New book

Photo Nuts and Post is the third installation in the Photo Nuts series and it just launched!
Written by professional photographer, Neil Creek, it gives you the tools you need to make processing work for you. Even if you have experience in editing, you can always learn new tricks.
To celebrate, they are offering 33% off if you buy today -Click here to read more!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Dropping the cheapskates

Last week, I received an email from a person from my photography site that stated, "I love your work, but you are more expensive then 90% of photographers in our area..."

Then, I got an email from a bride telling me that she was looking for a great photographer at a reasonable price...

I laughed at both of these emails and remembered when I was desperate enough to take the cheapskate client. You know we've all been there. If you are just starting out, you know you are taking them right now.

It's okay.

We all have to go through this stage. We start out at cheap prices-of course this is going to draw them in. Even if someone isn't a cheapskate, who is going to turn down a good deal?

But, there is a time that you must say buh-bye to these people. UNLESS, you want to take in twice or more work to make what you need to make. I don't know about you, but I get pretty grumpy when I'm always working.

It took me awhile to make that jump-and it is scary-but, I did. I actually plan on going even higher by next year. I know there's much advice out there to take on how and when you should take this flying leap. I really think it's all up to each individual and I think you just get to a point when you just know.

For me, it happened one day when I was sitting with a couple discussing their wedding plans. The bride was looking at my books and made the comment that my work was just as wonderful as the $5000 photographer they met with the week before, but I was so much cheaper. She even added that my albums were so much more "neat" then his.

It's not that I hadn't heard that my work compared to more expensive photographers before, but for some reason, it clicked for me that time. I think it was that same week that I redid my website and changed my prices. Then, I sat and waited. Did my phone ring? Not for the first couple of weeks, but I finally received an email from an interested client. Woo-hoo! I was so excited when they booked me without a blink of an eye at the price!

I don't feel any hard feelings towards my old cheapskate clients. Cheapskate clients are just a stepping stone in your career. We need the cheapskate client to build our portfolio and find out what we want to charge. But, when you raise your prices, you welcome the RIGHT kind of clients that help KEEP you in business.

Let your cheapskate clients go and don't look back. Unfortunately, they will just find the next photographer just starting out-until they realize their worth too!


Rachel said...

You get what you pay for! I've had a photographer that I've known for years and her prices have gone up. But she's improved so much, and so her prices should go up. We're willing to pay for quality!

Tara said...

I think this is a great post! And so true!