If you’re a wedding photographer, then you may already know the importance of offering potential clients a few different wedding photography packages for their big day. However, what’s even more important is what you put into those packages, as this is what will usually determine whether or not you get the job. In fact, it may even be the deciding factor in if your business ultimately succeeds or not, and could be even more important than the rates you decide to charge.
Before coming up with your packages however, make sure that you first research what other professional photographers are doing regarding this. Find out their prices and also what their packages include. This will help a lot with figuring out YOUR wedding photography pricing. Start by calculating the minimum amount of money you need to make in order to turn a profit, then go from there. Perhaps itemize all your individual services and costs. Then you can refer to this information when you begin building your packages.
Wedding Photography is both a costly and competitive service. That’s why you must make every effort to standout from the rest by creating unbeatable packages. Studies show that a pro photographer is generally the third largest expense on the wedding day. The only 2 costlier components are the venue and the entertainment at the reception. The average couple spent $2,556 on wedding photography in 2014. That is nearly a 5% climb from the average cost for the previous year, which was $2,440. This figure is from a recent survey that involved 16,000 brides and grooms in the United States.
Basic Wedding Photography Packages
When you’re a wedding photographer, you must be content and comfortable with the photography packages you offer. Otherwise, how can you expect others to be? The description of each package should let clients know all the basic details. From how long you intend to spend at the wedding, to what type of photographs will be taken. Also clarify what you plan to provide when it comes to prints, albums and digital images. Additionally, include the type of equipment and lighting you’ll be using, as well as how many people will make up your wedding day crew. Plus, always inform the client upfront if there will be other costs added on for any ‘extras’.
As it is with any type of photography, your packages probably won’t sell if they contain things that people don’t really want. That’s why finding out what the majority of clients prefer is critical for creating great wedding packages. After a little bit of experimenting or trial and error, you should be able to come up with at least 3 appealing package options. This way, you’re sure to have something to suit everyone.
Though your wedding photography package may already include the specific number of hours that you will spend at the event, be more specific. Let them know the approximate amount of time that will be spent shooting pictures pre-ceremony, during the ceremony, and at the reception. Some packages should contain certain photographs that are always to be included. This could be a shot of exchanging the rings, a photo of the cake cutting, the first dance. Of course you can add other prearranged pics that seem fitting or are requested by the client.
When you create your wedding photography package, you should also state the style of photos that are included. Specify whether it will be mainly formal shots you’ll be taking, or if you’ll be capturing more casual, spontaneous moments as they occur. Also mention if there’ll be a variety of media such as black and white, sepia, and color photos.
Finally, the photography package details should specify how the photographs will be edited. Decide whether they will be digitally altered or enhanced to provide more vivid colors or image improvements. For portraits, clients usually want one larger picture to display in their home, then several smaller images to keep with them, or to share with family and friends. Newlyweds often want digital images, and many want an engagement session and/or an album as well. Therefore, these things are ideal inclusions for your packages and you should include them in your contract (yes, you actually need a contract, but don’t worry, we’ve got you covered)
Additional Advice For Building Wedding Photography Packages
Keep in mind that statistically, people rarely purchase your top or bottom package. Therefore, knowing that most customers will probably pick something in-between, you should focus on perfecting your ‘mid-priced’ package. Value always wins, so the most expensive priced package will make the other options seem more reasonable. This is actually known as the anchoring effect. Clients want affordable wedding photography packages, but they also want the most bang for their buck. Offering a minimum of 3 packages is advisable, as people are likely to naturally ignore the top and bottom packages. Research reveals that if you offer only 3 packages, the middle package will be the one most often selected.
Also, get the location of a wedding prior to giving an exact and final price. However, this is not only to figure in the travel distance. For instance, if it’s an outdoor wedding, or an evening event, you may need to provide special lighting or other effects. These details should be considered and mentioned in any photographer package you’re proposing. Presentation is also an important part of your wedding photo packages. Don’t just hand the potential client a piece of paper with your prices. Going one step further with a nice album to flip thru is advised. You can even incorporate your “package” price sheet/brochure in the album, along with some impressive sample pics from previous events.
Wedding photography requires all kinds of professional equipment, which can be rather expensive. Therefore, if you have insurance, be sure to figure in ‘hidden’/additional money for covering these recurring bills. Nothing too crazy, but you want to at least cover your costs. Some weddings can get pretty wild, whether it’s due to the guests, the weather, or both. Ensure that you don’t get setback by costs for equipment damage or replacement by acquiring adequate protection.
Remember, being able to accommodate the client is the key to getting a contract. Creating a variety of great photography packages is one of the best ways to present your professional services to your clients. It’s also your chance to standout from the rest. The wedding photographer is the one who captures the client’s special memories on film. So, they already know how essential this role is. What was is in the last photography package you offered? Is there anything that you have included that we did not mention? Feel more than free to share your thoughts with us!
* Thanks Anéis for the picture