I. can’t. even. It seems like yesterday I was gearing up for 2015 and was getting ready to (FINALLY) graduate. It’s crazy how time flies.
Well I had a productive 2015, filled with love, laughter, family, friends and my beautiful clients. I thought I would have more time on my hands after I finished classes.. but looking back on the year, I see that I filled that time up with personal projects and some volunteering! And I’ve LOVED EVERY MOMENT. You may remember around this time last year, I created a “class ring” for myself after I finished at Wilmington University. I used metal stamps to engrave “be the change” on it. I wear it almost every day and often think about the difference I can make, even if for just one person. Well I started volunteering with a couple organizations (Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep and Boots & Bellies) to help me do just that, and as I started thinking about 2016, I decided that I can do even more to make a difference.
I’m making a few changes to my business for 2016. (Don’t panic- all good things!) The most exciting change: Minis that Matter. I usually do Mini Session days several times a year. They’re fun and easy.. and give you options for quick sessions at a variety of locations, a variety of packages, and starting in 2016: a variety of charitable organizations to help. I’m planning out my schedule for 2016, and I hope to organize at least one Mini Session day per month and each one will benefit a different non-profit or charitable organization. The details of that schedule and the organizations will be posted within a few weeks. If you have a favorite non-profit or charitable organization that you’d like me to consider, let me know!
Another big change is for portrait sessions (maternity, family, children and general portraits). These sessions will no longer have a session fee! A deposit of $50 will still be required to secure a date and time on my calendar, but that will be applied toward your print and product order at your presentation & ordering session. Birth, Fresh 48, and Newborn sessions will still have a session fee due to the on-call nature of those sessions. All sessions will require a consultation an in-person presentation/ordering session (don’t worry, they’re not as formal as they sound 😉 ). Overall (between consultation, session and presentation) you’ll probably be investing about 2 & 1/2 to 3 hours of time with me, but this will significantly benefit you in the long run.
I’ve been testing things out over the last year and I’ve found the clients that have in-person consultations before their session, end up happier with their final images. And the clients that have in-person presentation & ordering sessions after their session not only end up with exactly what products they want, they also receive them MUCH faster because I assist in narrowing down images which really makes the decision-making easier. What historically takes clients weeks to do (if they’re given a link to their gallery), I’ve gotten down to a 30-45 minute process. Let’s face it, when we dedicate our time to one task for 30 minutes, and have help to narrow down the selections, it goes by a lot faster than if we try to steal 5-10 minutes at a time between our busy schedules. 😛
I am dropping my session fee for general portrait sessions for several reasons. I have always had a “100% guarantee” for my sessions, so if you’re not happy with the way your images turn out, I am happy to re-do the session or refund your money. Without a session fee, this just solidifies my guarantee. You truly have no risk in trusting me with capturing memories for you! Also, with my new workflow, the consultations will make it much easier for us to plan your session around what products you will be looking for at the presentation; This means less guess-work for me and faster turn-around from session to delivery of your products. And most importantly, your time is just as valuable as mine. I’m asking you to spend a little more time with me to help me create the best artwork for you, and in return you don’t have to pay as much up front! 🙂
If you have questions about any of these changes, please let me know!! I’m also considering adding an option for a pre-planned custom portrait packages that can be broken down into a monthly installment. For clients that know they do 2-4 sessions a year and typically order the same products each time (or if you do one session per year but order larger products), I’d like to offer the option of paying a small amount monthly rather than a lump sum after each session. If you would be interested in having me create a package for you, let’s chat!