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How can higher rates translate to better value?

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A long time client asked us "your rates seem to have jumped up significantly in the last few years, how is this to my advantage?"

That's a very reasonable question. We want to deliver the best possible value to our clients so I'm going to address this question here for all to see.

Most of our shoots now actually cost our clients less than just a couple of years ago despite the fact that we've increased our fees for these shoots, how is this possible?

Here's 3 reasons why this makes our work a better value for you;

1) Better, Faster Results
with lower materials cost;

We've moved to an all digital studio. We've invested tens of thousands of dollars in state-of-the-art digital camera systems and the finest quality lenses for them. In addition we've also improved our post production workflow.
(we still offer film photography for clients requiring or preferring film too).

This means that we do not shoot, nor charge for film and Polaroid materials on most photo shoots. We also do not charge for processing film, making proof prints or making scans. These charges were significant
as a full day shoot might result in 20-30 shots on an equal number of rolls of film. Scans alone were $30 each!

What we do now is shoot digital with a LCD TV on site so the client can see proofs instantly. We can review the shots as they are taken in a form that is much closer to the final version than we could get with a small Polaroid proof. This results in less time waiting to review Polaroids during the shoot meaning more shooting, less waiting.

Once the shoot is complete we process all of the images on a powerful workstation and archive everything. Selected images from each setup are color corrected and saved in a working format. From there we can post a webpage of the shots for the client to review. The shots are presented as small "thumbnail" images that once clicked open to a larger image for more critical review. From shoot to on-line review takes 24hours or less, much faster than film processing, proof prep and delivery (typically 48hours minimum).

The digital images from our current camera system are nearly 5000 pixels wide. Because the full frame CMOS sensor in the system is so advanced there is nearly no noise (similar to grain in film) so we can easily enlarge these images to over 10,000 pixels wide! So what does that mean? Well if you print a brochure or poster at 300dpi then you could print these images up to 33.3" across at photographic resolution. For larger images the viewing distance increases so we can lower the resolution and go up to the size of a semi truck trailer or billboard.

Of course you will rarely need an image that large, so we also can supply more manageably sized images of 1500px and 800px to our clients on CD.

These large files also make retouching much better as we can refine images at the smallest detail.

) Fees are Higher, but the bottom line is the same or lower.

Many photographers will offer verbal quotes reflecting a day rate or a per shot rate or even production cost plus use fees. Our quotes include our creative fees, production costs and liberal use rights with full terms disclosed in advance. With the lower material costs sighted above the bottom line will in many cases be lower than a competitors, even though our fees are higher.

So why have our fees increased? Several reasons including the fact that we no longer make a small profit on the materials we used to charge for, the need to recoup the huge investment in our updated equipment and our experience and overall approach to your unique project which has created an increased demand for our services.

What does this unique approach involve? We look at your need for quality photography not merely as an opportunity to make a nice photo, but look at your greater marketing objectives. With this we can design and produce images that are more than nice photos, they are images that communicate and support your overall marketing goals. We don't just make nice photos, we are producing images that are part of your overall marketing strategy.

And how do you do that? We ask lots of questions. How will the photo be used? Will it be large or small in it's presentation? What does the image need to communicate? Scale? Competence? Specific or general concepts? Will the image be surrounded by other images, graphics, text and titles? Would it be helpful for the photo's composition to lead the eye to an important element? These are just a few of the questions we look at. We are skilled at graphic design, marketing, and publishing as well as having technical skills and a creative eye for the photographic aspects of your product.

3) We offer alternatives to fit your budget.

Okay, let's assume that your budget just won't match up with the level of work we provide. Are you stuck using a photographer that has less experience, equipment that produces inferior results and being forced to wait longer and pay more for materials?

Not necessarily! Diane Lacy is our "junior photographer" and has over 10 years experience shooting for her own clients. Her rates are significantly lower than John Lacy, our "Senior Photographer". She uses all of the same equipment and the process is very similar. So what don't you get in hiring our "Junior Shooter?" Well you don't get the unique vision, experience and expertise of John Lacy, but rest assured John will be involve in your shoot as a technical consultant and as a mentor to our Junior Shooter. This opens up options for the client that just can't afford the best, or in some cases wants to split their budget for various priorities.

So you see we can offer you more than other studios who may offer you a lower "day-rate", but may actually give you less and cost you more in the long run.

Gives us a call so we can give you an all inclusive quote on your project!

toll free 800-317-1026







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Questions and comments can be Emailed to Proshooter@gmail.com