Running a small business is no easy task. It's messy and thrilling and terrifying all at the same time. But no matter what, it's definitely a journey worth taking. As a mom of two littles, I know the daily struggles, and I'm here to walk this journey with you. If you're ready to feel empowered, encouraged and on fire for the things you truly love, then you're in the right place. I'm Rebecca Rice, a pizza loving hot chocolate drinking family photographer and educator and this is the business Journey podcast.
Hey friends, welcome back to another episode of the business Journey podcast. I'm your host, Rebecca rice. And I teach family photographers how to gain A life of financial freedom through a thriving photography business. Today, we are talking all about pricing. Again, we did a pricing episode last month. And today we're doing a pricing q&a Because I got several questions about pricing. And I want to be able to like really dive in and address those and help y'all as we like start heading into our fall season. And you're probably you know, working on your pricing structure and stuff leading into the fall. So this episode is for you. Now before we get too far, I did want to let you know about a free guide that I have available just for you guys.
And this guide is the 3k mini sessions blueprint. And basically it is a step by step guide to walk you through what you need to do to make your first $3,000 on a single set of mini sessions. When I say a single like date of minis, I'm not talking about shooting minis all day, for eight hours, I'm talking like a two to three hour time block to make $3,000 or more. Maybe you have never run many sessions before and you're really wanting to, or you have run minis, but you've never made more than $3,000 on a single day of minis, then this guide is for you. So you can grab that we have it linked for you. But I'll give the URL just in case you want to type it in. It's Rebecca rice photo.com/ 3k Dash minis, that's the number three the letter K dash minis. And you can download it today completely for free and use that as we head into the fall for your mini sessions. Let's go ahead and get into your pricing questions. This episode is going to be probably short and sweet. I say that now. I may be taking that back later we'll see. But I assume it's going to be short and sweet. Just as we go through. Let's see how many questions 123455 Questions that I really want to touch on today about pricing. And just really help serve you however I can leading into you know, this next season that we have being the summer, it's usually an offseason for family photographers. So this is a great time to evaluate your pricing. And we did a really great episode a few weeks back on how do you know if you should raise your prices. And it was just a great conversation on pricing. And so I encourage you to listen to that if you haven't already. But I want to get into some of the questions that I was receiving here so that we can answer those for you. So the first question that I get all the time when it comes to pricing for full sessions for many sessions, people always ask do you charge the full amount upfront or just a deposit? For me personally, I do a 50% retainer due at the time of booking and then the rest is due before our session. For one I call it a retainer not a deposit because deposits even if you say non refundable, technically they're refundable. So the language in my contract I use is a 50% non refundable retainer, that way, it truly is non refundable. I choose to do a 50% retainer and then the rest do before the session and split it up like that, because I don't want the price to be like a barrier of entry for people. And so if somebody's looking to book a full session or a mini session with me, and that price is like a sticker shock, and it's just a little out of their budget or whatever. And it helps to have it split into two payments. Most of the time people will book it even if it's slightly out of their price range because they're able to make it into separate payments. Now I know some people that do they charged the full amount upfront for many sessions. For me, I just choose not to I keep it still doing the 50% retainer because I don't want the price to be a barrier of entry for people. So you can choose to do what you will. I highly, highly suggest taking a retainer don't just you know have the full amount due at the time of session because people cancel and plans change and stuff and so take the retainer to hold their spot and stick with it there. Another question I get a lot still on this like topic of retainers is what happens if somebody gets sick or not needs to move the session for any reason, like, what do you do with like the second half, or even the retainer for me, if I have a client that is sick, or like something urgent comes up, and they have to move their session, I will allow them to move their retainer one time to another date. Now, I know some people that are like very, like strict about it, and they make them put down a new retainer. For me, I tried to, like put myself in my client's shoes of like, if it were me, and my kid got sick, or like something happened, that was out of my control, how would I want to be treated and so I allow them to move their session one time without having to pay another retainer. Now, that helps avoid them, you know, moving it a million times I tell them, hey, for this time, I will allow you to keep that retainer and move it towards the next session, if we have to move it again, you're gonna have to pay a new retainer, I'm in clients are really understanding of that. And they're really thankful that I allow them to move at once. Now, if somebody is just a no show, they don't communicate with me, they don't show up, they just forgot about the session which I have had this happen. I've had clients like straight up forget about the session, they had no good reason or anything like that. I do not refund that retainer, I refund the second half, or we like apply it to a different session, but they do need to pay a new retainer. So I think it's just like on a like situation by situation basis to see like what you think feels right for how to handle a retainer. But a good rule of thumb is like, how would you want to be treated as the client if there's something outside of their control? Now, if it is in their control, then stick with your contract? They do not need to be refunded that retainer. Another question that I get a lot is What do you charge for headshots, especially multiple, like corporate groups? Great question. So it usually I don't get a lot of headshot Ingres because you know, I shoot families, but I do get the occasional when it comes to headshots, I choose to charge by the person instead of by time because especially with like a corporation, people are using their headshot to advertise their business. It's, it's almost like it's kinda like branding photos. It's a like licensing agreement, kind of. And so you want to charge in a way that reflects that. And so I typically charge like 150 to $200 per person, and every person gets two images, and you maybe like two images for $200. That's a lot. Well, here's the deal. If they are a corporation, like a large corporation, they can afford it 100%. So I have been like shocked with the amount of money that corporations will pay for corporate headshots. I've done headshots for like a med spa, and they happily paid $200 a person for their whole staff to get headshots. So most people do most like larger companies do have it in the budget. And even for I've done small businesses, and I charged the same $200 per person, they got two images, and they happily paid it as well, because headshots just are not cheap. And that's like industry standard. So I would keep that in mind when you're quoting headshots. Now if it's like they have 100 employees or 1000 employees, or however many you can think about doing like bulk pricing. But I wouldn't do hourly I would do by the person. Oh, I get this question a lot is people say what price would you charge for a mini session if all images are included instead of upselling. Because if you know how I structure my minis, and how I teach students to structure minis, we do a 15 minute mini session with five images included. And we upsell the rest. So like we'll deliver a gallery of 20 images. And we'll charge more after the fact for those images. The way that I teach is $65, an image sets of three for $90, or the full gallery for $200. And that's on top of the mini session fee that you they already paid. People ask well, what if I don't want to upsell and I just want to include all images? How should I price my mini sessions? You may not like this answer. But I would just say don't do that. Because at that point, it's not a mini session. It's a small full session because they're getting a full gallery. If you're going to do it, then price it at like $450 or $500 Because that's what you would get from upselling. But if you're not comfortable with a $500 mini session, then I suggest don't include all your images, because you're leading a lot of revenue, a lot of money on the table by not upselling your images and so upselling can be done automated through emails, it does not have to be in person sales. In fact, the way I teach is through automated emails. I actually have an upselling mini course in my shop and we'll link it here for you guys. If you want to check it out. It's for shoot proof. It's a shoot proof upselling mini course but it does translate into other gallery delivery systems too. I just use shoot proof so that's what I show it on. So if you want to check out that mini course to teach you how to set up the automations for upselling, so that you don't have to do it in person, you don't have to be the the ones sending the emails that it all happens automatically. It can be done. But I do not suggest doing a mini session with all the images included. Another question that I get a lot is if the venue charges a fee, should I include it in my pricing. So we're going to talk about mini sessions and for full sessions across the board. Yes, definitely include the cost of the venue in your pricing, you want to like pass that off to the client, because it's a cost of doing business, right, and you want to make sure that you're profitable, so you should include it in your pricing. So for full sessions, let's say there is an indoor venue that you want to use, you know, for us, my associate team shoots in, in the Dallas area, there's a greenhouse that they like to rent out. So I think it's like $70 An hour or something like that. So if a client wants a session with the greenhouse, we will for the full session, we will tell them the full session price. And then we will say the greenhouse is an additional $70 If you want to rent it, and we just pass it off to the client, they pay us the $70. And then we book the greenhouse. So it's really simple there. Now for many sessions, I teach my students to include that in the mini sessions price. So let's say you're doing red truck mini sessions at Christmas time, you have a vintage red truck that charges $150 An hour or whatever. So if that's the case, it's $150 An hour and you're doing four minis an hour, that is $37.50 to like divide that out. So I would take whatever your normal mini session price is an add at least $37.50 to cover the cost of the rental because you shouldn't be like eating that out of pocket. That should be something that the clients all like collectively help pay for. And so when I do mini sessions, my you know, indoor studio minis or minis with anything, I have to rent a truck, things like that those minis are always more expensive, because I do include the cost in the mini session. So don't feel bad about doing that clients will understand. Okay, and then the last question I want to touch on is people ask how do I price my full sessions? When I also like I'm shooting mini sessions, which is a really good question like so you have your mini sessions, you have your full sessions, how do you price them so that they make sense, a good rule of thumb is that your full session should be at least double your mini session price. So if your mini session is $150, your full session should be no less than $300. If your mini session is $250, then I believe your full session should be at least $500. And kind of go from there. And sometimes people try to like make it equivalent of like, okay, so if my full session is an hour, and my mini session is 15 minutes, I'll just divide my full session by four. And that's my mini sessions price. Because that way, the time is the same, I would not set the price like that. mini sessions should cost more per hour or more per image than full sessions. So for easy math, let's say your full session is $200. You may say okay, well, I can do four minis in an hour. And so if my full session is an hour for 200, maybe my mini session should be $50. Because that would be 50 150 $200 in an hour. No, we don't want to do that, because that's not profitable. And so you want to make sure that you're pricing in a way that is profitable. So in Episode 67, we talked a little bit about cost of doing business and things like that. So you want to keep that in mind when you are pricing your mini sessions in your full sessions. But a good rule of thumb is that your full session be at least double your mini session price. And if that scares you, then it's probably like time that you raised your prices anyway, which I talked about in that other episode. So go give that a listen. So these are just a handful of really common pricing questions that I get if you had a question that I didn't touch on here that you would love help with or have an answer to feel free to shoot me a DM at Rebecca rice photography on Instagram and I'd love to chat with you and either help answer your question or point you in the direction have another like podcast episode or YouTube video or something that would help answer that question. So yeah, I hope this episode was helpful for you. Just one of those fun ones answering common questions that I get. Don't forget to grab that free guide that I talked about at the beginning of this episode. If you want the link again, it's Rebecca rice photo.com/ 3k Dash minis that's the 3k mini sessions guide. And yeah, that's all I have for you for today. So hope you guys have an awesome rest of your week and we will see you this time next week. Bye guys.