Making the Change

So I’ve done it!  I have talked about different pricing methods before but I think I have found the one I really like the most for my business.  I have to honestly say that I am not the best business person and I tend to think of most business ideas from the perspective of the artist so my ideas are not always a “how to get rich” type of idea.  My goal with my pricing methods and my shooting methods are really mostly just to be able to do what I love to do every day.

Here is my concept for pricing.  I have it listed on my “Investment” page (on the right side of the page) but here is a quick run down.

I am no longer charging for my services as a photographer.  No more sitting fees, no more service fees.  Here is my reasoning behind this change.  This world has become dependent on the internet for sharing pictures.  I’m totally guilty of this, I search the internet for images, I post them every day and I love the easily accessible imagery available today.  But are we losing part of what photography is all about?  People are no longer buying prints like they used to, how many of you actually carry a photo of someone you know in your wallet?  Or do you just show photos on your smart phone?  People are also no longer buying wedding albums, yes there are several people who still do but most people just want the disc.  I hate that term, “Just want the disc” to me that is so demeaning.

So here it is, if you want me to be your photographer you have to buy a product.  I have not raised the price of my albums or products at all, they are the same as I have been charging when I still had a sitting fee.  I have selected a certain number of products that I will be carrying and that is all.

Now here is how it works.  There is a catch to my method and I know not everyone will agree with me and not all potential clients will like it and that is okay, not everyone is supposed to understand it or appreciate it.  Since I am no longer charging a service fee, to take a line from the Bill Cunningham documentary I talked about, you don’t get to tell me what to do.  I am approaching every photo session from here on out from my perspective only.  I will meet with clients, discuss their wedding, portrait, intimate sessions with them and come up with a game plan but it will most likely not be a traditional method.

This is kind of like a mixture of the movie Jerry Maguire and Andy Warhol with his pop-art.  I wish to bring art books and prints back to every day people while working with fewer clients who will get more attention from me.  I mentioned before how my booking percentage is not that high, and it might even get lower which is fine by me.  I’m looking for that 1%, I’m looking for the few people who want something of substance, something of artistic value and a true appreciation of the moments in their life.

You make be asking “But Average Jim, how will you pay your bills?”  Well I will be honest with you, I’m going to start charging $17,000.00 for workshops…. okay, seriously I have other commercial clients and regular clients who already allow me to have full control over what I do for them.  They just give me the green light and leave total creativity up to me.  This has been some of the inspiration behind my new pricing.  Hopefully it works out, if not, I’ll just change it again. That’s the benefit of being your own business, you don’t have to follow anyone else’s rules. 😉