A Common Pricing Mistake New Photographers Make

Being competent with your camera and having creative vision is, of course, essential to finding success as a professional, but it also takes a fair amount of business savvy as well. One of the things newer photographers struggle with the most is pricing. This great video tutorial features an experienced pro discussing a common mistake and what you can do to avoid it and increase your chances of success.

Coming to you from Scott Choucino with Tin House Studio, this important video tutorial discusses a common pricing mistake made by beginner photographers and how to fix it. Pricing is something I see a ton of newer photographers struggle with, often for multiple reasons. First, it is a sort of nebulous topic that is hard to get solid, practical advice on. Second, many photographers are simply uncomfortable talking money with clients. Unfortunately, there is no advice for getting around the latter; you simply have to do it. Not only is it important to advocate for your worth, many clients (the worthwhile ones, at least) will respect you more if you are direct and upfront about cost. Check out the video above for the full rundown from Choucino.

If you would like to learn more about the business of photography, check out "Making Real Money: The Business of Commercial Photography With Monte Isom!"

Alex Cooke's picture

Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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My first paid job was for the company where my dad worked. It was to photograph a landscape installation. I charged $75. My dad also said not to just say it was $75 but to list every item, photo fee, film, processing, travel etc. He knew they would try and negotiate the price and it's harder to negotiate each line item than the bottom line.
I also agree that the going market rate is the best approach. Almost every market has different pricing levels. In my area real estate agents pay about $350 for a house, architects pay $750-$1000 and historic documentation pays $2000. Which market do you think I pursued? You'll get the work if you have the technical and aesthetic ability to work at that level. Architects are way more demanding than real estate agents. Historic documentation requires the use of a 4x5" film camera which not so many people can do these days. Hence the higher fees involved.