Should You Raise Your Photography Pricing?

Should You Raise Your Photography Pricing?

If you’re in a place right now where you’re unsure of your pricing, and you’re not booking as many clients as you’d like, it may be time to consider raising your pricing. Here’s why raising your photo package prices may help book more clients and make you love being a photographer more.

Believe it or not, it is possible to be in a spot with your pricing where you’re repelling clients who can’t afford you while simultaneously repelling clients who think you’re not charging enough. When considering what to charge for photography services we have to take into account many factors. Some of the more obvious elements are knowing what your overall local market charges for the same type of photography services, knowing your own cost of doing business, and understanding how to price yourself in a way that appeals to your target audience while also not being exorbitant in what you’re asking to be paid. Another factor you should take into account though is that there is a sour spot with pricing that, if you find yourself pricing within, will harm you more than help you with book clients.

The Psychology of Pricing

A price point can end up discouraging a client from booking you for many reasons. Often, the reason a consumer decides to purchase a service or product (or decides against the purchase) is wholly subconscious and due to psychological cues that the consumer is unknowingly picking up.

Successful pricing strategies are heavily influenced by the psychology behind how a consumer perceives the value of a product or service. So if you find yourself in a place where you are unable to book many clients because some think you’re too expensive (which inevitably will make you nervous to raise your prices), the best thing to do may be to go against your instincts and increase your pricing.

Adding Value to Your Photography Services

The simple act of raising your photography session pricing may make people perceive your services as being more valuable, and in turn, clients may be more inclined to book you. As unbelievable as it may seem, some consumers will not buy a product or service if they believe the pricing is too affordable. Actually, a photographer pricing their services too low could unwittingly be giving potential clients the subconscious cue that their services are not "affordable", but rather "cheap". That's because consumers are trained to correlate discounts as taking away value, instead of adding value.

It’s a much better strategy first to try adding value to a photography package instead of taking value away by discounting your pricing. If a client seems hesitant to book you and your photography services, try offering more. A few examples could be offering extra photo coverage time complimentary, or a print credit toward professional prints. Adding value to photography packages can often be the tipping point to cause a client to book you if they’re on the fence with their decisions.

Pricing as a Tool to Attract Your Ideal Client

A photographer can also use pricing as a tool to attract their ideal client as well as repel clients they don’t want to book. Successful photographers with a strong brand know that if someone is appealing to all types of clientele, they’re not branding themselves properly. Pricing yourself a little higher may help you attract the clients you want, while simultaneously discouraging the clients you don’t want from booking you. And often, the clients who would want a lower price point are clients who don’t understand the value of photography or the value of the time the photographer puts into creating high quality images.

A welcome side effect of raising your pricing is that it can also help if you’re feeling burned out. Burnout can happen if you think that you’re doing a lot of work with little return. When we are continually pouring ourselves out to our photography and serving clients, we need a reason to push through the hard times. Raising your pricing may help you feel that you’re getting the value you believe your hard work deserves.

I encourage you to do your own research on the psychology of pricing yourself correctly. If you’ve never taken a close look at pricing and why you should and shouldn’t price yourself a certain way, I highly recommend digging into the topic more. You’ll be surprised by how evaluating and changing your pricing may help you book more clients in the long run. 

Lead Image by via Pexels.

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One thing I do is raise pricing for new customers, and a year later apply that to my prior customers, while raising the price again for brand new customers from that point forward. This 1) allows me to charge higher prices to clients who aren't used to my previous lower price; 2) show existing customers when I do raise their prices that they have in a way been enjoying a discount for the last year; and 3) make those existing customers understand that the price increase is completely reasonable since my newer clients have already been paying it for a year. Obviously this model works best if you tend to have repeating customers, vs., say, wedding clients who generally are one-time customers.

dale clark's picture

Pretty much how I do things as well. One thing I am seeing a lot are lots of "feeler" quotes lately. People asking for quotes basically to find out my prices for other photographers and national photo services. I never quote over the phone and ask really specific questions. I even I had another photographer, in my area, who disguised himself as a luxury Real Estate agent new to the area. I checked the email address thru and found out the the address belonged to the photographer.