Business Advice I Wish I’d Known
By Jenna Martin
I have to admit, when I first started my photography business I didn’t think it was going to be that difficult. I thought I’d get a camera, take some photos, put some stuff out on Facebook and people would start hiring me. They would give me money, I would give them photos—done deal! How tough could it be?
Well…as it turns out, it was a bit more complicated than that. But most of what I could find still focused on the photos—and I was struggling more with the business side of things. So for anyone else out there still in those beginning stages, here are a few things I had known for getting your photography business up and running.
Price Your Work Correctly
It’s tough to come back from bad pricing. I shot my first wedding for $650, and it went awesome! That couple recommended me to everyone… as a wedding photographer that did great work and only charged $650. It took me awhile to realize I was actually losing money shooting weddings at that price. I didn’t know how to account for gear, insurance, travel costs, editing time, ordering costs, and a whole lot of other stuff too. Bad pricing almost killed me in the beginning.
Finding your pricing sweet spot is kind of like a cruel treasure hunt. My advice for your first step—see what others are charging in your area. Not to compare yourself—but to research. This will at least give you a general idea of where the market is. Successful photographers aren’t shooting in a price range because they drew that number out of a hat, it took a while for them to get there, which means you can learn just as much from their price range. Here in Montana, for example, most wedding photographers stay around the $2,000 – $4,000 range. If you shoot in California or New York your average market prices are probably going to be a bit higher.
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