One question I get asked pretty frequently is “What is a session fee” and "What does your session fee cover?" I personally love answering this question because I know it probably can be confusing. I want to clear up any question in my client’s mind about what my session fee includes so that they feel comfortable when booking my services.
After I’m asked, “What is a session fee?” I’m usually asked if it includes prints or a CD of all images. My session fee does not cover prints or my high-resolution digital files which can be purchased after the session either by collection or a la carte, but here is a little overview of what it DOES include!
All Herlihy Photography custom portrait sessions include a thirty-minute to one-hour pre-session consultation, either in person or via Skype (or phone if our schedules do not allow us to meet up). During this consultation we will discuss wardrobe and location ideas for the session. It is important to discuss both of these together to ensure a cohesive look for your session. For example, dressing your family in black leather and edgy accessories may be a fun option for an urban session taking place in downtown, but it would not be a great choice for a session taking place in a field of tall grass or wildflowers. I will work with you to make sure that your family or child’s session is representative of your style and overall vision and is translated into heirloom artwork that you will feel excited about displaying throughout your home.
During our consultation, we will also discuss any props that you would like to add in order to customize your session. In some cases, particularly with newborn sessions, a portion of your session fee will help me to purchase a certain hat, wrap, or blanket that I feel will work well with the vision we’ve discussed for your session.
My session fee also covers any time that I spend scouting out locations for your outdoor sessions. I love to get out and explore Morgantown and the surrounding area and find new, exciting and unique locations to shoot. Though this takes time (we all know how crazy Morgantown traffic can be!), I enjoy doing it and factor this time into my session fees.
These last two points probably go without saying, but are still worth mentioning! Your session fee covers my time actually shooting your session, which can range from 30 minutes to four hours, depending on session type. It also covers full retouching of a minimum of 20-30 images (depending on session type) for your viewing gallery. I do not “soft proof” my images, when you view them for the first time you are seeing the edited version as it will appear in your prints, digital files and products. This makes it easier for you to visualize your finished products.
About one to two weeks after your session, we will get together one last time to view your images in my studio. At this ordering session, you will see the images from your custom portrait session for the first time. This will also be the time to place your order. This ordering session usually lasts about an hour, and is also included in your session fee.
I hope that this post has given you more insight into why I charge the session fees that I do, as well as what they include. At Herlihy Photography, you are not just getting a CD of images, you are getting a personalized service and product from start to finish. Not ALL photographer’s session fees include everything that I have outlined above, so it is still important to inquire with your photographer about what is included in their fees. I hope this has been valuable information for those who are considering booking a session with Herlihy Photography. If you have any additional questions, or if there is anything you feel I left out, please feel free to comment below or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. :)