Photo provided by Jim Minics
There are several blogs out there giving advice to potential boudoir clients on what to look for in a boudoir photographer and how to save money on a session. It seems that, just like with weddings, more and more people feel that once they have had a boudoir session they are an expert on how to give advice to others on booking their session. So as a professional photographer it is up to you to educate your clients on the products you sell and the experience you offer.
Products, mainly CD’s, seem to be the number one concern for some clients. How many times have you heard from a client “I just want the disc of images”? To some photographers this is a dream statement but to most in the portrait business this is a nightmare. More often than not, clients just do not seem to understand the value of “just the disc” and they do not realize the work that goes into getting perfect images onto that little shiny object! This is where you can have some quality control.
When someone wants just the disc there are usually two or three key reasons behind it. One, they think they can go have the images printed anywhere at a cheaper price. This is false as most non-professional labs will not print boudoir images. So places like Target, Costco and Walmart are not an option for them. They may also want to design their own album with consumer books that are available to the public. And finally some may just want the disc because they do not want any actual prints of them out there in the world! So how do you price the disc?
To place value on “just the disc” these factors must be taken into consideration. Your overhead, the sales you could potentially lose and the value of the images on the disc. If you were to offer digital downloads per image at $25 each and you had 20 edited images on the disc then the disc in theory would be valued at $500.00, but since it is a bulk purchase you would obviously lower the price. In the sales and traditional portrait pricing world, the less you buy the more expensive it is. One way to combat the opinion of “I just want the disc so I can make my own album” is to offer the disc of edited images with the purchase of an album. Take a look at Blurb, Snapfish and the other consumer album companies out there and see what they are charging for a book. If you can offer the disc with an album for just a little more than what they would have to pay for both themselves and then explain to them that you do the design, they might change their minds about a consumer album versus a professional album.
You are a professional photographer, you must know your products and know your competitors products. If you educate yourself first and set your pricing accordingly you can then educate your clients and hopefully boost your sales at the same time!