And because he charged that little, he had all sorts of clients... SMEs, MNCs, ROMs, weddings, ang-moh, or-moh, schools, restaurants, everything. Because he had a very good attitude and took the chance in his $12 - $30 / hr days to absorb as much experience as possible, he was able to increase price swiftly.
Tell me guys, alot of people charge cheap, but how many photographers got the right attitude and do not under-deliver simply because they charge cheap? This is why this fella suceeded. It is not just about pricing. Passion does play a part.
I have kakis who tell me "I won't do a wedding at less than 1k" or "not worth my time to do", but come on, if you don't have experience & skill may I ask which client/couple will be willing to be your guinea pig? The days of tag-along & master-protege relationships are over because people are far most egotistic these days. This fella's (my friend's) story comes into mind and most of my stubborn kaki & acquaintances tend to ALT-F4 such conversations in a jiffy. To me it all boils down to attitude, PR skills, presentation & customer service. Pricing is just a reflection of your own self-worth, if one prices themselves cheaply for the sake of it & under-delivers because they are bitter about that it simply means they have yet learn to accept themselves. If anyone of you has this problem, I suggest putting down the dream/commitment of freelance photography as full-time or part-time work for a while; travel and shoot some street-life & landscapes, or anything you used to like to shoot... sit down again after a few weeks or months & think about whether photography as work is really for you. Soul searching is vital.