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How To Succeed As A Photographer by Raising Your Prices
Standard business ‘wisdom’ tells you that you must always be prepared to cut your prices to meet the competition. But what if that information is incorrect – and the real way to succeed is by doing just the opposite – raising your prices?

Both professionals and non-professionals have listened to ‘street talk’ over the last decade or more telling them that the decline in the photography business is down to the fact that every Tom, Dick, and Harriet can now afford a good quality digital-SLR that produces good pictures with enough pixels to create prints. 

So why should anyone bother to hire a professional photographer? 

Then there is the clan of former journalists who rightfully bemoan the loss of their career and status as they’ve been pushed aside by people with smart-phones who upload on-the-spot images to news organizations for free – just so they can see their name in print.

Yes, those are just some of the factors that you face as a photographer in the 21st Century. But let’s examine the truth about those images that are produced by consumer-level SLRs or smart-phones and then move on from there.

Will those images stand the test of time by being worthy of printing for posterity?

Can your best friend’s cousin take the same images that you do under the pressure of an event like a business opening or a family celebration such as a wedding?

Does the amateur that you are being compared to understand things such as:
  •   The differences in the quality of light and shadow on a face that are dependent of the source of lighting

     The importance of the angle of shooting and how it conveys emotions

     Knowing when to take an effective motion shot with intentional blur 
  •  Knowing how to set up for a formal portrait or environmental portrait
  •  Know to color-correct with filters 
  •  How to decide when black-and-white is a more powerful means of communication
Part of your job involves selling yourself and your services. So before a potential client even has the chance to try and talk you down on price, open the conversation with a soft-edged bit of education about your skills in capturing a minute in time that will never be duplicated, understanding lighting, catching the expressions on people’s faces at those never-to-return moments, knowing how to take timeless images of people, architecture, products, or scenic places, and having the background and training to be able to produce images that are so crisp that they could be reproduced as tack-sharp artwork.  

Make it clear in your discussions that you have so much more going for you than an everyday man or woman with a decent camera. What sets you apart is your skill, your experience, your follow-through, your level of professionalism, and your ability to know exactly when to press the shutter.

A successful photographer and artist once used the following lines with potential clients who tried -- always unsuccessfully -- to hammer her down on prices.
“You certainly have the right to want the most for your money. I respect that. But the dollar figure isn’t always what determines an end result that will make you happy afterwards. If price is your only concern, you should go and hire another photographer who could do it cheaper than I can. I truly mean that. But if what you want is the best job, not the cheapest job, you should hire me.”  
Create your own personal variation on that story. Practice it until you feel confident and natural as the words come out of your mouth. Believe in the worth of what you can create – and then charge accordingly.

Raise your rates – raise your profile – raise your overall understanding of your worth as a professional.

About Andrea Polito

Andrea Polito is an internationally acclaimed master-lifestyle photographer sought after by thousands of individuals. After 13 years in the high-end wedding industry and having photographed more than 600 weddings, Andrea has been focusing her time helping photographers to grow their own businesses to Six Figures and Beyond.
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