Difficult photography clients? Time to look at your price list

You might not have started photography for the money, but I’m willing to bet you need to make a livable wage.

So many photographers undersell themselves because they are desperate to get clients. We start doing favors for the love of the art, but those favors can damper that passion. It’s not sustainable. It can easily make people quit the photography industry altogether and give up on their businesses. It creates a strain on their personal relationships and attracts difficult clients.

Let me guess. You’re advertising mini sessions, contacting people through Facebook garage sales, doing favors for your sister’s, uncle’s, grandmother’s nephew for the exposure. You’re giving away digitals free (Ahhhhh!)

Not to sound like an infomercial, but there has to be a better way.

Did you ever think that you might be repelling people who love photography with your low prices?

This is where you might be asking how in the world you can convince anyone near you to pay you this magical, livable wage.

Why not give them a better experience and a happier photographer? Why not include more perks for more money? You don’t have to feel that you’re charging a lot for the experience you are providing. Invest in them. Try spending 30% of their session fee on things like high-quality products, hair stylists, wardrobe options, special locations.

What is it that you can offer?

When it comes to your own finances, figure out what you need to make a month, how many clients you would like to work with so you’re not overwhelmed, and then design an experience that fits the price point you need from each customer.

Food for thought: You can still serve others who don’t have the money. You could always make a livable wage and volunteer your services to auctions and nonprofits. 

If you’re feeling stressed about your business, take a step back and think of how you can serve your customers as well as yourself and the people in your life. Don’t let stress from photography get in the way of things that are important to you.

I’m not against affordable photography. I do think that low prices can provide a valuable service, which is awesome! Just be realistic in that it won’t be something you do full-time if you decide to do it that way. There is no way to pay your bills by being the cheapest. You’ll also always be in competition with the cheapest photographers near you.

2 comments on “Difficult photography clients? Time to look at your price list

  1. Your article could definitely apply to painters, too. Good advice!

    Liked by 1 person

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