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Professional Photography Pricing

Lesson 51 from: Children and Family Photography

Tamara Lackey

Professional Photography Pricing

Lesson 51 from: Children and Family Photography

Tamara Lackey

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Lesson Info

51. Professional Photography Pricing

Next Lesson: Start Your Business


Class Trailer

Day 1


Simple Posing: Young Girl


Simple Posing:Young Boy


Group Posing: Two Girls


Backlit Shots: One Girl


Shooting in the Shade


Using the Rule of Thirds


Review of Selected Images


Working with Self Consciousness


Training to Photograph Authentically


Talking Through Self Consciousness with Subject


ProFoto Strobes: 2 Light Sources with Pre-Teen Model


Stylize and Prep for a Shoot


Simple Family Poses


Use Props and Backdrops During Family Posing


Family of 5 Indoor Couch Scene


Natural Light and Strobes


Image Review of Family Photos


Use the Right Light for the Right Occasion


Ice Light Demo


Constant Lights Demo


Speedlight Demo


TTL Demo


Reflector Demo


Day 2


Pose Children in a field


Build on your shots


Capture Motion in a Wide Open Field


Capture Splashing in a Lake


Photograph Movement with Fast Moving Subjects


Top Tips: #1 Simplify The Shot


Top Tips: #2 Small Posing Shifts for Maximum Effects


Top Tips: #3 Direct The Feel & Energy


Top Tips: #4 Be the Destination


Top Tips: #5 Mix it Up. Vary Everything


Top Tips Q&A


Family poses in a field


Posing: Family of 5


Dads and Daughter Family Shoot in Field


Posing: Parent/Child Pairings


Why Tamara Was Drawn to Family Photography: Beautiful Together


Adoption Interview with Vicki Taufer


Lackey Family Adoption Experience: FAQs


Day 3


Tamara's Gear: Cameras


Tamara's Gear: Lenses


Tamara's Gear: Accessories


Mylio Demo


Digital Album Design


Sales Prep Process


Photo Review With Client


Selected Images and how to sell them


Closing out the Sale


Professional Photography Pricing


Start Your Business


How to Market Yourself


How to Stay Inspired


Photoshoot Recap


Tamara's Top Tips Recap


Tamara's Tools Recap


The Importance of Family Photography


Lesson Info

Professional Photography Pricing

We lost left off there, we were talking about, we were doing the sale session with emily, and we're started touching on pricing. We're talking a little bit about pricing, and it sounded like but when the segment ended, there had a lot been a lot of pricing that had come in pressing questions that had come in, and so I think we start from there, we start from the pricing q and a specifically as it relates to being able to price your work it away that values your work enables you to run a healthy business on dh also making sure your pricing at a level that you believe in, you ask the first pressing question, right, just with your choice of what you showed, but you were asking about, okay, so that is actually a great one to answer. Just closing out stale session, we'll jump right into pricing, but when I did pull up those pieces to show, was it on purpose that I started with the largest one, and then move down two smaller ones? That actually wasn't a conscious decision I made here. Howeve...

r, when we are in our studio, most nearly all of our pieces are larger pieces simply because I believe they show the work better, they're more impactful, that's, obviously what I want to sell, but also because I genuinely believe that a bigger cooler way to show it I have that feeling when I'm working on my laptop and I finish an image and then I did it full screen I step back and look at it and I know all of you have done that to that's where I get to really appreciate the image, not when it's small and a little section of my laptop and I feel the same way about prince. So wait do focus on bigger prints. I do love printing the work and we also have the side benefit of once we've seen the bigger prints and we hold up eight by ten and compare them especially for a large family image for theirs a number of people together an image it does seem like almost odd sort of eight by ten after it's been presented that way. All right, we're gonna go to questions from the internet. How do you reveal your pricing to your clients? Is it a pdf and at what point? Okay, so initially with our very person corey, I mentioned that we make sure that they signed off on pricing and it's a little bit more specific than just here's the priceless that's book something it's more like did you get a chance to look through the price list it's really kind of touch base and make sure that happened the way the priceless is set up? Is it we used to have a pdf that we would send back and forth and fairly quickly had the realization that the amount of times that bounce or they couldn't open it or they get it get it could your recent that was just extremely inefficient for us? So what we did instead was created. They take the exact same design and uploaded it to our website, but made it a hidden link. So when the in crete goes back, they receive a hidden link that is our detailed priceless that they can look through but it's not necessary straight smack dab on our website, you actually have to inquire to get it, and then I'm sure the follow up question that can often come in right there is why wouldn't you just have it right on your website? And everybody has a different mindset about this, and I can't be at it this way because you could listen to five instructors in a row, all of whom you appreciating, you enjoy their work and you think they have a a solid business and all five will tell you this is hey, I'm just going to say that this is the way I have done it and I know for sure works best for us. In our studio, which is to not have the pricing on the web site to make sure the website if you go to tamerlan key dot com or tamaki blogged dot com you will be able to see see that there is obviously a style the website and there's a looking feel where we've invested in being able to have a good amount of information but not have it be crazy overwhelming and we want to guide people to look at the work really appreciate it here from word of mouth find us the ceo all things will be talking about maurine this segment on dh, then be inspired to pick up the phone and learned more email and learn more and every time they do that, we really want to move them to phone to have a personal interaction because that's what we can really tell the story about what we do and we have our in crete to booking rate really go up big difference there that we see on dh in that conversation be able to make sure that they have seen the price list that we send them, but I feel like people are just moving through, they're going to see your prices compared to somebody else and all they're doing is comparing pricing and we want them to really compare value great let me know if anybody else oh yeah go ahead when pricing your work obviously you have several people that work under you but nobody works under me none of your partners I tried but you know they'll be respects me nobody e I have a full time studio director I do have ah production assistant and an a marketing manager I think exactly their titles but we do have so three people who are in those roles in addition teo interns and associates years so you have to turn a certain amount of profit but not based off just the shooting b but the print in the product be what percentage do you mark up your product to cover your expenses? So, you know, as a rule of thumb I definitely advocate for at a bare minimum of three times markup so a product cost me thirty dollars for at least ninety dollars I think that's where you start as a base everybody in terms of setting that initial pricing I really love the idea of going to the exercise for you and in your personal situation. Where do you really want to see your pricing be to cover those expenses? But I would say started a minimum of three times mark up and then start factoring really counts, which is your time and your effort and make sure there's a there's a price associate with that because if you can come up with like, hey, I'm gonna d'oh tensions a month and over the course of a year you know I can calculate this math and if I'm making maybe a thousand dollars a shoot and I'm doing ten a month and in the course of a year that means I should be making about x dollars an hour you can factor that in and make it a three times mark up based on that as well so this is something like when we sit down and do in doing workshops I have a financial spreadsheet that we go into that says what do you want to do like how many hours how many shoes do you want to do you have any weeks of the year do you want to work what do you need what does it take for you from a session perspective not the session see but the sales that you make in a session because that's where the dollars are what is it going to take for you to find in a daily average to be unable enable you to have the life style you want and how does that tie into pricing it every time I hear somebody say oh it's this like just look around find out what else is doing I'm thinking but that's that's the first way for it not to work for you you're just trying look it's however he is doing it you set up your prices accordingly and then you struggle to stand out that's well, that makes perfect sense, that's how that would go. And I say that having had the experience of being someone who did that when I started out, I looked around. So what in most people charge for a session that sounds like what I'm going to put on my website? That is what I did, and then slowly I started when I had that whole kind of revamping, I start recognizing I needed shut everything else out and look exactly how I need to do it to be ableto enable the lifestyle I want, and then and I re set my pricing there, and my session fee has gone up enough when I first started out of seventy five dollars in the in the studio and a hundred dollars on location, and then moved up to one hundred, one hundred fifty and it's been a five hundred dollars flat fee session fee for the last three years, maybe four years, and the reason for that was I was pricing at a studio session studio. This was a third for my home, and it was it wasn't even like a dedicated spaceship. We eventually made it that, but we ended up having the third floor of our home become the full time studio, and I had a studio great that was parts pricing usually twenty five to fifty dollars less and I think usually cause they kept raising most prices, then the on location fee because, technically speaking, it's a lot more effort to go on location, it takes more time, and it always does. So I thought it would make sense for that to be priced higher. What I found was that I wanted to go outside for just the creative energy of it. I wanted to be outdoors, and I wanted to go to location, and I was dissuading people from choosing that. So I changed it to a flat rate either way, and I got a lot more on location. Work was what I wanted. Great. Thank you, tamara. That answers that question that had come in as well. Did we have a question over? Share your pricing through the web link or when you're kind of talking about during in person sales, do you have increased kind of question why things are priced in a certain way, assuming they know you know, you actually didn't pay twelve hundred dollars too print that album? What kind of language do you use to explain the value of what they be purchasing? So a couple of things? One? Yes, we absolutely get questions sometimes about pricing, like someone will call in, and sarah will give them thinking I really like that we get that we absolutely get that we're not going with any sort of expectation that we have one hundred percent of call to booking rate we don't have that expectation we do work really hard to get that ratio up of call to booking and by doing a lot of things were we've been talking about but when we have a question that comes in and says, you know, I wonder if I have ever had that I don't think I've ever had that flat rate like that affordable like why would you charge six hundred dollars for this? You know I can get it over here for but I've heard variations that that's what they're asking, you know, on dh then so what we've said all along what's the first line they read when they say are priceless price list is all all fees that the session feet center are all based on the time and expertise of the photographer and so we can take that all the way through what's that fabulous quote you're not you're not paying for my time right now you're paying for the thirty years of experience it took for me to get here that's that's really what I live by and I also know that again my prices aren't aren't what they were, what my prices now or what they're at now because of what I know I can do and I know that I mean, we had some really challenging situations a lot of the things I shot while I was here are not situations I face at home because I set the tone I say, I know what the lighting's gonna be I'm going to shoot at these times I'm gonna be able to control this and this and we'll have a little wiggle room, but for the most part it's controlled here we're like, ok, it's getting dark it z we're going to indoor or it's going to be really hot, like, how do you combat all that? The reason I say that is because I've learned enough time with enough time experience that I feel like the value is there really feel confident about it? My prices raised accordingly and that's why I tell people as soon as you feel like and you can feel it, you know you get back from a really intense workshop and you're like, wow, I just learned four hundred percent like, ok, put that into action, prove it and then take the value from that and you have now earned that next step and you should take it. A lot of people continue to ask, what do you think should be the minimum and our the photographer's should start charging I if if you could go back to the mind set of the minimum per hour? Yeah, but I mean, that's what the question commands but like, is that even how you should be thinking about okay, what a a minimum I should be charged per hour, right? S o the reason I was genuinely curious about the question it is because I don't think of it that way is our they just doesn't make sends to me, not that I'm saying the person didn't ask a sensible question. I'm saying the way I hear it doesn't at all sit with how I look at it. I don't consider this an hourly job in terms of that. Maybe the question is how much of a going per hour if, at the end of the year, I calculated all of this is about what I set out for our so maybe if that's so if the question was not that the question was, what should my arlie be rate will be when I gotta shoot? If you were running your own business on again, whether it's, full time or part time or one of the case, maybe you are on a one hundred percent commission job you just are even no matter what the title is in the work isn't who you photograph and how high up you get there. You are a one hundred percent commission job, and if you can embrace it from that perspective and recognize that you need to build revenue in everything you do and kind of form your mindset around that in a way that enables you teo really appreciate that you're worth it that makes all the difference and you can't you mentioned mindset because you you personally know having been such a part of survive how incredible impact that has on everything you dio and it's very, very hard for me to tell you anything that I I have heard or read or seeing unless I believe it's true and for you to take it like it actually makes sense to you're gonna hear my words and this non verbal is so much more powerful than verbal you look in my face, you seem nervous going to hear my tone and no matter what I say with the words I read of the script, I said I don't believe it you won't either and it really is is as many difficulties as there are in photography has many complex is complex is are there any things to think about when you're out shooting there's a few simple facts you have to believe in yourself you have to believe you're worth it and you have to have enough time experience under your belt when you stop questioning it, but you don't need so much experience on I say that because I do think if you've just opened up your business, you're just learning how to shoot. No, I don't think you should have prices the roof because you don't necessarily have the value to bring to it, yet you need to make sure your work is there. I truly believe the quality of the work has to be there and again you can in tough, challenging situations, you can shoot in enough kind of that's enough range that you know, that you can still deliver the value when you deliver the product to your client. So I'm not saying don't psych yourself out and say every single shot you take has to be a museum quality piece, but just know that then the day what I'm going to deliver to you is going to be worth it, and I'm gonna feel good about being able to sell it once you're there. I feel like the values there, that is an important distinction because I talked to people who do a lot of mentor sessions and I'll talk to people and the first conversation will have is like, you know, how to get more revenue, my business? How do I get more clients? I said, well, let's, back up a bit, let me let me pull up your portfolio let's talk through this and all here I don't need to do that I'm actually feeling really good about my shooting. What I want to talk about my business like okay, but I still want to start here if you don't mind and then I'll pull up the portfolio and what I see in front of me in terms of the imagery is you're not there to the level you want toby to charge what you want to charge I think you can get there I see all this potential, but I would say instead of jumping ahead and trying to have this really large ticket sale kind of item thing really make sure the quality of your work is something that you can feel very confident in and then get there, which is what I did, which is why I raised my prices so many times and started getting smart business, but my work wouldn't have been there for the first couple of years to be able to charge where my priceless is now it just it wouldn't have and so there is there is yet the role overseas and hustle and get there that is a component of it first absolutely alright tomorrow this is the big question that is coming in with lots of votes how do you approach setting up it's kind of like pricing and product? But are you doing how do you approach doing ala carte doing build your own package and just offering a straight up package I'm one hundred percent ala carte for portrait for a very specific reason, and when I photographed wedding photograph weddings like I said for quite a while, those really moved beautiful his collections or packages I just felt like people knew what they wanted you just mind about bundle together ever have it make more sense to sell it that way on dh that worked, but with portrait's collections or packages just boxed in my sale, I couldn't move the sale I want to make because people were just looking in this box okay to live by fourteen's one sixteen my twenty eight by ten let me find them that's how it and I mean, it wasn't that obvious but that's what I found and once I lifted it off because what I was doing when I was presenting my clients with a package or collection was I was saying, this is all which which one of these is all you want to buy? Total decide right now before you even see the work and find out how you feel about it. Decide right now where your ceiling is that's what I was experiencing when I was selling packages or collections, so once I took the roof off of that and I took away the packages and took away this left shins and said, forget all that let's, let's. Just look at the images one by one and talk about what you love let's share with each other, the experience of the shoot or your thoughts when you look at your daughter or the way your hair is a shot of that shot let's, just examine and get into it. Let's, go leave room for silence and quiet. Just no other distractions and we're all said, and then let's, look at this pile of images you love and the ones you like and don't even worry about the ones you don't want anything with and decide where they go and the whole time it's transparent we know there's pricing there, but there are no limits at this point. It's, what do you love and let's? Let's? Figure out howto produce it in package in a way that you can take it home. Do you see the difference of mindset? And for me that was big. When I took away packages and collections I started I started seeing my cells. Averages go up it up. All right, because that's a big one. Yeah, it's, just even just figuring out which would you choose and again, you're gonna talk to somebody else who says because it also this is why it has to be how you you know it really has to fit who you are and how you see it I felt like I could really get think into the space where we talk about what we love and I really enjoyed that so to me I felt like I didn't want to take away from that and and I want to be able to provide the mall in that way your sales eso you earlier with that uh earlier you were uh kind of placing photos in a position for her to look at and see how it would look do you you mean in terms of land that yes so do you do that entire process with the client or do you just do it on your own afterwards when they selected an out yeah so we would do it in advance. My studio director is actually better than this and I was she would sit out in advance and put together layouts in terms of trip ticks and maybe a large frame pieces one large and three on the bottom maybe it's a campus that's kind of a set inside of a canvas or a book with a layout and then it's like four or five pages just to give you an idea but it would be a twenty page book but this gives you idea where we think we're going do you like it if we want to auto design it at the time, I say auto design, because the design functionality that software so incredible let's just open it up and quickly laid out. I would have never offered in a million years to sit there with a client and designing all together, ever because it would be the most inefficient thing on the planet. But here, just simply with the nature of what I could do with that software, I can open up the sundays album builder. Actually, I suffer. I can open it up and just throw all the images in an auto designs. Fifteen spreads and I could say, ok, let's, move around, scooch it and it's that quick. And then again, every time we're doing a little thing like that with your client, your building in the whole idea of them being part of the process, they are putting more value into all of this because they're part of it, too, and it's the way you present it. If you present it in a way, that's like, well, these could go beautifully in this versus what do you think it makes? It makes a difference to.

Class Materials

Free Downloads

Children and Family Photography Syllabus
Adoption Myths and FAQs
Tamara Lackey Photographing Eyes in Portraits

Ratings and Reviews

a Creativelive Student

Thank yo Tamara Lackey and Creative Live for such an amazing course. Every tool that is needed to maintain a successful business is in this course. Tamara's appreciation for love and family are so apparent in her style of interaction with people and methods of photographing them. In this class she shares everything from the basics of connecting with your clients to the importance of in person sales sessions and how to do them without being uncomfortable. I love Tamara's energy and sense of humor. She really emphasizes how important it is to be self confident and love what you do. This class is amazing. I can barely sit still through a movie these days, but I was entranced through 3 consecutive days of highly valuable information. I am thankful to have this class in my CL library. I am sure I will refer to it often.


Thank you! Thank you for bringing Tamara back to Creative Live! She is one of my favorite teachers! She has a bubbly effervescence as she teaches. I like her teaching style and never tire of her message in photography. Tamara has a way of working with her models/ clients that makes you want to just jump through the screen to participate in the process! Her portrait stories share her zest for life. She has great business ideas as well as for life and family. A truly balanced instructor for the beginning photog as well as a seasoned professional. Refreshing concepts about how to deal with challenging situations with lighting, posing, and interaction with her families. It's hard to pick a favorite section - the entire class was just great! A wonderful resource for your library to refer back to time and again. Keep up the great work Tamara. You inspire me to get out and shoot!


What can I say- it's Tamara Lackey, so of course it was AMAZING! I learned so much, about relationships, self awareness, lighting, portraiture, posing, gear, marketing, products, I could just go on and on. Tamara has an incredible ability to truly connect with her clients (and her students)- and she taught us how to do it! I admire Tamara on so many levels and I appreciate how much of herself and her own business practices she was willing to share. Her new organization Beautiful Together is inspiring. I will be watching this course over and over. Thank you Tamara Lackey and thank you CreativeLive.

Student Work