The 3 Pricing Strategies Few Photographers Understand

Take a look at your prices and your packages. How did you come up with them?

“I took an average of what other photographers online were charging and charge less.”

“I just pulled some numbers that felt right.”

“I charge what I would be willing to pay.”

Do you see yourself in any of these statements? That’s the way many photographers settle into a pricing structure.

Pricing Photography Strategies

Is it the right way to do it? Definitely not. Yet for better or worse, that’s the way many photographers create their pricing structures.

And if you just “settle in” to your numbers, chances are you don’t understand the dynamics behind the psychology of making people comfortable paying your prices.

Value Pricing

What’s the difference between a black and white photograph created by your 7 year old daughter and a black and white image created by Ansel Adams?

The difference is in the value.

The image created by your 7 year old may be beautiful, but there’s nothing that stands behind it. There isn’t a name recognition associated with it. There is no expertise built into mastery of the image. In other words, it’s a lucky shot.

What makes an image valuable isn’t just the paper its printed on or the location the image was taken; it comes from the expertise behind the lens … the person taking the photograph. The more time that person puts into building a name for themselves, the more they will be rewarded for their expertise.

And you can charge four figures, five figures, six figures or more for your work.

Price Anchoring

What if I told you I charged $125 for a portrait session?

As a customer, I now have a price. I have something to compare. And because the human mind loves comparing things, that’s exactly what they do. They move on and call other photography studios looking for something to compare your $125 portrait session fee to.

But what if instead I used price anchoring?

I charge $125 for a portrait session, or for $295 you can have my deluxe portrait session which includes my best selling enlargement package?

Now my prospects have something to compare. By adding a second offer at a different price point, I completely changed their mindsets.

Price Bracketing

By adding a third pricing structure, I once again change my customers mindset.

With one at $125, they needed something to compare it to. With two pricing points – $125 and $295, the second becomes an expensive option.

But if I throw in a third – lets say I create another option at $549 – the middle becomes a “deal”.

By bracketing your pricing points, you begin to center your clients’ focus in on what you really want them to buy.

Yes, you’ll have customers choose options 1 and 3. But more will settle in on the middle, feeling this is a fair deal and a good pricing option.

Psychology in pricing? Yep.

It should never be “pull a few numbers and see” strategy.

It should be based on your customers, your business, and your goals for the future. Anything less could be costing you a whole lot of profits.

One of the reasons I created my Pricing Your Photography guide is because of the lack of information on pricing structure, and how many photographers simply aren’t making enough to survive because they don’t understand how to price their photography correctly. If you’ve always wondered why your business has a difficult time month after month, now may be your time to do something about it. My Pricing Your Photography guide will show you the correct way to price every image and package you currently sell. And how to profit year after year.

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clientexperience@todaysgrowthconsultant.com' About Virtual Photography

We're the co-founders of VirtualPhotographyStudio.com and have been writing on this blog since 2004. We started Virtual as a way to help photographers stretch beyond a part time income, and develop strategies to become a Five Figure Photographer or a Six Figure Photographer. Ultimately its all about lifestyle, and if your goal is to live as a photographer 24/7, we think you should have the knowledge and the tools to do so. Welcome!

  • http://www.sparkpix.com Lori

    This is SO important, and it’s always great to hear again!! I still go back and forth about pricing, but I think the most important part of pricing is what you said:

    “What makes an image valuable isn’t just the paper its printed on or the location the image was taken; it comes from the expertise behind the lens … the person taking the photograph. The more time that person puts into building a name for themselves, the more they will be rewarded for their expertise.”

    Education about your craft is crucial, and being able to educate your clients about your work and your price points is of utmost importance.

    Thanks for the strategy!