Friday, October 21, 2011

Wedding Photography Prices — To Publish on Website or Not?

I'm currently debating whether or not I should be displaying my prices on my website. It seems like half the wedding photographs out there do and the other half don't.

Tamara Lackey and Bambi Cantrell both emphasise (in their CreativeLive course that I've seen on YouTube) the importance of targeting clients' hearts not their heads. If prices are listed on the website it may distract the client from fully appreciating the images, branding & personality of the photographer. 

What you want is for the potential client to arrive at your page and fall in love with the images, imagine their own wedding photos looking like that, and start to become attached to you and your style. You want to help them feel like they 'have to have it.' You're selling your photography to their hearts. 

If you list your prices they may just zoom to the pricing page and immediately say yes or no (using their budgeting head) without giving your services, products & art much consideration at all. Either of the following could happen: 

Too Expensive: If you're charging more than they were planning to spend on photography they may run away before they have a chance to fall in love with you! If the prices aren't there on the website, they may browse around longer, get attached to you and when they eventually see the prices they may be more inclined to find some wiggle room in their budget so that they can afford you. 

Not Expensive Enough: On the other hand, if you are charging less than a potential client was planning on spending, this may also deter them. They may think your lower price means lower quality. They'll want to take advantage of their higher budget to get the best photographer they can. If they have time to browse your work before seeing your prices then your good work will speak for itself. If they know they want you and you turn out to be a bargin it will be a positive thing instead of a deterrent.
The main reason I haven't taken my prices off the website yet is because I'm afraid of losing clients. I worry that people would find it a hassle to have to get in touch just to find out the prices. I worry that having to make this effort will put them off and they'd rather go somewhere else where they can browse & window shop for prices anonymously. 

But then again…I must remind myself that I don't want to work with a client just because they can afford me. I want to work with them because they love my style and enjoy my personality. If this is the case then our whole relationship will be much more pleasant. I'll probably be more attuned to the kinds of photos they'd like and they'll probably appreciate the kinds of photographs I like to take. After all, if they love what they've seen on my website and they want it for themselves then requesting a price list shouldn't be too much of a hassle.

Another good reason for keeping the price list separate from the website is that it makes updating prices much easier. Prices can be increased and packages can be changed when necessary without clients getting confused when they see something different every time they check back to the website (not that prices change that often, but still). 

If people have to get in touch about prices it also gives me a chance to make personal contact with them which increases the likelihood that they'll book me.

On a less confusing note — supermarkets are taking extreme measures to help reduce obesity rates among the British citizens....
just kidding. they were doing construction in our supermark :P I did think it was pretty funny since all I wanted to do was go buy ice cream but I'm trying to be healthy so I suppose the barrier was doing its obesity reducing job after all LOL :)
Lots of happy thoughts to everyone today. 
Chamonix :)