I slowly emerged from my
cave office this week and realized that Christmas is once again upon us. Didn’t we do this just a few months ago? It sure came fast this year.
And what a year it was!
I’m still in a post-busy-season haze, so I don’t have the numbers tallied yet (it’s on the long to-do list), but I can safely say that it was my busiest—and best—year ever. I can’t wait to share some of the highlights (again, on the to do list) and some of the wonderful stories of the year.
So…looking ahead to 2015…
I’m getting emails and calls every day for people looking to get on my 2015 calendar.
I know, I know…I’m a planner too. And while I am really looking forward to 2015, the truth is you guys, I need a few days to recover from this incredible year.
So, it’s going to be a couple of weeks before I have the calendar ready.
I’m not complaining…it’s amazing to be busy. I am so grateful for all of you who come back year after year, as well as the new families I haven’t even yet met. I have the most awesome job…and I am so fortunate to work with such incredible clients again and again.
To put it simply: you guys rock.
So, here’s how this is going to go down:
THIS WEEK: Starting this afternoon, I’m going to take a break for the rest of this week and over the weekend. Emails and calls will be returned on Monday.
NEXT WEEK: I hope to have my calendar drafted and into the booking system by the end of the week. There are some who get first access to the 2015 calendar (baby plans, reschedules, people who contacted me back in the fall for 2015 spots, etc.), and they will get an email from me with a private link to the booking system by the end of next week. Gift certificates are available for purchase (more on that below).
WEEK OF CHRISTMAS: Gotta be honest…I feel weird asking people to book a session this week because you’re busy, I’m busy, everyone’s busy. So we’re not gonna do anything calendar-related this week (except for the people mentioned above). Gift certificates are available for purchase (more on that below).
WEEK AFTER CHRISTMAS: Calendar is available for clients to book. Clients, you will receive an email from me with a private link to the online booking system.
WEEK OF JAN 5, 2015: Free for all! The calendar will be open to everyone. I know that’s late if you’re looking for a January session, but judging from the inquiries I’ve gotten this fall, January may already be completely booked.
Here’s a heads up on a few things in 2015:
1. When the calendar opens, I’m tossing around the idea of opening it for the entire year. That’s right…if you want a coveted fall leaves session, you may be able to secure it in January. I’m not 100% sure that I’ll do that, but I’m about 80% sure. There may be a previous-client-exclusivity access to the full calendar, but again, not sure on that, so if you have strong feelings either way, please let me know.
2. I’ll be transitioning to a system where the full payment for the session is due at the time of booking. I know it’s not the most convenient thing ever, but I’m spending way too much time chasing down retainers, trying to remember who owes what, reminding people about balances that need to be paid, and, sadly, dealing with NSF checks. Bookkeeping is one of my least favorite parts of this business, so it’s time to simplify. (Weddings will still be handled on a retainer/final payment basis.)
3. Just a quick heads up that 2015 mini sessions probably won’t be announced until January.
And here’s the big one…
4. Prices for most session types will be increasing in 2015. I’ve actually never announced price increases before, but I’m going to do so ahead of time this year in order to help people plan ahead. I don’t have the details worked out yet, but the price increase will affect pretty much everything except weddings.
I will do my best to keep the increase as minimal as possible.
It always pains me to increase prices, because my philosophy when I started this business has been to provide affordable photo sessions for everyday families. But as demand increases, my costs—and opportunity costs—increase, both professionally and personally.
As one of my very favorite clients reminded me this week: you guys are coming to Lollipop Photography because you want *me* to take your pictures. The pretty pictures are expected, of course, but many of you are coming to Lollipop specifically because of the fun, the laughter, my experience with all kinds of families and situations, the attention to detail, and the service level I offer.
And it has always been my #1 goal to keep that service at a level I’m proud of. I can honestly say that I’m proud of the level of service I’ve been able to offer for the past few years, even as things have gotten busier.
But, as my business grows, the time I’m spending away from my family grows too. And I can’t continue to operate at this level of busy-ness all the time.
There’s only so much of me to go around. My time is starting to become premium.
It’s not going to be super drastic…no one is doubling prices or anything. There will be more options for the level of service you desire. And I have an idea to keep offering some affordable options as well. And you will still receive your digital files with all sessions…that’s not changing.
That all being said…
If you know you’ll be booking a session in 2015 and you want to secure it at this year’s pricing, you can purchase a gift certificate between now and 12/28/14. Just shoot me an email on my contact page and I’ll get you hooked up.
The fine print: Gift certificates must be paid in full by 12/28/14. They will expire in November 2016. I am not issuing gift certificates for 2014 pricing on mini sessions, senior or boudoir sessions.
(If you have already contacted me prior to noon today to get on the 2015 early calendar announcement list, don’t worry…I’ve got you on the list and the calendar will open up for you by next Friday. You will get 2014 pricing on the type of session you inquired about if you book before 12/29/14. Baby plan peeps: you’ll still get your pricing we discussed when you first contacted me.)
So, there’s some notes on 2015. I’ll be back soon with some fun stories, pretty photos, helpful advice, and—oh yeah—that calendar!
Hope you’re having a sweet holiday season so far!