How Much Do Family Photos Cost

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It’s been awhile since you’ve invested in quality pictures of your family. You’re scrolling down a list of the best photographers in your area trying to figure out, “How much do family photos cost?”
You can spend next to nothing on a rookie photographer up to several thousand dollars on an experienced pro delivering a luxury experience, exceptional photos, and high quality products.

After the last time you dolled everyone up and bribed them to smile for the camera just to get subpar pictures of your cranky toddlers, you already know that you get what you pay for. But, ideally you would like to have great pictures of your family every year. As much as you’d love to be able to pay for all the bells and whistles, you’re looking for someone in particular. A photographer who can guide you through the process. She can make the session fun for everyone and captures genuine emotions. You can count on consistently high quality images and receive digital files. And she isn’t moving next year.

Guess what? You found her!

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I’ve owned Little Leapling Photography for 9 of the 11 years I’ve lived in Manhattan. I know what family photos cost and what you get from other photographers. I have experimented with a variety of pricing structures. Really, there is no right way to put together a price sheet. The most important thing is to listen to what your clients are looking for and charge enough to run a successful business that will justify your time, efforts, and business expenses. Go too cheap, and who knows if your photographer will even show up.

I am NOT a cheap photographer, friends.

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When all said and done, my family photos cost between $600-$1100. And I’m worth it. If you just want someone who can get some mostly in focus pictures with a decent backdrop, there are far less expensive options. If you are wanting someone who will deliver a large gallery of okay pictures that hopefully include a few fantastic shots, go ahead and gamble on a newbie. Or if you are wanting a great photographer who delivers a hefty gallery of minimally-edited pictures, I’m probably not your gal.

It took me years to charge enough for the amount of time and expertise that goes into every image you receive. It’s not just the quality of my gear, my experience, the energy and passion I bring, the endless ideas, empathy, flexibility, creativity, and go big or go home attitude. I am an expert at photo editing and it causes me physical pain to send you an image that isn’t finished. Every image you purchase will be a work of art worthy of a large canvas or metal print. I believe in quality over quantity.

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Want to know more about what you get for your money? Keep reading.

I believe in full transparency and accurate expectations. It doesn’t matter how much a photographer charges. If that information is not clearly explained, any confusion after you book can result in disappointment that can take a phenomenal experience from 5 stars to 1.

After 7 years of offering all-inclusive photo sessions (session and digital images that I select and edit for you), I’ve changed things up the last two years so that my clients can enjoy a full proofing album and only pay for the pictures that they absolutely love. This does take a lot more time and effort for me to prepare. But, if nothing else, it was killing me to know there were so many fantastic images that you never got to see.

Consistent feedback told me that I’m quite good at selecting the best pictures from a session, but everyone is a little different. And it’s really fun to see what you ultimately choose as your favorites. It’s also fun for your family to see all of the pictures even if you won’t be getting to download or print them. I want your kiddos to be excited to see the pictures, too. So, you’d better believe I’ll be including the silly ones!

And let’s be real. I’m running a business. I love what I do, but this is my career and the more great images I show you, the more earning potential there is for me.

Because I like to over-deliver, there are a few extras not listed in that Pricing Guide.

I like to select and edit 1 or 2 teaser images to share on social media to hold you over. That also demonstrates the level of editing you can expect for your purchased images. You get to download those high resolution images for free!

I also put together a complimentary album of details shots, environmental photos, and other quick edits that you get to keep when you order your Digital Collection within a week of receiving your proofing album. I know how easy it is to let the photo selections fall off your radar. That comp album is an incentive to tackle that quickly and also helps me manage my time better.

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What sets me apart from the plethora of photographers in our area?

Here are some of the things I’ve been told:
* Kids LOVE me. I have no shame and nothing makes me happier than getting those giggle boxes going.
* I can get those perfect pictures quickly, but I’m happy to keep shooting as long as everyone is having fun.
* I’m super patient. With your kids, not mine lol! I also totally understand how you’re feeling when they are turds.
* I’m all about the emotion. I know how to create those genuine moments and get your good side.
* I took advanced Photoshop classes back in 2002. There’s not much I can’t do when it comes to editing.
* I’ve got the best gear and know how to use it. I am also an expert of both natural light and studio lighting.
* I am super accommodating and flexible. I want happy subjects and will happily reschedule if needed.
* Great customer service. Call me, text me, email me. I’m here to help.

As you can see in my Pricing Guide, you will be responsible for a session fee at the time of booking. That reserves your space on my calendar. That gets you a wealth of information on how to prepare for your photo session, including a style and location guide. You’ll get an optional (and encouraged) phone consultation so we can discuss the details of your photo session and get you excited for the big day.

Your session fee includes up to 90 minutes for your family session, a robust online proofing album, and quick responses from me for any questions or help you might need with your gallery, ordering your collections, downloading your images, and ordering print products. Your session fee does not include your images or products.

You only pay for the pictures you love.

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While most photographers select the images included in your collection, I have chosen to put in the extra time and effort to a create a proofing album of minimally-edited images. You’ll find a lot of options to choose from, but certainly no pictures where someone is blinking, in an unflattering position, or anything out of focus or otherwise not up to my high standard of quality. These images have not yet been retouched, but I take pride in my ability to make your image both perfect and perfectly natural (no overdone airbrushing!).

Take a look at my retouching page to see what all is included and some of the higher level editing available to you.

There are three Digital Collections to choose from after you’ve received your proofing album. You’re only paying for the pictures you love and the per image price drops with the larger packages. For every purchased image, you will receive a professionally retouched color and black and white version available for download. The top package is the Premium Collection ($800), which includes 24 high resolution digital images along with a $200 print credit that can be redeemed directly through your gallery. The Perfection Collection ($500) includes 12 images with a $100 print credit. And for those just wanted a handful of images for your wall, the Petite Collection includes 6 images for only $300.

What about hidden fees?

No hidden fees, but I do need to pay myself for the extras I provide! Additional charges include a $0.60/mile travel fee if you’d like me to travel to you (just on the distance that is beyond 20 miles of my home in Manhattan; I am not reimbursing myself for the driving time or gas), and if you have more than 6 people participating in your session, the editing takes more time and I charge $25 per additional person on that session fee. I don’t look good in orange, so expect to pay sales tax (8.95% Manhattan, KS sales tax; no tax if you are out of state).

If you’d like to purchase more than 24 digital images, you can buy additional images individually after choosing your collection. If you cannot say no to any of the images, I can create a custom price for the full album based on the degree of editing required and number of images in your proofing album. Just ask!


Finally, please let me know if you’d like me to create a professional photo album of your purchased images or if there are any other custom products you’d like me to put together for you.

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