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My twins had their recital costume photo day yesterday. 

We are at a new dance studio this year which means a new photographer taking the photos.  The photos from last year were terrible.  I will refrain from sharing the names of the photographers.  They basically took one shot of each kid.  It was either good or bad.  And done.  You had to buy blindly and if you did not like it, so what.  The price was very low but it was not a good value since most people were not happy.  

I was very impressed with this year’s set up.  They had a photographer taking photos, owner of the dance studio helping pose the children, a person with a computer deleting bad shots as they were taken – the camera was hooked in directly. They did not just take one shot – they took probably 20+ of each of my kids and then took some of them together.  I never asked them to, they just knew to.  How smart.  Last year’s studio would take one shot of each kid and if asked one with a friend or sibling.  That was it!

Back to this year, in another room there were about 15 computers for viewing.  As soon as your kids photos were taken, you could go see proofs, pick which photos you liked and what sizes or what specialty items you wanted (like montages and sculptures, etc).  Guess what?  Prices way way way more expensive.  But better value!!! Way better. People bought more.  Way more.  They spent TONS of money.  They felt good about it. 

Low prices does not equal your customers being happy – If you can increase your perceived value, you can charge more and yet your customers leave more satisfied.  They will spend more.  You will make more.  And it is a win – win.

So what did I buy…  I will start by telling you that I took probably 100 shots in my home photo studio before I left.  I had no intent of buying anything except a class photo…  Yet even I walked away ordering.  The sold me.  I ordered 8 4×6 – of poses I knew I did not take.  I know I got some I can print big so I did not buy bigger from them.  I also ordered a keychain for me of my twins together.  And I got them each a cut out sculpture.  I spent $168 even though I have plenty of photos and I did not need them.  I wanted them.

Hope you enjoyed my MCP thought of the day…  Next post will have dance photos I took 🙂

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  1. Missy
    May 1, 2008 at 10:02 pm —

    That is definitely something to think about. I’m just getting going into going more professional and I want to keep things cheap for people…but at the same time I spend a lot of time on these photos. I need to know that it’s ok to charge more if I do a good job! 🙂

  2. April 2, 2008 at 1:12 pm —

    SO VERY VERY true! I am a firm believer in “you get what you pay for”. My dd soccer pictures turned out to be very much like your last year shots! Out of focus and underexposed. I only spent $10 for the team photo but that was a waste! I would love to see them actually hire someone that knew what they were doing for next year!

  3. April 2, 2008 at 10:38 am —

    thanks for sharing this information. it has helped me to re-evaluate my value and what i bring to potential clients.

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Bring VALUE to your Photography