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lifestyle photographer for fun, laid-back people

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Why I will NEVER make you choose!

Photography Tips

October 20, 2023


I started my photography business because I loved capturing precious memories for others. What I didn’t realize at the time was how many business models there were and how many ways I could deliver the images to my clients. It was overwhelming! Here are the most common business models.

  • I could have a set session fee that only covers my time, and then clients would pay for every individual print & product they want.
  • I could deliver a full gallery and have a strict number of images included, but then they could buy more if they really love them.
  • I could charge one higher price, deliver all the best images – the posed, the unposed, the outtakes…all the memories, and they would get them all.
For the sake of representing my philosophy perfectly, I have chosen to showcase some recent clients who truly made my heart smile!! Shannon & Faye have a love & a joy about them that is just beautiful!!

I admit that I’ve tried all of the options, but my heart always goes back to the all-inclusive model (the last option), and here’s why.

I want to tell a story with my images. From the moment my clients arrive to the moment they leave, I want to capture all the memories for them. I found that when I was making them CHOOSE their favorite images, they would leave so many precious moments behind, simply because of the cost. I had this overwhelming feeling of guilt that they didn’t get to keep those memories left behind! Plus, I had spent the time editing them, and now they were just “trashed”!!

I thought, for a while, that I would make more money “upselling” more images, but the truth is, it just felt WRONG!! Now let me be clear…that business model is absolutely not wrong! Many photographers are incredibly successful using that model…and many clients LOVE that model. However, for me and my ideal client, it was not for me. I want to deliver a story. My client may not hang every image on their wall, but they will have them all to reminisce on as life flies by.

This is going to sound dark and maybe a little sad, but it truly does influence my philosophy on this!

After losing London, I look back at a handful of images – literally – that capture her life in two days. I wasn’t a photographer then. They’re not even “good pictures”. However, they’re all I have, and I absolutely treasure them. Losing London and the way I feel about those pictures makes me truly honor all of the moments that I get to capture for a family, Senior, or couple.

I think about this (and this may sound crazy or sad to you, so I’m sorry, but…) “What if one of my clients died?” What images would their loved ones want?

I know the answer to that because I’ve lived it. They would want them all! They would want all the different expressions, the serious ones, the funny ones, the out-takes…all of it!

And that is EXACTLY what I give them! All of it. And now I don’t feel guilty. I have a peace & joy in my heart when I deliver a gallery that – for that time they were with me – they will have a complete story that truly celebrates life & love – without any missing pieces!

So, if you’re a photographer questioning what type of business model you should go with, I hope this helps you understand the benefits of the all-inclusive model so you can decide what’s best for you!

If you’re a client or potential client, I hope this helps you understand why your galleries are big…why I never make you choose…and even why my up-front cost may be a little more than others.

My goal is not to be the cheapest photographer. My goal is for the experience and the story that I tell to be truly priceless for my clients!

Have a great weekend, friends!! Thanks so much for being here!


Ashlee 🙂

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