Pricing for Your Market


Senior Portraits: Create the Ultimate Experience


Lesson Info

Pricing for Your Market

Pricing is one of the, if not the scariest parts about the business most of his probably aren't we're creative where maybe not as business minded, I myself hate math and anything to do with numbers. Eso pricing scares me just like it scares everybody else, but unfortunately it's part of the business, and sometimes you got to do what you gotta do to make it a business. I mean, I hate numbers so much. I chose my major in college based on the fact that I don't have to take any math, so hee so I get it, and I've been everywhere in this process, so I understand just starting out, I understand changing prices and losing client like I get it all, and we're going to go through it all and you know, again, I have to stress that what works for one may not work for another, and your market may be different than my market. So I think when it comes to this entire process, but especially pricing and products, that really has to do with your market in my area. Senior photography is, in general, someth...

ing people have to do on top of a yearbook photo, so I have somewhat of a challenge there because they've already spent money because the parents are still going by the yearbook. Photo package whether they really liked the photos or not and I hear it all the time, we don't really like him, but I have to buy a picture, you know, to me, it's like your kids, you I buy my kid's elementary school pictures and they're awful, but I buy him because you got to write, so I feel like in those situations, the senior portraiture that we are trying to provide is an extra expense, so not everybody is going to do it. Not everybody is going to be ableto afford it, some are going to just rely on that yearbook photos. So knowing your market is really important on how you price now, other areas where they have to go out and find their own photographer to put a yearbook photo in there that might be somewhere they may spend a little more money because they don't have to spend it on two separate sessions on dh what person doesn't want their photo in the yearbook? So they that might be a market where you could price yourself a little bit differently or you could all for something a little more differently? Because, like the question earlier that you you asked me about the yearbook photo when we had the ordering session, I don't have that as an option, because that's, not the way it's done but if it is in your area, then yet you need a package that maybe has that yearbook photo. Maybe you call the high schools and find out the size of exactly that they need. So you're knowledgeable on until your client not have to depend on them to find out for you and that's what you offer in your packaging. So I think the first step is to really know your market and it helps in all aspects of this. But it especially helps in pricing. So determine what your market wants, what product the seniors want. What products to the parents want? Usually. And again, this is a generalization, and not every senior is this way. But most seniors want that is digital images and the sticky album. They think those were the coolest they are. You know, digital to them is the only way to communicate. So that is what they generally want on dso knowing that and knowing this particular age group helps me determine. Okay, how am I going to give them what they want? How am I going to give them these products? Okay, on dh, then your other customer is your parent. And what do they want and you saw earlier that joe wanted wall prints. On dh she definitely thought some other products were cool but she really went to that that traditional item of a wall print or a canvas on dh I lived in south carolina and we are very traditional so most of my parents are looking for a wall print that they can frame to be honest with you that is hands down probably the most important thing for a parent then I'll get some that won't came assist for sure but that is is not as traditional so I don't get everybody wanting that on dh then the gift prince I do definitely get paris I don't want to give grandma and grandpa and you know aunts and uncles and anybody five by seven or eight by tens sometimes they'll come in and want a four by six and I try to explain to them although it's the same price for all of those in my packaging I just say for best six usually gets lost you know it's really small if you're sitting on a desk it doesn't have as much impact so you know try to get them to go with the five seven, eight, ten type thing just because in my mind it's going to make a bigger statement if a potential client happens to see it then a four bath six but typically there looking forgive prince while france campuses and then the girls are always looking for something digital that's typical so you can guarantee that probably no matter where you live that's going to be the case then dependent on your market, maybe your market is more into something completely unique, like a metal print or a bamboo or you know these different things again, you got to know your market mind don't want I mean I laugh and joke as with anything fashion or anything else, it always travels to the south last it goes from north to south west to east we're the last ones to get onboard with about anything, so mine are still very traditional, so I don't offer bamboo prints. I don't offer metal prints, I as a photographer think they're really cool, and that is something that you guys need to distinguish between because what we think is really cool because we do see all the labs and we do see all their cool products. Is your client going to think it's cool? Are they going to order it? So remember your target market, which is both the senior and the mom when you are thinking about what to offer. So we're talking a little bit about products here first, and then we'll sort of get more into the pricing, but I know a lot of people don't know where to start when it comes to products, what do you offer? And honestly, I just jumped in and started offering stuff and then started listening to my clients and changed accordingly, and I don't know any other way to do it, because, again, you've got to learn your market, and some of that is on the job experience. Some of that is building a package and seeing that it never gets purchased and then changing it up it's sometimes doing some orders and realizing that you're constantly having to do a customized type package with the same type items. And so then you change and do that as one of your packages, because that becomes the most important thing I know when I was doing family's, one of the biggest things that moms wanted with those little tiny accordion album, so I thought when I started doing seniors, that maybe I would need to offer those little tiny according and albums, nobody wanted those they didn't they wanted that sticky album or the digitals or or the wall prints, they didn't want that that was more kid friendly, I think I think mom's loved it because they could show it off for their kids, but seniors, I didn't really love it that much, so I had to change, so you're constantly going to have to adapt, I don't think anybody gets it right right out of the gate, and if they're telling you they did, then there probably exaggerating because you don't know right off the bat all you can do is researcher market try these things out know that you're the professional and you're going to offer the best possible products for your client, so pick and choose things that you think are, you know, not on ly a good value, but something that you think will will be appreciated by both the senior in the mom. So when building your collections, obviously you've got to keep in mind you're to different markets, right? We've talked about that a little bit. You've got to keep in mind those popular products that you think that these two different age groups and that makes it kind of hard because you're not on ly trying to appease one age roof, you are trying to make a mom happy and make a senior happy, so maybe you have a combination of these popular things in your packaging and that's kind of how I set mine up so that I can make both happy, so, you know, in in in the middle package and the top package, there are some digitals, but they're mixed in with some products and then the mom is happy and the seniors happy, so think about it collection than what you're going to offer in terms of giving a combination now maybe in your market you only ever deal with the senior maybe that's true I don't know I doubt I doubt that is probably rare but maybe it is and then maybe your collections your product offerings tend to be a little more trendy and hip but again it goes back to knowing your market and really offering you know what is going to be good for that particular market determine what do you want to offer again you're the professional you're the one that leads through all these different options and there are a ton of options out there and there are a lot of really cool options out there but you have to narrow it down for your client you don't have to give them everything as an option do you ever go somewhere and you feel overwhelmed by the amount of options there are just when you know in general do you want your clients to fill that way? Probably not so it's up to you to pick and choose you know how many different options might overwhelm you. So think about that when you're thinking about you know what you're offering your client do you really want to offer him fifty different items or do you want to offer them the best possible twenty items? Do you want to overwhelm them and give them every possible array of I mean gosh there's tons of labs out there they all do similar things they all do different things there are a ton of options, but your client doesn't need to be confused by all of that. They don't need to be overwhelmed by all that again, you've built this relationship with them. At this point, they're trusting you to make the best possible products available to them. So I pick out the best products that offer that show off your photos and then also pick out the ones that have the lowest cost of goods but highest value because it is a business person you want, you know, to make some money, only thing. So if you buy that super expensive album that you don't feel like, you can charge times the money for that, maybe that's, not a product you offer at this time, you know no mae ni let's say the album cost five hundred dollars for you, and you may be wanted teo charge a thousand dollars for it or whatever you might wanted to charge for it. And you don't think your market's quite ready for that. Well, that is not your best value of spending money on a product. Maybe you offer, you know, something different, like the image box, which is, I think, fifty dollars. Right it's fifty dollars and then you can mark that up in your mark up is a little bit more and you know make a little bit more money but they think it's just a school you heard joe say that box was a definite alternative to an album because I didn't have an album out you know because I really I don't sell them that much to me I think they're beautiful but I think they cost a lot of money for us and they take a lot of time and that costs money so and I have not really found that my client il goes for the album that's not what they want so why am I gonna offer something or push something that's going to take me tons of time to design and all of that stuff hey I would rather make my money somewhere else so I don't have all that work today, right? So think about that when you're thinking about your products it's your business and maybe you love to design an album so go for it I don't so I don't I don't tend to offer that I mean I do truth be told have an album sitting on the coffee table and girls sometimes pick it up but they never ever want to buy it and that's fine by me because I don't want that extra work it's not something I love to do so I'm gonna offer products that are something that I personally would want something I know my market would want something that's not really going to take me a lot of time because I've already spent a ton of time, you know, through the whole process and I've loved every minute of it, but you know, I want the ordering session I want to be able to give them their product as fast as possible and I won't have to sit there and design now great and there are tons of different software is out there that you can use and if that's your thing I say go for it but you know just me personally I'm just trying to make a point that you don't have to offer anything specific just because somebody else is offering it or just because you think that you must offer it right so think about those things in terms of products we had a little bit of my products out here, of course I traveled all the way across the country so I had a smaller sampling of what offer, but I had the most important things that are the most common tio my clients, which are the different sized prince and I think those go kind of across the board everybody understands prince everybody knows prints and about having the different sizes on display you can really showcase why a bigger one is a better purchase in a smaller one in terms of your client getting mohr you know, more greater presentation of their product but then you may be getting mohr advertisement for it because if somebody else goes in that client's home and sees this big big canvas or this big print or whatever it's going to make much more of an impact so it works both ways so having all the different sizes really helps you say to the client, well, you know, I know you're thinking about an ape that tim let me show you what a baton looks like I think this is actually a ten you know domain so you can say, well, let me show you an eight by ten and that let me show you a sixteen twenty or let me show you you know whatever size you might want to do but then at the same time don't push something that you are just trying to push because you want that I'm honest with my client it's sixteen twenty sixteen, twenty four is a good size print to me I don't need them to buy the thirty by forty I don't even know who has that kind of wall space I want to go to their house that they do because I don't know it's a huge print I think it's fabulous and I think it's beautiful awful but I'm honest with my client most of my clients don't have wall space for that kind of huge friends. If they do, then I want them to tell me and we'll work out a bigger deal, right or, well, you know, pick a different size, but be honest about your your sizes, your offerings, why you think they're good? Why you don't think they're good again, they're coming to you as a professional to provide them with that information, so really familiar? Familiarize yourself with these different sizes and why you would think they would work better like the story I told earlier, I genuinely did order a canvas of my kids when I first started taking a photo of them oh my gosh! And they're still hanging I need take him down because they're the worst photos ever, because I just started out, but I wanted to canvas and I thought, okay, I'm gonna order two canvases, one of each child and hang him up together, and I thought at the time and eleven by fourteen was humongous and I got him and their tiny and they don't fill up that wall space that I wanted him to, but I have that story to tell all of my clients and they go, oh yeah, you're right, you know? Because when you don't know and you don't see sizes every day like we do that might seem big to you, but being able to really educate them throughout this process and telling them a story of when you genuinely did that. I genuinely think they look stupid because they're tiny. And so I share that with them. And then they understand that. Yeah, okay, maybe I do go with a bigger print.

Class Description

High school seniors are energized, creative, and fun – and the best photographers know how to take portraits that capture that spark. Join Leslie Kerrigan for a guide to designing, marketing, shooting and sustaining a senior portrait business.

In this course, you’ll learn everything you need to know to create senior portrait sessions that aren’t just a photo shoot, but are memorable, once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Leslie will share her unique approach to creating a style closet, providing wardrobe consultations and keeping up with the of-the-moment social networking tools teens use. You’ll learn about connecting with seniors’ personalities, interests, and sense of style to ensure their portraits are every bit as unique as they are. You’ll hear from the teens, themselves as Leslie hosts a roundtable discussion with a group of teenagers who will talk honestly about what they want out of their senior portraits and how to reach them. You will also explore ways to leverage that personal connection into more sessions, sales, and referrals.

Don’t miss this opportunity to become the dynamic, must-have senior photographer for every teen in your area!


Lynn Powell Roberts

I learned a lot from this course. I watched all day when CL replayed Sal Cincotta's senior course and I wanted a second perspective, so I bought Leslie's course. I'm really glad I purchased Leslie's course because it was a great complement to Sal's course. Leslie covered different things like using a style closet that I especially found useful. She also did a beach shoot with a male and female model, which I found very useful and different from Sal's style. Leslie is so excited about "her girls" that she photographs - it's very engaging. I highly recommend this course.