Professional portrait photography, is a luxury… but why and how do we make our prices?
After chatting to a few photographer friends recently, Ive been thinking about pricing structures, it seems that right now some people in the industry are finding their feet, lack confidence and a little lost on how to price themselves. I hope these few words will help those build some confidence.
In Adelaide, I am viewed as someone who may be a little more expensive than others, I have a certain style of work that reflects that and resonates with my clients, I provide a reliable, quality and personable service. I know photographers who have higher prices than I do, I also know others who have lower prices than I do. It’s all about the type of product you’re looking for, the style, skill level and personality of your photographer.
For photographers, there is NO rule book that we have to follow when formulating pricing.
The sensible option and how I and most professional photographers work is to add up the costs of doing business. Taxes, cost of goods, professional memberships, marketing, overhead, equipment and maintenance, office/studio space- utilities, rent, dues, etc. After this comes what I would realistically like to earn as profit income, as well as any other costs that I would like my business to support. (retirement, healthcare, savings, etc) This is my profession after all, just like being a mechanic or plumber.
That number is our goal. Of course, no one makes an entire years salary from one client, that would be an unreasonable aim. So now I have to see how much of that number I want my clients to pitch into. I determine how many clients I would need to book on a day, week, month, year basis to meet those numbers.
The less I want to work, the more my clients will have to pay. The less I charge my clients, the more I’ll have to work (and the less dedication I’ll be able to give each client). This is where my self-worth and experience comes in and ‘I’ determine how much my “experience” is worth. I get some of this information from my past clients, happy clients are key!
I am in the creative photography industry to make people happy, work with new exciting clients and making repeat clients while making enough money to raise my family. I am not in the industry to earn as much as possible on one client and tell them goodbye on the way out of the door, I love building client relationships.
I love my work, and my clients, I embrace the relationships that I build with them, I love my lifestyle and those close to me, being able to help provide for them is an honour, making money and a career out of my passion is sacred to me.
What is appropriate to charge for creative photography and what isn’t has nothing to do with me for someone else’s business, but has everything to do with my own.
From all of the photographers out there none of their pricing is wrong. All businesses are allowed to price according to how much they feel they should make.
Photography, is a LUXURY and definitely worth the investment.
If you offer a sound product and service at a reasonable price, people will come back to you.
For me, that’s worth more than one sale.
Photographers, please value yourself. You’re only hurting the industry and yourself by charging so little that you cannot make a profit or legally run your business.
Clients. Thank you for understanding and respecting what I do and staying by my side, it means the world!