Eye on Business | “How Much Do You Charge?”

It’s Thursday!  That means it is time for me to openly admit another mistake I made early on in building my business, SUZANNE MELLOTT PHOTOGRAPHY.  My hope is that each week you learn something simple to implement and it will save you time and money and maybe a mood-altering dose of medication.

So, shout it out loud:

But, seriously, “How much do you charge?”  Each week in 2009, I’d receive at least 15-20 inquiries with just that sentence.  No “Hello”, no referral source, no introduction.  My feelings used to be hurt by these types of emails.  Don’t they appreciate what I do?  Don’t they care about the experience?  I can make them look more amazing than they already are!

Not really.  I had a reality check.  It’s a fair question, especially since I hadn’t done my job properly.

We must educate our potential clients way before they’re in front of our camera.  We provide an experience, a memory, not just pictures.  We do not simply spend a few hours snapping away like a rock star and then wash our hands of them.  If you DO, well, you have some explaining to do and that’s a whole other post.  Show them the value of what you provide.  Make them realize they NEED to book with you, not the cheap photographer with a nice camera down the street.

So, how do I answer the inevitable that still pops into my inbox every once in awhile?

Hi Jane!

Thank you so much for contacting me!  It’s a true honor to even be considered to capture your daughter’s senior portraits.  What an awesome time in her life!  

With each and every client, I take the time to get to know you, and help to tell your senior’s story throughout your portrait process. From the pre-session consultation to the in-person ordering, you may grow tired of me!  I strive to go above and beyond to make sure that your custom portrait experience exceeds your expectations.  I love the fact that my clients become my friends.

I offer ordering options to fit nearly every budget. When ordering your images, you can build something to work for you.  Most of my clients spend between $500 and $900 on their portraits and products. Some spend less, and some spend more. I’ll help you to create your ultimate wish list to find what best fits everything you want.  For detailed pricing, please visit my website at www.suzannemellottphotography.com/blog/2013-portrait-guide.

I look forward to talking to you both and finding out more about your ideas for her senior portraits! As you can see, I LOVE to photograph seniors!

Here is a link to my recent work with senior girls, to better acquaint yourself with my style, should you like to view more of my portfolio.  

Class of 2012 – The Girls!

Have a great day!


I choose to list a price range of what my target client typically spends.  In this way, it’s no mystery that I’m not the cheap photographer and they won’t get sticker shock during the ordering session.  An educated client is a happy client.  A happy client talks you up to whoever will listen!

What are YOU doing right now to educate your potential clients?  Talk to me over on FACEBOOK or check out my WEBSITE and leave me some questions over there!