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Pricing Packages: How to Price Your Work and Plan for Growth

Lesson 24 from: Newborn Photography Bootcamp

Kelly Brown

Pricing Packages: How to Price Your Work and Plan for Growth

Lesson 24 from: Newborn Photography Bootcamp

Kelly Brown

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Lesson Info

24. Pricing Packages: How to Price Your Work and Plan for Growth

How do you price your newborn photography? It's something many new photographers struggle with. Kelly walks you through the process, including what to factor in your prices. Along with pricing basics, learn how to price for growth down the road.


Class Trailer

Day 1


Course Introduction


Flow Posing


Kelly's Home Studio


Day 2


How to Set Up Your Home Studio in a Week: Planning


Day 3


How to Set Up Your Home Studio in a Week: Foundation


Lesson Info

Pricing Packages: How to Price Your Work and Plan for Growth

we're gonna talk about howto price your work and plan for growth something that I know I struggled with so many times and I know that lots of photographers struggle with it because you know being in an industry that's unregulated were not told how much we should be charging we don't know how much charge position fee we don't know how much you charge for a five by seven or an eight by ten we don't know these things so I had to kind of do a little bit of research and I did it with the help of some some of my mentors that I've had in the past and come up with ways to make sure that I could plan you know for growth but I could also plan for my future which was really important as well because we're running a business I don't work for somebody who pays me a salary who pays my um superannuation who pays you know insurance is anything like that I have to do all of that myself that's a business so if my husband was still at work and god forbid something happened to him and it was just me and m...

y kids then I would be lost so you're going to make sure that when you are working for yourself and you are taking money in exchange for services and goods you are you're doing it all the right way you're planning for your growth you're planning for your future and you were taking everything into consideration in that process so pricing seems like a fairly simple word right price what's the price but what goes into that price is really quite complicated because I don't think that a lot of us really think about it it's it's not something that we're made aware of constantly or anything like that so you know for me when it's when it comes time to press my work I like to increase my packages just slightly every year so that I am it continually increasing my salary which a lot of people don't pay themselves and I'm also you know increasing my cost of doing business because I might want to just take things to the next level but we're talking about before I want you know I'm already visualizing what my packaging is going to look like in the future and in my products and all of that kind of thing so in life circumstances and situations change as well and all of that's going to have effect on how much you charge or should be charging for me you know you have to value your in time and talent like if you don't do that no one's going to and I've said it so many times value it your time your time is precious when you go and work for an employer you are paid for your time and talent you negotiate a wage and salary you get holiday pay yet superannuation how is working for yourself any different you spend more money on equipment you spend longer hours in front of a computer it is easy to go and work for somebody else isn't it is it is rewarding it's not like those images that I showed you that hanging on someone's walls I did that I need to be paid for that I do I need to be because that was my time and my talent that created those images those pieces of artwork that again hang on their wall I don't do it for free I can't do it for free in the beginning I thought I just love what I do I just talk free but no it doesn't work that way because all that free time that I was given to somebody else I was not spending on my family I neglected my kids and neglected my husband I worked my butt off for nothing and I got fat I put on twenty eight kilos and I've just lost them because I finally saw the camera's reversed on may and I went wow what happened to may I focused all my time and energy on everybody else instead of myself I got a kick up the bum a few years back I started to put all my businesses and you know everything about running my business into action so I worked even harder because to go from there to here it's not easy it's not a free ticket would be nice if it wass but I still continued tio not look after myself because I didn't value it so then I started to really value myself I value my time valued the time that I spent with my children and my family and I thought nothing is going to come into this and you all no and everybody watching you have to look at yourself if you are not earning a living from this earning an amount of money to cover your costs off doing business and to cover your costs of time away from your family no amount of money is with not being with your family so I want you to work on out of the cygnus it it's the only thing that you get is working on your own personal goals and your business goals then that's fine but I'm going to share with you how I set my business goals and my personal goals and I come up with my pricing because it all flows on from one thing to another I am going to share with you in a moment that I forgot to tell you about the pricing guide that's actually included with this class with this some boot camp so you'll get like a small outline a guide on how teo toe workout certain things how to press yourself there's gonna be some formulas in there and probably not included in there about the goal setting and things like that but it is a very important factor in this so we'll move on because I am gonna cover everything that's in that little downloadable file as well so how much do I charge we've talked about not knowing how much to charge and what you should charge and you know it's really simple when you look at it from a formula point of view and it's to me it kind of just it seems so simple now but back then it wasn't I didn't know all of those things and the first thing I had to know was what was my cost of doing business I had set myself out for this hobby that I love doing ten years ago and you know I was a bored housewife I really was I picked up a camera and I started taking pictures of my child I studied photography so I could take better pictures of my child and I wasn't bored being a mom but I just needed something to do something that was for may and back then I never intended arm or back then I probably didn't intend but back then I had no clue that my business would take me this far if I actually put my mind to it and worked in the right direction and got the right information the right help so my cost of doing business you know it's such a broad area because it ranges from every pinion by right through to every single piece of photographic equipment that you buy your papers your printer's your computers your lenses your laptops even that you travel with all the leads the power leads in and it the electricity the telephone the hating any hate is that you have all your props all your bits and pieces that you fill your studio I had no clue how much any of that was costing me none whatsoever so I had to actually work it out and I had to sit down with my husband who is a lot better it at the monetary side of things than I am and he's like do you have any idea how much you spend a month on props like you know like I didn't even keep receipts the things and he's like you have the craziest business person in the world so I cut like a listen hard way and and we started to keep receipts everything and when I actually look back at how much money I was spending it was phenomenal because I was spending way more than I was earning way way more absolutely everything so we have a quick question how I haven't just curious because I'm a very passionate photographer not that anybody else is an inherited and really emotionally attached to it and my husband is completely opposite and very very on the business end of it and so a lot of times we butt heads because I'm like you know this is what I feel and he's like well no on the business side of it you're doing his thing wrong so I was wondering when you got to that point when you realized the business side of it was not what it was supposed to be did you feel like your passion was ah altered a little bit or and did you feel like that shift and change where you feel like you were working and not so much doing what you love yeah I was so additional disillusioned when I wanted to become a photographer because I thought it was all about taking pretty pictures on the bed of my pictures were the bit of the photographer I was going to pay but you know we didn't realize at the time how much time it would actually take away from me because I had a husband who was working away and only home every second weekend so I didn't seem for eleven days straight on at the time I know but my kids were living in a twins right you know he's been retired for two years so for three years I was pretty much a single mom and I worked because I was unhappy and I looked at my business and I knew I wasn't doing it right so I was trying to do it right I was trying to do all the business things I was trying to be the creative photographer I was trying to be a mom and he would come home and I'm like oh my god just take the kids and it did it got to that point where I was just like ah so frustrating so we had to get together we had to sit down and talk about all the things that were going wrong to be able to fix them to put it on the right path and it was really frustrating because we have butt heads so many times because I'm the creative and he's he's a business minded person so we decided that lack of said no amount of money is worth being away from your family because eventually we would have just walked in different directions it's it's horrible to say but we would have we were going in different directions is and unless we actually met in the middle we wouldn't be together anymore so we had to work really hard at not only our business but our marriage as well to keep it going because nothing's easy so we got through the head butting and he decided to retire and he's been working with me now full time so that's what that's business got to that point where it was either I stop what I'm doing or he stops what he's doing and it was the best business decision I've ever made and he's he's now a part of my business and he runs all of the business side of things but that's in another segment so yeah it does come down to you know all of those things but unless you know what it costs to run your business you're not going to know exactly how much to charge so I would recommend you write a list everybody write a list of everything that potentially you use that costs money you need to factor in your insurances legal legal consultations for your policies and contracts you need to factor in if you're a member of an association what your yearly monthly registrations are I like to interpret awards I know roughly an average amount of what it's going to cost me two into those what it's gonna cost me to print what it's going to cost me the match and what it's going to cost me to post my my entries so I've defected all of that into my cost of doing business then I can claim all that on tax so after you've done that and you've listed everything you didn't have to know how many sessions can you do per week how many do you want to do a week like whether you want to be full time part time casual once a month you know it's entirely up to you and your business how often you wanna work I only want to do three sessions a week because I want to do other things and I have got other things going on at the moment so fit perfect and somebody asked me before you know what do I do if my kids are sick that's fine many shooting three days a week I can reschedule which which works fine most people are really understanding that I am a mom with a camera my children will always come first and then you have to know how many weeks of the year can you work if you don't have help with the kids and they're at school you can't work in school holidays so you got to take that into consideration and then for example you come to your formula so let's just say this is just a couple of numbers I've plucked out that have made it easy to work out so you cost of doing business for a year everything that we've talked about what does it cost you for certain things it's roughly thirty thousand dollars and then we're going to add on there your salary so what is your salary that you're going to pay yourself if had any of you work for an employer to any of you have a job working for somebody else nobody does so if you were to go backto work to work for an employer you would expect to be paid for your time you would be paid a salary just like a show of hands you know like how he's been paid a salary before all of you so how many of you currently pay yourself a salary one person tio edson it's pretty accurate really like when you talk to photographers in workshops and groups and mentoring sessions how many people don't pay themselves because they think I will if I can you know my cost of doing business if I can earn more than that then that's fine it's not really but yeah we have a quick question yeah I was just thinking that's how much I want to make and you also have to factor in the fact that if I were a tree stian the states if I were working for an employer I was a teacher formally before having kids I got a salary but what I didn't see was that they also paid from a health care they paid for and so there's so much on top of my salary that really as as self someone who self employed you you're paying that so that is actually your you know that just adds to that that income that you have to then carve out for yourself so totally totally this is just a small example of it but there's so many things that you have to factor into it this is a business I now employ an assistant and it's not a photography assistant it's an office administrator so I have to pay her by the hour I also have to pay her superannuation I have tio deduct tax I have to do all of those things like we're now running serious business here just for the people who are don't live in australia superannuation thank you retirement yes yes so it's like a retirement fund basically that you when you employ someone you have to put a percentage of their wage into this superannuation fund so yes I'm sorry yeah your mom your salary you know that's an example of one hundred thousand dollars that's going to change in every country and in every economy and everyone's you know demographic and we're not all going to start there you know like we're saying you've got your height you're high market your mid market and you'll arrange your budget market so where you fit into that and according to your growth and other factors like you know three economy and the demographic that you're sort of in and all of those things they will have to be contagion into taking into consideration and then you have to allow room for growth so every year I increase my pricing and I increase it because not by certain amount I don't go on and increase my process by temps in I'm going to increase them buy what I need to earn the following year so we'll work that out now if I can do three sessions per week and I can work forty two weeks of the year that I'm I can do one hundred twenty six sessions that's not bad you know like if I understand you born photographer that's a lot of babies remember a few years ago I shot one hundred and thirteen and I thought that was a lot so I've also then got to round it down because what if I don't get there what if what if my marketing plan doesn't work what if I don't quite reach one hundred twenty six clients that I need to book to cover those expenses so I round it down a little bit but that's okay because you need to then divide you know a and bay by the amount that you have to earn one hundred thirty thousand dollars and you come up with a figure that's you know one thousand and thirty dollars that you need to earn from every session so if you're going to charge packages you're gonna put say for example more goes through my price my old pricing guide from my first class in a minute just so we can you know talk about a little bit more if you need to earn one thousand and thirty dollars from every session that you do to cover your cost of doing business in your salary then you've gotta add the cost you products on top of that so we look at our pricing guide now and we've been talking about it and saying you know it's got pretty pictures in it he's just a few of the slides out of it brief amount of information you know your session fee the cost of that what's included where is it all of that information move on to the next one we've got our products and so for example if you've got it in one thousand thirty dollars and that package cost fourteen hundred dollars and the canvas that you are supplying with that on ly costs two hundred dollars then your profits going to be slightly greater which is what we're talking about when we can't quite meet that amount of clients when we don't quite reach the hundred twenty six people that we need come in the door and then you you're going through your pricing like that my next package this one here it's actually two hundred dollars more than the campus package and the campus is twenty four by thirty inch canvas from from memory for this one and it's a box it's a small box about that big and there's six by four prints in the inside so it comes with thirty six by four prints on fine art paper in a box that's covered in a a beautiful hymn fabric with a usb and twenty digital falls the previous package on the came with ten digital files this is only two hundred dollars more but it only cost me a hundred and thirty dollars so sixteen hundred dollars minus one hundred thirty means that my puff profit margin is a lot better bigger so they've got more money going into my bank this was my highest selling item because it seemed like they were getting more value for money and they never hesitated yes I wanted my images to hang on their walls is beautiful canvases and things like that people still did that but they also got beautiful images six by fours in a beautiful box that can go on a coffee table in someone's home as a piece of artwork as well because it's a beautiful piece and I wouldn't sell it if it wasn't so when you are coming up with your packaging in your pricing when you are adding on your package is your products to your packages that you are covering the cost of those plus the amount that you need to end from each position and then you've got to take into consideration that you might not reach that one hundred twenty six people that need to come in and then you need to structure your pricing in a way that you entice people to purchase something that costs a little bit left but it does appear that they're getting something greater like it seems like more than getting more value for money and that's what people want they're going to see the value in you we're going to see the value in your service in your product but they still want to see value they want to feel like they're getting way more value for the dollar so yeah your prints are archival quality but what about the hay or whatever you have it in the does that does that go with it the client just tell them to take it out or they leave it in constraining it's just it's just recycled paper it's not hey no it's recycled shredded paper so it's it's um you know it's got no return or anything it's not going to damage the prince and what have you and those prints like when you touch a fine out paper it marks they've been sprayed with a protective lemon it so you can handle them and they don't mark it's beautiful beautiful paper otherwise I would never put them in a box like that on top of each other I think it does actually say there that it's some that they spread with a protective vanish so yeah beautiful products so comes with ten high res and it's you know a museum grade archival quality campus and explaining that to them showing them that how it's made the beauty in it and adding that to it so the campus is a gorgeous and people loved them but they still always want to feel like they're getting more for their money do you have any questions yeah I just see on your second package he give party images printer prints yes yes that's because they get twenty digital files but I will convert some of those two black and white so I'll print thirty and I'll get the color and the black and white because I roughly change around ten on average to black and white but if they've got thirty six prints are still print thirty six because I'm exceeding your expectations it's not set in stone that it's just thirty but it is never less than thirty but I'll give them the color version in the black and white in those prints because I'd rather have you know a beautiful black and white from may than them printed somewhere yeah and I explained that to them as well radio thie album that's an older album that I used to sell and it was a beautiful album when it first came out it was the first one that I came across that had the texture in the paper but if you see down the bottom here where it's bound when you open it you couldn't have a a full page spread across the middle so I went with an album that you could because sometimes you create images that just need two pages because they need to be big right and then the loom it'll set that I used to sell its three that we showed previously in my other products and that's another set right there so you've got a twelve inch block in the middle too twelve by eight and out of our side so that package there for eighteen hundred dollars that actually cost me to make that was around four hundred fifty dollars that one so that I didn't sell a lot of those because they are quite heavy and not many people you know I can see that they can put those somewhere in their home they see them in my house and I looked at them but it was the my highest selling packages were number one my little box with six by four's my album and then my canvas print so I did sell campuses but I did sell the other stuff as well and then I would sell on top of those war prints and it says that these could be purchased in in addition to your chosen package not separately so they don't pay the two hundred dollars session fee and then by a couple of prints they can purchase them in addition the most important thing when it comes to providing your clients with information about your pricing is you're giving them all the right information so no one's ever going to come back and say to me you know I want to see more images or yeah I don't really want that package can I have this for this much you've got to stand by your words you could stand by your product and what it is that you do because that's you that's what you offer you can't change it for everyone you will go crazy if you allowed everybody to make changes but also when it comes to your pricing and your packages if you give somebody too many options you're just going to create so much work for yourself with my ala carte I used to to sell you know different I think that was like eight different size prince and five by seven was an option and oh my god they would order about eight prints but in all the different sizes and the packaging ordering separately all of those things you said be so time consuming and I was just I just got over it I got over ordering you know five five by sevens and two eight by tens and eleven by fourteen I had to simplify what I was doing so I had to come up with products so my album I just drop box the falls she designs them my lumi tiles I only have to upload three images my six by four thirty by six by four prints I drop box those to bring in prints there then reduced to six by four they print them on a shape they spray them guillotine them and I have been put them in the box so it's so easy I have taken all that work away and given it to somebody else and you know I've got more time to spend on other things so it's finding products that you're not gonna have tio spent an awful amount of time working on and yeah and packaging them beautifully but when it comes back to pricing like I really want to hear from you guys some questions like what areas you having problems within in your pricing before we do that can you tell us again that this yu these are examples from an older pricing died is that correct that you thought about what point in your career were you when when what you just showed us when you were offering this thiss price list was three years ago so and you know my cost of doing business three years ago it was thirty thousand dollars I had aimed to pay myself one hundred thousand dollars because my husband and I were working towards him stopping work and I need to increase my my salary so that I could earn enough money for him to come home because another thing that we don't consider when we are paying ourselves a salary is for me now with my husband at home my business now needs to cover the cost ofthe my mortgage it's gonna cover the cost ofthe my car payments gotta cover the groceries every week to st feed my three children and myself it's gonna pay for bills for my animals it's gonna pay for everything water bills gas electricity you name it ah holiday we'll have a holiday so my salary is based on that you don't just pick a number out like what do you need to contribute to your family what amount of money do you need to contribute so that you can live more comfortably my husband doesn't have a very large income like he did he was the money owner he was you know he and a lot more than I do but he's sacrificed that let me do what I do because I love it so much and which is which is really incredible so when you are considering your your salary take into consideration how you can contribute to your household are you on your own a soul you know income earner or are you with the team are you with a partner that also has an income what do you need to contribute and how would you like to leave in your life style would you like to be able to afford to go out for dinner to a nice restaurant once a week all those things I know I deserve it I'm not going to be cheap and considered mcdonald's takeaway you know as a nice dinner out that's not me I want to go and sit in a nice restaurant I deserve that so that's all considered into how much I work out my salary needs to pay we um you know it's the cost of living today is so expensive it's expensive for everybody so you've got to be consistent with not just what your cost of doing business is but also what your salary should be a because when you're paying like your mortgage your all those all those things when you're paying when you coming up with that salary and you having to pay all that money out for bills and all that kind of stuff you're paying other businesses that have cost of doing business so it's a cycle but yeah we have some more questions thinking what would you recommend for photographers who offer maternity and newborn would you recommend like the packages can the client add prints off both sessions and you would you give all the images on the usb as well how would that work so my my maternity sessions work a little bit differently teo turn a lot of photographers but I was I've been doing them for for a long time and I love doing maternity sessions there a lot of fun but what I found was I would drive for an hour to the beach it's been an hour in my car and it's been two hours down there and it's been an air on the way back and you have petrol and all those things and all that time and energy and they probably ordered two images and then they would order the rest from their newborn gallery because they don't necessarily want a whole gallery full of maternity images they just want to remember what it was like to be pregnant they want a couple of beautiful photos that's it so now I only offer a thirty to forty five minute session two changes so two outfits in my studio that's it they get ten images than in the gallery in an online gallery and they can choose from their package like they can choose which package but the digital files that go with that package they can choose from in the gallery and if they want to purchase extra digital files then they can buy individual falls in addition for an amount so yeah I had to simplify that as well because it was just spending so much time and not really getting anything in return like because I only want to do three shoot today you know I want to be able tio I can do a maternity shoot as a fourth truth of the week because it's only really small it's an hour of my time from start to finish so I think that pricing is the most challenging part of the business aspect on the numbers person and I can very easily figure out cost of doing business is this divide by the number of sessions is that figuring out your worth well that's a whole other beast but when you're calculating for the number of sessions that you're able to dio versus what's realistic as faras you know getting people in the door even you know some people here are marketing like crazy maybe others like myself haven't quite mastered that yet on of course that's something that I planned to do but well I'm ramping up for the marketing to get the number of sessions that I want to get should I be calculating my numbers based on what my realistic ability is design makes sense not what I'm actually doing but what I want to be doing legal point because she's she's obviously first year of business only doing x a man decisions and everybody is only going to be able to do a certain man decisions were not going to be able to do one hundred twenty six sessions or we could do more depending on where we're at but I think when you calculate it you do have to take into consideration so for me the way I said my packages up is that I always had a cushioning always knew because I've done prior to doing you know that I have done less systems so I have to base it on that okay well right I can do one hundred twenty six realistically I'm probably only going to get a hundred clients in the door so I base it off that and then I added a new formula this's justin example and this pricing guide this's from you know three years ago and it was available as a download from my first creative life that's why I would share it again to show you a little bit more in depth as to how I came up with those prices so for may I knew that I would probably get around one hundred and when you are engaging gauging how many sessions you can do it you ran it down and engaging how much you need to and rounded up because you do need that questioning area but yes you have to be realistic with yourself I could do one hundred twenty six I'm gonna mark it for one hundred twenty six that's where your marketing plan comes in realistically you know I live in a city where I can only wear only x amount of babies are born every year you know there is like fifty other photographers around main my work might not be as good as ten other photographers around may all of those things again a factor into it so you have to work hard on creating beautiful images beautiful stunning images and then the selling part is really easy the pricing part is really easy because everybody's gonna want you so I recently had a session and I'm on right now I'm on the low and price and wise and I had a session with a a family it was there it was actually the granddaughter that they brought in but they were so kind but I could tell that they didn't quite get this whole like in their head they're paying a certain amount for a session and he's breaking I heat he said how many sessions do do a day how many do do do a week and after a few questions I realize in his head he's calculating I'm paying you how much an hour because that's the math that he was doing not realizing the cost of doing business and the fact that you know this is my kids now are I'm paying someone to be with them right now just like if you were if you were employed by someone else and so how do you do do you find that you're having to communicate that with your clients or is it just your your marking to a different client that that gets that or like I wasn't quite sure how to address that because he didn't ask but I could tell that that the number crunching was happening is in his head and so I'm just curious how or how any of you guys deal with that with a client who who is clearly wondering I'm paying you this much you're only doing this many hours of work and their head like how do you educate them what they don't see is you know all the hours that you spend at the end of this session with the post processing and all of that so just you know in a gentle way you could reassure them that it's not just clicking the camera but you shouldn't have to justify your prices to anybody ever um unless of course you're charging a hundred dollars in giving them two hundred images on a disk then you would have to justify that I'm sorry but you know when I've never had to justify my pricing to anybody but I've worked damn hard you know it's taken me ten years to get here and to charge what I charge some people are doing it in one to two years I've done it in ten I don't have to justify myself to anybody and I'll continue to price in charge and sell exactly how I want to do it because if it's me my lifestyle and my business so when it comes to clients coming in the door you know just general conversations looking been doing I've done x man decisions this week I've got about twenty images to it it tonight you know from about ten in a really gentle way just probably takes me around three to five minutes on each image letting them know you know then now start to calculate that if they're really good at math so yeah just you know communicate with them all the other aspects of running a business you know you know I just love my printer I'm going off to see them later it's probably take me about thirty minutes to get there blah blah pick up those canvases yet talk to them in a way that it's it's it's not like you know you shouldn't be judging me because I charge this it's more off you know wow gosh I've had so many incredible clients in recently and my and my nights just filled with with editing you know incredible images make it all positive but just give them the information that they need the way that we communicate with our clients is really important because they can get a very negative I've very quickly and we can get a very negative vibe as well so trying to turn that around and something positive to say hey I'm worth this but you know you saw in my show reel my animados slideshow that we created from my business the slides in there that say you know that I've won some awards if you want anything or if you've done anything incredible in your business don't be afraid to share it let people know that you've worked hard to earn a particular title or something like that I will never be ashamed to share you know my achievements because my clients love those achievements as well and just makes them a little bit more reassured that I am legit professional photographer charging x amount of dollars and it is unfortunate you know that in the photography industry this such an extreme from you know the incredible big photography studio's right down to your entry level people charging you know x next to nothing and things like that but we all do start some way but as long as we realize that what happens on dan here can have an effect of what happens on a pier so unless the people up here start to really help those people down here and educate them and guide them in a way and on a path to really really get some growth out of their business and plan for that um you know unfortunately our industry won't continue to thrive so when we go back I'm going to go back to sitting goals and plans every year my husband and I go away for a weekend in november and our wedding in history we take the kids to go the beach we walk we sit we talk with swim we do all sorts of things to relax and unwind but the one thing we do do is set goals for the following you we plan what we want to achieve and if I want and you isar monitor like I'm gonna buy that this year I need to factor that into my cost of doing business you know I want a new lens I wanna factor that into my cost of doing business a print all of those things so we plan for that what trips were going to take next year all of those things so unless we set those goals we can't plan to get there and that's where your marketing plan your business plan all of those things come into effect go away for a weekend or just have a weekend inside with your family and set goals together personal goals family goals and business goals because I mean I don't know about you can have it if I didn't have a goal or a plan I don't know if I could get to that same same place I'm I'm curious to hear from from the women in here about where you are with your pricing and if you are where you want to be and then maybe dialogue about how to get you there because I know when I stopped being a professional photographer as a portrait photographer like I was nowhere near where I needed to be for it to be sustainable so like where are you okay well I'm just starting out and I'm really confused about at what point do you go okay my workers at the standard that I can now charge higher I mean I'm at a stage where I think if I am getting it but I'm just not consistent enough yet so I'm just I just un confused about what I should be charging at my level at the moment without giving away my time but working so I am actually bringing some money and and yet you need to bring some money and you know what I still have days where I feel so in inconsistent in my sessions like not every session I do and not everything I do now is perfect but yeah it's it's funny because I think there's just going to continually be you know a sense of involvement with in your business and you do have to start somewhere so when you construct to identify in your work that you know yes I'm getting this I'm really I'm really starting to become consistent speak to some other photographers like that that you you know put in a bit of a high regard talk to them about your work and the certain things that you can go to and because you're in brisbane you should really come along to the the judging next weekend and watch some of the images come through there because when you see other images that of being judged and hear the judge's comments and stuff like that you don't have to enter them you can just go along and watch but when you when you listen to the judges and what they're looking for there is that I want to go into this but they have what is called a professional standard of practice in the judging which is a range off seventy five to seventy nine so if you scoring within that range men even seventy to seventy nine you know you were doing a standard level of professional practice anything above that is what's awarded so if you can watch something like that or even just going through books and sort of look at your work and go hey it's really getting up there you know you can start to increase but every year you're not only is your work going to improve mine did every year I look back at my work and you can see a massive difference from when I first started photographing babies but not only is your work going to improve every year but your process should increase every year so plan it that way planet in a way that you're not increasing your pricing every two to three to four months unless that is obviously in your first week and you see a huge improvement but do it in a way that you know you can you can see a great sense of jump like I mean not since you can see a great jump in you know your your level of work and you're going to get those rewards from it when you are increasing your pricing though don't just add on the amount that you need to add onto a current products source new products it's easier to throw a new product in there than it is teo justified to a client that is coming back to you for a second third time why it's more expensive this time if you offer a new product in that way they don't they don't see that that difference this is just what I offer now and if you do have a client that comes back to you and says oh no we'll have what we got last time and you no longer offer it you know just say you know unfortunately and I had to do with this recently you know due to the cost of that product increasing I know it just didn't it it just didn't seem affordable to me so I no longer offer it a little white lie but my clients don't need to know that so it is easier to introduce a new product and increase your prices as opposed to just lifting the price and not having to sort of answer to that but you will see an increase every year and you should be seeing increasing your pricing and your return as well as the level of your work that you're doing be patient I think how many times have we said that word patient patients hey well when I started my business three years ago I had a business partner that I started to with it was a friend of mine and I just left my job that I had been at for eight years making a pretty decent wage and fortunately my husband gave me the go ahead to go ahead and start this with her so she I was able to contribute some income to the businesses well as me I ended up cashing out my retirement to do it but it was something that I wanted to do and I started right at the get go charging what it wasn't like the low end it was probably more in the middle range I was covering my cost of the products and everything that I was buying so I wasn't the cheapest and I wasn't the most expensive as right around the middle and it was getting to the point where people were willing to pay those prices so I was starting increased them gradually but now I'm to the point where after having been sick for a year going back to still being in that medium point but wanting to increase my price is even more to cover our our basic living expenses because right now he's our wage earner I've gotto be ableto contribute some to that that's right so what the moment like compared to what you were doing how many sessions are you doing at the moment not very many I can maybe do two a week so it takes time like a man I know it sounds simple when you see a written in a formula and they stopped talking about cost of doing business and all of that kind of stuff but that's why we all say it's not easy it is the hardest thing but it takes time and it takes a lot of work when you actually have to sit down and work it out though I think that's when you really start to value yourself as well when you can see it if you if you just go a year that's too hard for me I'm not I'm not gonna do that I'm early on in business you just gonna keep plugging away even if you don't end up you know using you know my formula in the way that I've sort of set it up do it as an exercise sit down write out every single thing that you have to fork money out for for your business so you know where it goes work out how many sessions you can do it you so you can plan for them create a business plan create a marketing plan and then central pricing up to suit and if it doesn't work you've tried but at least try remember and I increased my pricing drastically for the first time after I got my kick up the bum I was so scared and it did it took me two months to actually get a booking and I started to think that this is not gonna work for me and it did and once it did it started to roll in I just needed to target the right people because when I was starting out I was targeting people down here than I was in the mid range I was targeting you know you're you're middle class were hardworking families now my prices are up here you know I see the cars that perhaps in my driveway they're nice guys there doctors lawyers they're business people so you know it changes and there's a client out there for everybody so you just got to find where you fit with that and we've talked about that in all of our segments and it all rolls in to one it's actually really kind of hard to separate it all into different segments because it all ties together but if you don't set yourself a goal and you know I was so unrealistic we set goals and I said we're going to go to disneyland with the family next year my husband said you are crazy is that I know her but we're going to do it and we did we also did eight countries in eight weeks I traveled saw the world and that's something I never ever thought that I would do when I arrived in brisbane with a backpack and fourteen dollars ever my husband left school at the end of your ten so he doesn't have any degrees he doesn't have anything neither of us do we've worked really hard to get to where we are which makes everything so so worthwhile but try it at least know what it costs where you're going and and find some value for yourself in the process it's because I think that most people's problems they do not value this self all the time which is really k so yeah did we have no more questions I wanted to go back to what can I had brought up and I've been in business for eight years so I'm like the old one of crew but we have moved a couple times in the previous place that we lived in my business grew so fast and and really quickly I was we were only there for like a year and a half and then we recently moved tio our new home but it seems like things now have gone backwards and I've come from smaller towns and that we're in a bigger city so maybe it's just the adjustment of being more in a saturated area but you know it's just a really confusing thing for you know from where you started and then you grow and you feel like you've reached your goal and then something throw something at you and now you have to know I don't know if about restarting over rethink how everything is but I just I guess wanted to share that you know it's kind of just comes up and goes and waves so I don't know business and it's the economy and things like that sometimes paper a little bit cheaper you know putting it out there so that people see that we are providing a service that they can't create themselves you know reassuring them that we're giving something when we're doing something that they can't do so making sure you know when that happens when it goes up and down in the slums then you have to sort of real back and go right what's caused that you need to do a re evaluation of your off where you're at with your business and go ok what is actually caused that moving to a new area is really tough like four years ago I was marketing on the other side of town and you know I wasn't a well known photographer back then in in my city so it wasn't until I moved to my new area that I was like all right you know I'm not going to make the same mistakes that I made over there by telling everyone at my children's school that I'm a photographer and it's so funny because I had a skype session with my daughter last night and she said mommy I was telling people thatyou were in seattle and you on this thing called creative life and nobody knows what it is they didn't even know that you're a photographer I'm like that's awesome because prior to that every single parent at that school wanted me to photograph their kids for free or at a discounted price so I didn't want to get tied up having done that really wanted to focus on the people that were my real clients so I worked hard at promoting myself in the area but not at the school and I worked hard at targeting myself too places where pregnant women would go and I am I worked hard at my social media I stopped reading dumb news feeds I've blocked myself from going into any forums I'm a member of groups but I don't even go in there because I don't have time to read anybody else's problems I've got my own problems to solve within my business in my family I stopped wasting so much time on social media and doing mundane things or watching tv and I thought right what is it that I really want if I wanted I'm gonna work hard at it so when I went into that massive slump on dh when we merged and I didn't have a client base I have to work hard to find it and it did take time so yes you do you will go in slumps and different things will affect that you're gonna have to really back when things like that happen and reevaluate reassess like what has actually caused that and how am I going to fix it someone had asked how you know when to raise your prices and I know for me I think it was about a year ago I was too busy and I knew I was like I had too many clients and I said I'm not charging of charging about half of what I am now so that I I'm at a point now where I think I need to raise him again started to write and when you are busy means you to shape it is because I'd rather do three sessions a week and in the same amount as doing five sessions a week to get a look at it that way has some incredible books out there on pricing and valuing and all that it and not just for photography but yes the busy ur means cheaper you are so increase your price is because like I said my favorite clients of the ones that can't afford me but they find a reason and a way to fort to afford me because they're number one they love my work um they love what I do and there are three reasons why someone will book you you're either the most conveniently located you they love your work and have to have it or you've been recommended so when you sort of look at those those three things you know if you're too cheap you're gonna have every man and his dog knocking on your door what if your business is in the place where your clients are mostly your friends and the people that you know and the people in your direct community like you're saying you know your children school and those kind of people and you enjoy it but they're not your target market and you like did you find you just had toe let go of those people completely or um close friends did youjust gift the gift of photography to them so that you know you could still give them those moments and there's um images to share how tio how did you ever have to go through any of that of change over yeah there was a change over and I did always charge hm but when I was building my portfolio I was lucky enough to have quite a few mums around may from mothers groups and things like that but I knew that we're having babies so I didn't charge them for those and I was saying you know previously that it was probably something that I should never have done because I was still spending a lot of time and effort on those and not getting anything in return but when when you're enjoying it that's fine but it's identifying you know when is enough when is too much of your time going there and not enough of your time going over there to find those real paying clients right now they there are paying clients it's not that they're not paying clients it's just thinking you know with the class and everything that the prices will have to be raised in the packages changed anything so converting them over I mean I guess if they value enough they'll follow you it depends from townley good price jump you're gonna have so you can do it gradually you khun set goals you know what set a goal create that wonderful income that you want to earn like I was saying earlier about that telephone conversation you know you got a potential client on the other end and you've got to come up with that dream amount that you want to earn for that portrait session come up with the amount that you want to earn put that on the pacer and picket toe aboard or put it on your fridge so you can see it so that that's something for you to work towards that's how your growth goes don't know jump so drastically that you're just going to lose everybody but if they're your friends and they know you and they know how much time and effort that you put into your business the value oppress rage price price rise and now probably pat you on the back for it I've had a few clients that actually did that there you go you're the people that are closest to you will value that in you as well so after listening to you I realize that I charge a ridiculously low amount of money for the art I created for the service I provide um so of course I understand that I need to value myself as a present as an artist it's a professional how do you how do you make that change on others like how do you make others understand that they need to value yourself you as a as an artist is that professional it's kind of like how do you change the mind in that culture um that I just don't want toe give explanations to customers that well well I mean this is not just a photo and this is not just two hours of shooting time it's also all my bills like I don't need I don't want to say well this is paying for this this and that how do you make them understand that what they're paying for it is a service on art on that you're valuing yourself as an artist so it's sharing with them like I was saying before sharing that with him in a during a session you know what it takes to actually create that shoot and how much time you're going to spend on it just talking to them communicating with them and sharing that with them but do you know what I got what I did actually here in that was how do you increase those prices sometimes you can't so what you do is you lower the amount of work if you can increase your process I listened to somebody in the lunchroom before and fifty images has a lot of work that's a lot of work that means that that's a long session too when my sessions go for two hours and I can spend three to five minutes on an image twenty images I khun do decision and ended it that night if I if I can like realistically so that's like a day of my time and then the ordering of my packages is so simplified everything but if you can increase your prices limit what you were giving them so you have less time spent on that and you couldn't do another session so then you might be you might be doing more working more but in doing that in the in the in the ground building stage of your business then you're reaching more people because for every client you come in they're then going to tell all of their friends and families and that's how your network that's how you build your client base so if you can't quite increase limit what you are supplying your clients the more you give them the more confused they're going to be choosing so you know I keep saying value you in your time but I really value your time limit the amount of time that you're spending on this stuff when it comes to editing your images limit the amount of time you do it simplify it when it comes to your sessions limit the amount of setups that you're going to do lim the manage images that you're going to shoot for all of those things that all is a massive it it just all falls into itself doesn't like when you think about it I don't know how many images do you provide your clients how many how many images would you show your clients from a shoot I over different packages on it goes from a small from with five photos to twenty to twenty photos but I mean that's the final so if they choose the twenty photo package that I'm showing thirty thirty five okay so it's still a lot of images teo to process and get through um so they're not gonna you know they don't need fifty images off the baby you know they love looking at them but show them like you know an amount of images like twenty fifteen twenty images that is so incredible that you know they just can't stop looking at them they can't stop you know showing them to people because I don't know about you but I've sat in someone's house and they've showed me an album and its head like so many photos and they all look the same and you turning the page but when you've got something that's so incredible you know you're not shooting for as many images that you can get and you're sure you've got a tent like fifteen to twenty images that is so incredible and you're looking through them you like wow on every page after a while when you keep going past those it just gets a bit monotonous so limited limit the time that you spend on it definitely yeah um I saw on your website you say the session fetus x amount and then you say my pack package fee started next month why don't you include all this information on your website and wait for that first inquiry email and santa pdf file so my website doesn't have all the information that I want them I want to send them an email that's got my wedding in it it's a way of saying hi thank you so much for contacting me I want them to contact me and then when I send them the pricing and information it's a beautiful pdf guide full of pictures full of photographs and full of the description that's it's something I'm sharing with them I don't want every tom dick and harry to go onto my website and see all that information I actually want to have a point of contact with those people let me have the opportunity to sell myself to you in that form I don't want them to click on and then you know cast that judgment either and if my website doesn't load fast enough they've clicked off and gone elsewhere so if they've got to find that pricing information there that's fine but if there's a contact made button at the side they can just cook click on that and if they like the picture at the top they can just go ugh I'd like they're pricing information because that's kind of what they're doing they're clicking on a page yet I want that click on the next page they don't want to sit on somebody's web site and read it and go through all that information and I can't emphasize enough to simplify the information that you provide them with you give them too much information to read they're just going to switch off so by doing that it gives me an opportunity to introduce myself you know hi I'm tell ng thank you so much for contacting may I um you know and I've asked also in the in the email that they fill in on my website in my blawg they've got the jew date and they've got all these other things because if I put my pricing information on my website and then they contact me go yet I'd like to book you but I'm not available I'm I'm really sorry no I can't I'm not available then but at least if they're sending me an email and it says my due date is such and such you know we live in and this is my contact details I can reply thank you so much for contacting me unfortunately I'm going to be away overseas during that time I can highly recommend these three photographers so getting that point of contact and communicating with your client is your first part of selling that's that's when the sales begin sell yourself to your clients in a way that you're just presenting them with something really beautiful

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Home Studio Checklist
What To Expect At Home
What To Expect In Studio
Preshoot Prep for Mothers
Marketing Plan
Pricing Guide
Posing Guide
Prop Guide
Resource Guide
Adorama Gear Guide

Ratings and Reviews


What an awesome class! I actually started watching this, not because I was interested in newborn photography, but because I thought I could pick up some good ideas for photography in general. Kelly is such an inspiring person and so professional and such a good communicator that she has a lot to offer any photographer. I actually have been inspired to try newborn photography and can't wait to implement the multiple ideas Kelly has so generously given. I think it is wonderful for the profession of photography that she has the spirit to freely share what she knows to help those who are seeking advice and knowledge. Thank you!

Jennifer Traylor

I cannot say enough to relay the feeling of gratitude and appreciation for this class. I was very fortunate to be chosen as a studio audience member for this course and what I have taken away from this class will never be forgotten. Kelly pours herself into this class both on the head knowledge of photography and the heart knowledge of building a business and making it work in your life. She is such an amazing soul and I will treasure this experience always. This class is so thorough and works amazingly both all on its own or as a supplement to her other classes. You will not be disappointed. Her knowledge, her demeanor, her care, is brilliant. She pulls you right in, and even as an online viewer/purchaser for the previous two classes, I was able to feel her connection with the audience. She is an amazing teacher!!!! Kelly rocks, Kelly amazes, Kelly loves! Buy it today!!!! You will not regret it!!!!!! And don't forget, purchases get TONS of amazing bonus materials including extra videos and PDF's and manuals. This class is a bargain!!!!!


I really have been so happy & blessed Kelly to learn from you! You are gentle and I love your spirit in which you share your "Art". I am a Nurse and worked Hospice for many years. Many of my co-workers and I recently lost our nursing positions due to department integration and have decided that my passion and love for taking photos of children and babies is something I would like to pursue. I am learning so much Kelly from the way you take the time to gently get the baby in position, follow the baby's lead and enjoy the parents and each moment of the creative process. I am not at all a professional and am just really learning, but am enjoying practicing on my friends children and babies and of course my 4 month and 4 year old grandchildren. Thank you for providing free classes as I would not be able to afford any classes at this time in my life. You have a beautiful gift. Thank you for sharing so eloquently! You have made a difference in my life. Patty from AZ

Student Work