You Are Dealing With Cheap Photographers Incorrectly

Price-cutting and cheap photographers tend to really get under the skin of many of us, but I am pretty sure that you have been approaching it all wrong. Hopefully, this helps.

At some point, most of us are that cheap photographer, in pretty much the same way as we all suck at photography for far longer than we are actually aware of. I certainly was and I certainly did. I would do a full day's shooting for less than I would currently pay a runner. I would also deliver way over the top for it in terms of volume, and well below the bar in terms of quality. As my career matured, the quality of work improved and my prices went up. Eventually, I reached a point where I had to price myself in a way that the industry would accept. I too went through the phase of being mad about losing out on work to cheaper photographers. It still happens now. Sometimes they are slightly cheaper, sometimes they are tens of thousands of dollars cheaper. However, I now deal with it in a very different way.

Having worked as a wedding photographer, portrait photographer, and finally a commercial still life and food photographer I have been at pretty much every end of the market. From the bargain cheap student purchase to being commissioned to shoot worldwide ad campaigns with comfortable budgets. This means I have been annoyed at cheap photographers, as well as having had photographers be annoyed at me for being too cheap

In this video, I discuss how I deal with price-cutting, my views on cheaper photographers, and the reason why you might be suffering from this more than other photographers are. If you do feel like you are constantly losing out to cheaper photographers then there are some very practical things you can do without having to undervalue your work.

What are your thoughts on lower-end and cheaper photographers?  

Scott Choucino's picture

Food Photographer from the UK. Not at all tech savvy and knows very little about gear news and rumours.

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once you demand money for art, you sell your soul to devil.
really good photographers never sell their images. and try to live by a decent job (facility manager or house-wive, e.g.:))
as pr-industry aka big lie nowadayas more and more use ai-images foud and stitched in the web, who ever would pay a photographer '1000s bucks) for the same stuff (already published a 10000 times everywhere) ?

This is a ridiculous response.

You're right, really good photographers never sell their images, they license it. People who "sell" their images are either just getting started with their careers and don't know any better, or are uneducated about how to run a photography business.

AI is great, but not their yet. Architects still want the proof that their idea came to fruition. A rendering of a home has no value in a portfolio if the space is never built. It shows an idea, not a reality.

As usual, sensible observations that may have escaped the new photographer.

My epiphany was when one client said " I love your work! You are so much cheaper than the se other guys."

Early on I was mediocre. Fortunately I could see I sucked and resolved to get better.

I eventually was fortunate enough to have a stable of clients that wanted me for what I could deliver and would pay what made me very happy.

It enabled me to save for retirement and now I just use my phone as I chase my grandchildren.