How often do you adjust your price? In average, how many percent is the increment?
Did client ever asked you, why did you adjust your price yet the package remains the same?
For me my frequency is very low. Been shooting at sub 600-700 for 4 years. Only increaseed my rate around recently. Many factors to increase pricing. Popularity, skills set improvement, equipment improvement, certification, accreditation from well known photography organisations etc. Have not encountered clients asking me why i adjust my price. Only ask me to provide better rate as reccomended by friends, ex clients etc.
i increase at stages when I feel that I my work/experience have improved significantly, usually about 2year. In that 2 year period, maybe I have developed a new style/technique and thus my results are better.
either that, if my time have become more valuable, i will also increase.
at a stage if I shoot 1 customer per week and charge $1000
then when i have an average of 3-4 customers per week i will increase to 1500 because it'll mean I have to work harder and faster
this may turn off some customers but then i'll rather have 2 customers $1500 = $3000, than 3 customers $1000= $3000
this way, I deal with 1 customer less and have more time for myself and still earn the same amount
Seldom, as was priced high right from the start thus no problems of being stuck in a price range.
Then on any adjustment is based on projected business goals and reality checks rather than improvement of photographic skills. Which mean my skills could progressed a lot but I did not increase price or I increased price becoz I could achieve certain goals and not due my personal growth in photography. I see growth of skills more for getting more and better business than getting higher rates. Rates are still regional and cultural influenced, sadly. Don't expect to charge like the Australians do for our weddings here.
My price increase generally based on the volume of work. I increase my price to reduce my volume of work so I still have some time for my family or some time for my personal development. My goal was and still is enjoying photography and make enough to be comfortable to spend time with my family.
I do it differently though... I set a price that I want to charge and I offer "discount" when I first started and slowly took out those discount. It took about 6 months to charge full price and the next 2 years I had to increase my price about 4 times to reduce the volume, despite believe my original price was around the same or higher than my peer.
There are always different reason why people increase their rates (or reduce), it should come as part of business planning and you don't increase or reduce price without any planning. A matter of fact, everything that you do in business should be planned and planned it thoroughly. Because, you either make it or you don't in business sense.
so what if the price increase but the content the same when the clients ask?
can't they tell your works improve over the years?
if they can't, never-mind, just tell them the cost of living increase so much nowadays, the money you earn now is just not enough.
It's like your other full time job if you don't do photography for full time. Do you expect your employer to give you increment or bonus every year? If you work hard and have significant contributions to the company, of course you do.
I just started out about 2 years ago, and so far have only increased my prices once.
The adjustments were between 30%-50% across all packages.
The main justification and motivation for the increase was because my portfolio was building up nicely with photos from real customer paid jobs. Compared to when I just started out with just a few collections of photos from friends' events.
I know you all advanced thru your schools year by year, stage by stage in a very linear manner.
I know you all work in your day job and get staff appraisal yearly and climb the corporate ladder, better than linear but still more or less a gradient.
All these are conditioning you as obedient workers to be controlled, not business owners or self employed persons who needs to be in control.
If you start in a low or average price it is very hard to move up. Am sure some of you already feel it. I know even some photography books also advise raise your prices slowly, but consider our terrain; photography is a very popular hobby in singapore, everyone is a GWC, everyone hungry will want a piece of the meat. A lot of GWC are either hungry or curious or wants to prove a ****ink point that they can be pro. And everyone starts with cheap price. Almost all stays there. Cycle repeats and repeats. The whole market stays cheap and difficult.
Why you wanna jump in and swim among them? Their behaviour in the market will keep their price down, and your price too. The 'start with low price and raise periodically' method won't work now. You have to go in for the kill straight away. I know you be asking, how can you get clients when you are new and unestablished and expensive!?
If it's so simple everyone would be a top pro photog isn't it? All I can say is a good pro photog is at least an average businessman first, then a damn good photog second. And a very good pro photog could be a damn good businessman first and average photog second.
This is a damn good time to be am amateur photog than the other way round.
If you would have to give discount make it really short period.
Let me put it this way...
If your intention is to make money from Photography, then you shouldn't even think about doing photography as a business.
Money will only be really good if you are good at what you are doing and enjoy what you are doing.
So don't just buy a camera and then start selling your service. You should stay as hobbyist and amateur as long as you could until you know what you want in life that you want to say with your image.
Once you have those visions, you can start offer your work. Many rush and don't get anywhere. Simply because you really have no clue what you are capable of in terms of the vision and without it, how do you convince people?
Knowing basic technicality of photography is not a selling point, they are basic requirement to get you started photography. Unless you are able to use those technique and create something people want, you won't get anywhere....
I have seen a lot of young photographer think that they know a lot but in matter of fact they know basic and nothing beyond... I used to feel the same way when I first started but as I progress along and when I see the results, I learn the mistake.
Knowing photography and your own vision only give you the "Product".
Now, once you have the product, you need to know "How to sell it".
Many fail simply they don't have even a product and a lot more fail without knowing how to sell it.... If running a photography business is simply creating great products... I think a lot of people will succeed.
Exactly exactly! Hart used the word 'vision', someone else might use the word 'style', or another might use the word 'concept' or a phrase 'that kind of look', all these form part of your 'competitive advantage' over the common mob of amateurs. If you images are just looking common or trying to look like someone's (famous) then you don't have a voice. It comes from inside. Not a set of Photoshop action anyone can buy or illegally download, nor an association you pay to join and then slap their logo on, nor a pose or concept copied from the latest award winning photo, not a advertorial anyone can pay bridal magazines to feature. Not that these are bad, but just not enough.
By the way, for those who is thinking of working as freelance photographer or those who are sitting on the fence, you might want to consider attending my business talk on 29 Dec. The details are HERE.
This will give you some ideas on how is it like as a professional photographer and how I start and start my business correctly.