If it works, it works.

I have always been a big supporter of do what works for you!  Not every pricing package will work for every photographer and they will not all match up with every potential client.  Sometimes you are willing to work for less and sometimes you could not get paid enough to do what your client wants.  This is the benefit of being a freelance photographer.

I will be the first to admit that I get some gigs where I would seriously do it for free!  But then I realize the amount of post production involved and the fact that I have rent to pay at the studio and realize that I just cannot afford to do it for free.  That is when I have to find the happy medium, I’m doing the work I love so what is the best price I can give my client.  With the economy the way it is I am not one of those people who say you have to stick to your guns with your pricing!  I think that is the biggest load of crap ever.  The people who are telling you to stick to your pricing are people who don’t want to change theirs.  It’s the same people who told you to always hold on to your digital negatives or sell them for a super high amount.

In theory this is a great business practice, sure, charge top dollar, never budge on your pricing and don’t give them digital files so they always have to buy from you!  But then what happens when one person starts doing it, then another, then another and so on.  This is a losing battle and it is one that is not worth fighting.  Do not waste your energy on it!

If you want to charge top dollar here is what you need to do.  Become great at what you do, show work that is better than most, not equal to, but flat-out better.  Advertise everywhere, try to become a household name, you have to be seen everywhere!  Get published on blogs, in magazines etc…. This can be done, but it all starts with you.  And I have not even touched the tip of how to run this hypothetical business!  I’m sure you get the idea, go back to my “Business 101” post for more info.

My point is this, back to the top, do what works for you.  Nobody can tell you how much money you need to make or the exact price you need to charge.  If you can get a steady stream of work at the rate you are happy that will pay your bills and support you, then that is a price point that works!