Thursday, August 16, 2012

A lesson personal lesson in pricing photography

As my business grows, as my experience has gone up, as my ability has improved, as my confidence has improved I have raised my prices.

 I am not 100% at where I want my prices to be, but I am well on my way to eventually making it there! I am also so much closer to where I want to be than I was a short year ago!

Every so often I will offer discounted prices to people, in different forms.

I never saw anything wrong with that, until lately. I have realized that the less I charge, the less people trust me. The less I charge the less people trust my ability as a photographer and the less they appreciate what I give them.

 I didn't really think that was true until I have experienced it for myself several times. I know it isn't the case for everyone, but a few experiences especially lately has really driven that home for me.( I do have a good friend, that really appreciates the pictures I do for her and her family, and I can see and feel that.  I am so thankful for that! And love taking photos for her because her and her family really do appreciate me and my work)

 I had a session where I felt it was spiralling out of control. I couldn't figure out why.I got to realize they didn't trust me as a photographer. Replaying everything in my head, the whole scenario, hashing it out with someone close to me, I came to realize they didn't respect me. but it was my fault, I didn't charge them what I was worth. I was cheapening myself. Cheapening there experience.

It was a huge eye opener for me. I need to know my worth, and embrace it. When I do that people will have a better experience, they will get better photographs, they will have better memories, they will treasure the portraits more.

I heard another photographer say something like this ( I may have put in Target and Macy's but same concept)  if you buy a shirt from Target for $10 and you buy a shirt from Macy's for $80, which shirt will you treasure more? Which one will you take better care of? Which shirt will stay engrained in your memory?

I feel this was a great lesson for me! After spending a lot of time thinking about these scenarios I have never felt more confident about my pricing,  I am proud of my pricing, and the photographs and products I produce!

I will not be offering such big discounts anymore. It is cheating myself and my clients.


  1. Good for you! As a handmade business owner I get how you feel about pricing 100%, it's such a hard topic! But you are an amazing photographer and I love seeing all your work!!

  2. That is so great! Your photography is amazing and one of these days I have to pick your brain about pricing. As a photographer myself I find pricing the hard part and the picture taking easy!!

  3. Me too! Pricing is the hardest part! You hit the nail on the head. I am several steps behind you as I am just getting into charging. I am finding that families don't want to pay even $100 to have me take their family pictures. I know my photo's are worth that and more based on how many people I have ask to do theirs. I got to all my family and friends homes and their walls are decorated by my photography. When people won't pay or don't ask me because I am charging them now it makes me feel like they don't really trust me and cherish my photography, they just liked me because I was free (while I was learning).
    I have one family who's pictures I've taken going on five years now. I've never charged them because they were kind enough to let me "abuse" them so I could learn. They were married with two kids and made great subjects to practice on. Well now....I'm better. And I'm beginning to recent the fact that even though I've never charged them they have NEVER offered up a gift or payment of any kind on their own free will in appreciation of my hard work.
    I am OVER the top frustrated with pricing and was so relieved to read your post about it.