Business Ideas

10 Tips for Creating Photography Packages that Sell!

Offering packages can do so much for your business and your bottom line, but there is an art and a science behind packages that sell. Today I’m excited to share 10 strategies that you can use to increase your profits!

10. Packages work everywhere! They work for weddings, families, SENIORS... Heck, even Apple computers!

The concept behind photography packages is to create an offering so incredibly enticing when compared to your a la carte pricing.  It will then be stupidly obvious to the client that she needs (and thus wants) to say, 'YES!'  


9. Think before you speak.  Consider using the verbiage 'collections' versus 'packages.' For the average consumer, packages convey bargain ("When you bundle with Comcast...").  But a collection is more valuable ("Did you see the new fall collection?”).

My clients only ever hear me refer to my pricing as al la carte or collections. From this point forward, I’ll be using the term 'collections' in this article.

8. When structured correctly, the average consumer (80% of your buyers) will choose to purchase the middle collection most of the time. This is because they don’t want to look overly extravagant by choosing the most expensive option (5% of your buyers will choose it, though!). They also don’t want to look cheap by choosing the base collection (5% may choose this collection).  Instead, they want to look just right! Ding, ding, ding.

And here’s a bonus: If you’ve created your packages really well, the percentage of buyers for your base collection will drop. I’ve never even sold my base collection.


7. Because of the Goldilocks Syndrome, you’ll want to create 3 to 4 collections so that you can create the ‘too hot, too cold, and just right' effect.

If you offer 4 collections, be sure that you’re making your target profit margin in your middle collection.  I personally offer 3 collections; they are priced at $2,900, $1,800 and $950. My average sale is my middle collection plus add-ons (typically a canvas cluster) equaling just over $2,000.00. 


6. Keep your C.O.G. (cost of goods) below 25%. It's crucial that you make plenty of room for profit. After all, what's the sense in collecting thousand dollar orders if more of the money goes to your labs? 

In other words, if you’re offering a collection for $1000.00, your cost of goods to produce the products for that collection should be no more than $250.00.


5. Collections should be simple! The number one mistake photographers make with collections is in adding too much to the offering. If you're feeling nervous about your price point, you'll probably start considering adding more to the offering in hopes that your clients will see a bigger value. Don’t do it! This can actually (and usually does) have the opposite effect on your clients, convincing them to talk themselves right out of the offering by saying things like, "I don't need all of that." 


4. Low Cost = Big Value. The way to keep your cost below 25% is in building big value around low-cost products. Low cost/big value items are the key to successful collections. Think Digital Negatives, Slide Shows and Sticky Albums.  While Digital Files don't technically cost much to produce, their value is huge. 

For example, the cost for me to produce a slideshow is less than $5, but my a la carte pricing is $125; this adds big value without big production costs. 


3. Creates an average sale. Hands down, the most valuable aspect of offering collections is in their ability to create consistency in your sales averages. If you’re offering your products a la cart, one order may ring in at $150 and the next at $1,500. There’s no consistency. But with collections - and what we know about buyer habits - you can create an average sale you can count on.


2. Accept credit cards! Accepting credit cards is a must; even the guy at the fruit stand on the street corner accepts cards these days. And with options like Square and PayPal Here, it couldn’t be easier to get set up. I just pop my PayPal Here swiper into my iPad or iPhone and I’m ready to ask, “Will that be Visa or MasterCard?”


1. Don’t try to sell what, instead focus on why! It’s not what we’re creating (photographs) that clients really want; it’s why (preserving their memories and, more pressingly, showing off to family and friends). 

If you focus on the why, your clients will focus on the “yes!”

Pricing & Sales can be one of the most stifling aspects of owning a business. It’s also one of the key components to success. In fact, it’s one of the key indicators that I consider when determining whether a business is on the path to success or failure.

How to Stand Out in a Saturated Photography Market (video)

The photography industry has dramatically changed in the last two decades. Moms with great cameras and a clear understanding of what their consumer counterpart client wants has replaced a predominately male driven industry. The brick and mortar studios of yesterday are fewer and farther between as photographers choose to keep overhead costs low by presenting themselves as on-location photographers. And of course the days of film with photochemical processing have been largely replaced with huge digital memory cards and the latest and greatest Adobe software. 

With all of these changes...some which are good and some which are not, an influx of budding photographers has entered the marketplace. Today, you can hardly find a forum or article that doesn't touch on the sense of crowdedness which is making many photographers worry that there just isn't any room left for them. I want to address this concern. I can feel the fear in your words and see the concern written in your posts.

It's hard. It's not going to get easier. But, it is possible to find success!   

The bottom line is will need to decide if you will be one who complains about the problem until your light eventually goes out or be one who does what they must do to stand up and stand out. If you're choosing the latter, I'm going to help you! (I'll explain how in just a bit!!)

Success is still very possible, I am seeing it every single day.  However, it will become less and less obtainable for those who are trying to just follow along with everybody else. As we continue to grow as an industry (and I don't believe we're even close to reaching our tipping point) those who try to mimic and mask will eventually fade away. Yes, they will be replaced with fresher photographers who are also mimicking and masking but that means that for one passionate dreamer they had to see themselves fail.  I'm not okay with that.  Success will be reserved more and more for those who innovate, create and do the excruciatingly hard work of finding their own voice.  

So now that you know it, what are you going to do? 

Pursue Big Dreams instead of Small Realities... I'm ready to stand out in the crowd with @Go4ProPhotos  <— CLICK to Tweet it out! 

Choosing a Photography Niche - How to Find Your Niche & why it can make you more succeful

When you start your business - at least for most of us - you just can't know where you'll end up. You might think you know but if you're anything like me, you find out that you were completely wrong.  I thought I was going to be an amazing newborn photographer or maybe a destination wedding photographer - today, I (happily) don't photograph either. 

Today we're talking about choosing a niche or a specialty. A lot of photographers believe that by specializing they will limit themselves, but the opposite is actually true. By trying to be everyone's photographer, you end up being no one's first choice. <---- CLICK TO TWEET IT OUT! 

Think of the best photographers in the world...Your favorite photographers. I'll bet they're not photographing everything that hits their inbox. Instead, they have chosen to master specific areas and in that mastery, they've found so much more.  Finding your niche is a process, it took me about a year and a half to discover what kind of photographer I really wanted to be.  Specializing can help you stand out! 

The reality is, when you choose to specialize, everything about you business gets easier! How about if I explain? This is my journey from being everyone's photographer to a select few's photographer.  Making the choice to specialize not only gave me more confidence as an artist, but it's also made me a lot more profitable!

5 Common Mistakes that Stop Growth for Photographers

Tell me if I'm wrong here...and I'm just gonna tell you right now, I'm not!  We got into this because it sounded fun, because we had a ton of passion and because it seemed like a great way to make extra money - that wouldn't be that hard.  

Whoa! What the heck we're we all thinking? Not hard? Not hard?? 

I've never worked harder, given more, deprived myself of more or sacrificed more hours of sleep before I started my photography business. Not even my newborns required this much. But really, how did I not see this coming?  Being an entrepreneur is hard....being an artist is hard....we're trying to be both! 

In the beginning I made every mistakeI kept making my business and my life so much harder than they needed to be. Until I learned... 

“Making the simple complicated, that’s commonplace. Making the complicated simple, that’s creativity.” – Charles Mingus  <-- CLICK TO TO TWEET IT OUT!

Today I'm sharing with you 5 common mistakes that stop growth and productivity for photographers, including me. When I finally learned to stop making these mistakes, was when I finally started turning the corner and building the business and life I'd been dreaming about (and it came with sleep!) 

I really hope I can help you to see that there are some fundamental changes you can make, none of which are complicated, but all of which can absolutely have a profound impact on how you feel and the level of success you achieve. 

Photography Welcome Packet

featuring thrivers

Who doesn't love to feel welcome? Whether it's as a guest at someone's home or walking into a business that is truly grateful to have you - it just feels good! The truth of it is, feeling welcomed - makes us feel wanted and isn't that one of the most precious and sought after feelings we humans have?

It was with this idea in mind that I created a Welcome Packet for my clients from the very beginning stages of my photography career and why I've coached, taught and encouraged other photographers to do the same. The members of my business training program, The Thriving Photographer™  have some pretty amazing welcome packets, so to inspire you, we will be showcasing different welcome packets on the blog! To begin, we're thrilled to be showcasing Idie of  Idie Atenico Photography.

There of course are so many possibilities on how to share the information we need to convey to help our clients prepare for their upcoming sessions, but my very favorite comes in the mail! Oh how I love to get packages myself! In fact, with my current office-makeover project, I've been receiving packages daily and there is something magical when an item comes beautifully presented - it offers validity to my purchase!

Just after a client has booked their portrait session, they are looking for that same validity that they've made a good choice. When a beautifuly crafted welcome packets arrives only days later it offers a sweet confirmation with a hint of anticipation for what other surprises are in store!  Sending something in the mail is my favorite way to welcome new relationships, I do it with new friendships and with new clients! It feels great to feel welcomed wanted!

In additional to the wonderful emotional connection that the Welcome Packet offers, it also conveys information we share over the phone prior and during bookings that can be forgotten. Welcome packets not only give a great impression of your professionalism and style, it also educates your clients with what they will need to have a successful session.

2014-06-18_0005  2014-06-18_0004

Here are all the details of Idie's Welcome Packet...

Every packets includes:

  • An information card about Idie
  • Reminder card
  • Information card about Session Premiere (an experience sales process taught in The Thriving Photographer™)
  • A wall art card
  • Magnet with quote
  • Welcome letter
I love how each elements of her packet is fun with contrasting yet cohesive color combos and fonts; her designer was the one and only Laura Kathryn - (who designed Leah Remillet & Thrive's branding!).

Idie's materials were printed through Miller's Lab - and the folder was ordered from Design Aglow -

Verbiage for the Welcome Letter, Session Premiere and some templates come from

I hope this feature has inspired you, more are on the way! But until then, I hope you'll put this tool into practice - it beautifully puts everyone on the same page so that each party knows what to expect, which will in turn make both your session and sales appointments run smoother.

FEATURED:    //    Salt Lake City, UT   //   Idie on Facebook



Luxe Photography Packaging Ideas

LR Packaging by Jane Johnson_Gold glitter

I love dreaming up and playing with packaging - l-o-v-e i-t-! As I child my mom taught me to take pride in wrapping a present. To crease the edges and fold the paper in just so and of course, how to create a beautiful bow. This skill came in handy at one of my very fist jobs for Bernard Callebaut Chocolates. One of my favorite tasks was to make the gift baskets, I would place each item with so much care and add just the perfect pieces to create interest, color and layers, then I would choose which tissue and ribbons I felt would finish each basket best, when I wasn't scheduled to work they would save the bow making for me. I can remember how good it felt at 15 years old to know that I was the bow maker for the shop. My love for packing is not something I plan to ever outgrow. 

I am an absolute sucker [read: sure I'll pay double cause it's pretty] for beautiful packaging. When I receive something that's been thoughtfully packaged, I melt. I knew I wasn't alone in my love affair for beautiful packaging so when I built my own business, I took great care and (with much excitement) worked hard to build beautiful touch points through welcome packets, treat bags, swag gifts and packaging. I wanted my clients to experience opening a beautiful package over and over again as they worked with me.  And that's just what I set out to do. But there was one problem, while sometimes I did have the time to hand cut tissue and create custom pieces, I knew it wasn't the best use of my time and as I got busier, I had to find ways to streamline my workflow. 

Over the last couple years I've been searching for just such a packaging line that would be beautiful, but make my life simpler too! And then my amazing friend Jane Johnson launched her own line of Luxe Packaging with H-BPhoto and my conundrum was finally solved! Her gorgeous boxes that I swear she must have designed just for me come in gold, jaded (a gorgeous emerald) and tuxedo and the best part? They come with the tissue paper pre folded into the boxes! So no more cutting and folding to size for me. I just grab a box, lay my prints into the pre filled tissue and I'm 1/2 way done. 

Being one that can't decide until I actually have my hands on it…I of course, had to see all 3 of the Luxe Line box options so that I could decide which one to use (I still haven't decided so I'm hoping you'll help me!) I had so much fun styling and branding these beautiful boxes for Leah Remillét Photography. I have giant jars, boxes and trays in my office that are filled with tissue and ribbons and stickers and stationary and everything came out when it was time to play! 

Here's what I've come up with. You'll find my full source list below and I'd love to hear which one is your favorite?! Leave a comment with your vote! 

LR Packaging by Jane Johnson_Gold
LR Packaging by JJ_Black, White and Gold Packaging
LR Packaging by JJ_Green Packaging
*If you don't see something sourced and you want to know where I found it, just leave a comment and I'll let you know! 

Gold Packaging: 
Gold Boxes & Tissue by HB Photo & Jane Johnson
Black Sparkle 3/8" Ribbon from Amazon
Branded Seal Stamp by B2O with LR Icon and Gold Wax 
Round Sticker from Moo with LR Icon 

Black & White Packaging:
Tuxedo Boxes & Tissue by HB Photo & Jane Johnson
Gold Glitter 5/8" Ribbon from Amazon
Black & White Washi Tape - Check out Paper Mart's collection 

Gold Glittery Heart Sticker form Paper-Source

Green, Black & White Packaging: 
Jaded Boxes & Tissue by HB Photo & Jane Johnson
Black & White Stripe 1.5" Ribbon from Amazon
Gold Glittery Heart Sticker form Paper-Source

*My fabulous Logo & Brand was Designed by the Amazing Laura Kathryn Creative

And I found this super cute video for Jane Johnson's packaging line that's filled with fun inspiration…