First let’s just make one thing clear…being the bargain photographer isn’t a good plan. There’s a lot of reasons why but let’s go ahead and just cover a few real fast.
1. When you’re the bargain tog in your town, you attract the bargain shoppers. They’re not looking for quality, they are looking for a good deal. And what happens when they find a better deal? Zero loyalty. Not to mention, these type of clients are frequently synonymous with high demands – which if you charge enough, isn’t a problem but when you didn’t charge enough from the beginning, you just keep watching your hourly rate go down, down, down.
2. It’s just not good for your creative soul to hand over the disc and never actually get to see your beautiful work become art. And truth be told, you’re doing your clients a huge disservice as well because guess what? That disc (or USB drive) that you gave them…they still haven’t done a darn thing with it. That’s sad, for both you and for them!
3. You have to work really hard and book a lot of session in order to make a sustainable income; however, when you are priced right and offer an amazing client experience you will quickly find that you don’t have to work so hard.
NOW…I don’t want you to feel bad if you’re a bargain photographer. Most of us started as bargain photographers. There is the misconceived notion that it is what you have to do, that you don’t deserve to actually make money yet…and I disagree with that philosophy.
Does this sound familiar…you decide to try this whole photography thing out. You price yourself really low for no better reason than that you looked at some other photographers in your area and decided you’d have your best chance if you came in under them. (That’s not a plan – by the way – that’s business suicide). Okay, so your friends and family start spreading the word with sentiments like, “yea, she’s really cheap right now!” Hmmm. Is that what you want to be remembered for…or would you prefer it if you could be remembered for your incredible artwork and the experience that you create?
You don’t have to be a bargain photographer, I have been there and it is no fun. Even though it doesn’t feel like it is as much work, in my opinion I worked way harder when I was shoot and burn photographer. I use to book a lot of sessions per month in order to meet my monthly income budget, but now I average around 4 sessions a month and my sales have quadrupled.
There is freedom in not having to service as many clients in a month. There is freedom in not having to book every client that inquires and that if you really want to you can be selective in your clientele. There is freedom in setting your prices at what you truly are worthy of making….you are an artist, you deserve to be paid well for both your time and your talent. Please don’t let the photographer down the street compromise who you truly are by allowing them to dictate what your pricing structure should be.
If you want it, freedom can be yours, all you have to do is make the choice and be willing to change and I promise you success is right there waiting on you!
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