Why a little less can have a lot more impact
I’ve been putting off writing this post for awhile, but this week we received three separate e-mails from clients who eventually booked our services. They went a little something like this:
“We want to book x package, but another photographer is offering this to us for less AND give us 60 photos instead of 10.”
“I want to book x package, but another photographer offers a 1 ½ hour session for the same price as your 30 minute session.”
Do I blame potential clients for bringing this to our attention? Not at ALL. After all, who wouldn’t want to spend less and get more?! Do I blame photographers for offering lots for little? No, that’s what works for them. But we’re not them, we’re us, and I’ll tell you why more images and more time isn’t always the best way to go, and how we have mixed the perfect formula of time and image count to deliver quality, consistent results.
We don’t believe you need 100 images
When we first began shooting portraits we offered it all. Unedited images, nearly identical shots with slightly varied posing, black and white duplicates if the color image wasn’t strong. Looking back, I could have delivered ⅓ of the images we sent off to our clients and been satisfied with what we produced.
Over the years, we’ve streamlined our approach to beach portrait photography. We got more efficient! Posing became second nature so we can capture more variety in less time. Between poses, we make conversation and there’s a candid image captured. This flowing direction and authentic connection allows us to capture more images in a shorter period of time. Instead of receiving tons of images with one or two heroes, you get a selection of strong images, each deserving of a spot in a frame (or iPhone wallpaper!)
We work with specific lighting conditions
Our beach portrait editing style is soft and colorful. We know exactly what time to start a sunrise shoot to achieve the most beautiful pastel tones, and when to meet for sunset so that the majority of the session is spent under the most flattering light. If our Land + Sea sessions were any longer, we’d be left with light that doesn’t suit our editing style, therefore delivering a set of images that aren’t on-brand, meaning we wouldn’t deliver exactly what you see on our website.
Our longest beach portrait session is a Land, Sea + Sky Full Session which is 1 ½ hours. The reason it’s longer is because we do beach, water and drone portraiture which takes more time and drone photography especially requires a lot of posing and direction provided to achieve our desired result. Because it’s a longer session, the light at the end of our Land, Sea + Sky shoot is perfect for drone photography as it brings out the vibrant blues of the Maui ocean.
Edits are important
We work with mother nature’s boundless beauty! Once her show is over for the day, the rest is up to us. We retouch each image from your session, we spend more time on your portraits to ensure each one we deliver is a keeper. Remember – quality over quantity!
You’re kept in the loop – no stress
When we meet at the beach, it’s not our first time communicating! As a client of ours we’ll be in touch on a regular basis to answer any questions you may have about your coming beach portrait session, leaving you feeling prepared to shoot as soon as Adam shows up to your session. We also build in a bit of time before your session starts for our initial meet and greet, then launch into an effortless session full of useful posing and constant conversation to keep things flowing naturally. So, less time might seem scary but know that we prepare you well in advance and ensure you’re never feel rushed.
We manage expectations
Management of client expectations is huge for our photography business, and something we’ve learned benefits both our clients and ourselves in the long run. Are you getting our shortest session? There won’t be time for outfit changes, no water work, and the session will include a maximum of two people. It just isn’t possible to achieve these things without significantly cutting into your shoot time. And for many clients (and us!) that’s ok!
When you choose a collection, you’re being presented with exactly what you need in that package to achieve the images you desire – that clarity and management of expectations is a crucial foundation for client/photographer relationship, and this trust creates a sense of ease that filters through to the very images you receive.
Connection is perfection
I used to always say “connection over perfection” but canned that phrase because it turns out, an epic connection between subjects is the foundation of visual excellence. Connection IS perfection. We don’t need a whole heap of time for a straightforward beach session because we pose, we chat, we work with your connection. Creating portraits in a small amount of time is something that is often effortless with these elements combined.
This is what works for our clients and our business
At the end of the day, we run a legit business. We pay our insurances, cover software, equipment, operating costs and make sure we’re compensated for our time and can support our family – and we’re here for the long haul! For that reason, we don’t cut corners with pricing or offer deep discounts or more time just because another photographer will. They might need that time because they work in a different way – and that’s ok. Cost-wise, there will always be someone willing to promise more for less. Always.
We want to keep you happy, and keep you coming back to Love + Water year after year, that’s why we offer prompt, professional service, an easygoing shoot experience and 10% off for our return and kama’aina clients! Thank you sincerely for your support, and we hope to work with you soon to create magic from the land + sea!
Ready to book your Maui portrait session? Visit us here!