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Face it, there will always be photographers who are professional photographers because they love photography. They don’t need nor care about the money. You will never win this race. It’s time to stop competing with cheap photography and raise your prices.
Everyday someone picks up a camera, creates an image and decides they could make money in photography. Maybe someone gave them a few dollars and a light went off. They can pay a few bills and earn some mad money taking pictures. And they can.
Unfortunately, for the professional who depends on the income, they can’t live off the same price structure. How many jobs does it take to make 30, 50, 100,000 dollars? Fewer if your prices are higher.
Here are three good reasons to increase your rates.
- If you present yourself as a cheap photographer, people will refer to you as the cheap photographer. The reverse is true too. People who are willing to pay more refer services to others willing to pay more money for quality work. When a professional has an important large budget project in front of them they generally don’t call on the cheap photographer. Perception is an important part of business and people act accordingly.
- You are not Wal-Mart. You can’t make up the income on volume. If you are a solo photographer, your scale is limited. If you are a cheap photographer you can work long days and still not pay the bills.
- You can make your local photographic community stronger. If you play the role of a mentor in your community, you can make a difference. Take young photographers phone calls. Place your rates online to give other photographers something to base their pricing. Often cheap photographers are cheap because they don’t know where to start. We’ve all been there. Give them something to work from. Even if they quote a little lower than you, it will still be higher than they would have quoted without your help.
Yes, higher rates will lead to fewer clients. Fortunately, over time, it often leads to a higher income — once you establish a reputation. Even today, in the age of everyone is a photographer, there are photographers in every town who charge a lot of money and have to turn down work. Why not be one of them.