5 Strategies for Pricing your Photography

Knowing what to charge for your photography is always difficult, so if you’ve been struggling to get it right, know you’re not alone. This article covers the most common pricing concerns I hear from the photographers I coach.
Pricing your Photography

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5 strategies for pricing photography correctly.

Knowing what to charge for your photography is always difficult, so if you’ve been struggling to get it right, know you’re not alone. These are the most common pricing concerns I hear from the photographers I coach :

  • I feel bad charging people for my services
  • I’m worried if I increase my prices, I’ll lose my clients
  • A local photographer charges less, so how can I set my prices higher and still book clients
  • I’m really bad at sales, so I don’t want to do IPS (in person sales)
  • My clients constantly ask for discounts

As creatives we’ve been schooled into thinking that we shouldn’t charge very much because our jobs are fun and somehow frivolous. We’ve all experienced the client who says, ‘you charge HOW much?’ which makes us doubt our business acumen and photographic skill.

Doctors, lawyers and other skilled professionals who’ve invested time and money into their training and have years of experience don’t sit around questioning whether they’re worth their rates so neither should you.

Make sure you’re clear on your cost of doing business

The starting point for your hourly or package rates is your cost of doing business. This includes things like your camera kit, business overheads (electricity, internet etc), fuel to and from shoots, coaching or training, insurance and of course, your salary (you’ll want to work out your personal costs for this). I’ve prepped a handy pricing guide which will help you work this out click here to download it.

Take the time to work out exactly who it is you want to work with

If you have an understanding of the type of person you want to work with, you can share the style of photography that they want for themselves, craft pricing that appeals to them, messaging that speaks directly to them and get your diary booked up. Once you’ve got clients that see and appreciate the value in what you offer, they won’t be phased by a price increase. If you’re already struggling to book clients at a low price point, it’s most likely faulty marketing messaging rather than your rates. There’s more on this in my Marketing for Photographers Masterclass training.

Your value should be what differentiates you from your competitors not a lower price

When we were discussing pricing and the fact that local photographers were charging less, one of my clients very succinctly said to me, ‘I don’t want to charge the same or less than the photographers in my area because otherwise we end up in a long race to the bottom’. She summed the competitive pricing problem up perfectly. You don’t need to take your competitors’ pricing into account when you set your rates from a perspective of the value you can add for your clients. How can you give you clients more for their money? You could consider adding prints and products, special editing, a better experience or a specific style to your photography. To put the impact of pricing on its own into perspective, my shoot fee is 5 times higher than the average photographer in South Africa and I’m booked up. Differentiate, don’t compete. Check out my Increase your Photography Income Masterclass to get really clear on how to do this.

Sales doesn’t have to be sleazy

Giving clients the option to buy additional digital files or prints and products over and above their shoot fee is how you’ll actually make a profit from your photography business. Offering to print the images you take for your clients is a valuable, time saving service, not ripping them off. And selling your work in printed form doesn’t have to involve high pressure icky sales techniques. This is something I work with my coaching clients on. Once you get going with IPS, you’ll see your business income and client happiness grow like crazy.

Can I get a discount please?

When you’re clear on why you charge the rates you do (a reminder to checkout The Ultimate Pricing Guide as a starting point for this) you’ll feel more confident with the why behind your pricing and when you’re more confident, you’ll attract clients who value your creative work and these clients won’t ask for discounts. I’ve worked with coaching clients who’ve felt guilty about their pricing and offered clients discounted rates before they’ve even been asked which is a mindset issue that’s easily remedied. Being confident in your work and your worth is the key to actually getting paid the rates you’ve set. If this is something you struggle with, I can help you.

Pricing is way more than just a number and once you actually take the time to get clear on your rates, your ideal clients and the offering you’re giving to them, your business will change for the better.

I’m here to coach photographers with their business set up and everything that goes with that: pricing, marketing, mindset, packages, creative direction, social media and more. If you’d like to find out more about 1:1 coaching,  feel free to book a discovery call with me here .



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