Photography Pricing | Practical Guide To Setting Prices That Separate You From The Pack And Keep The Right Clients Happy
Photography Pricing | You can’t work as a professional photographer for long without getting caught up in the subject of pricing your services (well, you could, maybe, but you would never make any profit). Then there’s the question of not only how much to charge, but also how to educate your clients about your prices without them walking away or thinking you’re trying to pressure them. Photography pricing can range from a few dollars to a few thousand dollars. The secret here is determining what you need to charge so you can be profitable and not get burnt out.
With photography equipment becoming more affordable and user-friendly, the number of photographers has risen dramatically and the price standards in many niches have plummeted just as drastically. It’s funny – you can be the most talented photographer, but knowing what to charge can be one of the most challenging tasks in your career. And when you’re not quite sure why you charge what you charge, it’s difficult to stay firm on your prices when your clients try to bargain you down to nothing. Price yourself too low and you’ll regret every assignment you do, but price your services too high and you won’t get any business.
Write A Business Plan | Photography Pricing
Any serious business owner, regardless of the industry, will tell you that you have to organize your thoughts and ideas on a piece of paper. This detailed document will be your guide, describing what your business is and how it will be profitable. It breaks down things like cash flow, expenses, ownership, and competition. Choosing an area of photography to specialize in is one way of standing out in a crowded market, but it will also help you set the ideal price that will appeal to your target audience.
Know Your Costs | Photography Pricing
The first step in setting your prices is to determine out how much you want to take home in the form of a paycheck. This amount is what is left over after all your expenses and taxes have been taken care of. This has been said so many times, and it should be the starting point for any realistic pricing strategy, yet we still see so many photographers overlooking their costs in favor of basing their prices on what they see the local competition charging. The only way you can charge the fees right for you and your photography business is to base the fees on what it costs YOU to do business, not your competitors.
Quote Prices From The Top Down | Photography Pricing
Water always rolls downhill, and for good reason: it’s easier than rolling up. The same goes for quoting prices, but so many photographers make the same mistake of beginning with the cheapest offers and trying to sell up, instead down. Make your middle pricing option the most appealing to your clients by showing them what a great deal they’re getting. Highlight the fact that you’ve included additional services for only a bit more money, and include at least one super-alluring item that isn’t available in your starter package.
Less Is More | Photography Pricing
Show and tell your clients what they will get beyond great pictures and how much they are shelling out. Focus on the things that you value and think your clients are looking for. What is your unique selling point? Why should a potential client choose you over another photographer? Make sure you communicate this point clearly and simply. However, chances are that your clients are newcomers to photography, and they will probably be slightly out of their element. Overwhelming your price list with a million options is just going to confuse them, and ultimately delay their decision to hire you.
Believe In Yourself And Your Photography | Photography Pricing
Take the time to analyze your costs and factor in your time, and you’ll have a price list that truly reflects what you should be charging. So, in other words, you should be confident in the way you talk prices with your client. It is absolutely essential that you believe in the value and benefits you’re bringing to the table, and you have be confident in the prices you’re asking. This means that there must be no doubt that your prices represent great value for the client.
ALWAYS Charge A Session Fee | Photography Pricing
A word of warning: Discounting cuts directly into your profits, and it can devalue your services in the eyes of the potential clients. It’s also far too easy to fall into the trap of “I just need more assignments!” and keep discounting WELL beyond when you should have stopped. Remember, always charge a session fee! And always charge in advance when making the session reservation. This means the clients are serious and won’t take up half a day on your calendar and leave you hanging.