Tips for running your photographic business successfully:

28 10 2008

Are you pricing yourself out of the market?

Most photographers start out playing the pricing card and end up under-quoting their competitors in an attempt to get additional work.

Even I fell into that trap a few times thinking that it would be a once off “discounted” rate…

This doesn’t work unfortunately; all it does is cheapen your name in the industry. People have a perception of paying for quality, so by under-pricing yourself you advertise that your photography is “sub-standard”.

The next problem is that ongoing work is referral based, if you charged X the first time then you’re pretty much stuck with that pricing – if you suddenly start charging double you’re going to have upset customers on your hands… Essentially you prevent your business from further growth.

When calculating your fees for the first time you should consult with your peers, or get advice from members of networking sites such as www.saphotography.ning.com

Also consider checking prescribed rates by some of the photographic organisations, these should be used as a guideline only however. It’s important you charge according to your personal situation by calculating a rate based on costs and time spent.

One must remember that the time spent shooting is only a portion of the overall time; you should calculate in travelling, preparation, pre-shoot meetings, post production, printing (if any) and delivery of images.

I’m not saying “rip your clients off” by any means, but be sure to charge what your photography is worth and not undercut – it’s detrimental to the community as a whole.

Remember if you only get half the jobs you quote for but you charge double then you’ll earn the same amount and have much more time to market yourself to additional clients.

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