As artists for hire, one of our greatest challenges can be naming, and sticking to, a price for our services. Photographers undervaluing their work is all too common and there are as many different reasons for this as there are stars in the sky. Some simply can’t see their work through the another’s eyes and chronically undermine themselves. Self-doubt is a plague among creatives, and it can be crippling to a photographer’s income.Others may feel fine about their skills, but experience difficulty injecting money into the equation. There’s just something about it that can add an intimidation factor. Or, if not intimidation, then a reduction in purity – that bringing in the root of all evil can diminish the art itself. Even if a photographer is confident in their work and comfortable with money, would-be clients will often low-ball and try to get what they want as inexpensively as they can, or even free. Regardless of your obstacles to making money with your photography, there are things you can do to help yourself.
Adorama TV has released a video in their “Two Minute Tips” on YouTube featuring photographer David Bergman called “Show Me The Money” offering up Bergman’s take on the subject. Bergman speaks to the artist with head in the clouds in an attempt to plant their feet firmly in the world of finance – a place where there is a bottom line and cold, hard cash.
He challenges the “starving artist” mentality where money is low on the priority list in life, reminding us that we are in business, and the point is to make money. He also stresses the importance of communication – of making expectations known at the outset of a client relationship, before shooting anything.
A handy mantra for your photography business: “you’re the seller, and they’re the buyer.” He makes a great point that it’s normal as a customer to expect and accept a set price in any other field, and so when the tables are flipped and we have customers of our own we need to remember this and hold authority over our pricing. Check out the video for more from David Bergman.