Recently, I have been speaking to a lot of different wedding professionals about the official launch of my business. Like any business owner, I am yearning for instant results; immediate bookings, a full wedding season next year- the works. But, like someone who has run her own business for five years now, I know the importance of time and patience.
One of the "hot topics" that inevitably comes up during these conversation is pricing and what I give clients. Most of the time, the "professionals" suggest I lessen what I give clients. "You could make more doing it a la carte." "You should charge $20 for a photo after 30 photos." And, while I respect their advice, I refuse to take it.
I have had two very good friends get married recently and end up disappointed in their wedding photos from a different professional. Having done both of their engagement photos, they expected their wedding day to have the same personal touch as their engagement photos, only to be disappointed by the professional they hired. Both friends used the same photographer, and both friends were only given 30 photos in an album and were going to have to spend an extra $700 to get online rights to their photos. (And, yes- I did gently advise my friends not to use that photographer- even offering to do their photos for free! They wanted me in their wedding, not a vendor.)
I myself, was not thrilled with the delivery of my wedding photographs. Haphazardly sent on a thumb drive with very few edited photos, the overall feeling was that it was not an artistic approach to my day like I had hoped. I'm fortunate in that I have over 1,000 of my own wedding photos- even if they're not edited.
One of the things I am most adamant about is the amount of pictures I give clients. I believe my photography is my art, which is why I believe in delivering high quality, edited images. While it does take more time, I've developed a beautiful workflow that allows me to work through photos efficiently and effectively (it's the Catering mentality- everything has to be done quickly in the restaurant world so you have to work smart)
More importantly, I believe that your wedding is your day, which is why I want to take that time edit your photos. I never want anyone to be disappointed in my work or the amount of photographs they were delivered. I also want my clients to have full rights to their photos- after all, it was their day, and, it's their family, friends and love that is being featured. Why should I hold that prisoner from them for more money?
This post is not to bash any photographer who does a la carte pricing. It's not to say their practice is the wrong way- it's to say that I would rather do something off the beaten path, even if I could make "more money" doing it their way. I respect their businesses and one day want my business to be a preferred vendor at over 6 Catering Halls on Long Island. But, I also value what I give clients and, I think transparency is the most important thing you can have when you run a business. I put it on the table, and, by doing so, it builds trust between us.