I was blessed to be able to interview some of the best in the photography business, and ask them their thoughts about the future of their businesses, and what they foresee in the future. These ladies are amazing and they truly care about the value they are presenting to their clients! I think you’ll love hearing more from them below. Be sure to check out their links at the end of the post!
How do you define and place value on your price point to your clients?
“I do not really feel like I have to justify myself to my clients. There is someone out there for everyone and at every price level. I know that I am catering to my clients and give them the best of me every time. I also feel confident in what I am offering whether it is service or product. Rarely does anyone ask me why my prices are what they are. But when they do, I talk about what my service and session look like and what it includes and the quality of the product I offer!” -Stephanie Rubyor
“In the beginning, I could not believe what photographers charged and thought to myself that I can do just as good of a job, but price myself more reasonably than what others were/are charging. I found myself regretting those thoughts and had to dig deeper into understanding the value of time, investment of training/edititng, camera equipment and cost of doing business. I found myself understanding REAL QUICK that there is more than having a DSLR camera and photographing people. I could not understand why my photos never looked like those that I saw from other photographers and it took experience to see what it takes to get there. To have the creamy, dreamy background that I love takes an expensive lens that was as much as a mortgage payment. The beautiful colors that I was attracted to was through editing skills that I severely lacked. So, I had to make a decision, was I going to give up and move on or take the time, effort, investment, etc., to do what it takes to succeed and create photographs that brings joy to people’s hearts? I choose to take the time and invest to create joy for others. Which leads into my price point for what I charge today is based on the cost of doing business, the amount of time I spend with the client which includes location ideas, wardrobe choices, make up application if needed, post session time of editing and finalizing product choices.” -Dallas McNeal
How do you explain the idea of quantity versus quality?
“My idea of quantity vs quality is delivering a gallery of hand-selected and edited images that resonate with my clients while not overwhelming them. If I were the client, I would much rather see fewer images that speak to me and truly draw me in than overwhelming amounts of images that I do not care for and feel may not be the best representation of me and my family.” -Cameron Fox
Do you set a limit on the number of delivered images, and why?
“It is the difference between receiving 100+ images that may only be slightly different and overwhelm your client (quantity) and giving 40ish images that each have a purpose in telling a story (quality). I used to give my clients soooo many images and it really came from a place of being so emotionally connected to my work it pained me to not give a photo to a family. Then, I started asking clients to favorite the ones they loved in their gallery if they thought about it. Not all my clients take the time to do it but the ones that have NEVER favorite more than 40 images. I decided this year to scale my galleries back to focus more on the images that are impactful and story telling and my clients have loved it. I was so scared! I increased my prices and am giving less images but the quality of my images and services increased to better help my clients. ” -Lauren Bryant
“As I’m editing, I look to see what looks similar and edit out receptive shots (I like to take multiple frames just in case one is out of focus or the client blinks). I probably give more than I should, but it’s to ensure that I captured the right look, familiar smile that looks genuine to them, again to make sure the client is completely satisfied with their session. Depending upon the session, I will determine the amount of images to choose from. If it’s a simple headshot, I may give 10 images to choose from before I do a final edit. If it’s a family of 10, there will be more just due to the amount of people and the various poses I get (especially if littles are involved).”-Dallas McNeal
Where do you see the industry in 5 years, and how do you plan to solidify your role?
“I feel like things are changing quite a bit. I see a lot of the “hobby photographers” falling away. Mainly due to the fact that they are not running financially sustainable businesses. Photography is fun and lots of people think they can just jump in and start doing it. Anyone can pick up a camera and say they are a photographer, but to be a sustainable business is hard work. There are always going to be people starting up. I think with people tightening their financial belts and with photography being a luxury, business times may not be as prosperous for some but can be for others who find those that value what they do. I’d like to think the economy will bounce back in five years though and we as an industry will pull through. I’d like to see myself successful through this and plan to put in the work. My focus is on my clients and what I can bring to them and the memories I can create for them. I will be keeping my head down and staying in my lane just like always. The only competition I have is with myself and where I came from and where I see myself growing to. I will continue to grow my business and offer the best service I can with high quality goodies to last a lifetime for my clients and their families. “
“I’ve invested a lot of time and money into targeting my specialty (maternity and newborn). I want to serve women in a similar stage of life as myself. As a former postpartum nurse, I offer photography services along with health support for pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. I solidify my role daily by simply being myself and continuing to serve new and seasoned moms in whatever ways I can. Photography is only a portion of what I do.” -Cameron Fox
How do you exemplify valuing relationships over competition/competitors in your work?
“I think it first has to start with me as an individual. I have to see the value and have confidence in myself with the work that I am creating. I have to remind myself of that every now and then because I have to see and understand that if someone chooses another photographer over myself that it is not rejecting me personally, they just prefer the other photographer and their work over mine. It’s learning not to have your identity in your work so you can separate out your emotions regarding your work. Yes, I enjoy the blessing of making someone happy, but that it not my function in life. So, if there is a way to be consistent with that perspective, it helps to regard a relationship with a person more than seeing them as competition. If we can help one another in the industry, we will strengthen one another to which which can support one another and in the end help sustain one another. I prefer community over competition, but it does take an effort and a level of respect for one another. If we are not respecting ourselves first, how can we respect another fellow photographer? That’s why it starts with us first to exercise the value and respect for ourselves to be confident to help another and build a community and erase competition.” -Dallas McNeal
“This is one of my favorite topics! The biggest thing for me is respect and generosity. I may be controversial by saying this but I don’t really see the value in holding back. Sure, people may take advantage but I guarantee you that 9 times out of 10, you will get back more than you give. I don’t mean that everything in your business is for everyone else, but I think to myself “how would I want to be treated in this situation” and go from there. I have plenty of people in my life that give me valuable information, even if that means pointing me to an online course they took or a YouTube video they watched etc. Giving back to this community comes back to you in really special ways and if you’re there for people when they need your help, most of the time, they’ll be in your corner too! The other side is respect for fellow creators. We all have different styles, likes, dislikes, opinions, and so on but I don’t hold the belief that my way is the best. That can quickly turn into a lonely road when you become known as the one who bashes everyone’s work or gossips about people. I would rather be known as the one who is always there to help in any capacity!” -Lauren Bryant
Lauren Bryant Photography www.laurenbryant.com
Foxc Photography – www.foxc.photography
Dallas McNeal Photography www.dallasmcnealphotography.com
Stephanie Rubyor Photography www.stephanierubyorphotography.com