Archive for July, 2012

This blog is 100% from my heart, something not a lot of business people do.  I truly feel you are more then my client.  You bring me in to capture your child/ren and family, and I feel for that 1-2 hours we’re a team.  It’s the same approach I take in my classroom, we’re a team.

Recently I raised my prices and changed my offerings, I did this for two reasons.  I wanted to offer something more, but I wanted to offer my Lil Sweet Pea Photography experience to “the masses” as well.  Let’s get real, not everyone is going to spend $3,000 on custom photography.  And over the years, many things have happened financially to many of my favorite families.  I wanted the chance to offer sessions to both, without sacrificing to either.

My business plan isn’t new, I didn’t invent it.  Some do it as I did under their same name, some create a branch, and some develop a separate business all together.  Many photographers who develop a “light” version of their studio farm out these sessions.  Their time is too valuable to be spent with clients who “won’t spend”.  I didn’t want to do that.  When you hire Lil Sweet Pea Photography, whether a simple or a signature session, you get ME!  There is no bait and switch, my “associate” photographers will not be greating you at the session.  Everything from start to finish is ME!  From the first email, to the packaging and shipping.  I’m not knocking those that farm out editing, or packaging.  We all have to do what we have to do.  However every contact made is with me.  Every image on my website, is mine.  Every aspect of the Lil Sweet Pea Photography brand is ME!

In this day and age of everyone having a camera and everyone becoming a photographer, you need to protect yourself.  I am a business.  I have a DBA, I am filed with Wayne County.  I have a tax ID number, and I pay sales tax (just ask my CPA husband).  I’ve shared before the cost behind custom photography (cameras, lenses, insurance, memberships, taxes, education, hosting, etc, etc, etc).  Simply put, those offering you a session and a CD for $200, are cutting out costs somewhere.  Do you want to support that?  Do you want your photographer not paying taxes?  Not carrying insurance?  I cringe when I see friends using a “cheap” photographer who gives away the disk for $200; their images underexposed, their skin orange, and the “special-editing” features done.  My wish is that these people would hire a “good” photographer (not saying me) and have at least one good image rather then walk away with “the disk” full of oompa-loompa pictures.  And that is why I’ve began to offer my Simple Sessions.  A chance to have a custom photography session on smaller scale (sorry, not at the $200 price point either).

People wonder, why didn’t I just cut my prices across the board and go with it.  Why?  Because what I offer in a Simple session is just a taste.  I want to still offer the full Lil Sweet Pea Photography experience and then some.  I love spending enough time with your family (if it’s the first time), to move away from the forced “CHEESE” smile to the true smile that shows your child’s dimple, or missing teeth.  That can’t happen for most within a 30 minute time frame.  And that’s okay.  A Signature session gives us the time we need to capture candid.  It gives us the time we need to relax and feel like you’re not expected to perform.  It allows you the chance to pick the location.  It gives you the time to be you :)  (OMG, a smiley in a professional blog post…wait, a text acronym too?).  After the session is over, your experience continues as I help you through the ordering process.  I help you not only pick sizes but I’ll respond when you ask me which you like better, unlike your husband who will be zoned out, or say “which ever you like dear”.  Don’t you hate that?

So in this day and age of everyone being a photographer, there is something to be said for a business that has been around, is legit, knows what they are doing, and cares.  I AM Lil Sweet Pea Photography.

I got to meet Miss M and her family just before the great heat wave we just had.  Luckily we moved the session up a bit, because I sure was sweating by the end, and I think mom and dad were too 😉  Miss M was just too cute.  She was clearly not falling for many of my “tricks” and I think rolled her eyes a time or two.  Of course, after seeing how fun the session was going to be, she warmed right up and was all smiles!  Great meeting you M and family 😉

 

I launched my new blog, my new site, and my new pricing.  It was a long process (2 years on the website), and lots of thought went into what I want my business to be, and what I want to offer my clients old and new, so let me start by explaining the new session offers.

In the past, I’ve had sessions, and mini sessions.  I’ve wanted to take the leap into a more custom and catered session experience, but I also wanted to keep a bit of my current offerings.  What was born was my two new session offers; the signature session, and the simple session.

The signature session takes the Lil Sweet Pea Photography experience to a new level.  First off you have your choice of location, be it your home, favorite park, or favorite city location.  Signature sessions offer pre-session consultations.  I can help you pick a location, clothes, etc.  Signature sessions offer full length sessions, clothing changes, and multiple people options (mom, dad, siblings, etc).  At the conclusion of the signature session, an in person ordering session wll be scheduled.  I will meet you to help you through the ordering process.  I can assist with wall collections, gift options, etc.  You will be shown approximately 30 images.  At the conclusion of your ordering session, the images you have ordered will be placed online for family members and friends to view.  The signature session will offer the ultimate photography experience.

The simple session offers the best of Lil Sweet Pea Photography in a minimal format.  Simple sessions are 30 minutes in either downtown Plymouth or Northville (Ann Arbor will offered various times throughout the year).  Simple sessions work well for older children, quick updates, and children who don’t suffer from stranger anxiety.  1-2 children are allowed, no family images, and no clothing changes are allowed.  At the conclusion of the session, your images approximately 15 images, will be placed into an online gallery for you to order from.  Simple sessions will offer different collections both digital and print.

So there it is…..the change I’ve wanted to offer (Signature session), while still offering the “mini” session option  (Simple session) but now at anytime for any client :)

Those that have been around for awhile know….my website has been LONG overdue for an update.  My blog hasn’t been as badly in need since I do try to share on it more often.  And my prices…well they haven’t changed in 4 years!  And so it was finally time to get busy, lock myself in the office till the wee hours of the morning and get all of this done!

  • New Website
  • New Mobile Site (iPad and iPhone friendly)
  • New Blog
  • New Splash page (that’s the page you first land on if you didn’t know)
  • New Pricing
  • New Session “levels”
  • New Collections!

SO MUCH NEW!  Don’t worry, I’ll take time to explain what all this means to you :)