Poll about Photography Sessions — The Bump
Babies: 0 - 3 Months

Poll about Photography Sessions

I was wondering if I could ask you moms a few questions.  I'm a photographer who specializes in newborns, children, and families, and I desperately need some opinions.  If you've ever hired a photographer or thought about it, I'd love your opinions on my idea for pricing.  Many photographers have their clients pay a session fee and then order prints after the session.  I did this last year and quickly realized how much more my clients would rather have digital files.  This past year, I've offered both options- pay a session fee and then order prints, or pay a higher lump sum up front and get the CD.  Just about everyone who said they wanted to order prints decided they'd rather have the CD once they saw their pictures.  I hesitate to go all digital because it means I give full control over cropping and printing my images to clients, yet I really want to do it because it's what people want!  So here's my idea for pricing this year as my idea for the best of both worlds.  My problem?  No other photographers seem to be doing this, so it makes me wonder if it's a bad idea.  Here's my idea for new pricing.  Would this appeal to you?  Would you order prints from  your photographer under these terms?

-Ditch the traditional session fee/ print ordering

-Offer only digital sessions.  You pay a higher session fee, but you get the CD of all pictures (about 25-40) in color, black and white, and low resolution.

-You get a print release so you can print your photos on your own....OR you can order your prints from me for only a little more than consumer labs.  Clients would get professional prints and I get to make sure they are cropped perfectly and use a lab that's calibrated to my computer.  I would only make a tiny profit off the prints, just enough to cover the time it takes to order prints for people.  Based on my pricing, this would be something like 50 or 60 cents for a 4x6.  There would be no obligation for people to order their prints from me, but the quality would be much better than them going to walmart, and I'd do all the work for them. Plus, my lab is much much faster and has free shipping. 

 

What are your thoughts?  I'm sorry this is such a bizarre question. I don't have anyone else to ask.  I'll ask around to my friends too, but I thought it'd be good to ask a large group of moms. 

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Re: Poll about Photography Sessions

  • Personally I like having the cd too. Most photographers around here charge an arm and a leg for it, in addition to session fees, and for that reason I'm forgoing a "professional" and my sister and I are going to do them. She has a nice camera and has always likes photography and researches techniques and equipment.

    I understand it is a livelihood for photographers, but with the world operating on a digital playing field, I prefer digital images and I don't feel comfortable paying hundreds of dollars for the cd.

    Also, I agree with pp, my wedding photographer have us the CDs with all images included in our package, but have since started charging for the CDs separate from the packages.

    Good luck!
    RoRo10733
  • I paid my photographer a session fee of 225 and then purchased the 60 or so images in both color and b/w for $475. Do not sell yourself short on tiny profits. If you are a professional then price yourself as such!
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  • When we did our hospital shots we paid for the cd so we could make as many prints as we liked, crop them how we like, etc. We were pleased that the cd not only had the.original shots but they had also been copied into sepia and black and white.


  • Thank you all so much for your opinions.  I'm not surprised to hear that you all prefer the digital files.  All of my clients tell me the same thing.  So, if your photographer gave you a CD and also had the option to print some of your pictures for you, at a cost that's just a little higher than whatever place you'd normally go to, would you utilize that service?  Or do you not even bother to print your pictures and you just look at them on your computer, put them on Facebook, etc.?  

    Another idea I've had for next year is creating a Facebook cover photo collage for each client, made with photos from their session.  It wouldn't charge anything extra, it would just come on the CD.  Does this sound cool?  Do you think people would appreciate it?  Since Facebook cover photos have to be specific dimensions, I could save people time by making it for them- just a little freebie. 
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  • To me, your one option to do the cropping for the prints sounds like you're still going to be using a rather cheap printer and I wouldn't pay more just for that. I would pay more for professional quality prints-and I can tell the difference.

    Also, as a small business owner, I learned the hard way not to do any work for free. You will have to make sacrifices either to your quality of work or your family. Charge what you're worth.

    I just paid a $200 sitting fee and am in the process of purchaing prints from our newborn session. The $475 includes the CD of 30 images. Or, it would have been $275 just for the images. The prints that we're getting are worth a lot more than $200 to me! Also make sure you specify what size they can print up to.
  • To me, your one option to do the cropping for the prints sounds like you're still going to be using a rather cheap printer and I wouldn't pay more just for that. I would pay more for professional quality prints-and I can tell the difference. Also, as a small business owner, I learned the hard way not to do any work for free. You will have to make sacrifices either to your quality of work or your family. Charge what you're worth. I just paid a $200 sitting fee and am in the process of purchaing prints from our newborn session. The $475 includes the CD of 30 images. Or, it would have been $275 just for the images. The prints that we're getting are worth a lot more than $200 to me! Also make sure you specify what size they can print up to.

    Great advice!  No, I would be using a professional lab.  I would never print people's pictures at a cheap place.  I can get great prices, free shipping, and really fast turn around (sometimes I get my prints in about 24 hrs) at my lab (photographers mark up their prints A LOT which is why people assume that professional labs are much more expensive).  My lab uses paper and ink that lasts generations.  It's the same lab that I've been using in the past to sell prints. 

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  • I'd prefer to have the digital version. 
    I paid $160 for a 2 hour session, which got me about 50 photos, both edited color and black n white. I love them!
    Lilypie - (wpJS)

     Kelsey Johnston's photo.  image  image 
    Lilypie - (6yLP)

  • I just did a session with CD and rights to print only. It was the cheaper option for us, and I like having all the photos
    Lilypie Premature Baby tickers.
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  • I'm confused why the images on the CD would be low res. Wouldn't they need to be hi res for your clients to get quality prints?

    Lilypie Premature Baby tickers

    BFP #1: Mother's Day 5/13/12...m/c Memorial Day Weekend 5/26/12 

    BFP #2: 2/16/13...Owen Ray born 6 weeks early 9/9/13

    photo e0fadb54-1cd9-4c5f-8086-5e25d4789dbe_zps5ef23e41.jpg
  • if they weren't high resolution images, I wouldn't buy the CD.  why not offer high resolution?
     
             Baby C - 08.23.13
  • I agree with the other posters who said they wouldn't buy the cd unless it was high res images.  Honestly we tend to rotate between 3 photographers who are all amazing, offer very reasonable prices and all include a cd of almost all images edited, cropped and high resolution.  They all have the option of ordering prints directly through them (which we usually do order 1 or 2 to put on the wall) and sometimes they run other packages.  For example our fall family session our photographer is doing a cd with all the images and a few prints that are part of her fall package.
  • I only hire photographers who offer a CD with the high res digital images.  I don't even look at the portfolio if they don't offer this.  I think I probably eliminate some of the more experienced and maybe better photographers this way but I don't really care.  I like to be able to use the photos for whatever I want...photo books, photo gifts, calendars...so there is no point in spending a bunch of money if I can't actually use the photos for those purposes.  With my wedding photos we signed a contract that we wouldn't change the images at all which protects the photographer from the client messing up the images and then going around saying it was the photographers work.  As for the print service, I probably wouldn't use it but I don't order many prints in the first place. 
    BabyFruit Ticker
  • A CD of High res pictures that have been cropped and edited are a must for me. I would buy bigger prints after that but probably not 4x6's. I just can't afford the insane prices some people charge for pictures. And I'd hate to pay a sitting fee and then not be able to get all of the copies I wanted. Also, being able to do a photo book online is really important to me, so that's a big part of wanting the CD.
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