When I was a bride and shopping for a photographer (and other vendors) 5 years ago, it drove me crazy that I couldn't find pricing online. That was where I was doing my initial shopping. For me, it is like browsing in a store; if I see something I like, I want to know the price. Then I will decide if it is too expensive or if I love it so much I will work it into my budget. Wedding photography is not the same as buying a pair of shoes - but my feelings on wanting to know the price up front are exactly the same. I was a lot more likely to contact photographers who had pricing information on their website or who was willing to email pricing to me.
For many clients, figuring out how to hire a wedding photographer is hard. They have a lot of photographers to look at, and initially the photographs and the price are the main things they have to start with to weed through all of them. If they find a photographer whose work they LOVE, they will want to know how much it costs right away. That way, they can determine if it fits in their budget. If they love your work a lot, even if it is out of their initial budget, they might start to work the numbers so that they can make it happen.
Photographers often comment on how clients start with asking us the price, and how that doesn't help them establish a relationship with them. I've said it countless times before, but this is where your blog can really help you! Let them get to know a bit about you up front through your blog, and the relationship is already being built!
I try to run my business the same way I would want to be treated if I was a client. I post my pricelist online. The abbreviated promo card is on my blog, and if anyone emails me for more information I include a link to the full PDF of prices. An added perk to this is that by the time I meet with a client, they have my prices. I rarely talk about money in my meetings - we've already covered that. Instead, my meetings are all about getting to know one another, finding out what their expectations are for their photography, and discussing what I can do for them. It makes the meetings so much more comfortable for me.
What do you do? Do you post your pricing online? Do you send out your pricelist? Or do you prefer to meet with them in person first? Feel free to discuss it in the comments - everyone has a different take on this, and I would love to hear your thoughts!
Christine Tremoulet is a wedding & boudoir photographer from Houston, Texas. She is a creative geek, having blogged since 2000. When she isn't taking photos or knitting, she is busy devouring all the info related to Social Media and its powers that she can find online. Follow her on Twitter.