Sal Cincotta Shares His Pricing Strategies for Wedding Photography

St. Louis Wedding Photographer Sal Cincotta shares his strategies for pricing wedding photography packages, how to use "pull through" and when to adjust to fit the market.

If you have ever been to WPPI, you definitely have heard from Sal Cincotta. He is a St. Louis based Portrait and Wedding Photographer and is very successful. He regularly gives talks on the business of photography. Sal gave a talk on the Framed Show and broke down how he structures his pricing for wedding photography. A few topics that he covers include how to use pull through, punishing clients' bad behavior and what to push in the selling meetings.

Sal has a very Type A personality. He worked for Microsoft for ten years before following his dream of being a full time professional photographer and his business practices have translated nicely. One of the highlights of the video is when he speaks about discouraging bad behavior from clients. Bad behavior is when a client wants to buy a few items, usually off an a la carte list. Cincotta has found that pricing his a la carte list outrageously high is the perfect way to push a client into one of his strategically priced bundles. He uses the analogy of McDonalds and a "meal" based menu. "Clients don't come in and buy a burger, fries and a coke separately. They buy a combo meal." Cincotta states that this is how we as a society have learned to think, even if the buyer is only saving a few cents, it is the smart purchase. This makes it easier for a studio to forecast sales and run a business efficiently.

The next thing that he covers is how to price the packages that you want to sell. Your base package should not include everything under the sun. Adding incentives to the higher end bundle is what he explains as "pull through." Clients want the digital negatives, so adding these to the mid-level package can entice the client to buy into it and get more bang for their buck. Cincotta uses a few other items to price his packages including albums, time and engagement shoots. "If you are going to offer a package, be willing to sell it," says Cincotta. He has found that if you offer a low end bundle, the client just might buy it. Your lowest end package should be priced high enough that you are satisfied working for that amount. Ideally, he wants all his clients buying into his top two packages.

If you would like to learn more from videos like this, check out the Framed Show.

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Aaron Brown's picture

Good stuff!

James Pratt's picture

Thanks fstoppers, love your work. My comment: I love Sal's passion, and he addresses the truths of running a business. Full credit for being candid. As an alternative to wedding pricing, check this out from SLR lounge, they share a lot of the principles covered by Sal, but the delivery is a little different. Both great approaches.

Iain Mack's picture

Thanks for the advice. :)