Op!  Here I am again working on keeping up with this whole blog thing!  As much as I dreaded starting this, I am actually loving it!  Sooo.. here we are, the good, the bad, and the ugly.  

Good News.... My new "Social Booth" (the parenthesis are because I haven't officially given her a name yet) is almost up and running!  Just need to tweak a few more things and I am looking forward to unveiling her at the Lubbock Bridal Showcase (it's January 22nd for anyone interested in going.)  The other good news is that I am running an Engagement/Bridal/Wedding photography special through January the 15th.  Great deals and a super fun referral bonus for those who didn't get a shinny new ring for Christmas.  Oh... also my regular portrait rates will not change in 2016. 

Bad News... In order for my business to keep growing and to keep the Lubbock photographer market growing, I have to raise my Wedding pricing.  I haven't changed my wedding rates since I've started my business and I felt like now was the time to do it. My rates will now fall in the average range with what most other Lubbock photographers charge.  Before, I was in the way lower end as I was trying to build both my experience and portfolio.  

The Ugly... Let me break down how photographers really get paid before you get all out of sorts about a price change.  Let's start with monthly expenses.  Keep in mind that mine are on the low end because I am a part of a studio co-op so my rent is fairly inexpensive.  Studio rent, business insurance (because some people are crazy), website, online gallery, software, cell phone, marketing, batteries (I use a bunch of batteries), office supplies, gas, and occasional equipment  equiptment upgrades cost me around $1200/month.  That means I have to shoot at least 6 - 1 hour portrait sessions before I even break even.  Also those portrait sessions really aren't just 1 hour.  Theres at least an hour spent on your session before you ever get there. Booking, contracts, details, driving there, packing gear, ect.  One hour of shooting, and another few hours of editing your photos. so when you book a one hour shoot, thats at least 4-6 hours of work on my time that is done using all of the above listed things that I pay for each month.   Weddings get even crazier.  On a 6-8 hour wedding, I spend at least another 40-60 hours working on it that no one else sees.  There's the marketing, the emails, the consults, the packing, charging, and getting gear ready, the venue scout out if I haven't shot there before, the day of shooting, cost of a second shooter, uploading all of your photos to two different types of back up, culling your images (picking the best of the best images), editing, re-editing, posting a sneak peak, finalizing the photos, and then delivery.  Whew... it's a long process.  None of this even includes the hours I spend training and learning to get better and better at my art.  In 2016 I managed to get all of this done while also going to school part time to get even better at all of this fun stuff! 

 

So long story short...   I'm adding a Social Media type Photo Booth and my wedding packages are changing.   If you want more info about either of the two... send me an email at ashley@livingtreedesignsphoto.com