Q: You guys don't seem like a bottom-dwelling cheapo studio like some others along the Wasatch Front... why do you offer Groupon/KSL deals?
A: Groupon/KSL Deals is a marketing and sales tool... nothing more, and nothing less. They're a way to introduce people to our studio and our work that otherwise wouldn't know we exist.
Q: But with the huge discounts on Groupon/KSL, how can you make a living with these deals?
A: If Groupon/KSL deals were the mainstay of our business, we couldn't. We only make $10-30 or so on a Groupon/KSL voucher, so we have to limit the number of vouchers that we sell, and we have to restrict the actual out-of-pocket expense that each Groupon/KSL Deal that we offer requires us to spend.
Q: So, does that mean that you do a "bait-and-switch" when they come in?
A: Not at all. We are happy to provide each of our Groupon/KSL customers everything in their package, with no "strong-arm" pressure to upgrade or "trade up" for the price they paid for their voucher.
That being said, we do make our customers aware of the products and services that we offer above and beyond their Groupon/KSL deal, and we usually give them additional discounts on these products and services.
Q: Do Groupon/KSL customers get poor quality because they purchased a discount voucher?
A: That wouldn't make any business sense. We count on our Groupon/KSL customers being so thrilled with the quality we provide that they buy additional products and services in addition to their package deal. The better the quality, the more our customers typically buy. It is actually in our best interest to go "above and beyond" to please our Groupon/KSL customers.
Q: Why are your digital images so expensive?
A: Having the digital images of your session is a great deal... for the customer. For the photo studio? Not so much. We make our profit and derive the bulk of our revenue from print and frame sales. When someone purchases the digital images, that represents a loss of potential revenue for us... and from a business standpoint, we can't afford to do that and keep our doors open.
Q: Why are wall portraits so expensive?
A: Excellent question, and one that we wish more people would ask.
The short answer is that the wall portraits that we sell are far more than the paper, canvas, metal, or mounting board they come on. Those things don't cost very much, truth be told. For that matter, blank canvas, oils, and brushes don't cost much for an artist to buy, either... whether they be brand new or world-renowned.
Our wall portraits are works of art. They are the culmination of decades of experience, tens of thousands of dollars of equipment, incalculable hours of education, and many hours of work, both behind the camera and in the editing suite. We invite anyone to compare the quality of work that we do with your average "mommytographer" who just bought a $350 camera at Costco and now advertises themselves as a "professional." There is no comparison.
Pamela Pauline, a fine art photographic artist, answered this question as follows:
"Capturing professional photographs is a skill acquired through years of experience. This is my 13th year in the business and I am thrilled each time I "get that shot" or attempt something new with success, and continue to learn from my mistakes. Even though a DSLR camera now can cost under $1,000, taking professional portraits involves much more than a nice camera. Most professional photographers bought their first camera years before they tried to make money in photography, not to mention their subsequent purchase of lenses, backdrops, filters, props, tripods, calibrators, software, additional education and the list goes on.
"In addition to the financial investment, portrait photographers actually have to have people skills to make subjects comfortable in front of the camera. Posing people is a skill in itself. While Lightroom does wonders for a poorly exposed image, not much can be done for an image that has been poorly posed or faces that are clearly unhappy because of the photographer's lack of people skills.
"Professional photographers are just that – professionals offering a service. No different than a mechanic, dentist, doctor, lawyer or electrician. I heard of one analogy that made sense to me. 'Maybe we need to help clients look at it this way: A pair of scissors costs $1.50 at the local [drug store]. Still, most people will gladly pay a lot more to hire a professional hair dresser to cut their hair'."