To show prices or not to show prices? That is the Question!

There is a fierce debate on whether or not to publish your prices on your website. It is a complicated issue, I tend to go back and forth with, personally. At times, I have published and sometimes I have unpublished my pricing! Let me explain why I have currently chosen to not publish my pricing. 
Some photographers post their pricing as a way to pre-screen clients. In fact one photographer on YouTube flat out says that he does not have the time to deal with people who can’t afford his services. On the other side, others may not be comfortable with their pricing to post online.
Like I mentioned I see value in both posting and not posting my pricing! So why do I not post pricing online?  I don't want potential clients prejudging their ability to afford my services! I believe that photography should be priced in a way to get the job done correctly. I am able to offer each client an individual consultation to discuss their priorities and than customize according to their expectations. Just to be clear, a client will not receive $5000 in services for $1500 but I do guarantee each of them the most value for their investment. I offer services for those who just want to have their ceremony photographed all the way up to the most extravagant wedding experience.  Finally, for me the most important reason is, not all photographers will be right for you. Just because “the price is right” does not mean they are right for you. A photographer that does not take the time to get to know you as a person will be disastrous most of the time. I want to make sure that each couple will enjoy spending their day with me and vise versa!  Let me earn your business by showing you options and plans, I know you will be happy when you do!

Wedding Packages as Simple as 1...2...3!

For people that are familiar with our website, you will notice a big change to our Wedding Packages (Collections.) We have strayed away from the traditional package model. The model that assumes that every couple wants the same packages. Spindle City Studio now offers just two “packages” that guarantees a certain level of services. Now couples can decide on the other products they want to add àla cart. 
Each couple has simply three choices:

  1. One or two photographers
  2. How many hours of coverage do you need? 
  3. Do you want any prints or albums? 

Our Signature Collections offers a photographer and assistant, while our Signature Plus Collections offer two photographers. Every couple can add extras at any time, even after the wedding, at the package prices when they purchase!
So what are the guaranteed services? USB drive containing digital negatives in which you can print up to 8 x 10 at high quality with personal and social media releases, professional retouching of images, online gallery for viewing, and an engagement photo shoot with print credit. 
Both Collections included a choice of 6, 8, 10, or 12 hours of continuous coverage on your wedding day. We highly recommend completing your package with wedding albums. To encourage this, if you purchase a wedding album and a parent’s album you will receive a second parent’s album at no additional cost. We also offer a full selections and large portrait options for your home.

Open Photo Booth: a look inside our event photography business!

Two years ago we started offering an “Open” photo booth to our event service repertoire. Today we will discuss, what is an open style photo booth? How we are different from other competitors. What is the value to you?

An open photo booth is one without a box. It is basically a series of informal mini photo session in which your guest get to use props to create an image that will make them smile whenever they remember your event or wedding. Actually we like to brag that our booth brings instant fun to your events.  It is done in front of a background and allows for more people in the shots. We recommend 1 to 10 people in the photos. Once the group is framed for each session, three or four random images that are transferred to computer for printing.

We are popular for our 4x6 print template which we offer as part of our standard pricing. We can offer you the more traditional 2x6 print if you request. Our competition charges up to $600 for the first two hours for their booths. They use an attendant that troubleshoots "the booths" equipment issues. We have a photographer that uses a digital camera, to produce high quality images. We have developed setting to gave you that photo booth look.

Our photo booth starts at $399 for two hours, each additional hour cost $100/hr. The price include the 4x6 print template, choice of background color, personalized logo and choice of color border for the print, on-site printing, props. photographer, all images on USB Drive, setup and breakdown. The only additional cost is for unlimited on-site printing. With your input, we prepare at least 4 logos from which you choose. You can choose from color, black and white or old fashion. Finally we do offer a photo booth without onsite printing, we simply project the images on a large screen. Then if you choose,  you can print and send them out as part of your thank you note.

This year we are scheduling early because I have a daughter and son graduating this year. One from college and one from high school so we will be having or own parties with photo booth.

Part II: My Answers to Common Questions to ask Wedding Photographers

Here are some more questions that The Knot suggested you ask your photographer. I tried to answer the questions here so that you can compare the value that we offer! 

How do you ensure the color quality of my photographs?

Ensuring the color quality of your photographs is a multi-step process. It starts in the camera with a custom white balance of the locations we are shooting at on your wedding day. In addition, we use Professional Canon 1d's, which offer the incredible tone, unlike the consumer DSLRs on the market used by some. Next, we use calibration software each time we are editing images. Ensuring that the screen is accurately representing the output for printing. We completed a color calibration test with our professional lab to ensure that our color calibration is correct.

What style do you specialize in?

We utilize a balance between posed formal portraits and candid photojournalistic images. 

What are the deposit and total fees?

My deposit for my wedding package is $250 to book and hold the date. I then set up payments for the balance, usually in equal payments. The final payment is due two (2) weeks prior to your wedding. In Addition, the first $1250 will be used as a retainer and cancellation fee prior to the wedding date. If you require to change the wedding date, I will do my best to accommodate and no cancellation fee will be charged, as long as the new date is available and within one (1) year of the original event date. Finally, any printed materials are excluded from the payment schedule but require a 50% deposit before ordering and the balance is due upon delivery.

Do you have back up photographers who will shoot the wedding if you were sick? 

I do have working relationships with other photographers, so in most cases, it's likely we will be able to cover your wedding.  If that happens, I will still edit and deliver your images.

How do you coordinate with my videographer? How do you envision working together?

I will call your videographer to discuss a plan on how we can both do our work for you. I have been the videographer before, I see it from both sides and is not that complicated to figure out. I envision that our planning will help us seamlessly achieve the quality results that you are expecting from both of us.

Will you follow a shot list? Or do you preferred to have free reign to capture the festivities how you see fit?

I will follow a shot list during the formal portrait session at your wedding. After that it is my goal to capture the wedding in a way that I see best fit. I will take request from the couple for additional images. But I do ask that you assign one person to be your spokesperson on any additional images. The reason, I really cannot have multiple people pulling me in different directions, this is a recipe for missing important parts of your wedding. 

What type of paper will you use for the prints and albums?

As I stated before we use Kodak Professional Endura premium paper. It has standard archival values of 100 years, if display properly, and 200 years in dark storage. For albums you have a choice of paper, you can use the Endura paper or Classic Felt paper. The felt paper has a luxurious feel and smooth finish. It is acid-free, archival and is a Forest Stewardship Council certified paper. There may be an additional charge depending on the selection of packages.

Any guarantees on the images?

Portraits will lose their brilliance if they are exposed to excessive ultra-violet light. If properly displayed your portraits should last a lifetime. That means you should avoid displaying them opposite large windows or too close to fluorescent lights. If your Portraits are displayed properly and display color change and are returned within one year will replace it free of charge. It the same happens after the first anniversary of your wedding date, will replace it for half the current standard price for that size print.

Do you bring your own lighting? 

Yes, I do bring my own lighting gear. Depending on your wedding needs, I may take a minimalistic approach or use several studio flashes depending on your location and restrictions. I feel that this is a very important question because some people don't have the proper equipment to get the job done. 

What will you wear? 

This mostly depends on what the couple wants for my attire. I try to be flexible and blend in, as long as it looks professional. For most weddings, I dress in a black suit and a black shirt.

Our Elegant Portraiture Sessions

Today I would like to tell you about Spindle City Studio's Elegant Portraiture Sessions. These sessions are for anyone looking to create a family heirloom.  Perfect for Bridal, Engagement, Family and Glamour styles of photography.  They make for wonderful Valentines gifts, perfect Easter and Spring Children or Family portraits. We have three sessions that fall into our Elegant Portraiture Sessions. The Packages include at least one large image for your home, medium images to share with your family and smaller images for bringing to work.

The Classic is an hour shoot at a single location.  The package includes: one (1) 11x14, two (2) 8x10, four (4) 5x7, four (4) 4x5, and one (1) Soft Cover Memory Book. Our images are printed at a pro lab that uses Kodak Professional Endura photographic paper. Endura has an Standard Archival value of 100 years, if displayed properly, and 200 years in dark storage. The Memory book contains a mix of images from your session. The Memory book is a high quality design option, with a chic appeal and is a great value.

Examples of you Memory Book options!

The Chic is an an hour and half portrait session at a single location. This package contains: one (1) 16x20, three (3) 8x10, four (4) 5x7, four (4) 4x5, and a (1) Soft Cover Memory Book. 

The Exquisite Session two hour portrait session at a single location. This package like its name suggests a beautiful option with wonderful upgrades! This package offers a (1) 16x20 mounted Fine Art Print, four (4) 8x10, four(4) 5x7, eight (8) 4x5, a (1) Hardcover Coffee Table Style Book, and an (1) USB containing (10) of your favorite High Quality Digital Negatives with personal reprinting rights.

The Fine Art Print has a similar look and feel as watercolor paper. Since these prints should be handled with care, we have the professional lab mount them on foam board for you. This heirloom will be the centerpiece of any room it is displayed in.  

Example of Fine Art Print Paper.

Example of Fine Art Print Paper.

These examples of hardcover books are a timeless way of seeing your photographs come to life on the pages of you own book.

Hopefully we will is you to start your family heirloom soon!