I think most photographers agonise over what they charge. Are they charging too much? Will the client see value in what they do? Is it a reasonable price in comparison to the rest of the market?
The problem with asking these questions is that there will always be a photographer who will do the job for less than you. Making your pricing decisions only based on these questions is not good business.
Are You Charging Enough?
Another question to ask is, are you too cheap? If a client looks around for prices and sees two photographers charging $500 and one charging $1000, don’t assume all clients will go for one of the cheaper photographers.
Some certainly will because price is the main criterion – on the basis that the quality of the photography is of ‘professional standard’. Others place more value on photography and you may find they look first at the more expensive quote.
High Standard In these pages, the photographers I interview will often say that the quality of your photography isn’t as important as your service, your manners and even the logo on your website.
What they are expressing is that people who hire a professional photographer are expecting to get a professional result.
Many people have no idea what a professional result is. This is bad news for wedding photographers because you’re unlikely to be hired if the first photographer was poor! However, for repeating jobs and clients, providing a high standard is essential.
Many years ago, I received a call from a good client to say they were going to use another photographer. There was no explanation why and, try as I could, I was unable to find out if it was because of the quality of my work or if I charged too much.
I was really concerned that my quality wasn’t up to scratch - that worried me more than anything. Was I doing something wrong?
Then a month later, the client rang back asking if I would do another job for them. Only then did I discover that the issue was price-related, not quality. However, for the other photographer, it was quality-related because his work simply didn’t match what I had been providing. They then understood why I was charging more – and were happy to pay it.
Unfortunately, this happy ending story doesn’t happen all the time, but it does show the need to always provide a professional level of quality and service. you just never know!