So you’ve been following your dream photographer on Instagram for months and now you’ve finally got an event to plan. Most experienced photographers don’t display a detailed list of prices and packages outright. Why? Because we want people who are serious about booking us to reach out, and it’s a great spam filter. Here’s what you need to know about inquiring about photography packages and pricing.
Communicating with your photographer
Experienced photographers automate the communication process with customer relationship management (CRM) programs that enter booking inquiries into a custom workflow. This makes it easier and faster for photographers to respond to you and to stay organized with your project. Once you reach out via the contact form, you can typically expect a beautifully designed price book in response, plus more info about the photographer and the way they run their business. Read all the information sent to you before responding with questions—we put a lot of effort into our workflow so that most FAQs are answered.
As tempting as it may be, don’t inquire about pricing and packages on social media. We put a lot of effort into our booking inquiry flow so that you can get quick, organized responses, and asking for that detailed info anywhere else is derailing. Before you DM us with the “How much does your wedding package cost?” check out our portfolios, actually look at our websites, and fill out the contact form—don’t make it complicated. If you do, I can 100% guarantee you are going to end up in my IG story as a how-not-to-behave lesson.
If you’ve landed on this page because you ARE a photographer, I use Honebook as my CRM program. It handles my workflows, contracts, deposits and payment requests, emails (which are all automated), follow-ups and more. If you are one of those photographers that thinks that the expense and cost of paying for a CRM or the bank fees from taking automated deposits only is “too expensive,” I’m here to tell you that you are leaving money on the table doing unnecessary admin tasks that take up too much of your time. But that’s another blog post entirely.
Understanding photography pricing
Balling on a budget? That’s cool. But don’t ever ask your photographer for a discount. Small businesses carefully price their packages and products—taking into consideration market value, experience, time, location, and costs of running a business (insurance, equipment, time, etc.)— to ensure they’re profitable. Asking for a discount cuts into their bottom line. Instead, give them your budget and ask them what they can offer at that price, if anything. I offer an hourly rate for folks on a budget so that they can hire me for as many or as few hours as their budget allows. Don’t be offended if your price point isn’t worth their time—be realistic.
Pro tip: if your budget is super tight, search Instagram for new upcoming photographers who don’t have much experience. They’re still finding their styles and growing their portfolios, at a discount to customers. They likely cannot offer the same packages and quality as an experienced photographer but as long as you keep in mind that by hiring them for a once in a lifetime event, like a wedding, you’re taking a huge risk. That being said, we all started somewhere (even me) and if you take into account some calculated pros and cons, and do your research, you may find a gem of a talented photographer that will fit your budget and your event out there that will grow with you, as many of my customers have with me.
If you’re unsure of what to ask your photographer once you hear back from them with their photography packages and pricing, check out this post.