A Brutally Honest Conversation on Pricing and Sales in Photography
Photographers hate talking about pricing. It can be one of the trickier and more intimidating components of building a business because of the many myths and fears that surround it. Remember, however, that prices do not randomly fall out of the sky. It’s important to analyze your competition do your due diligence in terms of research rather than price yourself too low and burn out because you’re unsure of what you’re worth.
To help ease your mind as you establish your prices and ensure that you don’t undersell yourself, here are five photography pricing fears and myths that you shouldn’t buy into:
This article is based on education taught in Business Course Two: Photography Pricing & Product Design. For more information on pricing your photography business, click here.
1. I Can’t Charge What I Can’t Afford
Regardless of the prices you charge, your services should always be a value to your clients. If you have the skills to provide a valuable photography service, then it is worth the dollar amount you put on it. You should not assume that if your prices would be out of your own price range, you shouldn’t charge it. Not everybody who works for high-end companies can afford the products they sell.
For example, consider real estate agents. Chances are that most of the real estate agents who sell high-end, multi-million dollar homes cannot afford to purchase the product they’re selling.
At the end of the day, people will pay for things they see value in, plain and simple. You just need to feel confident in your worth.
2. A Workshop Will Have Me Booking $10,000 Weddings
Workshops are meant to give you the tools you need and help guide you to reach your goals. They can provide valuable information to get you headed in the right direction. However, you need to keep in my mind that it is up to you to put in the work needed to be successful. Whether your personal goal is to book a $5,000 shoot or a $10,000 shoot, it is up to you to take advantage and use the information provided for you in the workshops to reach that goal.
3. People In My Area Won’t Pay That Much
As mentioned earlier, people will pay for things they value. If they appreciate the service you offer, they will pay you what you are worth. You need to feel confident in what you are offering and your prices, regardless of your area. Make a mark in your area and make people want to use your services, even if they have to save up for it.
4. I Should Base My Prices On The Cost Of My Gear
The price of your gear should not determine the price of your services. If you study your craft and put in the time to practice, you should be able to create high-quality images, regardless of the camera you are using. A camera is only as good as the person operating it. Of course, high-end gear can simplify things for photographers, but if you’ve mastered the fundamentals of photography, you should be able to get great results from whatever camera gear you are shooting with.
5. I Should Keep My Prices Low To Compete With Other Photographers In My Area
One of the most destructive things you can do to your business is buying into this assumption. There are many areas that are heavily saturated with photographers who are considered to be “cheap.” Your goal should not be to compete with cheap.
Photography services aren’t a necessity, they are a luxury. This is why it is crucial to be confident in the worth and value of what you have to offer. There are those who simply won’t pay a high price for a photo session. This is because they don’t truly value the service. Not all clients will be for you, and you will not be the one for all clients, and that is perfectly okay. But if people see the true value in you and your business, they will understand that it’s a luxury and will want to pay what you are charging.
Video – “A Brutally Honest Conversation on Pricing and Sales”
In this video I’m going to speak to each of you as a friend. For me, I value friends that are open and brutally honest. As I address each of your questions and comments, I will use that same approach because I want each of you to succeed in your craft and business. These thoughts and experiences come from over 20 years of sales experience working for others, as well as operating my own successful companies.
Once you have a plan and goals set in mind and know which direction you want to take your photography business, do not be intimidated and get sucked into believing the above pricing myths. Recognize and be confident in your services and don’t be afraid to charge what you are worth to reach your goals. Your “cheap” competition, gear, area, or personal income should not determine your photography prices.
For more tips on building your photography business, from creating a business plan to booking clients, check our Complete Photography Business Workshop Series, which is currently only available to Premium members. This series was primarily designed for building lifecycle photography businesses, which includes the multiple genres: Family, Maternity, Newborn, Seniors, Wedding, Engagement, and Headshots. You may also be interested in our article on real estate photography pricing and 5 Reasons Photographers Should NOT Email Out Price Sheets.
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