selling myself short or just the cost of "business" **updated**

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selling myself short or just the cost of "business" **updated**

If this is too business-y L or Stac, please feel free to remove. So I have a fairly large mom and pop custom kids' clothing store near me. The shop is called Cotton Candy Shop and the owner Lauren does little photo shoots semi annually in the area. She gets like 30+ people in the shoots and they are all mini shoots so the potential is there to make a lot of money. The BEST part is that the market caters to people who are willing to spend $70+ on a pettiskirt or a custom outfit for their sweet little girl. Just the kind of people that photogs would love, right? The only issue is that the people basicly get a steal of a deal ont he photographs taken at the shoot. NOT good for the photog. Sad Well, I was offered to do the spring shoot which brings in somewhere between 30-40 kids. The deal is that I would have to provide 7 pics for each kid on cd. I only will get $30/child. That is far below what I feel my pictures and time are worth. BUT I could not BUY that kind of marketing. Lauren buys ads on FB and plasters the pictures with watermarks all over them. The photographer's name is everywhere and Lauren has over 900+ fans. Sooo...for those that are looking to get into business one day, would you do it? As little as it would pay compared to the work, the free advertising is almost unbeatable.

I ask because I am doing one of her mini shoots tomorrow(15 kids). If it is super crazy, I'm going to have a lot of soul searching to do and I want to have some clear heads to help me think things out. I don't want my overwhelmed head telling me "no" when I could possibly earn way more business and have $900-$1200 is sales from one event...after taxes, it's still a nice chunk towards a d700. Wink

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I don't really know what to advise. I just did a shoot in a similar situation, didn't get paid to be the photog at a Bel Air picnic. I did it as a way to advertise myself, but I haven't gotten one bite from the event. I feel like maybe I couldn't show my best work because of the way the event was set up and that the clientelle wouldn't view me as a viable photographer option for a portrait session.

This sounds like it may be a better situation than the one I encountered...BUT you don't want people thinking that those are your prices. I would discuss with the store owner that you should be able to set the prices.

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I know we talked about this already, but I'll post a reply anyway. Wink I think this is a great opportunity for you! You will get so much exposure--and though you aren't making what you should for each picture, at least it's still advertising without the overt cost. So technically you are still making money while getting your name and talent out there!

HOWEVER, be careful to somehow make sure people know these are "promotional" prices. If not, the mom's may spread the word of $30 CDs, which will turn people off when they see the real prices. Of course that is not to say that the real prices aren't exactly what they should be--it's just that once people get a figure in their head, they can't let it go. Hope that all makes sense!

I started to reply to this an hour ago, so sorry if I'm repeating what someone else has already said!

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I'm with Meagan on this. Great opportunity for exposure. Make sure they know these are NOT regular prices. Actually, maybe print up price sheets for prints that they see at the store. So they know you're a "premium" photog and they are getting an AWESOME deal. I"m assuming the CD's have low-res images? If yes, you can still make money selling prints if they want them. Otherwise, there's no additional money in it, but I still think it's worth the exposure.

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Thanks Amber. Smile

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"esti1423" wrote:

I'm with Meagan on this. Great opportunity for exposure. Make sure they know these are NOT regular prices. Actually, maybe print up price sheets for prints that they see at the store. So they know you're a "premium" photog and they are getting an AWESOME deal. I"m assuming the CD's have low-res images? If yes, you can still make money selling prints if they want them. Otherwise, there's no additional money in it, but I still think it's worth the exposure.

My way to get them to see that this is a "deal" is that I plan on editing 10 pics each( I mean, I have 15-20 min each so it won't be an issue) and then put them in galleries so that the people HAVE to come to my site. They get to pic 7 of their favs and then hopefully, they'll want the additional ones and those will be at regular price for the files or for the pics.

Thanks so much for helping me think about it Meg and Esti!!!

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"klebanik" wrote:

My way to get them to see that this is a "deal" is that I plan on editing 10 pics each( I mean, I have 15-20 min each so it won't be an issue) and then put them in galleries so that the people HAVE to come to my site. They get to pic 7 of their favs and then hopefully, they'll want the additional ones and those will be at regular price for the files or for the pics.

Thanks so much for helping me think about it Meg and Esti!!!

I think that sounds like a great idea!

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I think the major issue could be why you can shoot fast and hand over a disc of images for $30, but for a regular session you would charge a ton more and no disc.
I think it's great exposure and if it's for your target audience, then it may be worth it.
Somehow you have to sell that this is really just a promo and that you offer much much more for a regular session. And you do, but you just don't want them to hear $30 and a disc and then think of nothing else.

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*Lurker*

Hope you all don't mind my chiming in - I'm totally not a photog. Just LOVE looking at all your pics! And, a few of my peeps hang out here (Kelly! Jenn! Loida!).

I preface all of this by saying that I don't know a camera lens from a hole in the ground, so perhaps the photography industry has unique nuances that I'm not aware of. But, my degree is in PR and I work as a marketing professional, so I thought I'd lend my thoughts on this.

Anywho - I re-read your situation, Kelly, and what struck me is that you said you'd be getting $30/kid to do this. Who is paying that - the parents or the store owner? It sounds like this business person wants to do a marketing shoot and the price she's willing to pay is between $900 and $1200. She's asking you to provide a CD with 7 pics on it to the families of each kid. Maybe the families won't have any idea how much you actually charge for a photoshoot.

I'm wondering if it would be crazy for you to design a CD jewel case flyer that lists your photo shoot prices, should they want to do a more personal, detailed shoot with you. You could also direct them to your Web site so they can order prints of the pics you took for the store owner. I've done CD case covers lots of times in InDesign and I really think they make a nice statement.

Or, if you're going to direct them to your Web site to choose their favorite 7 of 10, then you can design a one-pager that lists your Web site address, as well as the regular pricing details for your shoots. If you really want to get some more business from this, you could even offer an additional incentive - like, $50 off a one-on-one shoot if you book before the end of the year, or something like that.

As a marketing professional, I have to say that you're right that this kind of advertising is very valuable. I say go for it. You're work is fantastic - I'm highly peeved that I live all the way out here in Pennsylvania, because I'd love, LOVE, to have you shoot pics of my kids. You deserve this big break, and as the old saying goes, sometimes, you have to spend money to make money. I think you can make this into a really fantastic opportunity. Good luck!

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I would do it for the advertising BUT I would put your reg price on their and then "cross it out" for the one time only special price

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I have no idea, but it sure does sound like a good way to get your name out there.

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Hmmm, tough one. I did an event that I didn't really want to do and have gotten a bunch of "jobs" out if it, but it's different because I'm PB and only charging a nominal amount for a disc with all images (if I were charging real prices maybe no one would book me!)

I think if the clientelle is as high end as you say and they KNOW they are getting a deal then you will probably end up coming out on top in the end.. I think you also need to weigh in what else you could/would be doing with that time you will spend shooting and editing. If you have to forgo a full paying shoot then maybe it's not as woth it, but if you have the time this could be a good "downtime effort" and just chalk it up to marketing!

I would consider having some oversized postcard WHCC press prints made up with a bunch of your more portrait images that also has a price sheet.. you could give those out at the shoot so people a) know the high quality of your work and b) know what a deal they are getting and c) know what to expect if they book you for a reall session.

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I love a lot of the suggestions people are coming up with. Like Krista's additional incentive off booking a one-on-one by the end of the year and Ariana's WHCC press prints idea. I'm sure picking one that you feel will work best would make this job well worth it. It sounds like a great opportunity!

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You gals are awesome! Krista, you sweetie, I love to death! ANd when I come to Ohio after the beginning of the year, I fully intend to see as many June Bugs as humanly possible. Wink

I think that a cd case is a great idea. There are a few vendors out there that have come out with NICE ones. And they aren't super expensive either. I know I can do it with this smaller shoot tomorrow. Maybe it will help me fine tune how I do the spring one. And talk about hitting at good times! I was slow for November. I only have like 3 shoots booked and december I think I have maybe 1.:lol: So the editing will only be hindered by next weekend's FULL MARATHON!!! Yeah, I'm running a full in San Antonio next week and then on Dec. 13th, I am running another one. Anyhoo..the spring one is in late feb- early march which will be a slow period again right before Easter. So I think that they couldn't come at better times.

Krista, you hit on something VERY important. It USED to be that the owner got paid and the cd's were provided. And this time it is too. I have the option of them paying me directly or going thru her. I think I am wanting them to pay her for the shoot, the outfit and everything so they really don't know my prices. That is a good point. Thanks girl. I will also have on hand a ton of my business cards and I will have to print off 15-20 fliers tonight I think. Now to do it all along with bed time stuff sans Kevin since he got a free ticket to the NASCAR truck race tonight. Yeah...ONE free ticket. :rolleyes:

Love you ladies! Ya'll are SO much help!

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Sorry I'm late on this.

Make them go through the store owner for payment. List your website on everything you can. Remember though, these may not be your target market.

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you have a lot of great advice here ... sorry I wasn't online today. anyhow, I think you should totally do it because the exposure sounds awesome!!!! good luck tomorrow, can't wait to see the images from that shoot. Smile

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You'll so rock it!!!

How could they not love you enough to want more Biggrin

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I loved reading thru these replies. Sounds like you have a plan now to make things work for you. I definately think its worth a shot, and if you end up not caring for it. You never have to do it again after the spring shoot. I cant wait to hear how it goes. You will be AWESOME!

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Here are the fisrt couple I opened up. It WAS a good thing to do! YAY! The only issue was the sun and DANG do those bows hake horrific shadows!!!
DSC_0126 watermark copy
DSC_0209 watermark copy
CSC_0457 watermark copy

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Somehow I really thought that I replied to this thread already. Weird!

The pics look great, Kelly, and it sounds like you have a good plan. I would love to see the CD cover you design!

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WOW! Awesome.

LOVE #1, LOVE those outfits and awesome colour!!!!!

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Yay! Those are awesome!! Love the green and brown outfit!

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I'm loving the colors!!! would like to see more of an eye pop on the second, just looks like it needs something more.

did you have fun?

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Love the 1st pic, it's gorgeous! I hope you had fun. I can't really offer any advice about more business related stuff. I admit that I am one of those annoying people who takes up offers and ONLY goes for what I am entitled to, nothing more (frugal living here). However, I would be likely to remember you for if/when I needed shots in the future.

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Well, I am late on this, but I think this is a great opportunity! The photos look nice!

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Oh I just adore #2 and #3! I wish I could see a little more of that cute pink chandelier, but only because I'm curious, not because the pic isn't perfect! #3 I would just die for if it were my DD. Glad it worked out!