Pretty Pictures Are Overrated

If you are a photographer who is reading this post I have a question for you.  Do you consider yourself an artist?  If so, why?

There have been several different pricing methods in the past and now there are even more methods out there and ways to do business that, in my opinion, just confuse photographers even more than ever before!  But why do photographers struggle with pricing?  Simple, they have sitting fees, they have products, they have day rates and all of these things fall into different categories.

When it comes to commercial photography you have a day rate, you have to deal with the legal usage of image rights, model releases, security etc…  For portrait clients you have sitting fees, print packages, digital files and retouching to consider.  With weddings you have the main issue of digital files and how to sell them plus your day rate.

Personally, I have a system that works for me.  My commercial rates are something that could be a blog post of its own!  But basically I have a day rate and add ons to that rate.  But I’m not really taking on too many commercial gigs anymore so it really isn’t too relevant to my work at the moment.  What I am doing with my boudoir and wedding clients, and potentially with my commercial clients in the future is this.  I view myself as a creative, and as an artist.  If someone were to commission an artist how would they go about it?  When you hire a painter you hire them to give you a finished work of art.  Same goes for a sculptor or any other type of artist.  So why are we photographers so confused?

My new pricing will be taking effect the first week of April.  I will also be launching my new website by then and returning this site to just a blog and not my main site.  With this new pricing method I will only be taking jobs where I am a commissioned artist.  You much pre-purchase an album or book from me in order for me to be your photographer.  There are no other fees and yes the digital files are included upon completion of the album.

I believe in tangible goods.  I believe you should be able to flip through the pages of one of the books I create and remember the moments and the story it tells.  This is why I do what I do.  I am not a photographer to just show up and shoot photos at your wedding event.  I am a photographer because I want to tell the story of your wedding or a short story with your boudoir session, or shoot a fashion editorial that actually has a narrative vibe to it.

Pretty pictures are overrated.  I want to tell the story with pictures and with emotion.  It doesn’t matter if I have the newest camera or the oldest camera.  What matters is my vision of my subject.  What matters is me putting everything I have got into every book I make.  I am over having time limits, I am over restricting myself and restricting my creativity.  If you want to shoot and share and blend in with everyone else, go ahead.  I choose to stand apart from the crowd and do what I feel I need to do.  So effective in just a couple of weeks, I have no sitting fees, but you can commission me as an artist.  Here’s to bending the rules and to making your own!

Hazel by The Average Jim