A Photography Q&A
If you’re anything like I was when I was starting out in Composite Photography, you have a LOT of questions, which unfortunately are hard to find the answers to online.
That’s why I’m honestly answering any question you have about photography and/or Composite Photography.
While there were some great questions that came in this week, and I answer them in this video, the one question I want to focus on for this article is that of PRICING.
How do you price work that is so different than the norm?
Traditional Portrait Pricing
Let’s start this conversation off with getting a feel for what photographers traditionally charge for portrait work.
I’m sure you’re familiar with all of this, but we’ll build up from here.
Traditionally, photographers will charge for an initial “sitting fee”, which can range from anywhere between $50 all the way up to $750 with the average falling in at about $350.
Traditionally, portrait photographers will “package” their work together making it more enticing for clients to want to choose more rather than less, and it only cost a few bucks more, right?
Traditionally, portrait photographers “charge” @ $100 for an 8×10 print and a few hundred for a canvas print larger in size.
It’s fair to say, portrait photography pricing structures are pretty much the same throughout the industry and that works for the average photographer.
But how do you charge for something SOOO Different?
Pricing for Different
Unless you’re looking to do everything Different, I may not be the best person to answer this question on pricing for you.
However, if you want to do everything different than the other photographers in your area, then listen up.
Pricing involves 3 main factors; your time, your market, and you.
Composite Photography obviously requires more time than that of a traditional portrait, which means you’ve got to charge higher fees for your work.
Because my portraits require an average of 24 to 35 hours of Compositing work alone, my portrait prices MUST be HIGHER than the average photographer.
98% of all portrait photographers are competing for the largest chunk of the market who are willing to only spend small amounts of their money for portraits.
Competing with Sarah who takes pretty good pictures with her iPhone and uncle Bob who has one of those professional type of cameras he got from Walmart, portrait photographers everywhere are competing for the LOWEST PRICES.
The Market you choose will choose the Prices you get.
Most photographers, my younger self-included, fear charging higher prices for their photography, which is why most photographers are competing to see who can have the lowest pricing.
Your PRICES are a direct reflection of your self-worth.
Effectively Pricing your Photography
Ok, so I don’t value my work, my market is all wrong, and I spend way too much time creating these Composites to be paid fairly for them.
Now, what do I do?
First, determine how many hours it takes you to create a Composite then determine how many of those Composites can you comfortably create in a week, month, year.
Next, decide on a price you would be comfortable charging for your portraits, then raise it by at least 50%.
Remember, you’re not the one buying your Composites.
Lastly, now that you know how much you’re going to charge per portrait, determine who will happily pay that price for your work.
BOOM! Your Pricing problems have been solved.
That’s a Wrap
The #1 reason you aren’t getting paid enough for your Composited work is because of FEAR.
Trust me here, I know something about this.
You’re scared of asking people to pay X amount of dollars for a picture because you wouldn’t pay that amount for a picture.
I guess it’s a good thing you’re not your client then, huh?