Today’s topic is a really sensitive one for many people in creative industries, money! A lot of photographers don’t like to talk about money, we don’t want to seem like the bad guy when we’re in a negotiation about price. Also a lot of times we don’t know what our services are worth, and many creatives subscribe to the starving artist model where money is not the most important thing in life.
But the truth is money is important if you want to stay in business! Every other industry in the world relies on money to be exchanged for goods and services. Why shouldn’t your business run the exact same way?
The most important thing is to communicate with your clients even if it’s just your friends and family. Make sure you have that awkward conversation up front, before taking any pictures! Explain to them that you’d be happy to do the photo session, and this is exactly what it’s going to cost. Then get a deposit from them up front, so they take you seriously and know you are there to work and require payment upon delivery of the final images so that you don’t have to chase them down for payment after the fact.
Now setting a price for your services – that’s a whole different conversation, and you have to factor in a lot of things including usage, your overhead, and your level of experience, but keep in mind at all times – you’re the seller and they’re the buyer! You walk into any store in the world and there’s a price on each item and you can either choose to pay it or not. The owner of the store is not going to be offended if it’s out of your price range. Your business should run the exact same way.
Sometimes the client will tell you what they’ll pay for photography, but I can’t think of any other industry where the client sets the price. Of course, you can negotiate but try this as an experiment – call a plumber, tell them the pipes are leaking and you have fifty dollars in your budget for plumbing this month.. if you even hear them laughing before they hang up the phone, I’ll be surprised!
Look at the end of the day, don’t be afraid to talk about money. You need to make money to be able to continue to do the work that you love. The more you talk about it the easier it will get, and you’ll find your clients will respect you and they’ll be willing to pay the appropriate price and everybody will be happy!
Do you have any other information about this topic? Left your ideas and questions in the comments section below! and please don’t forget to follow kuulphoto.com on Twitter @kuulphoto