Home · Register · Search · View Winners · Software · Hosting · Software · Join Upload & Sell

Moderated by: Fred Miranda
Username   Password

FM Forum Rules
Wedding Resource List
  

FM Forums | Wedding Photographer | Join Upload & Sell

1
       2       end
  

Archive 2012 · What you're worth, or what you can get ?
  
 
marti.g3
Offline
• • • •
Account locked
p.1 #1 · What you're worth, or what you can get ?


I've read many articles over the years both here and on other sites from photographers and what they charge for their work.
Many have said " raising your pricing is the best thing that you can do", and that it will automatically bring in a better level of client.

But how do you know if you are worth it ? Simply raising prices seems foolhardy if your work can't sustain your pricing.

What is your opinion regarding this pricing business model, and what are the factors that come into play when one wants to charge more. Demographics, website, quality of products, connections with higher end vendors who refer you ? Reputation ?



Aug 11, 2012 at 11:49 PM
TTLKurtis
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #2 · What you're worth, or what you can get ?


If you don't feel you are worth the price and have confidence at that level, you won't be successful there. Raising prices alone does not miraculously bring more and better clients.


Aug 12, 2012 at 12:16 AM
tobicus
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #3 · What you're worth, or what you can get ?


If you can't find folks willing to pay your prices, you won't be able to sustain them, regardless of how good you are at shooting or believing in yourself. It's all about attracting and booking clients.


Aug 12, 2012 at 02:07 AM
alohadave
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #4 · What you're worth, or what you can get ?


marti.g3 wrote:
But how do you know if you are worth it ? Simply raising prices seems foolhardy if your work can't sustain your pricing.


You are not the one that determines what you are worth, your paying clients do that. The price you set introduces selection bias in your potential clients. They will automatically consider you based on the price you set. If the price is too high for their budget, they will disregard you. If the price is too low, they will also disregard you. If the price is just right, then they are your potential market.

What you need to determine is what is the correct price for the market that you want to attract, and is that market segment big enough to support your business. The market for $20,000 wedding photography is exceedingly small, and supportable in few locations. In rural settings, you may not be able to simply raise your prices and have enough business to support it.

The real area that you can raise prices is in a market that has plenty of competition and plenty of clients. You need to be able to have new clients to attract to your new price, and that are already familiar with the idea of (and comfortable with) premium pricing.



Aug 12, 2012 at 02:53 AM
marti.g3
Offline
• • • •
Account locked
p.1 #5 · What you're worth, or what you can get ?


So then then well worn old adage of "just raise your prices " is a fallacy.


Aug 12, 2012 at 03:01 AM
dhp_sf
Online
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #6 · What you're worth, or what you can get ?


marti.g3 wrote:
So then then well worn old adage of "just raise your prices " is a fallacy.


I wouldn't go so far as saying it's a fallacy. It's an oversimplification.

If you want to be considered by clients with higher end budgets, you need higher end pricing. Why? Because the bride who has a budget of $5,000+ for her wedding photography isn't going to start with photographers priced at $1,000 and hopes she finds a diamond in the rough. She's going to start at $4-5k photographers and look what's available.

The confusion begins here, but it's really simple: if your work/brand/salesmanship does not "stack up" to others in your market, then you still won't get bookings.



Aug 12, 2012 at 03:12 AM
honorerdieu
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #7 · What you're worth, or what you can get ?


Disclaimer: I am not a wedding photographer but I have many friends who are.

I think the "raising prices" applies to:

1. Cheap photographers who are doing the industry a disservice by offering super cheap rates
2. The extremely competent photographers who aren't charging enough for what they do

Raising prices is not new to the wedding industry. It's also the same in hospitality (the industry I work in), retail, agriculture, and other service-based industries.

Other than that, I like what alohadave said. I'll just add that wedding photographers I've seen need to worry about their own photography instead of focusing too much on their business model. The industry has become saturated with very similar styles that have been copied off popular blogs and magazines.



Aug 12, 2012 at 03:18 AM
D. Diggler
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #8 · What you're worth, or what you can get ?


marti.g3 wrote:
So then the well worn old adage of "just raise your prices " is a fallacy.


Oh no! Someone said it here just a couple days back ... They said they were priced in the middle market, which was getting kind of crowded in their area, so they raised their prices to get into the high-end market and bookings picked up!



Aug 12, 2012 at 05:14 AM
marti.g3
Offline
• • • •
Account locked
p.1 #9 · What you're worth, or what you can get ?


What about multi shooter business models where associates shoot the lower budget weddings ? Would even having the lower priced offerings negatively affect attracting the higher end brides ?


Aug 12, 2012 at 03:01 PM
Inku Yo
Online
• • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #10 · What you're worth, or what you can get ?


marti.g3 wrote:
What about multi shooter business models where associates shoot the lower budget weddings ? Would even having the lower priced offerings negatively affect attracting the higher end brides ?


Remember when Mercedes offered that car with cloth seats?



Aug 12, 2012 at 03:20 PM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



marti.g3
Offline
• • • •
Account locked
p.1 #11 · What you're worth, or what you can get ?


Inku Yo wrote:
Remember when Mercedes offered that car with cloth seats?



Gotcha....



Aug 12, 2012 at 03:33 PM
whtrbt7
Offline
• •
Account locked
p.1 #12 · What you're worth, or what you can get ?


Since I'm fairly new, my pricing model is still decently high but I've been reducing my price of my lowest package since I'm trying to price closer to my local market for smaller weddings. I also reduced the number of photographers from 2 to 1 on the lowest package. If you have tiered pricing, more expensive wedding are still very very attractive. The main purpose is to have a stronger stream of shooting throughout the year. You can always raise prices back higher depending on what the market average is yielding. I try to price to the industry average in my area in order to save on travel expenses. I also know that since I'm a new player in the industry, it's more important for me to get my name out there with what I consider decent pricing in order to be more attractive than others in the same area. The market determines pricing but you can also affect your own strategy to the market by pricing to parity. It's Econ 101 with due diligence. Inku Yo on the other hand has his own strategy which works well for him. I would say we are almost polar opposites in terms of pricing models. He's the Mercedes to my VW lol . Oh BTW, I also photograph all those cars so I get to play with lots of cars everyday. Mmmmmm Ferrari.


Aug 12, 2012 at 03:37 PM
marti.g3
Offline
• • • •
Account locked
p.1 #13 · What you're worth, or what you can get ?


whtrbt7 wrote:
Since I'm fairly new, my pricing model is still decently high but I've been reducing my price of my lowest package since I'm trying to price closer to my local market for smaller weddings. I also reduced the number of photographers from 2 to 1 on the lowest package. If you have tiered pricing, more expensive wedding are still very very attractive. The main purpose is to have a stronger stream of shooting throughout the year. You can always raise prices back higher depending on what the market average is yielding. I try to price to the industry average in
...Show more

So is wedding photography your sole income ?



Aug 12, 2012 at 05:51 PM
Sergio Mottola
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #14 · What you're worth, or what you can get ?


when i was collecting pokemon cards or something, i remember telling my dad "this one is worth a lot of money!" and he said "its only worth what someone will pay for it".

so if someone sees the value, then you're worth it.



Aug 12, 2012 at 06:37 PM
Chris Beaumont
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #15 · What you're worth, or what you can get ?


If there's one thing I've learned from this forum it's that the standard of your photography is only about 10% of whether people will pay more for your services.


Aug 12, 2012 at 09:45 PM
marti.g3
Offline
• • • •
Account locked
p.1 #16 · What you're worth, or what you can get ?


Chris Beaumont wrote:
If there's one thing I've learned from this forum it's that the standard of your photography is only about 10% of whether people will pay more for your services.


Chris, what is the other 90 % ? Is it networking, being "connected", your personality, how many contacts you have in your life ?



Aug 12, 2012 at 10:51 PM
Chris Beaumont
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #17 · What you're worth, or what you can get ?


Pretty much yeah, how you sell yourself, marketing well, branding, having lots of people love you and recommend you.

I always tend to find car analogys help me understand things, so here's mine for this situation.

I've owned 3 Alfa Romeos in my life.

They cost more than Fords....even though they break down more, have worse suspension, have more build quality issues, and the dealer service is notoriously shite.

Why do I keep buying Alfas?

Because I've bought into their "brand" - I like the way they look, I like the way they feel, I like that it makes me slightly different (and slightly mental) - intangible stuff that can't be objectively measured essentially.

I know if I bought a Mondeo I'd get a BETTER car.....but I just don't WANT one they way I want a 159.



Aug 12, 2012 at 11:08 PM
marti.g3
Offline
• • • •
Account locked
p.1 #18 · What you're worth, or what you can get ?


Hmmm, interesting thoughts. I come from the family of "get the most for your money and spend it wisely". I guess that affects how i market and sell to people because I can't sell something to someone that I don't believe in or feel isn't worth their hard earned money.

I'm a Toyota/Honda guy. Their cars last, rarely break down, are great buys for the money and give me so much value for what I spent compared to other brands which I have owned over my lifetime and have troubles with.



Aug 13, 2012 at 01:10 AM
TRReichman
Online
• • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #19 · What you're worth, or what you can get ?


As a side note the whole "raise your prices" chestnut still has merit because increased margin solves almost every business problem that you have. When it comes down to the spreadsheet charging more (and getting it - the often ignored part of the equation) really does solve most issues.

Having said that raising prices isn't a solution on a branding/marketing level. Price is an indicator - it can help the market understand who is right for you or it can indicate how important what you are selling is. But expense by itself doesn't bring people running. Communication of value and ability to execute on that value is what brings the right clients to you. Value in this case does not mean deliverable product or service amount for the given price point but it more related to ideals under which you work.

To answer the OP -
Demographics - Yes, demographics matter but not as much as everyone assumes. First, it is a global market so demographics are becoming less relevant every day. Second, many people get brought into other markets because the existing offerings are too homogenous - so you can't look to your market to tell you what is possible, you have to create a demand for what you want to do.

Website - In general web presence becomes less relevant as you go upmarket. Some high-end people don't have websites and some high-end clients don't do their own research. This is all generalization of course.

Quality of products - Probably the least relevant issue in moving upmarket. Don't try to co-opt value from a product that anyone else can offer.

Connections with higher end vendors who refer you - It certainly helps to have other people validate your value proposition. Very important.

Reputation - Perception is reality.

- trr




Aug 13, 2012 at 01:25 AM
RichardLavigne
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #20 · What you're worth, or what you can get ?


TRReichman wrote:
As a side note the whole "raise your prices" chestnut still has merit because increased margin solves almost every business problem that you have. When it comes down to the spreadsheet charging more (and getting it - the often ignored part of the equation) really does solve most issues.

Having said that raising prices isn't a solution on a branding/marketing level. Price is an indicator - it can help the market understand who is right for you or it can indicate how important what you are selling is. But expense by itself doesn't bring people running. Communication of value and ability
...Show more

As usual, all of the bases have been covered here... Todd, you never cease to amaze me with the knowledge that you drop for us here. Can't wait to hear what you have to say in a paying classroom environment.



Aug 13, 2012 at 01:48 AM
1
       2       end




FM Forums | Wedding Photographer | Join Upload & Sell

1
       2       end
    
 

You are not logged in. Login or Register

Username   Password    Retrive password