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 wondering, “How much do family photos cost?”
You can spend next to nothing on a rookie photographer. Or several thousand dollars on an experienced pro delivering a luxury experience, exceptional photos, and high quality products.
1) Shoot and Burn. This refers to photographers who take lots of pictures, do minimal editing, and deliver pretty much everything they took. Take enough pictures and you’re bound to catch some great shots in there! Pricing depends on your area, but typically, you can find a shoot and burn photographer for under $500.
2) Quality, finely retouched digital images. You probably won’t get a ton of images, but they are all fantastic and it will be easy to choose which to share and put on your walls. Your photographer is highly skilled both at running a fantastic photo session and delivering exceptional quality with expert retouching. Some photographers will create a proofing album so you get to choose which images to purchase. This level of quality will likely cost around $1,000 depending on your area and how many photos you decide to buy.
3) IPS or In Person Sales. This is the full luxury experience. Typically, you’ll have an in-depth planning session (often in person). After your session, your photographer will edit and present the best images in person. At that time, she’ll help you select and purchase high quality products. Photographers using the IPS approach primarily are selling products. This luxury service will likely run you between $2,000-$10,000 depending on the products you choose to purchase.
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, you would like to have great pictures of your family every year. And you want those high resolution digital images so you can print to your heart’s content for years to come. As much as you’d love to say money isn’t a factor, it is. But, you also know you deserve a photographer who knows what they are doing. 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 someone your family can return to every year.
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 as a photographer 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 as a client, and who knows if your photographer will even show up. If she’s not charging her cost of doing business and making a profit, don’t expect her doors to stay open. Running your own business is hard work!
When all said and done, my family sessions cost between $600-$1100. And I’m worth it. Actually, I could be charging a lot more. If you just want someone who will deliver a large gallery of decent pictures, you have lots of options. But, if you want someone who can consistently blow you away even when your kids are having a bad day, look no further.
It took me years to charge enough for the time and expertise put into every image you receive. I was constantly comparing my pricing to other photographers in the area. I figured I needed to charge around the same amount if I wanted enough clients. But, it turns out that most photographers are undervaluing their hard work and their businesses were eventually failing.
And 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 some days that makes all the difference. Every image you purchase will be a work of art worthy of a large canvas or metal print. I believe in quality over quantity.
I believe in full transparency and accurate expectations. It doesn’t matter how much a photographer charges. If the information is not clearly explained, expectations not met can result in disappointment, taking an otherwise great 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), my clients can now 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, 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. I decided it was worth the extra work to allow you to select your favorites from a large proofing album. It’s really fun to see what you ultimately pick! 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 will give you a great idea of what you’ll be receiving. I take pride in my ability to make your image both perfect and perfectly natural (no overdone airbrushing!).
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 create a bonus album of details shots, environmental photos, and other quick edits that are included for free with my top digital collection.
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 and I’m not going to get annoyed by your special requests. Take a look at my retouching page to see what all is included and some of the higher level editing available to you.
* 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 gladly reschedule if needed.
* Great customer service. Call me, text me, email me. I’m here to help.
You are really getting a hybrid between the “Quality Digital Photographer” and “In Person Sales” photographer. As you can see in my Pricing Guide, you will be responsible for a non-refundable session fee at the time of booking. That reserves your space on my calendar and includes a wealth of information on how to prepare for your photo session, including a style and location guide. You’ll get an optional phone consultation so we can discuss the details of your photo session and get you excited for the big day. Some people don’t like phone calls, so I don’t push this. But, I encourage you to take advantage of that chance to plan and get to know me a little better.
You receive quite a bit of information before we meet for your session, so thank you for understanding and respecting that your session fee is not refundable if you decide to cancel your photoshoot.
Your session fee includes up to 90 minutes for your family session. Most sessions go about an hour simply because we’ve gotten more than enough amazing pictures and everyone is getting tired by that point. You’ll receive a robust online proofing album about 1-2 weeks after your session. You can expect quick responses from me for any help you might need with your gallery, ordering your collections, downloading your images, and ordering print products. Your session fee includes quite a bit, but does not include your images or products.
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). It 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 if you just want a handful of images this time, the Petite Collection includes 6 images for only $300. You’ll receive the code for your print credit when you retouched selections are ready for download. I encourage you to use this! You’ll put that code into your Shootproof cart, which is connected to a high quality print lab that only professional photographers have access to.
No hidden fees, but I do need to pay myself for the extras I provide! Additional charges include a minimal $0.60/mile travel fee if you’d like me to drive to you outside of the Manhattan area. That only applies to the distance that is beyond 20 miles of my home in Manhattan. 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. Currently, the Manhattan, KS sales tax is 8.95%. I only have to charge that sales tax for the session fee and print products. That’s part of why I’ve separated the digital collections from the session fee. 😉
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. That will be 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. I’m not a salesy person and won’t push products on you. But, I’m plenty experienced and here to help!
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