Pricing… you can’t be a professional photographer for very long without becoming embroiled in the subject of how to price your work (well, you could, I suppose, but you would never make any money). Then there is the question of, not only what prices to charge, but also how to make your clients aware of your price list without them either running away or thinking you are trying to pressure-sell them.

Price Lists! Get ’em Here!

In the time that I’ve been working as a professional photographer, I’ve personally tried different methods of communicating my prices to clients and potential clients, with varying degrees of success. These include the usual suspects:

  • Printed pamphlet
  • Combined price list and brochure
  • Web site page
  • By email

However, the problem I found with these methods was that sales just didn’t seem to be where I wanted them to be. I would hand out price lists to prospects who requested them, count the number of web hits to my price list page, or email my list to anyone who asked for it – yet the prospects disappeared as quickly as they came, like ghosts. Unless these people were simply professional price list collectors, it was a complete mystery to me, and it doesn’t take too much of that to think to yourself, “my prices must be too high.“

The (Second) Guessing Game

Looking at my price list, and thinking about the lack of returning prospects, I really did start to imagine that my prices were too high – so I made the terrible mistake of lowering them and trying again. Yes, you guessed it – I got just the same result. So, we get caught up in a terrible cycle of continually fiddling with the prices. Up and down like yo-yo’s they go!

Does any of this sound familiar to you? Are you stuck in that no-man’s land of trying to second-guess your prospects to discover what you think they would pay, rather than what you think they should pay?

Well, you’re not alone – just about every photographer I know has been through this painful process. But, there is an answer… read more at Show Me Your Price List – Zenologue, published 22 January 2009.

Flickr photo credit: Burnt Pixel