I have been taking photos for a little over seven years. I’ve been running my portraiture business for almost six years. In this time, I’ve always wanted to do things right. Delivering the best photos, making sure that everything goes smoothly, making sure it’s an enjoyable experience, and in the beginning, making sure my prices were low enough so I could build up a wonderful portfolio.
It’s been this way for about three years. Am I charging just $50 for a portrait shoot anymore? No way! But, for three years my pricing has stayed consistent with the exception of adding some fine art portrait packages. Three years ago, however, my portfolio was vastly smaller than it is now. I had never done headshots, a wedding, and if I’m remembering right, not even a family photoshoot. Mostly at that time I was doing event photography, couples, and senior photos.
The new year rolled around and with it came some hefty goals for myself. Being a smarter business owner is one of those goals! So, I reached out to some of my favorite photographers who I look up do dearly, and asked them that when they were at my stage in their careers, what they wish they had done or known? Something that kept coming up was to charge what you’re worth and never underestimate yourself. So, that begged the question, am I charging what I’m worth?
The simple answer is no. I’m offering competitive prices because photography is a competitive business! In a world where we all have a camera in our pocket, getting professional photos taken rarely crosses someones mind. And when it does, there’s a plethora of amazing photographers to choose from. But which do you pick? And how much do you, as a photographer, need to trust in yourself that your work speaks for itself enough that it justifies the price?
As a consumer, great pricing is of utmost concern; but it’s hard to know exactly what all goes into being a professional photographer when you aren’t in the profession. There’s much more than going and taking photos and coming back to edit them. There’s the time spent with the client, a consultation, shooting, editing, possibly re-editing, proofing, and delivering. Not to mention expense of travel, gear, and paying your assistant.
And this goes for much more than just being a photographer, but for all artists. Our jobs do not stop when we leave the location, stop recording, or put down a brush. I don’t think it’s far-fetched to say that if you’re an artist, you’re quite possibly always working in some ship shape or form. For example, an average photoshoot of an hour, there is a minimum 6 hours of work involved.
This, my dear friends, is why I’ve decided to raise my prices.
Understandably, there are the people out there who are looking for the cheapest price they can find when it comes to hiring a photographer; but then there are the people who are looking for quality work. I feel that I offer that quality work, and my portfolio will prove that. The rate increase will be effective as of March 1st, 2016; but you are guaranteed to receive optimum quality that will be passed on for generations in your family.
Phew. A lot to take in, am I right? I appreciate it more than you know if you made it down this far. Thank you for sticking with me.
Spread love today and support your local artists!