Do you show your session rates on your site, or do you require direct contact to price a shoot?

ZenBrianZenBrian Administrator Posts: 1,689
Finding a photographer’s rate isn’t always easy to do. Many people choose to take a “contact me for pricing” route. It may be because the exact details need to be laid out, or they want to keep the art of negotiation open. On the other side, some people always list their prices to stop from wasting time emailing or calling with people that are obviously out of budget. In any case it begs the question, do you show your pricing/session rates on your site, or do you require direct contact to price a shoot?

Do you show your session rates on your site, or do you require direct contact to price a shoot? 39 votes

I list my rates
28% 11 votes
I Price through direct contact
43% 17 votes
I list some basic packages, but price through Contact for anything custom
20% 8 votes
I price things a bit different
7% 3 votes

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  • portraitistportraitist Member Posts: 31
    Listing prices publicly is a good thing because it allows potential customers to see whether or not they are even in the ballpark. It also helps new customers, who have no idea of photo prices, understand that there is a broad range of both quality and price.

    Having said that, I always allow for adjustments for custom work and get a firm, written, clear, quote to the customer before doing any work.
  • I really prefer to disclose my rates to a client after an initial consultation. I find that creating a rapport with the client creates a sense of trust so when later discussing rates they understand I am honest and fair with what I provide. I feel that the relationship that is created from a meeting or discussion over the phone can greatly increase the odds of securing the job as well as generating a positive referral down the road in how you comport yourself as an industry professional.

    Any thoughts on this or other ways to handle this issue?
  • carolemeetercarolemeeter Member Posts: 1
    I list mine as well so that they know what to expect but often when I speak with them personally I hint that I can "customize" their session to their needs
  • I tried both routes, disclosing my rates at first and currently, not disclosing until a consultation. I felt that there were always too many variables from one session to another to "flat rate" a session.
    I understand for the customer, it is probably frustrating to have to call or have a meeting just to get a estimate for photos. But think about it, a lot of industries don't give specific prices until they meet you, why should photography be any different?
    The only variable typically with the service industry, other then time, is whether extra parts are required or additional expert services are needed to complete the job. Contractors will often bid a job out based on the difficulty of the job and/or the amount of time it takes to complete it + material costs, I think this applies very well to photography.
    Sure customers can always go to those photo sessions in the mall, but in reality, what are they really getting? Pictures of them on a cookie-cutter backdrop and generic poses.
  • PhotogyrlPhotogyrl Member Posts: 3
    edited March 2014
    I give a ballpark really to weed out those who really are not my market. Otherwise it's a waste of my time.
  • Kevin KrowsKevin Krows United StatesMember Posts: 1,462
    Personally, I don't publish a price list because the needs of most clients are different. I will say that giving people a general idea of the price range you work in is probably a good idea from a marketing perspective. Qualifying your statements to your entry point would also be a good idea ..... "We have packages to meet a wide range of client needs starting at $$$$ for a two hour session." for example.
  • Nicky JamesonNicky Jameson TorontoMember Posts: 107
    edited March 2014
    Some interesting articles on setting pricing and displaying prices - from Digital Photography School. One of the first things mentioned is to consider showing at least some of your prices on your website. It sets expectations, plus people hate hunting around to find pricing and may feel if you don't display pricing you're too expensive. They move on - I know I do... people like to avoid "sticker-shock." Incidentally the questions in the comments are one of the best things about the first article.
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