Have you ever lowered your prices solely to attract a different circle of potential clients? Maybe it was a full-scale wedding or a few engagement shots, it doesn’t matter. I bet you have because most photographers have.
Now, let me ask you another question – is the price of your product directly correlated to the quality of your product? The only right answer, in the eyes of your customer, is a resolute YES. With that in mind, one of the most important steps to building and running a successful photography business is understanding your price versus value ratio. If you underprice your products, you’ll be perceived as mediocre at best. Alternately, pricing too high puts you at the very real risk of not landing enough work. Finally, if you offer too many discounts, your customers will begin to expect discount prices. It’s a fragile, yet vital game.
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Potential Clients Know Exactly What They Want
There is one fact that most wedding photographers get dead wrong: They think their client has no idea what they want or what they are willing to pay for it. The wealthier, privileged bride-to-be, otherwise known as your ideal client, knows pretty much exactly what she wants and understands what she’ll need to pay for it. She knows astonishing venues come with astonishing price tags, and catered cuisine that is to die for will come with a bill that could kill someone. So why should she expect anything other than a similar price tag for the amazing work her photographer will capture of the most important day of her life? She’s setting the bar high for you, so set the bar equally high for her.
Bring The Best Equipment
The talents of a great photographer aren’t found in expensive gear. A professional photographer, or any photographer for that matter, must always be honing their techniques and skills behind the lens. No piece of equipment can make up for skill. That said, top-of-the-line gear can make your job easier and your clients happier. If you think having an extra zoom lens or a faster camera body will help you capture better images during the event, make sure to have that on hand. If you need to rent it, rent it. As a seasoned pro, I still rent gear all the time. It’s possible to own too much gear, but it’s impossible to rent too much gear. Each job is unique and calls for specialized equipment. You can bet that a bride paying for top of the line images will expect her photographer to carry the top-of-the-line equipment needed to not only get the expected shots, but to get the best shots.
Showcase Your Style and Quality to Attract Ideal Clients
Marketing your services is equally important as pricing your services correctly. In fact, they need to work together. It’s imperative that all of your marketing efforts from the font of your blog, to the featured images of your portfolio to the messaging in your Tweets match your high-end style. Like I said earlier, your ideal high-end client knows what she is looking for in a photographer and if your style is not accurately portrayed in your marketing, she will mistake you for someone else. With that in mind, be extra careful to portray yourself accurately. You will find that there will be clients out there that like exactly what you like and are absolutely willing to pay for your services, no matter the price tag.
Brett Florens is an internationally acclaimed South African wedding, commercial, and fashion photographer. Over his career, Florens has accumulated numerous accolades including the distinction as a Nikon® Wedding Photographer, one of 12 photographers chosen as the best in their field at the Photokina Exhibition in Germany. Brett is teaching a free High Fashion, High-End Wedding course on creativeLIVE October 21-23.