Recently, I switched my entire packaging system for my photography business. I now limit the number of photos that I provide to clients.
I started doing this when I began my branding photography years ago, because often, folks that hire you for branding photography tend to be a lot more intentional about how they're going to use their images, what they're going to use them for. The limit seemed reasonable for that business model. But for my family clients, I was still shooting and dumping all kinds of photos. After a 30 minute shoot, I’d provide more photos than the client could even reasonably look through.
“Here you go. Here's 7,000 photos from your 30 minute shoot. 😂”
As I discussed in my last blog post, this method just isn’t sustainable. It's not profitable and it doesn’t make sense.
So here’s what you should do instead. After a family shoot, provide your clients with a select number of photos. Maybe 10, 12, or 15–whatever works for you. Then let the client know that they can download as many images as they like, for an additional $15 per additional image. What I’ve found is that clients usually end up purchasing more images than what is included. For me, that adds up to a couple hundred additional dollars. For the client, they can feel excited about selecting their favorites. And as I mentioned in my last blog post, these 12 or so favorites are probably the only few photos that they were going to cherish long term anyway.
First things first, if you do anything major to change your systems in your business, be sure you're communicating that with your clients.
Now of course, when you’re making changes in your photography business, it’s important to be crystal clear with your clients. Announce the change widely, and personally alert each client before the shoot. You can say something like, “Hey, since we last spoke, this pricing model has changed. Does that still work for you?”
From a technology standpoint, you also might want to test the brand new system out a couple of times. Practice choosing those select few photos, upload the gallery and send it to yourself.
It might seem scary to make this kind of adjustment in your business, but it’s totally worth it.
When I look back on the years that I didn’t use this style of delivery, I feel sad to think of all of the money I left on the table. No matter how little or how long you’ve been in the business, it’s never the wrong time to reconsider your business model.