Mommy contact card plus current dilemma

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coolmama72's picture
Joined: 10/20/01
Posts: 8185
Mommy contact card plus current dilemma

Kodak is offering free mommy contact cards (you have to pay shipping) and I was thinking about using it as a way to market myself before I'm full on in business. I don't know if that's a crazy idea or not, so I wanted to run it by you.

I haven't ordered yet, just saved it so I could get some feedback first. Wink I'm calling myself an "up and coming" photographer since I'm not in business ... but I'm not sure that's what I should be doing. I'd love suggestions on that. Here's what it looks like so far - front is on top, back on the bottom. I have my business email address followed by my personal email (so I can give the card to anyone I want to touch base with me, photography related or not)

mommy card

And my current dilemma is whether I'm cut out for business. I want to do it because I enjoy doing it and because people love my work. But I'm wondering where I will find the time to set everything up that will have to get done before I start charging "big girl" prices. I feel like I'm not ready and that I will never be ready. But one of these days I have to take that step. For those of you who have seen my work, am I close to being ready from that aspect? I hate this period of self-doubt. I'm not normally this way, but my WHCC print issue is causing me to question my work (even though I'm not convinced it's because of my editing).

Jeffininer's picture
Joined: 11/07/07
Posts: 1796

I think it's a great idea! I'm not sure about the wording, but it's not a negative 'I don't know' it's just from inexperience. I think the layout and colors are wonderful and I think it would be a great tool to get your name out there. What a neat thing for Kodak to offer.

I think you have a wonderful style and clarity to your photos. You capture great moments and I think you are well on your way to making the big girl bucks Smile You have been a large inspiration for my journey, and I definitely look up to you and your knowledge.

I hope you find the self-confidence you deserve and are able to find the time to make this into what you want!

coolmama72's picture
Joined: 10/20/01
Posts: 8185

yeah, the "up and coming" thing isn't such a good idea. I liked the sound of it last night, but after thinking about it, that's not what I want to say.

I can call myself a natural light photographer, and list my blog (but the url is kinda long). I do have a domain name but I haven't built a website yet so I don't want to list it. unless I can temporarily direct my domain name to my wordpress blog for the time being. would that be silly?

do I even need to go that far? I really want to have this contact card, as I think it will be a good thing in the long run, prior to going the official business card route. I don't want to make it all about my future business but at the same time, it's something I'd consider as the "initial contact" for potential sessions.

coolmama72's picture
Joined: 10/20/01
Posts: 8185

so I changed it to just Natural Light Photographer and then added my website url - it gives me incentive to do SOMETHING with my website for now. haven't officially ordered it yet. does the name in blue look okay? my other options are black, green, red, white, no color top (full photo card). I really like the photo I've chosen, but perhaps there's mommy goggles going on. really would love some feedback, thanks!

coolmama72's picture
Joined: 10/20/01
Posts: 8185

I just checked the other options, and the blue is clearly the best. so ignore that question. Lol But I'd love to know if the picture "grabs you" - if someone gave you this card, would you be impressed?

coolmama72's picture
Joined: 10/20/01
Posts: 8185

and here's the link if you want to order your own Smile

http://www.kodakgallery.com/mommy-cards/pc-C570088-c-C870009

sweetalienchick's picture
Joined: 10/25/05
Posts: 2106

the picture has nice colors and it is a nice picture but they are centered and I'm wondering what it would look like with a slightly different picture? where they aren't so centered? Smile

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

I would go with a different photo. They are really small there, and centered and walking away from you. I would pick a photo of a smiling kid or one that has more connection and isn't centered. That is the kind of photo that people really want of their own kid and would draw them into your business better. Send me your pricing list if you get a chance? What are you charging right now? I think you just need confidence after you work out your printing issues.

AmberBella's picture
Joined: 02/15/07
Posts: 1831

"stampasaurus" wrote:

I would go with a different photo. They are really small there, and centered and walking away from you. I would pick a photo of a smiling kid or one that has more connection and isn't centered. That is the kind of photo that people really want of their own kid and would draw them into your business better.

I agree...not the best photo...pretty much anyone could get a shot of their children walking away from them in a pretty setting. You need something that sets you apart...something with a clear vision of who you are as an artist.

Be careful...once you start charging, all the people who just love your (free or cheap) work suddenly don't need you. You really need to think about what you're going to charge, how many sessions you will be able to handle, figure out your business plan...who are you marketing to, what do they want, what will they spend, what do you offer that other photographers don't. I've quickly found that it is a huge waste of time charging bottom basement amounts, because when it comes time to charge full price, you have to start all over trying to get clients. The business thing is HARD! I'm sort of drowning over here myself which is really frustrating because I see so many mediocre photographers who thrive. Being a photographer is one thing....being a business owner....a completely different thing.

Joined: 10/26/01
Posts: 3421

Thanks for the link, Gwen! I signed up for mine!

I agree w/ pp that you have some other high impact images that would better fit.

As for your dilemma ... you have serious talent. You have already grown so much and I know you will continue to be hounded by those who want your services. If you WANT a business out of this stuff, you CAN make it happen. It's so hard to find time, I know. But the benefit of working for yourself is that you can set your own hours, right?

Best,
GiGi

coolmama72's picture
Joined: 10/20/01
Posts: 8185

thanks for the great feedback!

I'm attached to that photo, but I know I have MUCH better photos. Like the one I recently posted of Jordan, I just adore that one and it's nice and close up.

Jun302010_0072 8x10 crop print

Amber - I haven't written a business plan yet, but I've been doing a LOT of reading on it. That's probably the biggest reason I'm not in business, I'm dragging my feet on writing it. I've already decided that I don't want to do more than one session a week. When Jack's in school (4 years from now), then I will consider more full time options, but right now that's all I want to do. I do want to do a "launch event" where I do 4 mini sessions in one day, but that will be the exception (I might also do one like that in the fall for Christmas card photos). I already know the clients I DON'T want to have (locally), most are my friends. They won't pay the prices that I want to get.

Steph - I am waffling on my prices. I haven't decided if I want to do mostly prints, or do like Krissy and offer digital packages coupled with 5x7 prints (I really like her packages, and people do want the images - I spend the time editing for the gallery, why not sell to the clients?). I'm charging $150 for a session right now, and then letting my clients order from mpix. Anyhow, I started working on a price list with a COGS worksheet I got from CM but then I started thinking about digital options and might be starting over.

GiGi - thanks. Smile It's a lot to figure out, but I really do want to do this, it's in my heart.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

Yes I like that photo of Jordan much better!

I think that you should not worry about the self confidence issues! Just jump in with big girl pricing. I still have my pb pricing in place (50% off session and 25% off prints and files) and am actually shocked at what my average sale per session is even with the discount. Just stick to the price and don't let people's reaction sway you! I sell about half digital packages and half prints. They are about the same amount of work and the digital is only slightly less COGS than a la carte prints because I print up a 4x6 of every file they buy so they have a color reference. I also use custom printed CD's and I have extras to pay for like images boxes and stuff. I have been trying to push CD's for events and prints for portrait sessions. I want people to print and look at their photos and not let them sit on the computer.

coolmama72's picture
Joined: 10/20/01
Posts: 8185

okay, I have a version (portrait not landscape, which bugs me, but I don't have a landscape one of her I want to use) with my name in a white box. on the back I have "g Custom Photography" at the top and the bottom has "Natural Light Photography" and my contact info. Still searching for a landscape version of her though, I'm sure I have a good one from my session with her. I'm overloaded with current edits and that was from two weeks ago. Lol

"stampasaurus" wrote:

Yes I like that photo of Jordan much better!

I think that you should not worry about the self confidence issues! Just jump in with big girl pricing. I still have my pb pricing in place (50% off session and 25% off prints and files) and am actually shocked at what my average sale per session is even with the discount. Just stick to the price and don't let people's reaction sway you! I sell about half digital packages and half prints. They are about the same amount of work and the digital is only slightly less COGS than a la carte prints because I print up a 4x6 of every file they buy so they have a color reference. I also use custom printed CD's and I have extras to pay for like images boxes and stuff. I have been trying to push CD's for events and prints for portrait sessions. I want people to print and look at their photos and not let them sit on the computer.

do you have packages/collections or a la carte pricing? I'd love to see what price list you're working with, it's helping me figure out my ballpark (even though I'm in a different area, it's still good to see)

coolmama72's picture
Joined: 10/20/01
Posts: 8185

okay, I think I'm gonna go with this one. Wink your feedback has been great, thank you!

white mommy card

coolmama72's picture
Joined: 10/20/01
Posts: 8185

okay, she looks red to me here. but not in CS4 or Kodak's site. so strange!

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

She looks a little red to me here too. Color issues like this frustrate the heck out of me!

So I have digital packages of 5, 10, or all photos. The lowest one includes just the files, middle one includes an image box, and the highest an image box and canvas. I am trying to make it so the highest one is the most appealing to everyone! And then my prints are all a la carte because that is the way I like to purchase them myself. I could not come up with packages that would appeal to everyone. I am thinking about doing one package with a certain number of desk prints since that is what everyone wants the most of and have the lowest COGS for me too as far as prints go. You can't really go wrong any way you go as long as you price yourself so that you are not working yourself to death for free.

slurpeegirl13's picture
Joined: 02/26/07
Posts: 4125

I like the pic of Jordan better - I love that other pic, but I was just thinking about how big these cards would be, and the other pic I think they would turn out to be WAY too small on it, iykwim? Glad you're going ahead with this - and yes, you CAN be a photographer - I would pay you to take pics of K, if you lived here.

Joined: 06/04/07
Posts: 1368

You know which one is my current fav of yours? The one of your dd riding her bike with the background whizzing by. Has the outdoor scene with the focus on the rider, which shows your talent is way above average. Just a thought. Otherwise, I think everything else looks great!

coolmama72's picture
Joined: 10/20/01
Posts: 8185

"Beertje" wrote:

You know which one is my current fav of yours? The one of your dd riding her bike with the background whizzing by. Has the outdoor scene with the focus on the rider, which shows your talent is way above average. Just a thought. Otherwise, I think everything else looks great!

I love that picture too, but that's not the kind of photography I want to market. panning is really hard to do! Lol