Talk yourself out of a job
I’m a firm believer that every photographer should be paid SOMETHING!
Even if it’s 20.00 the photog should be paid with monetary means. Why? Simple; Money tends to keep everyone more professional and honest!
When money exchanges hands, the photographer has a new found respect for the client, and the client knows that he or she is going to get what they pay for as well as have some direction as far as the session goes. One thing photographers do that drives me crazy is talk themselves out of a job! Yes, that’s right, they talk themselves out of a job and they do it either consciously or subconsciously. Through my mentoring sessions, I’ve been afforded an amazing opportunity to work with photographers and studios across the world and help them reinvent their studio and or work. Some I’ve been able to be at the sales presentation (Not “viewing”, we’ve had a discussion on verbiage) and it’s the hardest thing to hold my tongue when I see and hear things that makes me cringe.
How do you know if you’ve talked yourself out of a job? When someone says “Oh my best friends sisters cousin saw your work and would love to work with you. What would you charge them” and you say “Oh it’s no problem. Tell them to contact me.” Yes, good for you for being a great person and wanting to shoot a friend’s family member free, but lets be real, you’ve just turned down a paying job. Now the best friends sisters cousin is expecting not only a FREE shoot but free products as well. Once you’re caught in the free loop, it becomes a difficult cycle to break and you end up looking the bad guy once you’re 20 clients in and decide to start charging. It is better to charge little and increase over time, than to start free and drop big prices later on. Also by charging a little, you are conditioning your clients to pay something so when you do charge more, they won’t be taken aback by it.
As photographers, we don’t think our work is worth paying or the price we charge. As I say in all my consultations; “If you can afford your prices, then you’re not high enough. I know what my current financial situation is, I don’t want clients like me!” And often times that drives home the point.
The next time someone offers to pay you, will you turn them down?