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We get this question all the time: “Can I charge premium prices, and still do shoot and burn?” And our answer is – yes…but we need to talk about it.




We know there are some of you out there that love being a shoot and burn Photographer. A shoot and burn Photographers is a Photographer who takes pictures, and then gives clients digital files. People love it because it’s convenient, all you have to do is shoot and deliver, and you are finished! You could potentially have a higher volume of clients because of that. But, most people who do shoot and burn, do not charge much and are still putting in so much effort and time into it all. Many shoot and burn Photographers charge between $150-$300, which puts them at the minimum wage range after everything is calculated. So, they run into this problem of knowing they should raise their prices, but thinking of every excuse to stay in the shoot and burn model.


This is why we get asked if you can still charge premium prices and be a shoot and burn Photographer. The is answer is sure, absolutely. There are bigger name Photographers out there who do shoot and burn, so it is possible. But, here’s the truth: it is going to be just as hard as switching to In Person Sales, if not harder. You are not giving clients any extra services, and you are not setting yourself apart from the many, many shoot and burn Photographers out there. We hear that clients only want digital files, but that is because they like the low prices. But, if you start charging premium prices for digital files, it is really hard to get clients to pay those prices for just digital files. They have no tangible product and are going home with just a flash drive.


When you raise your prices, it is still going to be hard and there will be growing pains. If you raise your prices, and you are not doing In Person Sales, it will still be hard and you will still have growing pains. The benefit to doing IPS, is that you are not even really selling, you are serving your clients and explaining to them all the different options they have. You get excited and your clients get excited! You are stepping up your game, and helping your clients figure out this whole, overwhelming photography thing when you do In Person Sales.

If you are going to be a premium priced Photographer, you have to give them premium service. If you raise your prices and stay shoot and burn, you are basically telling your clients that they need to pay you more for the same service. Part of setting yourself apart is taking the time to figure out what items you love and what items you are going to offer. Clients are going to keep coming back to you and want the same items updated pictures.


Yes, it is possible to charge premium prices and still be a shoot and burn Photographer, but you will lose more clients, and it will be a harder battle, so what’s the point? You can still offer digital images with In Person Sales, they can be part of your collections. But, just give them a full experience when you are charging premium prices. If you are not giving them a full experience, than what reason do you have in charging higher prices? 


Last week on Coffee Talk we talked about Does Everyone Deserve Custom Photography.



Are you a shoot and burn Photographer? Do you need to start charging higher prices? What is holding you back?


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