Photography Pricing Tips | The Price Is Right – Tips for Setting Your Photography Prices
Photography Pricing Tips | For many shutterbugs, the dream of making money with photography doesn’t go beyond being able to pay for new equipment. Photography may simply be your favorite pastime if you already have a successful career, but if you are trying to make a business out of being creative, the first question that will come to your mind is “how much should I charge?” It’s funny – you may be the best photographer, but the right prices can be like the holy grail. And when you’re not really sure how much you should charge, or why you charge what you charge, it’s not easy to stay firm on your prices when your potential clients want to haggle you down to nothing.
Pricing yourself too low might gain you a ton of business, but it will also take up all your free time. Pricing yourself too high, particularly early on, will decrease your workload, but might also send you filing a job application at McDonald’s… again! Pricing photography services and products gives professional photographers more headaches than anything else in their business. Don’t be overwhelmed. Take the guess work out of pricing your work by following the following tips.
Why Does Pricing Cause So Much Trouble? | Photography Pricing Tips
Your confidence in your photography pricing is usually based onhow comfortable you actually feel about paying the prices you’re asking. We’re sure there have been times that you’ve looked at your own prices and caught yourself saying something like, “I don’t think my clients will want to pay that much“. However, remember that, as a photographer, you also have expenses to cover. You need to purchase equipment like a camera, lenses, a computer, software, storage devices… and the list goes on and on. You have to pay for website hosting, and maybe even a logo design and other brand elements. In other words, you have to remember that your work is worth something – no matter your level as a photographer, you still need to cover your expenses.
Know Your Market | Photography Pricing Tips
What is the average price of a photographer’s work in your niche, or your area? Compare and contrast, and determine where your work can fit in. Don’t forget to evaluate your service, quality of imagery, and professionalism. It is absolutely critical that you believe in the value and benefits of what you’re selling, and you must be confident in the prices you’re asking. This means that there must be no doubt that your fees represent good value for the client.
Know Your Client | Photography Pricing Tips
You are not your client! Take a moment to imagine how difficult it would be to sell something so expensive that you were forced to convince not only your client, but yourself as well, that the service is worth the price you are asking for it! Keep in mind that some people would rather pay more for a service if it means better quality. Some people cannot afford anything but the basics. Decide which client group you want to reach, and begin arranging your prices from there.
Evaluate Your Investment | Photography Pricing Tips
Do you know how much time you actually spend working on a portrait shoot or a wedding? It’s not just the “face time” – it’s also your travel time, time on the phone with a client, time you answering emails, and time you spend editing the images after the shoot is over. Think about the hours of preperations, driving, shooting, editing, developmeing, service, quality, and interaction, and price your work accordingly.
Determine Your Expenses | Photography Pricing Tips
This has been said so many times, and it should be the starting point for any realistic price list, yet we still see too many photographers ignoring their costs in favor of basing their prices on what they see the local competition charging. This is where many photographers fall short of “making it” in the industry; they have not learned to pinpoint the additional costs of running this business outside jobs. The only way you can charge the fees appropriate to you and your photography business is to base your prices on what it costs YOU to do business.
Market Ahead Of Time | Photography Pricing Tips
You should publish some of your prices on your website. This is the first step in managing client expectations and not getting the sticker-shocked client trying to weasel their way out of paying your prices. Letting client’s know of your prices far enough in advance can allow them time to gather their pennies and arrange budgets.