I have been noticing lately that there have been a TON of photography offers on Groupon and Living Social. The first one I saw a few years ago wasn't so bad. I think it was around $100 for a one hour session fee and a disc of images...that wasn't as anywhere near what I am seeing these days. What I'm seeing these days is $25 for a one hour session fee and a 4x6 print of your images. I was FLOORED when I saw that offering! The person offering it supposedly had 20+ years experience in the photography industry. I don't blame anyone for trying to get clients on these sites by offering a great deal, but I just can't imagine what would drive somebody to undercut the value of their work by that much. By charging only $25, that means that they will only see $12.50 from each person who purchased that deal. By people offering these low prices it is making a bit of a mockery of the photography industry. The only reason anyone should charge that low is if they are building a portfolio.
Don't get me wrong, I understand that the economy isn't the greatest and it is increasingly hard to get clients - especially with so many people starting to take up photography or people just buying their own cameras and no longer hiring professionals, but I cannot understand why someone would do so much work for practically nothing. What most people don't realize is what all goes into each and every photography session. For most (should be all) professionals, it's not just showing up to a session, taking pictures and burning a CD. It's talking with the client weeks before the session. Answering their emails, phone calls and whatever questions they might have, it's going to the location BEFORE the session and having a plan for what and where you will shoot, it's coming home and culling the images and narrowing it down to show your clients the best of their images, it's spending hours editing and retouching each image, it's working with each client to understand exactly what they want these pictures for and if they have specific uses for the final images.
So I have to ask myself...if someone is offering their services for (essentially) only $12.50, what does that include? It's something that you should think about before you hire someone to take your pictures or you might be wasting your time and end up having to do them over by someone that you choose not just because of price but also because you know what they offer and you know you like their photographic style!
With that said...I will leave you with this image - perfect for spring!