How to justify rates to client?


Mar 17, 2009
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World Of Still Images.
#1
Hi guys. I have an old client which recently coming back to ask me to shoot an event.
I replied and he had a question asking why my rates have increased since then, which is ard 9 months ago.
I increased my rates as I had more experience as I am constantly shooting every week.
Plus, I bought a couple of new lenses. My costs have increased as compared.

So... I'm not too sure how do I put it to him. Any help?
 

shierwin

Senior Member
Dec 29, 2008
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#2
1. Ask him has his salary changed "for the better"?
2. Use that as a ratio to show why you've adjust the rates. Also rent up, meals cost up, transport cost up, helper salary (if any) up...
3. Quotes inflation and GDP figures, add them up and that explains the increase in rates.
4. Inflation.....
5. Keep your new rates and offer the client some "extras"
LOL
 

catchlights

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Sep 27, 2004
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#3
When you go and see a doctor, did the doctor ever tell you why he need to charge you much?
Yes? No?

didn't any of your vendors, suppliers need to explain to you why they need to charge you such amount?
Yes? No?


So why you need to explain to your client about your rate?

if he ask, just tell him that last time you are stupid, do not know the operating cost are so high, and now you are wiser, and want to stay on business,
if he refuse to pay you your rate, ask him go and find a new sucker.

that should shut him up!!
 

sjackal

Senior Member
Jul 9, 2008
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#4
I do not explain. Why degenerate yourself to that argument?

Whenever I increase my rates I am prepared to lose some clients. Pricing is always a complex and fluid issue. With the some client I had raised and lowered, gave and taken, mutually from both sides for mutual benefits. Very important thing is that if you have a good client who gave more than you are paid for, learn to recognize those gestures, be grateful and pay back in some way. On the other hand, with some clients, its time to thank them, bid farewell and have a clean cut.

Same with consumer clients like wedding couples. Recently received a demanding call from a demanding bride, demanding to know why I charge so much (really not much, just common rates), and yet still so much more for album (again really not much, common rates), and yet they have to pay in full before the wedding. If the first point of contact already begin with answering rude questions when we barely know each other... I don't wish to imagine what could have followed. Remember many of us chose this job instead of working for a company is to for the freedom of choice. You can choose to be happy or chose to be unhappy. My simple answer to her is that is how it works. There's nothing I could say more, its not a battle I want to fight nor a client that I want to serve. Life is too short to waste on unhappy dealings and business is too fragile to risk problematic clients. Better to spend the time and effort doing good work for the people who appreciate.
 

fooj

Senior Member
Oct 27, 2004
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#5
I do not explain. Why degenerate yourself to that argument?

Whenever I increase my rates I am prepared to lose some clients. Pricing is always a complex and fluid issue. With the some client I had raised and lowered, gave and taken, mutually from both sides for mutual benefits. Very important thing is that if you have a good client who gave more than you are paid for, learn to recognize those gestures, be grateful and pay back in some way. On the other hand, with some clients, its time to thank them, bid farewell and have a clean cut.

Same with consumer clients like wedding couples. Recently received a demanding call from a demanding bride, demanding to know why I charge so much (really not much, just common rates), and yet still so much more for album (again really not much, common rates), and yet they have to pay in full before the wedding. If the first point of contact already begin with answering rude questions when we barely know each other... I don't wish to imagine what could have followed. Remember many of us chose this job instead of working for a company is to for the freedom of choice. You can choose to be happy or chose to be unhappy. My simple answer to her is that is how it works. There's nothing I could say more, its not a battle I want to fight nor a client that I want to serve. Life is too short to waste on unhappy dealings and business is too fragile to risk problematic clients. Better to spend the time and effort doing good work for the people who appreciate.
Well said!
 

kandinsky

Moderator
Staff member
Apr 26, 2008
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#6
Hi guys. I have an old client which recently coming back to ask me to shoot an event.
I replied and he had a question asking why my rates have increased since then, which is ard 9 months ago.
I increased my rates as I had more experience as I am constantly shooting every week.
Plus, I bought a couple of new lenses. My costs have increased as compared.

So... I'm not too sure how do I put it to him. Any help?
What's wrong with telling him exactly what you've posted? ;p

1) Cost of doing business has increased (invested in new equipment, etc.)
2) Quality of work has increased (more experienced)
 

Blur Shadow

Senior Member
Sep 17, 2005
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#7
1. Costs have increased.
2. Your photographic capabilities have increased from the your experience and equipment.
3. Jack up higher, and give him a 10% old pal discount.
4. Don't feel bad if he cannot engage you because of a lack of budget. You won't want to be working for peanuts for him in the future, right?
 

catchlights

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Sep 27, 2004
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#8
agree with what bro sjackal said,

you don't have to justify your rate to your clients.

you only need to justify to yourself whatever you charge is sustainable to your business, with a profit you are going after. And whatever you deliver to your client is the best you can produce.

it is up to your clients to justify to themselves about their spending on photography.




FYI, You buy "additional" gears is a choice, how clients spend on photography is also a choice.
 

Kit

Senior Member
Jan 19, 2002
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#9
I think its important to know who you are talking to. For some of my clients whom I've worked with for a long time, I do take the time to explain to them how I arrived at the rates. These clients do understand I need to stay sustainable so that I can continue to work with them. For others whom I know is always going for the cheapest or the next available camera man, I don't bother. Just give them a lump sum quote. Take it or leave it.
 

Kit

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Jan 19, 2002
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#10
Hi guys. I have an old client which recently coming back to ask me to shoot an event.
I replied and he had a question asking why my rates have increased since then, which is ard 9 months ago.
I increased my rates as I had more experience as I am constantly shooting every week.
Plus, I bought a couple of new lenses. My costs have increased as compared.

So... I'm not too sure how do I put it to him. Any help?
I do have reservations about telling him you have more experience now. Might make him feel that he was paying for you to learn all along. Perhaps package it in a different manner e.g. you are trying something different which is technically more challenging than before........ yada yada yada.....
 

kandinsky

Moderator
Staff member
Apr 26, 2008
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#11
I do have reservations about telling him you have more experience now. Might make him feel that he was paying for you to learn all along.
Haha, I can see how it could be misconstrued. "Wah, that means last time your work for me not good is it?" :bsmilie:
Agree with your previous post (#9), important to offer a tailored response depending on existing relationship with the client.
 

daredevil123

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Staff member
Oct 25, 2005
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#12
Just blame on inflation and increased costs of living. Everyone seems to complain about the same too, why not use it to your advantage.

Just mention how chicken rice nowadays is $4 instead of $2.50.
 

Agetan

Senior Member
Dec 31, 2004
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#13
Hi guys. I have an old client which recently coming back to ask me to shoot an event.
I replied and he had a question asking why my rates have increased since then, which is ard 9 months ago.
I increased my rates as I had more experience as I am constantly shooting every week.
Plus, I bought a couple of new lenses. My costs have increased as compared.

So... I'm not too sure how do I put it to him. Any help?
It really depends how much you want to keep this client.

If u really want it, give them the old rates.

Otherwise, just smile and casually say... Aiya, let me earn some money... Last time, shoot already and no profit to keep me going. But seriously, increasing cost isn't client's issue. You need to let them know things that is more tangible.

The more formal your reply is, it may not work as well since you are still new in the business.

But depends on your client too...

Hope it helps.
 

Last edited:

waterman

New Member
Aug 24, 2007
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#14
As you didn't mentioned how much percentage you increased here, that will help to calculate what amount consider fairness to both parties , e.g. inflation 4% top up etc.
well if the client are happy with the old price, shoot standard, equipment, I will not change dramatically. New client new price.
we may proposed to the client additional charges arriving from new investment,and then they must felt the value added too.
We can't assumed purchasing new gears/laptop/car etc can add in to the bills,as initially we started the biz we have none of these.

You have move to another level ,your operating cost and photography standard have move up,
whether the client will happily move on with you or will he get a junior photographer someone like your standard 9 months ago?
 

#15
Hi guys. I have an old client which recently coming back to ask me to shoot an event.
I replied and he had a question asking why my rates have increased since then, which is ard 9 months ago.
I increased my rates as I had more experience as I am constantly shooting every week.
Plus, I bought a couple of new lenses. My costs have increased as compared.

So... I'm not too sure how do I put it to him. Any help?
Ask him why he comes back to you.

He knows the answers. :)
 

Shizuma

Senior Member
Mar 19, 2012
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#16
I am also in creative field but non photography. when my old customers ask why I charging more... I just go into that reminiscing mode say wow 1980s can take bus for 15 cent... go to interchange...now what can that same fifteen cents get you?
 

ellery

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Jan 29, 2002
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#17
Ask him why he comes back to you.

He knows the answers. :)
Never ask questions that have answers that you do not want to hear. It could be you are cheap but now no more. Seldom any client say you are good without the cheap part.
 

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