The F Stops Here: I'm Not Really In The Business of Snapping A Few Quick Shots



“Just a few quick shots. It won’t take long. I just need a headshot/picture for my holiday card/photo for our engagement announcement.”

A few shots is “easy” money; clients might assume you would jump at that job. The shoot won’t take but 20 minutes from start to finish, right?

Wrong.

Besides that 20 minutes on location or in studio, you’ve spent time communicating with your client via phone and email, cleaning and prepping your gear, driving to and from the shoot, culling and editing the images, presenting them online or in person, ordering them from the lab, and packaging and delivering the final product.

What that client is really telling you is that they only want to buy one image.

Is that tiny sale going to be worth your time and energy? The other issue, besides the fact that you’re running a sustainable business that cannot possibly be supported by $50 sales, is that your client views your services as a kind of photographic fast food: cheap, easy, and not distinctive.

Is the photographic equivalent of a Quarter Pounder how you want your business to be perceived?

If you’re invested in providing your clients professional photography--using pro equipment, pro technique, and pro business practices--then you should be committed to providing more than just a few quick shots.

You can’t be Instagram.

What you can be is a resource for both full-service photo shoots that prequalify clients with a higher session fee/minimum order requirement, and a very limited number of mini session events offered at a less expensive rate 2-4 times a year. These limited offer minis schedule clients back-to-back in a single location, offer a limited amount of images (think 8-10) to proof, and bundle a portrait/product into the price to ensure you’re making a return on your investment. Sell these sessions to your clients as a supplement to their regular, annual sessions, because otherwise your clients will view these as a way to get a full-service session at a drive-through rate.

You’ll go into these mini session events knowing that your average sale will be relatively small, but you’re banking on converting some of these clients into full-service sessions in the future. By batching these sessions in one day and one location, you’ll also be able to control the amount of work you spend shooting and editing, thus saving you valuable time and money.

By minimizing your work, you’ll maximize your profit, while still maintaining a reputation as a business devoted to quality and a superior customer experience. Just a few quick shots? That just doesn’t fit into your business plan.

~ The F Stops Here is an exclusive collection of articles by Design Aglow, designed to be used and shared by photographers. Look for this column twice monthly here on the Design Aglow Blog and feel free to grab & share on your site, blog and/or social media pages with a byline and link to DesignAglow.com.




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