Letters From A Photographer: To The Client Who Thinks My Prices Are Negotiable

Letters From A Photographer: To The Client Who Thinks My Prices Are Negotiable

To the client who thinks my prices are negotiable,

MY PRICES ARE NOT NEGOTIABLE. There. Now that we’ve got that out of the way… I’m curious to know if you ask your physician to reduce his rates or if you request a discount from your accountant or your favorite boutique. I’m certain that answer is no, so why would you treat me any differently?

Somewhere along the line, you decided that creating art cannot possibly be a business, therefore it’s okay to ask me for a discount. But my art is not a hobby. I have a business license, just like your favorite shop. I pay self-employment taxes just like your CPA. And the profits from my art support my family, just like your family doctor. Just because my business is a creative one does not make it any less of a business.

Maybe you didn’t realize how incredibly rude you were being when you asked me for a discount on your session fee. It’s only my time after all. Imagine that you went to work tomorrow and your boss told you he was only going to pay you half of your normal pay for the day because one of his clients wanted a discount. How would you feel? (Newsflash: that’s how I feel when you ask me for a discount!)

During our pre-session consult, I thought we were on the same page with my pricing and your investment in custom photography. But somehow, once we got to the order session, you again felt entitled to a discount. I’m not sure whether to be angry or laugh at this point. But then I imagine you at the grocery store, demanding a discount on filet because it really should cost the same price as ground beef. And somehow that makes me feel a little better.

Whether you choose to see it that way or not, I’m running a business. When you pay me $2000+ for a portrait session, an album and a canvas, I’m spending some of that money on the products you purchased, some of it on overhead and other business expenses, some of it on taxes, and the rest is (gasp!) profit. My profit is my paycheck and without it, I wouldn’t be in business.

Bottom line: I’m running a business, not a garage sale. When the day comes that you see me sitting in a lawn chair in my front yard, selling prints of your beautiful children from a plastic bucket marked 2 for $20, feel free to negotiate the price. Until that day, you can happily pay my full price or go somewhere else.

Sincerely,

The photographer who stands by my pricing

Letters From a Photographer is a brand new, original series by Design Aglow. Articles are meant to spark thought and conversation and be shared within our industry.

 

P.S. While the above reply may be the stuff of our wildest dreams, as we all know, a more appropriate response would be to reeducate your client about the type of business you operate and the type of (excellent) service and top of the line custom products they receive.

Want to craft the perfect business-ready reply for any situation? Then our Studio Email Assistant is for you.


 

 

 




Also in Design Aglow Blog

Wedding Week 2017: Meet Cassandra Zetta
Wedding Week 2017: Meet Cassandra Zetta

0 Comments

As a lifelong fine artist, I didn’t fall in love with photography until post-college. I was a graphic design major who landed a non-creative position in the industry. Upon searching for a creative outlet, and being the hopeless romantic that I am, I discovered wedding photography and was immediately hooked. I poured everything I had into learning the medium so that I could eventually start my own business, which happened a couple of years later in 2012 — also the year I was married.

Read More

Wedding Week 2017: Meet Julia Green
Wedding Week 2017: Meet Julia Green

0 Comments

I am a wedding and portrait photographer based in Portland, but catering to clients across the Pacific Northwest and beyond. As a child, I never imagined that I would pursue photography. I didn’t even own a DSLR until I was 21! However, I remember the day I decided I wanted to learn the ins and outs of photography. I used my college textbook money to buy my first Canon Rebel from Craigslist. I was jumping up and down with joy and scratching my head at the same time because I knew photography would not be simply a hobby.

Read More

Wedding Week 2017: Meet Dawn Charles
Wedding Week 2017: Meet Dawn Charles

0 Comments

I was born and raised in Southern California, and recently moved to Oregon with my husband. We just had our first baby and are so in love! I’ve always had an interest in art and have always wanted to pursue a career in a creative field. I took my first photography class in high school, and fell in love. My parents bought me my first camera for graduation and I decided to get my degree in photography. Toward the end of college, I was blessed with an internship with a wedding photographer where I was able to turn my formal education into a practical business. After lots of shadowing, second shooting, and promoting my work, business started coming in and eventually evolved into what it is today!

Read More