We are in full blown “busy season” for the holidays and will be able to update in a bit… but in the meantime, we have begun to publish a new series of articles called “Honest Articles”. These articles are business articles for photographers addressing current issues and what you can do to help your own business – for FREE…. there will be no charge for any of these articles.
I’m sure this will ruffle a feather or two; however, if I feel it strongly, I tend to speak it. I posted this on my personal Facebook page recently.
“$50 mini photo sessions [including files] —– you ladies want to be paid the same as men in the workplace? You screw yourself over left and right…… you’ll never be treated equal until you make good business decisions and act like you deserve or are capable of being treated equal.”
Harsh, right? I know, it is……. and it came from the depths of me somewhere, the frustration of seeing where our industry has gone…… Hear me out…. I truly want to help.
For years, the portraitist photographed clients in a custom way. We weren’t mass producing or cheap. That market was already handled by Sears, Walmart, Picture People, and JC Penney. We set aside 1 to 2 hours of time and worked hard to create a boutique-style experience that was tailor made for each client, creating a one-of-a-kind experience for a BIG fee. I know many newer photographers would gasp to know that custom photographers in the Baltimore area generally had portrait sales of up to $20,000 for each client. I know you probably don’t believe me, but that’s okay. My most common portrait sales years ago were between $3,000 and $9,000. I wasn’t the five-figure photographer, but that’s because I was a digital photographer. The die-hard filmies were bringing in the larger sales with giant wall canvases even custom painted for enhancements instead of PhotoShopped, custom framed to perfection, and all the materials were expensive, thus the hefty price tag.
Fast forward to about 6-8 years ago, and custom photographers were bombarded with so many clients that they could no longer fit all their holiday portrait customers in. We were all booked up for holiday portraits from July to December, 10 or more clients per week. Those were insane times. That was before the market became oversaturated.
But that is when the mini session was birthed…. out of necessity.