I love featuring other photographers who also do in person sales. I think it helps inspire other photographers and it's also interesting to learn what methods others use as well. In today's blog we're featuring Kim, of Kim Forrester Photography.

Where are you located? What is your area like?

Surrey, British Columbia, Canada, which is a 35 minute drive outside of Vancouver. Greater Vancouver has the third largest population in Canada, and Vancouver is our country’s most densely populated city. It is ethnically and linguistically diverse, ranked as one of the world’s most well-living cities, and is Canada’s most expensive city to live in. It is also a very green city, and as “Hollywood North” a great appreciation for the arts. Consumers value quality, sustainability, and quality over quantity, however it can be hard to market to them since disposable income is often low due to the high cost of living.

Kim & her family

A lot of people think that people won’t pay more than $500 for photography or that their area has only shoot and burners and no one would ever pay that much. What do you say to those photographers?

Regardless of where you live, there are always people who value the art of photography and a full service experience. It is impossible to compete on price, as there will always be someone cheaper. Instead, compete on the value you provide to those you serve. Remember that plenty of consumers see a lower price and think “they’re cheap, they must not be that good”. I’d much rather compete on value and compete with a handful of photographers than compete with dozens of lower priced photographers who are all offering the same thing.

What are your average sales? $250 session fee + $1800 image sale is the average. My collections start at $850, and some clients spend as much as $4-5K, so there is quite a range for different budgets and needs.

Behind the scenes at a photo shoot.

Why did you switch? I was a “shoot-and-burner” (ie. burn all the digital images to a disc and onto the next client) for only a few months into starting my business. It saddened me to see clients hanging up shiny, orange 4x6s from their local lab of the stunning images we had created from their photo shoot. I thought “what a waste of their photography investment”. Or worse, they never printed them and the images were forgotten about on their phones.

So I did the research on labs that work directly with photographers to provide the best quality images, and settled on a lab that provides the most stunning fine art prints with a 200-year archival life. Not only do the prints make the images look even more beautiful, but they can be handed down for generations. I decided to provide the digital file with each print, to get around those asking for “only the digital files”. I also keep my print package pricing very close to digital-only pricing, so it is very rare that a client opts for digital-only.

I decided to try out a session where I’d show the edited proofs before asking for any payment from the family. The family fell in love with the prints and ordered an album from me as well. Their order came to $2550 and the family was absolutely thrilled with everything, and hired me again a year later! I knew right then and there that I had been missing an opportunity to provide an incredible value to my clients.