Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Pricing...oh such stress!

If you've read any of my blogs so far then you know I am most passionate about my faith, my photography, and my family and friends - wow, especially those kids of mine!  I try to live out my faith for others to see, rather than smack someone in the head with it - although there are times when that boldness is necessary.  My photography is in everyone's face - literally!  There is no way to count how many times I've heard my daughter say "get that camera out of my face!"  And my friends and family - well, I try to make sure that no one leaves my presence without knowing they mean a lot to me - always, ALWAYS saying "I love you" before hanging up... and my heart still melts when my kids still tell me "I love you, Mama" even when they are sitting in the middle of friends, work, or with my son in the Navy, if he is standing in the middle of the hangar with the other guys!  I have learned after losing my Grandmother in a car accident years ago, that you just never know when your life will end... Ok.... so how does this have to do with pricing?!

Well, I've been working on pricing for a long time - having nothing published, and always practically hyperventilating when I have to deal with that part of doing a photography shoot.  But it's time.  My passion for photography and officially starting a business requires that there is pricing - and I've done much research and lots of figuring.  I want to be fair in my pricing, and there is always room for some negotiation in certain circumstances or to make the decision to give a photo shoot as a gift for whatever reason.  I read another photographers blog about pricing - and how much it also stressed her.  Some people blast you if you are too high - and some people think you can't be too good or too serious if you are too low.  The one thing I knew going into this business was that it was all about passion - and not about ever getting rich doing it.  But it does have to pay for itself at some point.  So when you are looking at a photographers prices, consider the work they have and still do put into their skill... the classes and seminars (that never stops - because updates and new techniques never stop!), the travel (I'm an on-site photographer, so I'm traveling to my subjects), the time of the photographer - not only in the photo shoot, but also in the editing.  Don't forget the equipment and software and other things they are paying that you probably never would have thought about (licensing, insurance, etc)... because I can tell you (as can my tax lady!) that none of it is cheap.  <And here is another instance that I will say, if you are reading this and you personally know me, you know I go for the best - I want to offer the best to my clients. I know when capturing those moments with a baby, or a maternity shoot, or any special occasion - they are once-in-a-lifetime moments.  It needs to be done right, because there are no do-overs.>  Hopefully the stress of setting my prices will ease soon - and I appreciate the support of those who realize the quality of the professional service they are buying.  And I leave this with a thought.... think of the most precious photo that you have, whether it's of one of your kids, a parent, your better-half, someone from the past, or even a pet... How much is it worth to you?

Ok - now to my other job... laundry!  Ugh - and then a dentist appointment, which is my least favorite place in the world (although, I adore my dentist...just in case he reads this blog at some point!)  Have a GREAT day! 

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