This morning I woke up way too early to have gone to bed last night way too late. But I was satisfied when I finally closed my eyes that I had accomplished my goal and gotten my "pricing & policies" and "services offered" sections finished on my website. The process of setting prices has been no fun, and definitely the most exhausting part of growing this photography business. No question about it, I would have been happy just doing photo shoots for free for the rest of my days...but I think my career would have been very short because someone has to generate money to support the business! Over the weeks and months of toiling over this subject leading up to finally settling on it yesterday I have heard many opinions, studied many other photographers price lists, cried, and prayed for guidance in all of it... and in the end the question that would be in my heart and mind has been, "Don't you always appreciate something more that has come with a price?"
Now I know I've said this before, but anyone who knows me also knows that I often think too much...I'm a ponderer, you could say. Yet I can't help but to think of all the things in my life that mean the most to me and the price that is cost to obtain (or sustain) them. And maybe at times that cost is not a monetary thing at all. But for blogging-sake, I'm considering them all. At times the cost might be my own self-sacrifice...as I have found is the price many times in relationships - whether it is a friendship, being a parent or marriage. There are also those times when I would much rather take out a loan to pay the cost for something rather than have to suffer the way it's necessary in the situation. I know when I was giving birth to my daughter I suddenly changed my mind about natural childbirth being such an awesome idea...it suddenly struck me that I didn't have the pain tolerance I remembered having with my other two children, and I wanted an epidural (even though I was terrified of how they administered them.) Turned out, I was a little too late (actually the anaesthesiologist was a little too slow in finally getting to my room!) so I had to pay that price -- but oh, was it worth it! Just about 20 minutes later the light of my life was in my arms, and the world has never looked the same. Now, I don't think I could love her more because I couldn't get an epidural, that's definitely not the point of any of this. But there was a cost. (Remember me mentioning that I can ramble sometimes....well, here is an example!)
Since I decided to jump out of the boat of "excited hobbyist photographer with talent" to a serious photographer wanting to learn my camera and equipment better and know how to use them at their full capacity, it has cost me time and money. Often it has even cost me a bit of humility in hearing, accepting and applying constructive criticism or getting my feelings hurt because of some jealousy, pettiness or seeing that everyone isn't so kind after all! But without all of that I would never have gotten to the place of believing that this dream could come true. It was the encouragement of other photographers pointing out the talent that they were seeing in my work - telling me not to let it go to waste or be hidden away - that pushed me to finally go for it! And I am so grateful. But oh the price it has cost to move on to the next step in this journey...it would take a novel, not just a blog, to be able to explain it all (hmmmm....now there's a thought!) Beyond the obvious expenses of education, equipment, insurance, software, props, and on and on.... there has been the cost of many hours of sleep loss as I have had to make sure that everything is done just right. From my blog yesterday you would know that settling on the pricing has just about taken the wind out of me, but there is also a relief in having it done and out there to be accepted or rejected. And now the cost is to sell myself and my talent. To convince someone that I am worth every penny and then some that they will pay to have me as their photographer. Don't we all want to think we are worth the cost? When I get a message from a friend (most of my clients turn into my friends! What a true reward!) telling me that the photos I took for them are priceless... wow, it is worth every bit of the cost I've put already into this business. So I will trust that by giving every bit of myself in my talent, time and attention to my clients to help them capture those special moments in their lives will be what makes them walk away happy with what it cost to have chosen me as their photographer.
I hope you have a very blessed day. It is certainly gorgeous out there today - and I'm planning on getting out and enjoying it as much as possible! Thanks for reading - and for sharing!