Many times we end in situations where things get awkward once the money is involved. For some reason, there is a tension floating in the air whenever the time comes to ask for what’s rightfully yours in regards to getting paid for work that has been done. When I first started in photography I was completely confused when individuals would as me for my prices. I would usually deflect or create an excuse as to why I can’t give them an exact price at the moment or have a price list to show them as reference. This was a fault of mine because I was not really focused on earning money from my passion for the field of photography but was rather just enjoying the process of creating and what I could create. This is something very common amongst new or upcoming photographers.
Pricing your work can be pretty tricky as there are many things to consider before giving a potential client an estimate as to how much a session or project will cost. The biggest fear most photographers is scaring away a client because they’re charging too much or end up cheating themselves in the long run because they didn’t charge enough for the work that is being done. I once made the mistake of undercharging my clients and suffered greatly because of this. I found myself doing tremendous amounts of work and did not feel as if the money earned from all my work was actually worth it. In this article, I will be sharing with you a few tips that you can consider as a Photography Pricing Guide, on how you can confidently charge or price your photography services to clients.
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Many of us photographers tend to set our prices based on assumptions of the photography market. This is the first mistake you can make towards pricing your work. One of the most popular assumptions we make prior to pricing our work is that the photography market is over saturated and to gain clients we first have to have competitive prices. By competitive prices, we usually end up charging dirt cheap and not remotely taking into consideration that we are being cheap to ourselves. Don’t let this assumption consume you and force you to have low prices when you deserve more for your craft.
Figuring out what it is exactly what you want can be a significant help when it comes to pricing your photography services confidently. You have to consider if you want the prices you charge to ultimately help fund your career in photography. That is, do you want the money you make from your craft to be pumped into buying things like new camera gear and equipment. This is usually what most photographers use to justify their prices in addition to charging for your time as well.
Money made from any job is usually used to fund something else, it’s just for you to determine what it is you want yours to be used for. Use this as motivation to price your work correctly and confidently.
Try not to feel forced to charge client or individuals for your photography. It is not an existing rule in photography that you have to charge clients once you’re a photographer. If you are truly in photography just for the joy of it and don’t seek to make any financial gain then there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Don’t get me wrong, it might be a bit different and unusual but nonetheless, you’re doing nothing wrong. The pressure of feeling forced to charge for your craft can sometimes be demotivating to practice your craft itself.
When setting your prices there a few things you want to consider. One of those few things is setting a goal as to how much you would like to earn each month from your craft. If you are a freelancer like myself then your craft is your job which means you determine how much you make a month and how much you lose. Setting a goal or rather a salary for yourself each month will help you to not only price your services correctly but motivate you to even sometimes go beyond that goal you’ve set.
For example, if you set a goal to earn at least $2000 USD a month from photography then you can determine how many sessions you want to do within that month and price each session accordingly. Now that you’ve set a goal of $2000, you can no split that up into 5 sessions for the month which earns you at least $400 per session. Of course, the freedom to adjust prices and give discounts is always in your hands but this gives you a basic formula to work with confidently.
You can’t charge clients confidently if you already lack confidence in yourself. If you lack confidence in yourself, it will then translate over into your work and by extension become visible to your clients. To charge confidently you must first have confidence in the work you’re producing and confidence in yourself as a talented photographer. Once you’ve built this confidence, it becomes so much easier when estimating and pricing your projects because you know and understand your worth.
I hope this Photography Pricing Guide has served as a great help in learning how to confidently price your work as a beginner or even a professional. Until next time, thank you for stopping by.