Okkie dokie – so I received an email from a “potential” client yesterday…her subject was priceless
“YOU’RE TOO EXPENSIVE!”
The email goes on to say, “I love your work and I think you’re so talented…BUT…we just don’t have the kind of money to book you for our family pictures. How do people afford to use you all the time…”
Well instead of writing what I wanted to say, “Oh sweet Miss _______, didn’t you hear? All my clients either have vast amounts of sugar daddies OR they won the lottery and bought the recently gone-public stock in Facebook!” Here’s my response:
Dear ___________, thank you first for the compliments. I truly love what I do and put nearly all my love and a great deal of time putting skill into my passion for photography – just ask my husband. On your point of me being TOO EXPENSIVE and asking HOW DO PEOPLE AFFORD ME?!? Well…I guess what you can “afford” is relative to what you find important and artful in your life…here and now – and in the future when your family is all grown up. An important word that has been spoken to me several times by current clients that I shoot nearly every year is BUDGETING.
Most of my return clients are by no means high rollers (yes, some are)…most are hard working everyday joe and janes who put great value on photography. They’ve gone the way of the portrait studio and its just not their “bag baby”. They want the real emotions, the real smiles, and the real love to shine through in their family heirlooms. Its very hard to capture those important things in the fast pace of a chain portrait studio. It takes time. Its takes a relationship with the kids the photographer is shooting. I’m a kind of kid whisperer too…I always have been…probably because I’m a 10yo at heart. Then once the shoot is complete I edit and retouch nearly EVERY shot taken. I want every selected frame to look and feel as good as possible. That is NOT happening at a discount portrait studio.
Now let me pause and say that I am NOT bashing chain portrait studios. Its a choice. I’ve used them (didn’t like the experience or final result, but I’ve tried it out). Some of my returns clients use me AND portrait studios. They budget for both.
So in closing – expensive is in the eye of the beholder and their budget. You truly truly truly get what you pay for. I really believe in that. Its taken me a while to feel WORTHY of the short success that I’ve had in the past 3 years. I know in my heart that the long ass nights I spend editing hundreds of pictures and putting love into each one will pay off. … Bring me clients that relate to my love of photography and its importance. Having my own kids has engraved the great need to document things – EVERYTHING! All the sweet milestones. Precious.
P.S. – I also have payment plans. 🙂
So here’s an example of what I was talking about – below is our first official family photo (minus Lola as she was just a glimmer in our eye):
The above was taken at a photo studio. Let me set the scene – it was crowded…I was sick…we had 30 minutes…its was hot…we paid a small fortune for ONE final print that arrived at our house in a nice chipped frame. Its not horrible, but just NOT my cup of tea.
Here’s our next family photo session taken by Miss Casey Mackie. Let me set the scene…its was cold outside…Lola was ready to GO the moment we stepped out of the car. However…because Casey is a pure professional and we had time to create the moment here’s a final image that I have hanging in my home:
There were so many great photos from this session, but this one is my absolute favorite because of the capture. It perfectly shows our family make up and personalities. Both Scotty and Keaton (pictured together – left) a bit reserved and shy infront of the camera. Me and Lola (pictured together – right) not-so-shy and smiling. Its just US in every way. Love love love.
So reasons NOT to book me:
You hate fun
You hate good photos
You hate brunettes
You hate puppies (?)
You hate flip flops – cause that’s nearly ALL I wear
Reasons to book me:
You like puppies
You LOVE brunettes
I also want to stress (and you can ask any past client) we all usually have SO MUCH FUN during sessions! Swear! I’m a real hoot!
So I’ll shut up now.