August 3, 2011

when it just doesnt sit well...

So launching a photography business has been a huge leap for me in so many ways. Am I allowed to say that I still get nervous and filled with anxiety when I get a prospective client? I do. Its silly! I know how to use my camera. I'd like to think that I have begun to define my personal artistic eye, and I am slowly but surely learning how to use photoshop to make the most of the images I capture.

But it just didn't sit right with me. At first I was charging $125.00 for a session with a CD of the images and a release for personal use. It still didnt feel right.

I was spending a lot of time on these images. Each one my baby. Each one on the receiving end of my ever critical eye. A stickler for white balance and color cast, when I see it in my own photos I cringe and begin to go to work to fix it. As I get better I have less and less of these images AND so fortunate for me I can fix them for the most part while the image is still in my camera (Love my Nikon D7000!)

Then I decided that I was going to offer prints because I wanted to control the quality of the images that were out there. Although there are some pretty decent print services (like Costco) the technology used to produce these prints does not take full advantage of the range of color in the image and thus can come back looking a touch lackluster...something my eye notices. So I set out changing my website, signing up for pro printing services...

*Sigh* but today as I slaved over making a print just didnt sit right. Then sadly I lost a client to another photographer because my fee did not include the images. This totally bummed me out.

Don't get me wrong I completely stand behind my fees whether they include a CD or not. I spend a lot of time on my pictures. I care A LOT about what I give back to my clients...A LOT!

I turned to my husband and said "I am not doing the right thing. I wanted to give people accessible photography, beautiful images that would be theirs forever"...

It just didn't feel good. I thought back to my own senior pictures, how poor I was, how I worked and scraped together the money to go to a really good photographer, how I could only afford THE SMALLEST package, and how I always intended to order more, and how that never I can't get those images anymore because they have been purged...gone forever.

It really made me teary. So I decided to scale back. To give my clients their images. I know it completely goes against the industry and I could take total flack for it. But I trust ME and I trust God, and when something is whispered in my ear repeatedly...I just can't ignore it.

I will most definitely offer professional printing services because I believe they are the best end product, but I want it to be reasonable...something that regular folks who are surviving a recession can afford. So I went into my website and changed it...and this is what I said:

After your session you will be provided with a high resolution CD with 20-40 images.They are yours to keep forever.

Although good printing can be found around town, professional printing services offer the best image and color quality. I will deliver my print/product pricing to you with your CD and would love to provide you with the finished product these memories deserve.

Your portraits are capturing a special time in your life and will be looked back on for years to come. You should consider your portraits an investment. For this reason we offer a full range of products including canvas wraps, albums and photobooks, and custom cards to name a few.

Additionally, we believe good photography should be accessible and think you will find that our prints and print products will fit into a wide range of budgets. 

And do you know I immediately felt like that was the right answer. Like a weight had been lifted. It just felt right...and thats not to say that I wont raise my prices in the future, because I believe in myself, and I value my time and what I have to offer, but for now this is where I am and it feels good, finally.

Have you ever had a situation like that...where things just weren't right but the answer was being presented to you for the taking?  I would LOVE to hear about it.

BTW I cannot stop looking at Nikki's pictures.  Derrick's sisters are just gorgeous!!

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P.S. Special thanks to my friend J, you know who you are. I have been sent 2 referrals from you and it means the world to me!



Molly said...

LOVE THIS!!! It gave me chills reading it... You are so in touch with God it is amazing to see! You ar edoing the right thing and you are super talented! I am lucky to have gotten a sweet photo of my cutie on her first B-day from you and i LOVE it! And you definitely should raise your prices in the future as your time is worht a lot! I know when I come to Oregon next summer {hopefully} I will be scheduling some family pics with you. You do amazing work! I hear ya on the professional printing though and it is a tough one but for now I think yo uare doing a great thing!

Jana said...

Molly...gosh, I have no words. This comment means THE WORLD to me.

I would love to capture your family!
I am sorry I was SO busy gabbing that I didn't get pictures of the rest of your cutie pie children :)

yeah! I cant wait to see you next summer...a playdate will be in order.