WPPI ... A few of my goals. (Pricing, Packaging, Printing)

I have so much to say and unfortunately I'm just way to busy to sit down and give proper attention to all the thoughts that are swirling around in my brain right now.  But I thought I would share what a few of my goals were for WPPI. First, I know I've said this before but I think it's so critical to mention that I went KNOWING I was going to have an incredible time! I can't say I realized it would be this great but there was no doubt in my mind that I was going to walk away inspired. Thought is power!

Noelle picked me up from the airport Friday late morning. We started with Business Institute kicking off that night (totally worth going to!!) . That was Friday night and all day Saturday. We also attended 3 Master Classes (David Humphrey, Silvana Frammartino and Nick Adams) and saw as many Podium Presentations as we could (Jesh De Rox, Jasmine Star, Brianna Graham, Tony Corbel, Jonathan Canlas and so many more). We literally left the hotel at 7:30 am and fell back into bed at about 2:30 am. And neither of us drink, so we were just meeting amazing people and having a great time surrounding ourselves with fantastic photographers!

So a few of my many goals were:

1. Determine my Pricing and... Really own it !! and seriously, isn't that the hardest part? 

Honestly, it's just plain scary for me!One of the big things I took away from WPPI (that was completely unexpected) is how much I respect the industry and the road those before me have paved. By being to cheap (and not seeing the valuie in our own work) we are diminishing the value of photography as an art. I truly believe that if newbies (myself included) had been educated about what there pricing was doing to those who's work inspires them they would change! I would do it all 100% different. And if you don't care about those who are the pioneers of custom photography (and you should) but you are dreaming to be successful then you better realize your hurting yourself in the future.  If we truly love this craft we must respect it and price according to our markets!  

So the original goal was to determine my pricing. Well I got some good ideas and definitely felt empowered for the change but it wasn't until my flight home that the gem was presented. I sat in between Fundy (he's so cool he just go's by Fundy) and Kevin Focht of Left Turn Studio. Fundy showed me this awesome application on his iPhone that he created... a photographer's pricing calculator!

With this little baby I seriously feel like I have everything I need to price myself properly. I gained the courage to own it through WPPI, and now I have the widget to calculate it all out for me! Numbers don't lie! So I put in the numbers and it tells me what to charge. (and if you think my grammar's bad, you should see my math skills) No more pulling from the sky, the numbers tell me where I should be! 

2. Research and choose vendors for my packaging. 
You know how important I believe packaging is! It's the icing on the cake, no it's more then that... It's the candles on the top! When I hand over a print order thats my last chance to wow them before our next session! I want it to feel like Christmas! I'm a boutique photographer and with that I have to do everything I can to set myself a world apart from a chain studio. My images are where they will see it but it's my marketing, packaging and service that will help them FEEL IT! One vendor I'm super excited to start working with is Rice Studio Supply!
There is something about putting yourself in the same arena as the super stars (at least when you can) that just makes you feel like your headed in the right direction. Some of the absolute biggest studios out there use Rice Studio Supply and it's obvious to see why - add to that there starter kit options and it's not unrealistic for those of us who aren't quite there yet to get to use them! RSS actually happens to be in Oregon so once I found that out, it was done deal! =) 

3. Look into a new printing lab. 
If you have followed for a while you know I use WHCC. There are a lot of things I really like about them, customer service is good, turn around is great... There are a lot of positives. But I just felt like I'm telling my clients that my prints are superior and that they can't get theirs to look as good as mine and sometimes when I got prints back I wasn't feeling like that was as true. I have started using Metallic and those are very cool. But I like working with smaller companies where you have a better chance of being remembered and their product HAS to be superior because it's not all about mass!! I have three companies I'm interested in. I'm currently doing test prints with all and will do a full post on what I find and choose. 

So there you have it... These are 3 of my goals from WPPI. I actually had business goals and Go{4}Pro goals too and it was literally like 2 pages of goals but hopefully these ones will be interesting and helpful for you! As I complete other goals I promise to share... 


  1. Leah,Thanks so much for this post! It was encouraging to me, because I just raised my pricing and today after a shoot I felt guilty when she was handing me the check! I was trying to convince myself that I was worth that! thank you!

    If you're trying out new labs.... I LOVE BWC in Dallas. When I first started out I tried our 4 or 5 labs and they were by far my favorite as far as the final look of the print goes. It's amazing how the same picture can vary from lab to lab.

  2. Thank you Leah for this post as well. I really wish I could have gone to this convention because I am just starting out and I would have loved to go through all the different classes and vendor booths. I can't wait to hear more about your experience at WPPI. Maybe I will get the chance to meet you there next year. :)

  3. Leah, you are so good to us! Thanks again!

  4. I have started to think things about WHCC as well. I had one client order prints from me, and then get prints made through Costco. And they looked the same. And then how was I supposed to defend my pricing then? Part of me was like, "Yeah, go with Wal-mart. They are obviously top notch." I will be doing additional research as well.

  5. I just hope you realize how fantastic you are! Everyone can always learn more and progress in their talents, but you have to remember you have a gift!

  6. Would love to hear more about the 3 labs you're trying out. I'm one of those anti-WHCC photogs myself...

  7. I had some of the same goals for WPPI. I am finally really happy with the direction I'm going, but it is still a struggle to take each step! Holy cow is it hard. Thanks for sharing your goals, and keep working for em!