I can’t even begin to tell you how many people (myself included) I’ve heard talk about how much or little to charge clients. We’ve heard or observed countless social media rants, blog post diatribes, and workshop lectures railing against “shoot & burners,” extolling the (legitimate) virtues of Excel spreadsheets detailing expenses, cost of goods sold, and profit margin. Once we’ve done the math, the figure we should be charging our clients can be a bit staggering and makes for quite the pill to swallow.

When thinking about trying to make a career or a sideline gig of snapping photos, the above-mentioned items can bring that train to glory to a screeching halt faster than pretty much anything else. Typically, this is because photographers start their pricing lower than they should. Often, we do this out of guilt or worry that clients won’t book us or value our images enough to pay what we ask.

Enter the video below…

economy for photographers slr loungeIt discusses two worlds, two types of consumers that are complete opposites. These two worlds are NEO and Traditional, and, if you want to make money with photography, it’s vital that you understand the difference.

Traditional consumers are those that I personally relate to the most, although I have some Neo in me as well. These traditional consumers are focused on value, price, and are most motivated by how much something costs. If we, as artists, try to compete and sell our services on these terms, we are reduced to selling based on price. The cheapest photographer becomes the one that is consistently chosen.

branding and consumers slr lounge henson creative“Neo” consumers don’t really seem to care much about price. They are more motivated by products, services, and companies (people) they believe in. When they find something they want that aligns with their desires and values, they will pay whatever it takes to make that purchase.

What does that mean for photographers? Well, it is immediately clear that your role, should you choose to accept it, is to pursue Neo consumers and to leave Traditional consumers to the “shoot & burn” photographers and college students that are ecstatic to make their session fee and move on. (Now, let me qualify that statement, if you happen to find yourself on the “shoot & burn” side of the fence and find yourself liking it, good! Recognize that your clients are the traditional consumers that are driven by price and good deals, and pursue them.) For those frantically looking for a way to break out of the price wars and to move on to greener pastures, find your Neo niche and chase it like crazy!

To get a more in-depth look into this phenomenon, check out the video below. Once you’re done, I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences with both types of consumers in the comments! Don’t be shy!

If you are looking for educational resources that will help take your photography to the next level to take advantage of the “Neos” of the world, stop by the SLR Lounge Store and get started!