I recently asked my newsletter subscribers to participate in answering a questionnaire, to help me gain a better understanding about what my clients, and potential clients are looking for when searching for a photographer. I definitely took all of the responses to heart, and am eager to share how your feedback has had a part in helping me to implement some changes in my business. I truly appreciate all of the responses that I received, and thought I would share some of my findings.
Question 1: What is the most important factor that you consider when looking for a photographer?
Options provided were: Price, Imagery & Style that appeals to you, Experience, Reviews/Referrals from others, Package & Product Options, and Other
I have to be honest, I was shocked to see that “Price” trumped everything else, though “Imagery & Style” was a close second. “Package & Product” options was rated third, and the remaining given options were not selected by anyone.
Question 2: Which product is the most important to you?
Options provided were: Gift Prints, Wall Art, Albums, Digital Files, and Other
I was not at all surprised that the coveted “Digital Files” were ranked as the #1 product that clients were interested in purchasing. Albums ranked in at #2, and Gift Prints, Wall Art & Other were tied for the 3rd spot.
Question 3: Would you be inclined to purchase your imagery a la carte, all inclusive, or other?
There was an even tie between the “a la carte” and “all-inclusive” options. This response in particular has prompted me to introduce a new (and former) option when booking sessions with me (continue reading for more info on that!)
The survey also included some other questions in relation to clients’ past experience with Defining Moments Photography, and suggestions on how I might make improvements etc. I am thrilled to report that everyone was happy with the experiences that they have had, and I sincerely appreciate all of the other comments that were provided as well.
So, why did I feel the need to put forth these questions, you ask?
Two reasons: One being that I wanted to touch-base with past clients and gain some feedback about their experience with Defining Moments Photography. Although creating beautiful imagery for my clients is certainly a top priority, so is customer service. I welcome all feedback and will continue to do my best to ensure that everyone is satisfied with their experience and products.
The second reason has to do with the way sessions are offered. For me, choosing a business model and adequate pricing are THE most challenging aspects of owning my own business. It really is a personal struggle in that I want to stay true to myself and what I believe in, while also pleasing my clients. It is one of those things that I have lost sleep over, and even shed some tears over. I need to remember that I am not everyone’s photographer. I will not be able to please everyone….though I will continue to try. It’s just my personality. :)
Once upon a time, I did offer an all-inclusive option in addition to the a la carte session option. I found that some clients really wanted to have possession of all of their images and have the ability to print them at their leisure, while other clients preferred the opportunity to view and select their favourite images and purchase professional quality prints and products (and the option to purchase digital collections was still available as an option!). This past January, I decided to eliminate the all-inclusive option. I had several reasons for doing this, though the one core reason being that I had a hard time just handing over a USB of images to my clients, and not knowing for certain that the images would ever be printed. I just felt like I hadn’t fulfilled my responsibilities completely as a photographer. It may be surprising, but after speaking with some past clients and running a poll on my Facebook page, a significant percentage of people who had purchased digital files from either myself of another photographer had never even printed their photos! I believe that a big part of my job is ensuring that my clients have beautiful images to display in their home…but really, it is completely up to you, the client, how you would like to archive and/or showcase your images.
Therefore, after much thought and reflection, I have decided to build upon my business model and now have three different session types to select from. I have decided to re-introduce the all-inclusive session offerings, with a few changes. The all-inclusive (or “Deluxe”) option will include the session fee, and a select number of digital images with an accompanying print release. There is an option to purchase additional images if you so desire. The a la carte session (or “Simplicity”) options will remain unchanged. I have also introduced a third package option — the “Elite” package, which in my eyes, is the best of both worlds! The “Elite” option includes the session fee, a select number of digital images, as well as specific product. I am hopeful that this new change is a positive one and will be received well my past clientele, and potential clients alike. To view the new session options and for more details, please visit the “Investment” link via the website and select the appropriate session type you are interested in.