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3 Tips for Wedding Photography Pricing Strategies | Interview with Jeff and Lori Part I

By Pye Jirsa on March 18th 2015

Wedding Photography Pricing

As a photographer, it’s important to price yourself adequately. Price yourself too low and you’ll regret every shoot you do, too high and you won’t get any business. Jeff and Lori from Indigo Silver Studio have a unique pricing strategy that works well for them, and they want to share it with you. They are also teaching a few workshops at Shutterfest, so if you like what you see here be sure to check them out there!

Pricing Strategy For Wedding Photographers with Jeff and Lori

Wedding Photography Pricing Strategy Tip 1: Start Simple

Jeff and Lori got rid of packages so they can start at a price point that most people in their area are comfortable with. Indigo Silver Studio has an associate photographer whose price point starts at a competitive rate compared to the other photographers in the area. When the clients come in, Jeff and Lori can then show them other services and packages that would encourage potential clients to invest more into their photography package.

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Wedding Photography Pricing Strategy Tip 2: Have an easy upgrade system with many add-on features

Most of Indigo Silver Studios clients come in the door with only coverage and digital files in mind, but Jeff and Lori make it easy for their clients to add albums and other features at any time. The secret here is to have the price point of the next upgrade very close to where the client is already sold.

So let’s say your client has 6 hours of coverage at $2100. For an additional $300 they can have 8 hours of coverage, and then for an additional $300 they can move up from an associate photographer to a master photographer which includes a timeline planning meeting and a $200 engagement credit. When the clients come in, they’ve already up sold themselves from a $2100 package to a $2700 package, and if they add an album they’ll be over $4000.

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Wedding Photography Pricing Strategy Tip 3: Show what you want to sell

This is the easiest way for a client to invest more into their photography package. If your client is interested in albums then make sure you have albums on the table, if they’re interested in wall portraits then have those hanging on the wall. When a client can see what a desirable product looks like in person, they’ll entertain the idea of purchasing it more.

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Learn more about Wedding Photography

This is a 3 part interview series so be on the lookout for part 2 and 3 in the upcoming weeks. We hope you enjoyed this interview, if you’re interested in learning more about Jeff and Lori be sure to check out their weddings at indigosilver studio, or their photographers’ educational resource at The Shoot Space.

If you’re interested about learning more about wedding photography Jeff and Lori will be teaching a few classes at Shutterfest, and we’re also teaching a wedding workshop in the Bahamas!

Jeff and Lori also have a Wedding Investment Guide/Price list & Instructional Video available for purchase.  SLRLounge readers get 25% off, simply use the promo code “loungepricing” for the discount to apply.

About

Founding Partner of Lin and Jirsa Photography and SLR Lounge.

Follow my updates on Facebook and my latest work on Instagram both under username @pyejirsa.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Aimee Currie

    Great info! Thank you! I’m wondering, do you give them the “full size” digital image or do you limit the max size to like an 8×10?

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  2. Art T

    Thank you for the tips. Nicely done.

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  3. Kevin Dinh

    Thank you everyone. Great tips! I have been struggling to with creating a price list.

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  4. Keri Malinowski

    Thank you Lori! I am so new I don’t know anyone here yet but will soon I am sure! I’ll see you at Shutterfest and I’ll be watching your next Interview here on SLR Lounge!

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  5. Keri Malinowski

    Great information! I’m sure you probably get asked this a lot but I have no studio. My family just moved back to the Seattle area so I’m rebuilding my clientele. I cannot afford a location right now until I get more clients:) I did the sales session out of my home before but with little kids it was way too hard to kick my entire family out of the house in the evenings (when people get off of work) for 2 hours or more. So I want to avoid that rout if I can. Plus I think wedding clients always felt “weird” about it. Any ideas or thoughts?

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    • Lori Unruh

      Hi Keri,

      Your question is very prescient. In our third interview with Pye, we discuss the concept of having a shared studio space to help pay the bills! Kind of like having a roommate in college, having a studiomate (or two, or more!) is a great way to get the studio you want for a very low rent payment. But we’ve learned some dos and don’ts along the way. Our interview should be going live very soon! Keep an eye on the “Interviews” section of SLR Lounge.

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    • Lori Unruh

      If a shared studio isn’t for you, you can always look around your area for a conference room that you can rent by the hour. Try searching Virtual Offices or something similar.

      Best of luck!

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  6. Rafael Orczy

    I watched the video and the upsale what you are doing is great. I faced so many time with the problem. that there was 30-40% price difference between the packages I offered. Also I had only 4 hours or 12+ hours packages. Thanks one more time!

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  7. Rafael Orczy

    Thank you, really good tips!

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  8. satnam singh

    Thanks for sharing.

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  9. Jeff Poole

    Hi Jeff

    As of right now we just use the shopping cart on our photobiz site. We just signed up with a new company we found at WPPI named “Wedding as “Art” I can’t tell you anything about it other than it looked pretty cool since we haven’t set our account up yet. Hope this helps

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  10. Jeff B

    Lori/Jeff, what service do you use for the registry service you offer? Are you happy with it? Has the registry offering proven successful insofar as engaging client families?

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  11. Josiah Dewey

    I really like how they do things. I can’t wait to get my “show room” up and running.

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    • Lori Unruh

      Josiah,
      In-person sales are the best! Show what you want to sell. Good luck!

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  12. Kate Mitchem

    LOVED the video and learned so much!! Curious when next segments are coming?? Can’t wait! p.s., I just switched schedule around at Shutterfest so I’m now in one of your workshops!! Can’t wait to meet you both in a few weeks!!

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    • Lori Unruh

      Kate,
      Wow, what an honor! Those ShutterFest courses fill up quick, so I am super excited to have you on board! Definitely come introduce yourself. See you in a couple weeks!

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  13. Gene Gregory

    Hello,

    Just watched this episode of slr lounge and this is one of the wonderful tips that i found online. glad i logged in today, got to love the tip 2 & 3, learned a lot. can’t wait for the second segment of the interview.

    thanks for sharing this.

    Cheers!

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    • Lori Unruh

      Hi Gene,
      Thanks for the kind words! Jeff and I are so glad that people are finding this helpful. :-)

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  14. morgan glassco

    I just had to chuckle when Pie was talking about getting 3 hours for portraits.

    I shot a wedding over the weekend and the bride had a very specific and granular list of family portraits she wanted. After the family photos concluded and as we prepare to leave for the bride and groom photos the day of planner comes up to me and says we’re doing great on time. You’ve got 20 minutes… Not sure what my facial expression was but she countered 25? Sure enough 20 minutes later and we’re getting called back to the reception. Stressful!

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  15. Uncle Bob

    Pricing is always one of the more difficult things to decide so it’s always nice to see how other people approach things. But having said all that, this is not a strategy I would ever want to adopt. It borders on ‘bait and switch’ depending on how you present your portfolio.

    Are you showing the “associate photographer’s” portfolio with that $2100 price point? or are you showing the ‘best of best’ portfolio and attaching that tempting $2100 offer just to get people in the door and up-sell them?

    Anytime your strategy is to pull people in for $2100 and then trying to talk them into spending $4000, you’re no better than a car salesman or a real estate agent.

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    • morgan glassco

      Did you look at their website at all? Clearly states their prices start with their associate photographers and the minimum for hiring them.

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    • Uncle Bob

      Did you read my comment at all?

      I clearly state that my issue is with whether not the portfolio attached to that associate photographer price is accurate.

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    • Lori Unruh

      Hi Uncle Bob and Morgan,
      You both bring up very valid points! Bob, you’re absolutely correct that photographers who have associates should distinguish whose images are whose. And if not done correctly, an a la carte pricing system can quickly devolve into bait-and-switch and/or hard sales. Jeff and I have found that transparency is absolutely key. All of our inquiries receive our price list (or “Wedding Investment Guide”, as we call it!) before they meet with us. They are fully aware what is and what is not included at the $2100 price point. If, after seeing the investment guide, they are still eager to come in for a consultation, we explain everything once again in person. There are no surprises at our studio — it simply doesn’t work for us! It is never our goal to push someone into an upgrade or a purchase. We simply offer lots of options and let the clients decide what they’d like. However, we also realize that this pricing method does not work for everyone — photographers and clients alike — but variety is the spice of life!
      Cheers!

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    • Uncle Bob

      Lori, thanks I really appreciate your response. At what point do you show potential clients the work of your associate?

      I’ve always wondered how studios that use multiple photography teams handle situations like this as it can’t be easy. I’ve noticed that Chrisman Studios makes a point of showing specific portfolios for each of their photographers right on their website :

      http://www.chrismanstudios.com/chrisman-studios-photographers/

      It seems to me like that’s the most transparent way to handle it. Styles tend to vary so much from photographer to photographer and I would think that most couples would want to know for sure what to expect from their photographer.

      Thanks again for your response.

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  16. Wendy Dacko

    Very Informative…thank you ;-)

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  17. Gurmit Saini

    Brilliant video and great tips. thank you.

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  18. Richard Olender

    As photographer…I understand tip 1. As a consumer I hate it.

    It makes me think of a Major Department store that is closing here in Canada (target)

    All the ads say 30 to 60% off everything in store!
    When you go in, the only thing at 60% is wrapping paper. Literally!
    Everything, and I mean everything else is 30% off
    Legally its not false advertising….but morally it is to me

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    • Lori Unruh

      Hi Richard,
      Thanks for writing in! You are definitely right that this type of pricing structure has the potential to be misleading. Jeff and I have learned a lot of lessons along the way about either giving away too much or too little! What seems to be working well for us is that ALL of our coverage options do include digital files, so that even at our lower price points, our clients are still getting a comprehensive “shoot and burn” wedding. The add-ons lie in optional things like albums, engagement shoots, etc. Additionally, all inquiries get our price list before they come in for a consultation, so there are no surprises when they arrive. Hope that helps!

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  19. Richard Bremer

    Great video, love these tips. Thank you for sharing, Pye!

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  20. Brandon Dewey

    Great tips. I like tip two. I have three collections my couples can choose from, plus a huge al la cate list for them to choose form incase they would like to add anything to the collection they selected.

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    • Rafael Steffen

      Thanks for sharing more princing strategy information. This always helps in this ever growing market of wedding photography.

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    • Lori Unruh

      Hi Brandon,
      We’re so glad you found the tips helpful! A la carte products are certainly a great way to sell add-ons! Cheers!

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