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Tots to Teens

Lesson 30 of 35

Locations and Session Fee

Sandy Puc

Tots to Teens

Sandy Puc

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Lesson Info

30. Locations and Session Fee

Lesson Info

Locations and Session Fee

we're going to shift gears into location work really really really I know I said it a million times and it's not that I'm embarrassed or anything by no means but the majority of half of my work if not more is out on location first thirteen years of my career all of it was on location my studio was super tiny and the last place in the world is that I wanted to be was there however colorado winter months I had no choice so I did six months in six months out but if I the minute I mean mara may thirteenth the grass is barely growing it still frost in the morning I had kids in bare feet outside because that's really where the beauty is so I do want to make sure you know that these types of images a lot of the location work you're seeing in here that's more true to what I do today I'm not trying to discredit myself but I would call that fast food photography I mean we shot four totally dynamic sessions in twenty minutes each I mean that's just madness but I had choices I could have brought o...

ne set of children in here and just really done really creative lighting and artistic and I know you guys have had amazing artists do that here so to me this was purely mechanical it was get in get it done but I do want people to understand that there's a whole other side that very rarely do my students get to see because it's my day to day work and as I said I don't abuse my client's images do want to note that every single client that I ever photographed will sign a model release we'll discuss that later so I can use all their work but I'm very selective I tend to use the ones that I know really love what I do and are comfortable with that so you seymour studio work because it's literally right off small stages like we were here on dh that's how I get a lot of my samples that I use location location location location is what your client really wants when you take children especially out of that studio environment and get them out in the natural element they absolutely are going to be more relaxed you also have to realize that a client will pay a lot more money for natural photography something that feels and looks like it really could have happened and more than anything the child is going to enjoy it I mean this is really where even a very shy intimidated child is going to feel at home it's so much easier to talk about bugs when there really there it's so much easier to say oh go pick that flower or go over there or look is there is there a bunny I mean it's it's even mohr realistic to the child so it becomes a little easier to take them from that overwhelming shy state I think you have to realize like in the studio session we went today there is so much going on here for a child it's amazing that we could get any child in on the floor and I think we successfully got every single child handled where well in the time that we had but can you imagine being three four five years old all these people in all these cameras and everybody staring at you and I mean right up through the little ones all the way through the big ones you can see dynamically how it shifts them so that's also something that in this scenario we cannot show a really session we would have to get the invisible camera and me alone for you to see what a real calm normal session would be the world is at your door get outside we're gonna talk about session fees and how we handle it a cz well so what do we charge for going on location now this is something I've studied the entire career of my life trying to figure out what's the best way to handle this I know that there are photographers that have uh outdoor fee and a studio feed traditionally the outdoor fee is more than the studio fees so usually people charging a lot more to go out on location in my case I caught on really quickly that people spend a lot more money on outdoor photography my family portrait the big you know four five six seven thousand dollars sales they're always outdoor photography there the bridge in the background in the trees that's where somebody's gonna buy fifty inch portrait um studio work is necessary and for me in colorado there's a certain part of winter I have no choice so we really pushed we market to our clients very heavily to come in during the summer and fall and spring because we know that they're going to invest better so when I realized that studio there that location work was by far more profitable right out of the gate when I started my business it just made sense not to charge more because you I think from the state of a client they don't know you they don't know your work so they're looking at your price lister you're explaining it to them and you're saying something like my indoor session for the studio session is seventy five dollars my location fee is one hundred and fifty dollars what would be a client's natural inclination studio it's half the price so that happened all the time people and I never really had an outdoor session fee because the way I scheduled my life remember I used to shoot like him I still shoot like a machine but back then it was six days a week ten to thirteen jobs a day in a busy season and I mean I was just out there I would literally pull up my truck will show you I've sold this band since then but I would pull up my van pull everything out laying and tires everything I needed out and I would spend the entire day there I would have an eight eight forty five nine fifteen uh nine forty five I mean every forty five minutes all the way till five o'clock and that's I just my clients would show up get out of their cars I take him here here here here and in the next client would show up but I would just keep going in fact we never booked me a lunch hour the hope was somebody always canceled so I kind of always figured somebody's gonna cancel that gives me a break and if there were rare days where nobody canceled and you shot you know ten sessions straight through I loved it on and a lot of the speed and the things that I know are because I shot every day all day and it wasn't that I was crazy if that's why my husband had retired and to stay home with our children and I had fear I was afraid that we wouldn't make it and so I put my heart into marketing I sacrifice they made a choice to ensure that we had a good standard of living and the sacrifice did pay off I missed a lot of things with my kids I missed some first steps and some teeth out and things like that but I also knew that my husband was there and there was a parent full time so something has to give anyway and the nice thing I always say that you know you could judge me for working so hard but keep in mind I do have a parent that's home and he has had all those experiences the difference between me and not to pick on men because I think your father's are wonderful but I have mother's guilt so there is something to be said about that I miss those things and so therefore I try harder to be a part of those things and that's always worked for me because there was always even when I wasn't able to do what I wanted with the kids and I had to miss a school event or something there still was that nagging I'm a bad mother and I know that sounds terrible but it pushed me to say okay I didn't make that thing what can I do to make it up let me do this and not that fathers don't have that but I think generally the work force it's kind of expected that dad's you're out there and they have to work that nine to five or longer and I think even most men get into that mode of that's their life and they get an hour with the kids at home and and for me I definitely had those guilty suitcases and packed him everywhere so so I spent a lot of years thinking I wasn't doing the right thing but I didn't have a choice I mean we made a family sacrificed to make this happen so for us with the session fees uh it was just a matter of for me I knew that there was there was more money to be made there so my price was always the same you could have an indoor session you could have an outdoor session there is no difference in price we also don't have a difference in how many people are in the session we don't charge more if you have I see a lot of priceless that you know for a family of four it's fifty dollars for a family of six you know twenty dollars per head well you're talking eighty dollars a parent's gonna feel punished for having extra children to me I mean it makes them go okay well that's just too expensive it's not eighty dollars is not too much if they were to look at it it's eighty dollars for a family they dig okay that's a fair price but when they go okay great now I've got to pay maurits a mental thing it just feels like you got your getting punished now if it's a family of fifteen and extended family I would certainly consider it adding you know uh in fact we have an extended family feed because that does include breakdowns etcetera but I absolutely do not spend any more time on that than I would spend on a single child I have forty five minutes to an hour and fifteen minutes I could do fifteen people I could do fifty people or I could do to and it really doesn't make a difference it's just more of a commitment level at that point so really you have to look at your prices and decide what works for you if it's a matter of a barrier and you truly are comfortable working with six people and you have to allow more time than you have to consider to economically if you're putting thirty more minutes on it you need to make more money I totally understand that but very quickly I eliminated that concept one feet no matter what you do on and we really drive people for the location works if I could get him outside of the studio that's my preference newborns maternity most of those air scheduled inside so in the summer and fall I work one day inside three days outside in the winter months of course we're inside all the time but I do have a very nice portrait park that even in the winter I can you know put kids and snow boots and jackets and take him out to the trees and you know get a few frosty shots at the very end of the session

Class Description

Sandy Puc' returns to creativeLIVE for her Tots to Teens workshop! Sandy covers all aspects of creating a successful photography plan that spans from the young toddler years to the early teens. She shares her creative marketing ideas and practical business sense to attract and keep happy clients, and you'll learn how to create repeat customers—and stable income—by continually bringing clients back to update their child's portraits as they grow.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Tots to Teens - Day 1 Keynote Slides.pdf

Tots to Teens - Day 2 Keynote Slides.pdf

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

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Sandy Puc, I have attended a few of your events, in person and now on Creative Live. You never fail to deliver the gift of sharing your expertise and more. I am always amazed at how you have juggled a large family, your photography business with the university added, the teaching events that you do & the genuine donation of your love and time that you give with your foundation, NILMDTS among other things. You're an impressive & inspirational lady. Each time I see you, you refuel me, as this economy has been trying. Thank you. I bought the 3 day workshop, because it is a little hard to sit for 3 days straight without life and business distractions. I will watch again, and reference back as needed. I also bought your display kit for doctor offices/hospitals & malls. Thank you again for your amazing workshop and all that you so unselfishly give of yourself. Diana Brown Photography


This is by far the best photography class I have ever taken! Sandy does an amazing job at what she does!

Christine David

This is an absolute must have course for anyone who works with children. Watching Sandy work her magic is worth the cost alone. Fabulous workshop Sandy! Christine David Photography