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Thread: What do you think of photographer who charge above market rates?

  1. #1

    Default What do you think of photographer who charge above market rates?

    For the sake of discussion on the other end of the scale (opposite of Budget).

    So what say you?

    It is interesting to know what people think.

    Regards,

    Hart

  2. #2

    Default

    For the same reason Ferrari, Patek Philippe, Hermés, St. Regis, Disneyland etc. are all about to command a premium from their clients in their respective industry - they are really good at something and people are willing to pay to:

    1. Find out why
    2. Continue to have the fine experience they first received and more.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: What do you think of photographer who charge above market rates?

    Of course, there will be argument from some saying the "Its not worth it"...

    So lets discuss?

    We seems to always focus on the negativity of charging less, but maybe lets see what we could think of in this kind of situation.

    Regards,

    Hart

  4. #4

    Default Re: What do you think of photographer who charge above market rates?

    Is there a 'market rate'? I think you mean high end photographers?
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  5. #5

    Default Re: What do you think of photographer who charge above market rates?

    Quote Originally Posted by sjackal View Post
    Is there a 'market rate'? I think you mean high end photographers?
    I will leave it to personal interpretation.

  6. #6
    Moderator keithwee's Avatar
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    Default Re: What do you think of photographer who charge above market rates?

    nothing.

    its supply and demand.

    if one has the skills that people are willing to pay a premium for , why not? One can argue why does a private hospital surgeon charge more than a govt hospital surgeon and that this is acceptable.

    maybe TS want to clarify more on what's your point?

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    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: What do you think of photographer who charge above market rates?

    one thing for sure, you will get lesser customers, and lesser competitors too.

    you will spend more time for on each customers you served, you are not hurry to send them out of your door.

    you will gain more respects from your customers, as they look at you as a professional.

    and the air is fresher up there too.
    Last edited by catchlights; 12th October 2013 at 09:43 PM.
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  8. #8

    Default Re: What do you think of photographer who charge above market rates?

    Quote Originally Posted by keithwee View Post
    maybe TS want to clarify more on what's your point?
    Yeah, I think the opening question needs to be fleshed out or directed a bit more if you have something specific in mind.
    If it's a general/superficial question, you'll get general/superficial answers

    - Good for them. Good for their clients if they can afford it. (similar to #6) E.g., I'd never think of dropping 10K on a watch, but if someone else can afford it, it's their business. Not worth it for me, worth it for someone else.

    - Wonder how they got there (similar to post #2). If their path/direction aligns with personal goals, then may look at them as an aspirational figure – "Yeah, I want to work towards something like that."

  9. #9

    Default Re: What do you think of photographer who charge above market rates?

    Quote Originally Posted by keithwee View Post
    nothing.

    its supply and demand.

    if one has the skills that people are willing to pay a premium for , why not? One can argue why does a private hospital surgeon charge more than a govt hospital surgeon and that this is acceptable.

    maybe TS want to clarify more on what's your point?
    My point is to get people to think differently. While budget photographer exist, there are high end or people who charge higher then average.

    I am not surprise this generates a lot less "negative" feedback then the budget photographers thread. But why? It is a question that I am throwing to those who want to contribute and think it from different perspective.

    Regards,

    Hart

  10. #10
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: What do you think of photographer who charge above market rates?

    Your rate is a very useful tool to regulate your job volume, and filter out the customers looking for the things which you don't want to offer.

    when you charge passed a certain price point, the price is no longer an issue to most customers who come to you.
    they come to you is because you able to offer something that other photographers can't.

    and of course, not everyone is your customers, or can be your customers.
    Last edited by catchlights; 12th October 2013 at 11:39 PM.
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  11. #11

    Default Re: What do you think of photographer who charge above market rates?

    I think it all depends on what the photographer wishes to achieve in terms of business goals? If the long term strategy is to go mass market with high volume then charging above the market rate would be wrong ya? But like what catchlights said it effectively selects the clients for you by filtering out those looking at price.

    I guess the only draw back we can see is that if everyone somehow starts charging super premium prices, those on middle/low income might not have access to such a service and will lose out on having quality photography to capture their priceless memories.
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  12. #12
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: What do you think of photographer who charge above market rates?

    Quote Originally Posted by raptor84 View Post
    I think it all depends on what the photographer wishes to achieve in terms of business goals? If the long term strategy is to go mass market with high volume then charging above the market rate would be wrong ya? But like what catchlights said it effectively selects the clients for you by filtering out those looking at price.

    I guess the only draw back we can see is that if everyone somehow starts charging super premium prices, those on middle/low income might not have access to such a service and will lose out on having quality photography to capture their priceless memories.
    think about this like the pyramid, the higher tiers it goes, the lesser pieces of bricks it has.
    there won't be everyone charging super premium prices, there won't be enough customers to support them.

    lets take Chicken rice for an example,
    many people like to eat chicken rice,
    you can find $2.50 at most places neighbourhood hawker centres or factory canteens, they provide the most simple dish, noting fancy
    you can find $1.00 chicken rice from time to time, but you may have to order two to three plates to fill your stomach
    those sell chicken rice at air-con food courts, price start from $3.50, some offer set set meal at $5.50 or more
    and some restaurants specialise sell chicken rice only, their simple set start $7.50
    and 5 stars hotels do sell chicken rice too, their price noting less then $20.00.


    if you (customers) like to have chicken rice (engage photography service),
    you (customers) will pick where to eat (hiring photographer), what kind of chicken rice dish (spending on photography services) base on your (their) budget,


    we can have our favour chicken rice at many places,





    and we should have some realistic expectation of a gourmet chicken rice set won't sell for $2.00.

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  13. #13

    Default Re: What do you think of photographer who charge above market rates?

    Very true. And we cant just automatically conclude that the more expensive ones taste better than the much cheaper ones, which I noted in many of the discussions in this part of the forum

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights View Post
    think about this like the pyramid, the higher tiers it goes, the lesser pieces of bricks it has.
    there won't be everyone charging super premium prices, there won't be enough customers to support them.

    lets take Chicken rice for an example,
    many people like to eat chicken rice,
    you can find $2.50 at most places neighbourhood hawker centres or factory canteens, they provide the most simple dish, noting fancy
    you can find $1.00 chicken rice from time to time, but you may have to order two to three plates to fill your stomach
    those sell chicken rice at air-con food courts, price start from $3.50, some offer set set meal at $5.50 or more
    and some restaurants specialise sell chicken rice only, their simple set start $7.50
    and 5 stars hotels do sell chicken rice too, their price noting less then $20.00.


    if you (customers) like to have chicken rice (engage photography service),
    you (customers) will pick where to eat (hiring photographer), what kind of chicken rice dish (spending on photography services) base on your (their) budget,


    we can have our favour chicken rice at many places,





    and we should have some realistic expectation of a gourmet chicken rice set won't sell for $2.00.


  14. #14

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights View Post
    think about this like the pyramid, the higher tiers it goes, the lesser pieces of bricks it has.
    there won't be everyone charging super premium prices, there won't be enough customers to support them.

    lets take Chicken rice for an example,
    many people like to eat chicken rice,
    you can find $2.50 at most places neighbourhood hawker centres or factory canteens, they provide the most simple dish, noting fancy
    you can find $1.00 chicken rice from time to time, but you may have to order two to three plates to fill your stomach
    those sell chicken rice at air-con food courts, price start from $3.50, some offer set set meal at $5.50 or more
    and some restaurants specialise sell chicken rice only, their simple set start $7.50
    and 5 stars hotels do sell chicken rice too, their price noting less then $20.00.

    if you (customers) like to have chicken rice (engage photography service),
    you (customers) will pick where to eat (hiring photographer), what kind of chicken rice dish (spending on photography services) base on your (their) budget,

    we can have our favour chicken rice at many places,

    and we should have some realistic expectation of a gourmet chicken rice set won't sell for $2.00.
    I like the chicken rice analogy, but there is one thing the chicken rice guy can do that the photographer can't - scaling up in quantity.

    The chicken rice guy can cook more rice at his store, buy more chickens to sell, invest in a central kitchen to deliver to his branches, but a photographer only has 1 set of skills and time.

    Which is why it is important for photographers to rapidly improve in quality and differentiate themselves.
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  15. #15

    Default Re: What do you think of photographer who charge above market rates?

    Quote Originally Posted by Blur Shadow View Post
    I like the chicken rice analogy, but there is one thing the chicken rice guy can do that the photographer can't - scaling up in quantity.

    The chicken rice guy can cook more rice at his store, buy more chickens to sell, invest in a central kitchen to deliver to his branches, but a photographer only has 1 set of skills and time.

    Which is why it is important for photographers to rapidly improve in quality and differentiate themselves.
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  16. #16

    Default Re: What do you think of photographer who charge above market rates?

    Quote Originally Posted by s1221ljc View Post
    Very true. And we cant just automatically conclude that the more expensive ones taste better than the much cheaper ones, which I noted in many of the discussions in this part of the forum
    A point to note is that every business or every person have different cost of operations (or the understanding of it).

    More expensive photography does not necessary mean a better end product material wise (in which individual tastes in aesthetics differs also), but could mean a better assurance, experience or prestige, other perceived values. And different people places different values on their time; for instance if a photog in a particular genre or market makes about $6000 to $8000 a month and if contacted to quote for another genre of work that would occupy his time for the same one month, he has to quote not very far from his $6000, because of lost opportunities, and monthly bills, cost of operations and other personal financial obligations to fulfill. The client who hopes he quote half the amount or less, is going to be disappointed, even thought he may not be as adept in that different genre of work and photos may not be as good as the money paid (again, a matter of perception). Simply because, he has his cost, his target to meet and his financial obligations to meet.

    If a photographer thinks his worth that much and sticks to it, he may still get his clients with the right conditions. The trick is being in those right conditions.
    Last edited by sjackal; 15th October 2013 at 07:44 PM.
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  17. #17
    Moderator keithwee's Avatar
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    Default Re: What do you think of photographer who charge above market rates?

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights View Post
    one thing for sure, you will get lesser customers, and lesser competitors too.

    you will spend more time for on each customers you served, you are not hurry to send them out of your door.

    you will gain more respects from your customers, as they look at you as a professional.

    and the air is fresher up there too.
    that's a perspective i never considered. Kinda refreshing as it made me think also of customers who equate higher prices as higher quality. Just make sure one can deliver according to customer's demands end of the day who can complain?

  18. #18
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: What do you think of photographer who charge above market rates?

    Quote Originally Posted by Blur Shadow View Post
    I like the chicken rice analogy, but there is one thing the chicken rice guy can do that the photographer can't - scaling up in quantity.

    The chicken rice guy can cook more rice at his store, buy more chickens to sell, invest in a central kitchen to deliver to his branches, but a photographer only has 1 set of skills and time.

    Which is why it is important for photographers to rapidly improve in quality and differentiate themselves.

    it is just a simple illustration which I think most people can understand easily.

    many people making mistake of thinking they can make enough profit by selling more cheap assignments.
    but which is very wrong, we are not selling some products, which is not manufacture by us,
    we are offering an unique service to each individuals customers with different set of requirement.
    how much assignments we can take has a limit, taking too many assignments we simply have no life, and will burnt out very soon.
    that will surely cost us dearly.

    when photographers are young, still staying with parents, they have no idea of the cost of living in Singapore,
    when reality bits, they have to live on their own, support his own family, and their own parents.
    they find out they can't do cheap assignments any further,
    most of them will just quit, not because their work no good, but they don't have the time and money to detour.
    Last edited by catchlights; 15th October 2013 at 08:18 PM.
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  19. #19
    Member bowwow's Avatar
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    Default Re: What do you think of photographer who charge above market rates?

    from my own personal experience.

    i feel the market is divided into 3 segments for rates. the lower-to-middle, the middle-upper and the upper segments of the market.

    most photographers today would be in the lower-to-middle segment where everything is based on price. it is a cut-throat environment where there is undercutting going on and businesses out to take advantage of this situation. like so many others i started out in this segment, doing whatever assignments that came my way to stay alive. working like a dog but at the end of the day the revenue made me think if it was all worth it. i felt there was more to it than this.

    i managed to get myself out of that market and am currently in the middle-upper market. life is a whole lot better. i don't shoot as much as before but my revenue is a lot better. i get to say 'no' to clients i don't want to work with. at this level you don't compete on price alone but quality and dependability comes first and the ability to understand what your clients want and to be able to deliver that message across in your images become paramount. your quality of work improves as well, as you use your imagination and creativity to solve issues and challenges for the clients.

    will i get into the high-end upper segment of the market? i really don't know.

    these are my own thoughts on the current state of the industry.
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  20. #20

    Default Re: What do you think of photographer who charge above market rates?

    Quote Originally Posted by bowwow View Post
    from my own personal experience.

    i feel the market is divided into 3 segments for rates. the lower-to-middle, the middle-upper and the upper segments of the market.

    most photographers today would be in the lower-to-middle segment where everything is based on price. it is a cut-throat environment where there is undercutting going on and businesses out to take advantage of this situation. like so many others i started out in this segment, doing whatever assignments that came my way to stay alive. working like a dog but at the end of the day the revenue made me think if it was all worth it. i felt there was more to it than this.

    i managed to get myself out of that market and am currently in the middle-upper market. life is a whole lot better. i don't shoot as much as before but my revenue is a lot better. i get to say 'no' to clients i don't want to work with. at this level you don't compete on price alone but quality and dependability comes first and the ability to understand what your clients want and to be able to deliver that message across in your images become paramount. your quality of work improves as well, as you use your imagination and creativity to solve issues and challenges for the clients.

    will i get into the high-end upper segment of the market? i really don't know.

    these are my own thoughts on the current state of the industry.
    Interesting to note...

    So what is consider lower to middle segment, Middle to upper market and high-end upper market?


    Regards,

    Hart

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