Hi there! We're Luke and Cat, and we're so happy you're here. We hope you'll stay a while! We’re a husband and wife wedding photographer team based in Houston, Texas. Ranchers-turned-photographers, our world looks like this: a Craftsman-style farmhouse; our newborn, Knox, in our arms; coffee in the kitchen; Edison lights on the back porch; and a pair of English bulldogs at the foot of our bed. Read more...

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Here's a Must-Read Article on the Psychology of Pricing!

Oct 24, 2017 / Business

Three identical items - one $34, one $39, and one $44. It seems logical that most people would reach for the most affordable one, but the truth might shock you!

Today we’re sharing an article that revolutionized the way we thought about pricing in our business. Turns out that what makes us tick when we’re spending money is not as obvious as one might think. The Psychology of Pricing covers several game-changing concepts including: avoiding “option overload,” using the right syllables, and applying the rule of nine.

Read it and share your thoughts in the comments below. Be sure to look for a few comments from us with some more of our favorite takeaways and how we applied them to our wedding photography business.  Like this one:

Make the Math Easy: Too much math can take the romance out of wedding photos.  If you're selling collections with 'savings' make sure to list the value of the collection vs the 'discount' collection price. And make the math easy. For example:

Collection 3:
A La Carte Price: $6000
Collection Price: $4000

Even after a glass of wine during a Meet & Greet, our brides and grooms can still easily calculate that the Collection Price will save them $2 grand.  We promise that this article is worth the read – literally.  It could make you lots more money.  We look forward to the discussion below. View More Here!

Let Sales Be Easy and Create Happy Customers,

Luke & Cat

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The Great Football Fumble

Should I Put Pricing On My Website?

Oct 17, 2017 / Business

We get asked a ton of questions at our workshops. By far, one of the most popular questions involves that delicate topic of money: Should I put my pricing on my website?

We have strong thoughts about this topic, but first a little story – about the great football fumble:

A few years ago, we were at Cat’s parents’ house talking about how we were going to purchase our annual season tickets for the Texas A&M football games. Everyone in our family – immediate and extended – buys season tickets, and that’s a lot of people! Inspiration struck.  What if we all went in together and moved our season-ticket-holders party to a luxury box instead?  How much more would it cost? We excitedly grabbed our phones and started trying to research the boxes at Kyle Field. 

Our excitement quickly turned into frustration. We could see photos of the box interiors, the menu for the catering options, even a view of the field from the seats. It looked fantastic and expensive! What none of us could find was the season price for the luxury box.

We didn’t want to inquire to get the price. First, we were afraid that the people on the other end of the inquiry form would engage us in high pressure sales. What if once they got our information, they started badgering us, or worse, questioned our allegiance to our beloved Aggies if we didn’t want to spring for a season box? Furthermore, what if once we learned the price, it was completely out of our price range? It would be embarrassing to admit that we couldn't afford it.

So, guess what we did? Absolutely nothing. All the excitement of the previous five minutes had evaporated and we moved on, letting it go, and buying our season tickets as per usual.

The Takeaways:

  • Get in the Game: There are a lot of wedding photographers who clearly list their pricing. Make it easier on your future newlyweds to know where you stand by giving them a starting point. If we clicked away from those beautiful box seats because we couldn’t find the price, certainly brides had done that on our website, too. There’s no use in showing them how gorgeous our work is, if the information they want isn’t on the Information Page!

  •  You Don’t Have to Go for the Whole Nine Yards: When we looked at those box seats—we were intimidated by the luxury. Your images could be so astounding that you’re turning away customers who believe that they don’t have the budget for the luxury of your expertise. You don’t have to put every package and every fee on your site – just list a starting price or offer a few tiered packages.

  • Avoid Overtime: There are some clients who won’t have the budget for a professional photographer. If you list the starting price, you won’t have to spend time having a back and forth with them. They will look at your base price and know that it is not in their ballpark.

Our first several years in business, if you asked us whether you should put your pricing on your website, we would have said no, without hesitation. We could hem and haw over the reasons why, but the truth is it boiled down to self-esteem - or the lack thereof. Early in our business, we weren’t confident enough to state our price and let the client decide if we were worth it. We thought that without getting our prospective clients on the phone and warming them to our charming personalities, they wouldn’t understand what they were getting for that price! (Plus, once they realized how delightful we were  - they’d just have to have us, right?)

But the Texas A&M luxury box was a wake-up call. The truth is that our clients are just like us. It’s why we serve a mean meat and cheese tray with our favorite wine at our couples’ Meet and Greet. It’s also why we don’t tone down our sense of humor when we are on a shoot— “Groomsmen, stand close - nuts to butts close!”. Why would they differ from us when it came to wanting pricing information?  Just like our beloved football team, we realized that we must have been losing great clients because we weren’t giving them the information they needed to make a decision. So, we sucked it up, took that scary step, and put our starting price on our website. And, it only got better from there.  Touchdown!

Love Your Art & Conquer Your Fear,
(some things we learned by letting our starting price start the conversation)

Luke & Cat

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7 Things We Stopped Doing to Improve Our Lives and Our Business

Jul 20, 2017 / Business

Most people focus on all the things they’re going to do in their business. They’re constantly adding items to the list—“I’ll do this; I’ll do that; and I’ll start a new initiative.” And usually, we send you a lot of dispatches on that same theme—encouraging you to start making moves in your business.
This week, we want you take a breath. We’d like you to start compiling a different kind of list—one that’s just as important, but is often overlooked. What are the things that you do for your business that you want to stop doing?
When you’re an entrepreneur building a fledgling business—or even an entrepreneur who has already built a highly successful business—it can feel impossible to even consider the idea of stopping any one task. Sometimes, we convince ourselves that the only way our venture will work is if we keep tending it relentlessly until we collapse of exhaustion. But your business isn’t a house of cards—if you take one task out, either handing it to another person or letting it go entirely, the whole company won’t cave in. In fact, it’s more likely that it will get stronger. Why? Because you’ll be able to truly focus on the parts of your business that matter to you most. And that focus, in turn, will generate revenue.

We call our lifestyle workshops Life and Craft for a reason. It's because while we believe it's important and necessary to hone your craft, we also believe in balancing that craft with the life that makes it possible. Nobody starts a creative business because they want to be decimated by the workload, but that's often what happens. When you love your craft, it's easy to so caught up in it that you don't even realize that your business has started running you-into the ground.
To prevent this from happening in our own lives, every year, we've made it a tradition to stop doing something that we don't enjoy, something that prevents us from living our fullest lives and keeps us from being strategic about the ways we make money. Think of it this way: just like you periodically go through our closets to get rid of shoes and clothes you aren't wearing, it's important to go through your photography business and find those things you're doing that aren't necessary.
Keep in mind that this isn't about singular tasks. It's about a better sense of resource management, about how to allocate time to make the space for things you want to do. After all-why start your own creative business if you don't make time to pursue the creative projects that make you happiest?

So, what did we stop doing?

1.   We stopped doing Sunday weddings-to make time for church and family!
2.   We stopped doing our own housework-for us, it was worth it to hire others for these tasks!
3.   We stopped putting together our own gifts for clients-and found a brilliant gift-giving company to take the reins for us!
4.   We stopped hosting preview parties with potential clients-and freed up time to devote to the clients who had already chosen to book us.
5.   We stopped fielding the same questions over and over again from couples-by taking the time to design and print the Bride Guide, which educates couples and answers their frequently asked questions. 
6.   We stopped writing our own blogs-we trained an employee to do them for us. After all, we like the photography part, which isn't literally worth a thousand words.
7.   We stopped booking portrait sessions whenever the client wanted-and instead set the time and place that would enable us to take the best possible photos.

Now, we didn't do all these all at once. We implemented them slowly, over time. We identified them based on a hard look at our priorities and our enjoyment level of each activity versus the 'reward' for doing the activity.  Today, with a little one on the way, all of our priorities and lists are about to get a hard shove. And, because we've practiced sticking to our stop list for years, we feel ready for the challenge!
Each time we stopped an activity, we've felt a bit of "FOMO"-the fear of missing out. It's only natural.  And, yes, you might miss out on a few things, but just remember that those things weren't your ideal business, anyway. In short, stop bending over backwards, and start cartwheeling instead, toward the business of your dreams.


Now for the Takeaways:

 • Don't Be Afraid. You're not missing out.  And, stopping (or delegating) unpleasant tasks will not collapse your business! By prioritizing what truly matters-your passion-you can improve your work, your state of mind, and your profit margin.
What You Don't Stop, Finish. If there's something you're still interested in keeping on your list, and you're not at a good stopping point, finish the job! Half-done tasks and ideas can make your schedule feel cluttered. Complete something that's been on your to-do list for a while (Launching a new website? Hiring an intern?), so when that task is done, you can slide it away and make room for more.
Clean Out Your Closet. Go on a hunt for three things you know you can stop doing in your business. Don't stop until you find those three! Like getting rid of old clothes and shoes, you might hesitate at first, but once you start, it can be freeing.
Delegate, Don't Procrastinate. We've said it before, and we'll say it again-if there's a task you know you hate doing, hire someone who makes that task their business! Cat used to dread doing wedding blogs and sharing them on social media-but procrastinating was actually losing us potential business as we always see an uptick in inquiries after a blog gets posted.  Now, our blogs are done on time and our pipeline is consistently full. Finances, housecleaning, gift giving, marketing, and more can all be handled on time by professionals who are happy to get that job done.

Leisure Time & Church,
(two things we got back by giving other stuff up!),

Luke & Cat

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