "on the table" because I loved so many of them. I did end up getting the least expensive package...plus about 6 'ala carte' options so I could have all of the shots I wanted.
    I like your idea of giving some flexibility to have the option to print what I wanted. I have come to the point where the 'cookie cutter' photo places just turn me off! I had used them for about 5 years waiting until they had the deals. Well, the deal is off! I now prefer the experiened photographer with the personalized service and I think it has been worth every penny.
     
    Oct 3, 2009
    #12
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