Why I Don’t Quote Prices Via Email

Often times, I will get an email requesting prices for my photography services.  Generally, the email inquiries read something like this:

Hi – I’m getting married on  (insert date of event here) date.  Are you available ?  How much do you charge ?   Please email me back with your price. 

Thanks.

My which my response is generally:

Hi X,

Congratulations on your upcoming marriage.

Thank you very much for contacting me regarding your photo and/or video needs.  How did you hear about me ?

Before I give you a price, it is best to set up a time to meet face to face to discuss your day.  

Would you be able to meet at X date at X time ?  If that doesn’t work for you, please let me know what time would be convenient for you.

 I look forward to hearing from you.

Cheers,
Michelle

Why don’t I just provide them a price at that time ?  They need a photographer and I am one.

The reason is simple. Photography is not a commodity.  There are a lot of factors that go into pricing photography.  There have been plenty of books and blog posts written on the subject.

“but….you can get all the details of a job via email.”

Yes, you can. I won’t argue that. As great as email is, it is best used as a communication tool once the job has been secured.

Photography is not a commodity, it is a service, and a very personal service at that !
It is good to determine if we are a fit to work together by having a face-to-face meeting.  I do have ballpark prices for packages for certain services. The majority of the work I do is custom specific and tailored to your needs. Many times  a face to face discussion will actually *save you money* because it helps me better understand to craft a personal package for your needs. My clients like that I am a boutique, not a mass producer of photos. I find that when potential clients don’t take the time for a face-to-face they are generally not serious prospects.  You might agree that buying decisions based solely on price can be counterproductive. If a face-to-face meeting is not possible, then a phone or Skype meeting can be arranged.

When you invest in my photography services, you are investing in a personal and unique product.

To paraphrase the immortal lyrics of Carly Rae Jepsen:
“Hey, I just emailed you,
your inquiry is hazy,
so what’s your number,
call me, maybe ?”

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