This week I listened to a free on-line workshop about photography pricing. I found out that most photographers start out pricing far too low to even break even. It is mostly because of a lack of confidence in their abilities. "Will people really like my pictures enough to pay what I need ?" "What if I raise my prices to where they need to be and no one books me?" Photography is a tough business, I am finding. You get into it because you love the process - getting the perfect shots and then making them even better afterwards in post-processing. You are an artist. But like most artists, you don't believe that others will value your work as much as you do. Artists don't always make the best business people.
I am like that. I love taking pictures. I love what I can do to them with editing. I love people's reactions to them. But the idea that people would actually pay me adequately for the time I put into them and the skill level that I have is hard to put down on paper in the form of a price list. Plus, this workshop had so many options for kinds of pricing. Packages, A la carte, digital only, prints only, bonuses...the list goes on and on. Making those choices is tough.
I realize that I am providing not just a piece of paper or canvas with ink on it, but memories and warmth to a home through portraits on the wall, even heirlooms for generations to come. How much do we value those old pictures we find of relatives from bygone years? Nowadays we just have them on a computer or a disc and only see them there. Nobody comes into your house and says, "Wow, amazing CD you have there!", but if there are actual pictures on the wall, people love looking at them. I want my clients to be those kinds of people, the ones who value the product and the warmth it brings to their home.
But I am still stuck with no official price list as yet. I lack confidence. I know what I should charge. I take some d--- fine pictures! But I am afraid to actually put it on paper and get it out there so people will book me. I am dying to take more portraits. I have so many fun ideas and locations that I want to try out, but no one to do it with.
I did get to do the art shoot this week. It went great for the most part. A couple of the pictures gave me some trouble with uneven light, but overall I am really happy with the finished product. I am editing and organizing those today. This is one of my favorites.
In a couple of weeks, I will be doing dance recital portraits. That will be a whole new adventure, because I have not worked that much with an actual studio kind of setting, with a backdrop and lighting. I'm sure it will go fine, but I will probably be stressing about it until it is over. I am much more comfortable with natural light portraiture.
Last night I tried to get outside to get the 'supermoon', but I didn't get it just as it was coming over the horizon. That is when it looks the biggest. I will probably try again tonight and plan my timing a little better. I did get a couple of decent shots, though.
So here it is, Memorial Day Week-end. The beach is not supposed to be too warm, so I made my own in the backyard - ENJOY!