Of the many tasks you have to work on for your business, knowing how to price wedding photography and your services may be one of your least favorite tasks. But, setting proper photography pricing for your business is a crucial part of your overall success. If you decide to use wedding photography packages in your pricing model, do you know how to set it up so your clients are satisfied and you stay profitable?
How to Price Wedding Photography
For most wedding photographers, pricing their services with packages is the easiest and clearest way to start. If you are just starting a photography business, utilizing a 3 or 5 package structure for your clients to book you is a great place to start. As you grow your wedding photography business, you will learn a lot more about the unique details that your target market expects, not only in terms of your services but also the products you offer. As the years go by, you will want to continually revisit your pricing packages for photography to make sure those are the best option.
When setting up your wedding photography packages, you have to ensure that they are both attractive to your target market, while simultaneously producing profit for you. It can be a bit of a puzzle, ensuring that both sides are met with every package. And, it can be really confusing! Taking the time to properly set up your packages will ensure that your clients aren’t pushed away by your pricing, while also keeping you profitable every year. Here are 4 must-have tips for how to price wedding photography.
Give yourself time back in your day to focus on important items, such as learning how to price for products and services and how to create wedding photography packages, by outsourcing wedding photography editing to a specialist.
1. Share a Reasonable Starting Price
Your wedding photography packages must start at a price that does not scare your target market away. Notice we said target market – it’s ok if your start price scares the wrong couples away! “Starting Price” refers to the price of your first package, which is your cheapest option. This says everything about who you are in your industry and even more about what the client should expect to spend. This is not the package you want to be booking a majority of the time, yet the price you put this package at is extremely influential in determining how often you book your higher packages. If you make this package too cheap, you risk attracting clients who may not be capable of spending money on your higher packages.
If you make this package too expensive, you risk pushing away clients who might have been able to afford your higher priced packages. It can be crucial to your success to ensure your starting package is priced to sell your higher priced packages.
2. Create Realistic Pricing Differentiations
This refers to the difference in pricing between your wedding photography packages. Ideally, you want your clients to be able to upgrade from one package to the next, and the difference in prices between the two packages is a huge factor in this. If you make your packages too close together in price, you will not create a clear distinction, and you may also confuse your clients. If you make your packages too far apart in price, your clients may not be able to afford or justify the price hike to go from one package to the next. In the photography industry, a good range to stay within is to raise your prices by 25%-50% from one package to the next.
3. Promote Must-Have Items
“Must-haves” is not a business term, but they do refer to a popular business concept. It is the concept that your clients come to you with a set of expectations for what they want to receive. Some “Must-Haves” are conscious and they can articulate – a great example of that in today’s photography industry is the High-Resolution Digital Files. Every client seems to know they need these.
Some “Must-Haves” are not conscious, though. For example, your clients may not ask for a canvas print they can hang as wall art in their house, but this does not mean they do not want one – they just might not know to ask for it! Knowing your client’s “Must-Haves”, both the ones they articulate and the ones they do not is essential to putting together packages which are simple and can easily sell.
“We’ve followed the concept of ‘Must-Haves’ in building our wedding photography packages. I’ve learned that clients don’t understand the differences in a lot of levels of one product (i.e. leather album vs. linen album). But, by including their must-haves and gradually increasing those in the collections, we make the decisions much simpler for them, which in turn leads to higher booking rates and sales. We also make sure that each of our packages is at least a 40% difference in price.” – Abbey Kyhl
4. Encourage the Middle Package
One of the most basic yet important concepts in Pricing Theory is the middle. Basically, people love the middle. Knowing that consumers love to buy what is in the middle, you would want to take these purchasing desires and combine them with the appropriate package. Use the middle package to your advantage, so you can book the package you really want to book a majority of the time.
In the competitive photography industry, one way to separate yourself from others is to create a consistent and unique style for your images. If your style is unclear, your clients will not know what to expect from you and their wedding images. Defining your style also allows you to create repeatable methods to achieve it, each and every time.
Remember that less is more when it comes to the number of options you give your clients. Confusion is the #1 reason they will not book you, so limit your options to keep it simple.
How do you know if you should use wedding photography packages in your business? Here are a few things to consider:
You are part-time
Packages allow you to see what you are obligated to fulfill right away for every client you book. You can set up a system to clearly dictate your due dates, and it will be easier for you to maintain deadlines. That way, you can spend your time on more profit-generating activities.
You have referral-based clients
Packages collect groupings of services and products in common offerings. Clients who come from referrals often know a little more about the services and products you offer, based on the friend or family member who referred them. An educated client is a little more likely to book a Package because they trust you more at the time of booking.
Learning how to price wedding photography packages for your business is a huge part of growing and reaching the next level. Learn more about how to price wedding photography with our free Guide: The Keys to Pricing for Wedding Photographers! We feature wedding photography pricing tips from Vanessa Joy, as well as how to know which pricing model is best for you. Click the banner below to download it now.