Thursday, October 22, 2009

How to Price Your Wonderful Photographs

I have been asked to give some information on how much to charge for photographs.  This lesson is for Teri. Enjoy:)

There are several aspects to look at when figuring out pricing for photographs.

1.  Look at your competition.  If there is an excellent photographer in town and he is charging $35 for an 8x10, it makes no sense to charge $55. Usually you want to stay in the in same range. If you are just getting started, charge less. The problem is when you decide to raise your prices later on, it might alienate your customers. The way to combat this is to charge the same amount as the other photographers in your area and then give a discount.  Here is how it works: Bob's photo studio down the road from you is charging $35 for an 8x10. You need to be lower than he is because you are just starting out. So, what you do is charge $35  for an 8x10 and give a $10 off discount. Now your prints are selling for $25. As you move along in your business, you can take away the discount and you don't have to raise prices.  This way you don't upset your customers.

2. The second way to price your photos is to consider your costs and time. Take into consideration the cost of your camera, money for gas, printing, studio costs (utilities, rent), part time employees, and all the other expenses that you will accrue over a year. Divide that by how many jobs you plan to have and this should give you the average amount you need to charge per job. Remember that you still need to be in the same ball park as your competition, but you should never be in a situation where you don't make enough to live on.

These are the two best ways of figuring out prices that I have found.  There are probably others, but these seem to always work.  It is very hard to figure out pricing and sometimes it is trial and error until you find the groove.  Remember to always take into consideration the quality of the work you do.

Another interesting tidbit:  I've found that the higher the price, the easier the customers are to work with.  If you are charging $300 to do a wedding (this is way too low from my point of view) you will get a $300 wedding. I you charge $2,000, you will get a $2,000 wedding.  Not to pick on the poor ( hey, I'm poor right now) but that is just what I have found.

Thanks for checking out my site and if you have questions, let me know!

The photo below is for sale for 5 grand if anyone is interested. LOL!

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