Do Not Wait on Clients to Set Your Value

For photographers, setting the price can be a daunting task. How much should you charge? How much product should you give? What's too high and what's charging too little? You set the initial value, but the market determines where it'll live in the long haul. 

Why Photographers Should Check Their Value

The photography client is looking for us to set the value. They want to know how to treat you, how to treat your work, and how to value you. That initial value is always set by the photographer (or whatever creative you are). What do you bring to the table?

Are you simply a button-pusher? Because if you are, we can replace you in a heartbeat. I would rather think you are the person who is second in command at a wedding, right under the planner. You are the one who understands family dynamics, a variety of cultures, remembers 45 names, works endless hours to make sure their clients are excited about their new photographs. 

You're also the person who can find a subject's good angle within 10 seconds of a conversation, the one who can make an ugly room look decent, the one who understands how to move around the dance floor without bumping into anyone or damaging your gear while getting every unforgettable moment. You're not a button-pusher; that's not your value. Your value is the years of experience that come with you. Clients want to pay for that.

Walid Azami photographing Usher

Clients Pay for Value First

It's not the camera they're paying for, it's the person behind that camera they want. Speak about your value and reassure them about hiring you. The gear you have is likely something so common that 100 people have the same gear within a mile of you. You have a Canon or a Sony? You have a 50mm prime lens and a LUT package from some Youtube photographer? What's so special about that? You're one of thousands with the same gear.

What makes you stand out above everyone is your own unique eye and experiences. That's what they're paying for: how you manage a shoot, how you see beauty, how you engage with the client is unique. The special little magical touch a photograph has is because of you, not your gear. That is your value. That's what clients want to pay for, something so unique and rare. Talk about your experience and your point of view, and you are talking about your value. 

Watch the video to have a better understanding of value and how you can correctly charge for it. It's a matter of earning your value or getting paid like a vending machine. It's your choice. 

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1 Comment
charles hoffman's picture

caveat: just because your mother thinks you're the best photographer in the family, it doesn't mean that someone else's mother will feel the same