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Posting Your Wedding Photography Prices Online

The hotly debated topic of posting wedding photography prices online is a never-ending argument.  So long as bloggers have internet access and opinions, this topic will continue to be rehashed countless times from one side of the line of the other.

This post; however, is different.  I take the whole “let’s rock the boat” approach to pretty much everything I blog about and this post will follow suit.  My goal by writing this post isn’t to detour you, the bride and groom, from booking with someone who does or does not post prices online – my goal is to educate you as to why certain photographers choose to practice in such a way.

Posting All your Wedding Photography Prices Online

  • You create an open and inviting experience for your online client.  Brides and grooms, although many still shop for a combination of quality and price, have a higher respect for vendors who are honest and upfront with their information.
  • Picture a car salesman from the 1960’s… you know the type – the type that will give you a “good deal” *wink* because you’ve got a “trustworthy smile” or a “firm handshake”, yadda yadda yadda.  They butter you up with compliments and then offer you a “deal” all the meanwhile their colleagues are laughing at how much of a sucker you are for accepting that so-called “deal”.  Thankfully, today’s brides and grooms don’t fall for that kind of butter-up/special deal/clearly a skanky salesman tactic.  Today’s brides and grooms are looking for open, honest vendors who will provide a genuinely fantastic product and who can educate them on their product.
  • Clients can genuinely know, almost immediately upon viewing your prices, if they can afford you.  Although hearing from potential clients is always great, from a business perspective there is no profit in spending 2 hours a day responding to emails and phone calls of people who are nowhere near being able to budget your services into their wedding day.
  • Other photographers in your area may copy your packages and then choose to compete on price by offering the same packages for less money.
  • You can compete on price or you can compete on quality.  Personally, I choose quality but not all photographers do.  Some feel like the market is “cut throat” and choose to compete on price which is why they hide their price lists.
  • My overall opinion on posting all of your wedding photography prices online:  If you’re proud of the quality of product that you produce and you know for certain that the quality of your work will separate you from the competition then posting your prices online may be a good thing!  Remember, though, that from a consumer standpoint, a confused mind says “no”.  This means that if your packages and prices are so complicated that it takes a rocket scientist to figure it out, your potential clients will simply find another website that’s easier to understand.  In the end, if you can keep your quality high and your packages simply, posting all of your prices online is a great thing.

Posting  Some Wedding Photography Prices Online

  • You may have noticed that some photographers simply put “starting at $x,xxx” and then encourage you to email/call/visit in person to inquire further…
  • The base package that most photographers offer is typically their least popular package; the average bride isn’t going to want the base package.  In the 100+ weddings I’ve been commissioned for, only about 3% of my clients have purchased my base package.
  • The average bride wants to know what the average package price is.  If you don’t want to display all of your prices online, instead of putting your starting prices, consider telling your readers what your average package price is.  But keep in mind…
  • The old saying “If you have to ask, you probably can’t afford it” comes to mind to many brides and grooms when they come across a website with a lack of pricing on it.  Many brides and grooms tend to think that if a photographer does not post prices online, they are automatically “too expensive”.
  • If clients are making assumptions about your pricing (and assuming you’re probably ‘too expensive’) you risk losing out on countless commissions!
  • A website with a lack of education, direction and resources isn’t a website a client will remember.  Providing clients with some form of pricing or at least an education base towards their pricing will help them remember you!
  • My overall opinion on posting some wedding photography prices online:  If you’re not posting your full pricing online there’s got to be a reason – and my guess is that you’re probably an average quality photographer who feels like they need to compete on price (and thus don’t want to share your pricing with your competition).  If you genuinely insist on keeping your price list hidden, at least have the heart to offer the information that your average client will want – not just your starting prices.  Brides and grooms are cost-savvy shoppers and more often than not, they stick to their budget!  This means that you can bring them into the office for a consult and charm the pants off them, but you’re still not going to get them to book with you if you’re charing double what they have budgeted for.  Stop wasting your time and your bride and groom’s time – just put your prices online!

Not posting your Wedding Photography Prices Online

  • You’re busy – you’re marketing, editing, shooting, networking, blogging  and bookkeeping.  Your brides and groom’s are busy too – planning a wedding is a full-time job!  With everyone being so busy, why would you want to waste your time replying to emails, answering phone calls and setting up meetings just for clients to get a quote?  Why can’t you put that online?
  • If you choose to not display any of your pricing, there’s got to be a major reason for it!
  • If you choose not to display any prices it’s probably because you either:
    • Want the clients to meet with you in-office for a high pressure sales technique
    • Have some type of display (ie: mounted prints or albums) that you feel is necessary for your client to see in order to understand your pricing
    • Plan on “winging” your pricing; offering custom prices to secure a booking (not cool if you’re expecting referrals, though!  It sets a dangerous precedent)
    • Are competing solely on price and not on quality
  • At the risk of making myself sound dated, the digital world has created that “I want it now and I’ll get it now” attitude in people and if your clients wants your prices now and they can’t get it immediately, they’ll automatically go elsewhere.
  • My overall opinion on not posting your wedding photography prices online It’s just a bad idea.  Seriously bad.  Nothing turns your clients away more than the illusion of a closed off and non approachable photographer.  Choosing to hide all of your pricing information is a surefire way to go out of business

 

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