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    Okay, I'm starting to think about next year already. I schedule my seniors fairly tightly and lately I've run into a bunch of SLOW clothes changers. I'm thinking of changing from a set "session" to a time based session. Anyone else doing this? HOw are you implimenting it?
    The early bird might get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

  • #2
    Being Digital and no proofs, it was easy for me. My "Most Popular" session is 1.5 hours. Unlimited outfits and locations. I take as many shots as I feel like and project them. Cost is $75. I schedule so if I am getting good stuff I can slide over by 30 min. The kids appreciate the "extra" time and I can spend time shooting for me.

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    • #3
      who decides when to change clothes?
      The early bird might get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

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      • #4
        I do, or the senior. When they get there, I have them lay all the outfits where I can see them. I ask what their favorites are. Those obviously get photographed. Any for Mom, Ditto. Then it is however the spirit moves me.

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        • #5
          Llew...like you I had scheduling problems with outfit based sessions...some took way to long to change. I went to time based sessions about 2 years ago, and it is much better. I will do an outfit....change locations and they change clothes at that time. That way its up to them how many outfits they get....and I tell them if they take a long time to change it will mean less outfits photographed. It kinda took that stress off of me and put it on them!

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          • #6
            Llew,
            I went to time based sessions this year for the same reason. I have 1Hr $50, 1.5Hr $75 and 2 Hr at $100. The problem comes in that FIRST, the average sale never changed regardless of how much time you spent. I had some sales from the 1 hr session go over the 2 hr sales. SO, the profit per hour was LESS in the longer sessions.
            SECOND, on the 2 hour sessions I was getting to the point of burnout by the end of the session. I was used to working by the number of outfits and working fast but still getting a lot of poses in. Since I am digital I'm also getting A LOT more poses done in a short amount of time. To give you an idea: on the 1 hr I was shooting about 65 images, 1.5 hr - 80-90 images and 2 hour 110+ images. When school started back there was no way I was going to dedicate a full afternoon to 1 senior, so I discontinued the 2 hour session and made the 1.5 hr available during school hours only.

            Next year I'll probably go to 30 minutes, 1 hr and 1.5 hour. If you want the waterfalls additional time will be allowed for travel and shooting at an additional fee. I did have some fun on a few of seniors wanting the 2 hour session, but the ones that came in with just a few odd outfits and hard to work with made it difficult. Yes, I do always send out a letter right after they book their session advising them on outfits, etc.
            Hope this helps Llew.
            Keith

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            • #7
              Ours are ALL time based. As many changes as you can do in the time you have. You show up late, too bad. HOWEVER, We always schedule an extra 15 minutes for our 45 minute session, an extra half hour for our 90 minute and 2 1/2 hour sessions, and noone has been crazy enough to book our 4 hour sessions yet. We don't tell them that, we just give me enough time to make sure we give them more than they expected.

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              • #8
                Also, every one of our packages has a minimum pre-paid order credit. 45 minute is a total of $255 (45 session, 210 credit), 90 minute is 450 (65 session, 385 order credit) 2 1/2 hour is $625 (95 and 530) and our Xtreme 4 hour session is $710 (110 and $600) $150 to reserve the timein the schedule, the remainder of the total package when you come in for the session, additional at the time of the order.

                I was nervous going to it, but it's worked WELL. No objections to the reservation fee, no objections to the prepaid order credit. We aren't booking everyone that comes in, but I shoot for about a 50% booking. More, and I'm probably too cheap; less and I'm either not hitting the mark photographically, or I'm too expensive for the market.

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                • #9
                  Llew, we used to have really SLOW clothes changers too, that is UNTIL we put a sign in the dressing room that says "Please keep your clothes changing time to less than 5 minutes so we may keep your session on schedule" and ever since, people are in and out within 3 minutes. Funny how just a little sign can make a big difference. Its all in communication.

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                  • #10
                    I'll add that in normal circumstances kids spend less time changing if there isn't someone else in the dressing room with them. (parent) Also, if they seem like they are taking too long (esp before the first outfit) I'll knock on the door and ask if they need any help with anything.... sometimes they are magically done and once in a while they are having trouble with their hair and I'll pick up the curling iron and fix it for them within seconds...
                    For guys, I hang their outfits together in the order we will be shooting them, and I try to be specific about telling them what to put on. Also.... before girls' sessions.... be sure to schedule outfits in the order that will best accomadate the changes with their hair. Down first... then half back, then all up. And like Adam mentioned, the sign does help.

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                    • #11
                      We have a sign that says:

                      "change your clothes quickly, or we'll have to photography you naked"

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                      • #12
                        Fred, like you sign, but I do boudoir and more than half the time they eventually go naked.

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