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Why do family photographers charge a session fee?

I remember having to choose the package and pay upfront for my bump-to-baby photoshoots. It didn't sit well with me; I didn't like choosing something I hadn't seen. Ultimately, out of fear, I went for the cheapest package. And then I worried that I'd have lost money if I didn't like any of the photos. So much worrying, right?


When I started my newborn & family photography business in Worcester, I knew I wanted to offer flexibility and comfort for these reasons. I want to take your worries away and do everything I can so you can enjoy our time together! When you book with me, you won't need to decide on a collection of photos or prints until you've seen the final gallery. This means you have the liberty to explore and experience the session without any pressure to commit to a package beforehand. It's all about ensuring you feel completely comfortable, relaxed, and confident in your decision—no strings attached until you're ready. You only buy what you love.


The session fee can range anywhere between £50 and £250. When I launched my business my prices were pretty much arbitrary numbers—a mixture of what felt good, competitor prices, and other photographers in the UK. 😅 I didn't know what the session fee should really be or what it covered until...


drum roll...


I started actually working with clients!


behing the scenes during an outdoor family photo session in worcestershire with Karina O'Neill

I'm chuckling as I write this because, you know, we often don't grasp how tough or time-consuming something is until we dive into it ourselves (any fellow DIY enthusiasts out there?). I remember not wanting to pay a bathroom fitter to smooth 3 small walls so I did it myself - it took me a week and the walls are not definitely not smooth.



So, I then realized how many things I needed to do with each client to run a business and, more importantly, how long they took. If I didn't know, why would you? I believe blogs and social media posts that educate are important, so I hope you find this useful.

As a mom myself, I know the value of every penny, especially when it comes to family expenses. So, let's get to the point... what's included in the session fee?


First off, this fee ensures you get not just photos, but an experience—a memorable, beautiful, and stress-free one. Before the big day arrives, I invest a lot of time and effort into understanding your needs, prepping you with guides and tips, and meticulously planning every detail of our session together. We chat on the phone and exchange numerous emails; you receive a 20-page guide from me (which I wrote and keep updating); I do research and plan the session. I may need to scout a location 20 minutes each way out of town or get to the location 30 minutes earlier to have a good look around. I organize the equipment and other bits I need to bring (dresses, blankets, toys, a stool, etc.). I may need to wash a blanket and iron the dress—this all takes time.


prep guide for family photo sessions in Worcester

This behind-the-scenes effort is often overlooked. My work does not start when I arrive at your home and start photographing.


There's the expertise and creativity I bring to the table, years spent honing my craft through practice, workshops, courses, and continuous learning. Behind every stunning image lies vision, as well as my ability to capture moments, set up shots, and bring out the best in you. You pay more for a better service and for better photos, just as you'd pay more for a 'senior hair stylist' rather than a 'hair stylist', or for organic food over non-organic. I remember being in the Philippines many years ago and trying to haggle with a very respected and well-reviewed guide—he said to me, 'if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.' We paid him what he quoted and had a fabulous experience; the photo with him made it to the photobook from that year. We not only saw amazing places and ate great food but also felt safe and well looked after, he clearly loved his job, and he took great photos of us during the day. This saying stuck with me and has influenced many decisions ever since.


This fee also goes towards essential tools—cameras, lenses, editing software—that make your photos shine. It covers business expenses—insurance, marketing, and various memberships that keep everything running smoothly. And don't forget the post-production magic... hours are spent sorting, editing, and curating your photo gallery.


This fee isn't just a price tag; it's an investment in preserving your family's memories. I put your mind at ease, ensure you enjoy your time with me, and deliver high-quality, stunning photos that capture the heart and soul of your family.


Remember, behind every photograph is a photographer who poured their heart and soul into creating it. So, when considering session fees, it's not just about the price but the value and expertise that come along with it. 😊🧡🧡🧡


A word on pricing transparency.


Full pricing information is available on my website without the need to download a pricing guide first or, even worse, ask me for prices by filling out a form first! I pride myself on pricing transparency. If there's anything unclear or if you have suggestions on how I can improve, please share! Your feedback is important.



Lots of love,

Karina



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