By: Jenny Cruger Photography
The most common issue I see when teaching other photographers is prices that are too low for a whole host of reasons. To be honest, I completely understand the reasons for photographers not being priced appropriately, but it’s detrimental to their personal lives, their business’ sustainability, and the photography industry as a whole. And we have all been there starting out or maybe getting stuck in old habits.
I have what I call my “put on proper clothes” minimum and really, that is the amount I need to profit in order to feel comfortable leaving my family to go be with someone else. Sadly, every time we get in the car and leave our spouses, kids, etc. we are taking a risk of not coming home. I know this first hand and so a job better at the very least bring me a good income to take that risk. If you are not profiting as a photographer and have children, I really can’t wrap my mind around that. You are working so hard as a parent and then leave them to go work so hard to do something else; you had better be getting paid well for that or it’s not fair to yourself or your children.
A photography business that is profitable has much higher long-term sustainability. It’s not greedy to charge a price that lets you walk away with a good profit; it’s good business. Charging appropriately to STAY in business allows your clients to keep using you. Charging appropriately allows your clients to have a better experience because you aren’t resentful or bitter, you aren’t burnt out after a busy season, and you are able to do little extras for them in terms of client gifts or going above and beyond in service because you they are paying you well.
Unfortunately, cheap prices have taught clients that photography is worth very little and then complain that no one will pay what we are worth. It CAN be hard to find clients who will pay the price tag that keeps us in a profitable business because they are used to seeing so many cheaper photographers. The good news is, those photographers are generally all competing on price. When you price yourself higher so that you can earn a profit, you are able to compete with less photographers in that range and work with the clients who understand that with quality comes a price and, ‘you get what you pay for.’
It is so sad to see so many wonderfully talented photographers working so hard and losing money every year. If I’m going to go spend my time doing something and losing money, instead of making it, I’d rather go shopping. So, price yourself to stay out of the red, earn a profit, and enjoy your career!
Jenny Cruger established the simple. pure. organic. brand of motherhood photography, creating the idea of organic portraits for maternity, newborn, baby, and family sessions beginning in 2010, and went on to train top photographers across the country in creating a complete experience for clients. Jenny has been featured in notable print magazines and online publications.