Lately, I have been hearing photographers vent to each other about other so called ‘‘photographers” who charge 50$ per session and give all the retouched digital negatives. First off, let’s all agree that charging 50$ for your creative services is just not sustainable and simply sad. Charging so low is really putting a damper on Photography industry which leads to burn outs and failed businesses. If you’re charging for you services charge what you’re worth. However if you are donating your talent free of charge, do it for the cause or with intention. But don’t charge 50$ just don’t :(
Photography is a luxury service. It entails full spectrum experience, creativity and hardwork. Just like if you would go to Buy expensive Prada purse, you don’t question why they’re charging what they’re charging, you just buy it because it’s simply amazing, it’s a status and a luxury brand. Photography is the same way, luxury service is that you don’t necessarily need those photographs, but maybe you really want these services because you see gorgeous portraits a photographer creates and the experience that is given to you makes you say wow!
I want to create that wow, the meaningful moment, take an extra yard for my clients. I don’t want to just snap a photo or two. This is not what I am, It doesn’t bring me any joy. I wouldn’t be doing this just for the money, but if I take my precious time away from my family to create memories for other individuals, I want to make sure I am properly compensated for it.
Truly, anyone can snap a picture, just ask uncle bob who has a camera or your friend with an iphone. But when it comes to running a Photography business there are many variables involved. I have realized that myself as a new business owner. Some of these costs made me cringe, and scared..I had to make some financial adjustments to make better future decisions. Ive realized that 2018 was a learning curve for me. I had to properly calculate my costs, my time, take away a portion for taxes, investments, cost of goods, insurance, education and other tedious stuff that it takes to sustain as a business. Recently during my educatinon classes I heard this great analogy by amazing and equally hard working wedding photographer Scott Robert Lim, who said: “In order to grow your business you gotta Feed the Beast. If you under nourish that Beast, it will die. So you have to nourish it, feed it, in order for it to grow”. Meaning you have to financially make it sustainable. Therefore it brings to the notion, that you simply cannot sustain that beast for charging 50$ Or 100$ for your sessions. I can see two things happening here: you will burn out and start hating photography or you will run out of business pretty quickly.
Anyhow, When a photographer sells a photograph he doesn’t sell paper, the paper is always free. True photographer is selling experience, his talent, expertise, time that it takes to create amazing artwork, he is selling creativity and the value to their client. The moment that moment was captured it becomes priceless and will last generations. I believe that great photographers are like historians, they are providing invaluable service to their clients. Photographers who strive to artfully capture those moments, emotions for their clients create value. At home, I already a little beast whom I love and nurture everyday and I want my second baby (in this case photography business) to be nourished as well. So, if you want to become a sustainable business and excellent photographer fuel that passion, get out there and photograph, stop making excuses! The only thing that is stopping you is YOU! And most importantly don’t forget to FEED THE BEAST.