Last week I ran across a photographer online who listed her prices in the sidebar of her blog/website. Her bio indicated that she was a “professional photographer” which of course is often used loosely in 2010. She said she had 5 years of experience shooting weddings, portraits and pets. In my opinion, her work did not appear to compete with many professional photographers I see daily. Her prices: $60 for all your photos from a portrait photography session on a disk. The print prices were extremely low. And that fee of $60 included the photo session too.
I not only questioned how this might lower the bar for photography as a whole, but how she could make a living. Then again… maybe she is not earning an income from photography. She may be doing this as a “hobby” and just want gas money. She also may not be a legitimate business. And she may not be paying taxes. There are so many variables.
I decided to post about this discovery on my Facebook Page thread. And the emotions, opinions and questions stirred. I know pricing is ultra controversial amongst professional photographers. Some photographers develop their prices based on what they want to make in a year, figuring in expenses, taxes, and other costs. Many photographers start out unsure what to charge. These photographers may pick numbers out of thin air. Many photographers research what other photographers in their area charge, and build pricing based on those numbers.
I would love to get a dialog going here on the MCP Blog answering these questions in the comment section:
- Do you consider yourself a professional photographer?
- How to you determine your pricing?
- Do you feel you are priced too low? high? or just right?
- Do you price yourself based on others around you? Based on your experience? Or based on what you want to earn?
- How does it make you feel when you see someone charging $60 for all photos on a disc, including the photo shoot?