top of page

Less is More

Photography Blog Series: Photography Business Concepts that go against our common first.

Clients want LESS photos in their gallery. They don't know it but its true.

Clients THINK they want to see every single image in their gallery. For some reason they think we are hoarding photos of them looking like a Victoria's Secret Model and photos of their little one's perfect smile somewhere in our SD card.

But really no one wants to go through 600 images of themselves. (We have all seen the Beyonce meme and know that's the LAST thing we want).

That's our job. That's part of the service we provide. We know how hard it can be to choose between 3 photos that are all perfect but only slightly different. Do you think your client REALLY wants to have to make that choice when they are ordering prints or choosing what photo to hang on the wall? No they don't. Our clients are busy and they hire us to do that for them. No one is going to hang 100 images from the same session in their home. None of their friends are going to look through a 100 photo album of your client's kid on Facebook. Even if your client is going to go back through their folder of images from their session for old times sake, if they have 100 photos, they are going to spend about 2 seconds per image. Is that what you did ALL THAT work for? It took you forever to get that newborn to sleep and posed so perfectly for mom to just click past that gorgeous photo after 2 seconds. But let's say mom has a gallery of 20 images. Most of them are probably hanging in her home because it was easy to choose which ones to print, her friends probably ooohed and aaahhhed over them all on Facebook and when she goes back to look through them 10 years from now, she will spend time admiring each one. Remembering how tiny and perfect her little one was. Still want to give your client 100+ images?

Lets say you give a client 60 photos.... 30 of them are amazing with perfect poses and faces. 20 of them are only slightly different versions of each other, and 10 are only mediocre but you gave them to your client anyways because you thought they wanted them, you couldn't bare to delete them, you wanted them to get a lot for their money or whatever. 99% of the time, your client is going A) think the gallery doesn't have enough variety and feel like the got jipped. And B) is going to base their entire experience on those 10 only mediocre images. And really that ONE mediocre image where she thinks her forehead looks big is going to CRUSH her self esteem and she is going to regret the whole session....and probably won't book another.

Now if you had given only the 30 best images, she would probably be 100% satisfied.

What about the other 1%? That person is going to only share ONE image from her session. And its going to be the WORST photo from her gallery. The one where the light wasn't perfect and the toddler's hand is moving and blurred or something fell out of focus but you included it because baby was smiling.....and she is going to post that photo EVERYWHERE like its her job. And show it to all her friends. And tag you and your business page in it. I have a client who I do several sessions for a year and she does this EVERY SINGLE TIME. Seriously every time I deliver her gallery, I pick the photo I like the least in my head and THAT is the photo she posts EVERYWHERE. So I make sure NOTHING that I am not 1000000000000000% proud of goes in her gallery.

Remember this rule: A gallery is only as good as your WORST image.

Last fall, I had a friend who lives in another state call me in tears because she had a photography session done and was disappointed with her photos. She felt like there were only one or two good ones out of the whole thing and that she looked awful and that her kids didn't cooperate and it the photographer was rushed. I asked her to see the gallery and they were beautiful! Like amazingly beautiful! Like #goals, I need this lens, holy shit I love these kind of amazing. And my friend looked amazing! I did notice that there were about 60 photos in there. So a lot of them were almost exactly the same. Then I found out it was a 20-minute mini session! Of course the photographer was rushed. She got 60 amazing photos of a family with two under two in 20 minutes!!!! I am convinced she is a goddess. Really my friend was just completely overwhelmed at the number of photos that she received. I told her to pick 20 and put only those in a folder and look through them again. Looking at them that way, she was able to see that she loved them.

I see soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo many posts of photographers talking about mini sessions that include 40 digitals. So I am going to say this and if you are doing this, I want you to write it down. 40 DIGITALS IS NOT A MINI! A mini session is like 5 images. 40 images is more than most of us give in a full session. If 40 digitals is a "mini" how many come with a full session?

Remember the MORE you give, the less the are worth. Yep thats right here is another photography rule for you. As the number of photos you give goes UP the value of your work does DOWN.

If you are doing Mini Sessions for $150 but it includes 50 images.... you are valuing your digitals at $3 a pop.... Is that REALLY all your work is worth to you? Three whole dollars?

Or if you are doing Full Sessions for $200, and including 100 images, are you REALLY happy valuing your images at $2 each? If you don't value your photos why are you wondering why your clients don't value you? Look at how clients act at Walmart vs how they might act in a William Sonoma. Your pricing plays a HUGE Role on how your clients see you as a professional and how they treat you. (More on that to come).

And when you advertise cheap sessions that include 1,493,362,474,400 images, you are mis-educating the public on the expectations of our industry. (But heck I consider my prices lower at $375 for 15 digitals so maybe I'm a big ol' hypocrite.)

I see a lot of photographers say they want to be "affordable." They are doing shoots that include a bajillion digitals for next to nothing. I always think its interesting that they reduce their prices to be "affordable" without pairing down what they are giving. I'm guessing most of them haven't read my blog about being a business and not a charity.... I can appreciate wanting to be "affordable" but is that really worth destroying the value of your work? I always wonder if wanting to be "affordable" is really just an excuse for not valuing themselves or not being confident enough in their worth. And everyone else is wondering the same thing.....

Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square
bottom of page