Today, July 1, 2022, we introduce new changes to our operations.
Below we're sharing a little more about these changes with our community:
For a year our team has been working on the vision we have for Cara Al Viento. Many things have changed since we opened our doors to the public in 2017, with a simple desire to share the property that has seen many of our little ones grow up.
Since then, the market has changed, we have grown, our community is expanding more and more, and perhaps most importantly, we have realized the potential we have to have a positive social impact in Jarabacoa and beyond.
For this and more, we feel that our first branding no longer reflected who Cara Al Viento is and, beyond that, who we want to become. The new branding tells our story. It expresses what we do and what we aspire to be as an organization.
As part of this rebranding, we are changing our communication to target an English-speaking audience as our vision is to grow beyond photo shoots to offer destination micro-weddings and elopements.
In line with the new branding, we have launched our new website, which reflects this new stage and our vision as Cara Al Viento. Our mission through this new website is to be an 'all-in-one' platform, where our clients can learn about our history, make their reservations and learn about strategies to organize events with a positive social impact and in consideration of the environment. Similarly, our website allows our customers to register as members. By doing so, they will be able to interact with our team, interact with other people in our community, access our forum and complete educational programs that we will be offering in the future on events with positive social impact.
Changes in our photoshoots
Below we summarize the changes in the photo sessions:
Photoshoots will be offered as fixed-time sessions instead of hourly payments. At the moment, we will be offering one-hour and two-hour sessions.
Photoshoots will incur a new price of USD$75 for a one-hour session and USD$120 for a two-hour session.
To make it easier for customers who prefer to make payments online, we will be offering the option to pay online or pay in cash. For the time being, payment must be made to our bank account. In the future, we want to offer the possibility of making payments directly through our website. Unfortunately, right now there is no easy way to connect our website to a bank account in the Dominican Republic.
All reservations must pay a non-refundable deposit of USD$10 to secure their date.
All reservations must be scheduled three days in advance.
All reservations must be confirmed through our email. Please send a payment confirmation to firstname.lastname@example.org. It can be a screenshot of the deposit made.
All photoshoot bookings must be cancelled 24 hours in advance. No refunds will be accepted. If you need to cancel, we will offer you a credit, which can be used for a future date.
New booking platform
We are introducing a new booking platform where our clients will be able to make their reservations right here on our website. The old platform will be disabled.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why are photo shoots no longer paid by the hour?
In a survey we did last year asking our community how they prefer to pay for photoshoots, 60% chose that they prefer to pay for individual sessions of more than an hour. To accommodate those people who don't need two hours, we are offering a one-hour shift.
Why have the prices for photoshoots increased?
There are several factors that led us to make this decision, which was not taken lightly.
First, we did a market study to find out the price charged by other similar establishments in the Dominican Republic. In doing so, we realized that our prices are much lower than the competition. In fact, even with the new prices, Cara Al Viento is still one of the most competitive establishments for photoshoots in the country.
Second, in the same survey we conducted last year, 76% of participants indicated that photo shoots represent good value for money if charged at $50 (per hour), and 11% indicated they would be willing to pay USD$100 per hour. When asked at what price per hour would they consider photo sessions to be so expensive that they would not be willing to book, 26% indicated $100 per hour. The new prices reflect the results of our survey and the market competition. Two-hour sessions carry a 20% discount.
Third, we have never increased our prices since opening our doors to the public in 2017. Since the beginning of last year we have been making improvements to the property, including building new areas, installing decorations, and planning various projects in collaboration with other providers to offer a broader range of services, specifically geared towards outdoor weddings and celebrations, in harmony with nature. In fact, in our survey, 31% of participants indicated they would like Cara Al Viento to offer events, weddings, accommodation and other outdoor activities. These projects require a capital investment to expand and properly accommodate the property. Photo sessions are an important component that will help us reinvest into the business so we can achieve these goals.
Why are you charging a non-refundable deposit?
Unfortunately, we have had many clients who make their reservations and then do not show up for their reservations or notify us that they will not be coming. Doing so keeps the calendar busy and prevents other clients from booking that same slot. The deposit is being collected to prevent this from happening.
Why must bookings be made three days in advance?
Reservations must be made three days in advance so that the online payment reaches our bank account on time.
Why must bookings be confirmed?
Reservations must be confirmed to secure your date. It is a measure that we are introducing to minimize the recurrence of no-shows.
Why are you using a new booking platform?
We want to make things easy for ourselves and our customers. Our new reservation platform is integrated into our new website so that our clients only have to visit one platform instead of two platforms as we had before.
Why are you charging in US dollars?
We are charging in dollars for two reasons. The first is that the cost of doing business goes up every day. Charging in dollars will allow us to stay aligned with market fluctuations. Second, as mentioned above, we want to start attracting a foreign audience. Showing our prices in dollars will help us manage our finances and communications more easily with this audience.
What's included in the photoshoots?
✦ Exclusive and private access to the property.
✦ Access to take photos in all the facilities of the property, with the exception of the family home.
✦ Use of a private and safe room with a mirror, fan, and facilities to change, apply makeup, etc.
✦ Use of a private bathroom.
✦ Personalized 10-minute tour for new customers.
✦ 8 people per group, including the photographic team. Each additional person must pay USD$10 per ticket. Maximum 10 people per group.
✦ Accompanying guide.