Price Tags ? Yeah, I Kinda Need Help…

Buisness card

For me, photography has usually been a pleasant experience… It’s certainly one of my favorite pastimes and helps relive stress.  But lately I’ve considered refusing to take on any new projects.

Before all of this happened, my favorite rewards for photography were tradeoffs.  Paid trips in exchange of family vacation photos. Headshots for an airplane ride. Snapshots for hand drawn portraits. Theater tickets, baked goods, art …

I used to never charge for taking pictures. In fact, all sorts of excuses would pop out in order to avoid the subject. Then one day, a stranger asked for a photoshoot. I said I’d do it for $35 but he was sort of insulted and handed me a $100 bill instead.

Since then– I decided to tell my clients to look up the pricing of photography and give me what they thought was appropriate.  Somewhere between the normal rates and what they could afford. At first this worked out great. People, especially gentlemen, were very generous with the amounts they paid.

Girls on the other hand are a whole different story. Of course, on certain projects I’ll collaborate with makeup artists, hairstylists, modeling coaches – whatever it takes to get the images desired. When photoshoots are requeste, though, people often expect wardrobe, makeup, props, transportation….etc. to be provided for projects I never intended nor have the inspiration to do.  Sometimes arrangements will be made for one person but friends and family will appear unannounced and expecting to get in on the deal.

During one particular incident, I spent 3 hours granting the every wish of two individuals who posed with their expensive clothing and accessories, often making comments about how well to do they appeared. One of these individuals was particularly rude, refusing to return my camera, deleting images without permission and hogging attention from the other during the session in general.  I was paid a less than deserving amount and became slightly annoyed when others asked for photoshoots later on.

Summer was in. Senior pictures were in. The price of $65 per session, edited digital copies of all the best shots… not so much. I thought $65 was a fair price. Don’t studios do the same job for more? Extra charges for different cloths, editing, poses – whatever?  After deciding that $65 was not a cool price – one senior decided take pictures of various classmates earning $25 for each session.

So now, I’m kind of annoyed and am not sure what to do about pricing. Too high, too low. I just don’t know :/

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4 thoughts on “Price Tags ? Yeah, I Kinda Need Help…

  1. Well, unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of positivity to offer because I have the same problems. Being in business as a photographer is tough. Everyone has a camera and everyone thinks they’re a photographer. All you can do is show them that what you offer is different than what they can do and market to the right people. I’ve pretty much given up on seniors and families and concentrate more on weddings, where they usually want a professional to document that special day. I think $65 is a very low price for a portrait session. My session fee is 150 and that doesn’t include any prints or digital copies.

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  2. I probably wouldn’t let them look at my camera for $25. If people don’t want to pay, they aren’t likely to get professional work. You can’t do anything about people who don’t want to pay a fair price, except let them know the price in advance, and don’t do the work if you’re not certain than can and will pay.

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