Well, I finally did it. After researching solutions to my pricing model for my business, I finally came to a decision. I’ve waffled for months. But after a stressful fall season, I knew I had to do something. I found a great model that charges everything up front and gives out digital images. I know there are two schools of thought for this, but I do what I want and always have. In the end, I have to do what makes me want to continue to do this and what will sustain my business. I have to get to the point where I can quit my morning job. The time crunch is killing me.
Here’s the other thing: with what I was charging before, I was very busy, but so busy that I couldn’t do things the way I wanted to do them. I’m a creative shooter and I missed having time to plan, find props, scout new locations, all the stuff I used to do. This is what keeps me challenged and creative. But I can’t do that at what I was charging. And the process was shorting me cash in the end. I do the same amount of work for each person and need to ensure that I’m getting paid for it each time.
Another thing: I have a very good feeling that weddings and boudoir will be taking over next year. That will leave less time for other sessions. I want to make sure I’m marketing to the people who are so into my work that they are willing to pay for it. I want to fill my year with awesomesauce.
And yet, I agonized over posting the new pricing. Oh, I did it. And I have these moments of sheet panic. The voices say, “Who do you think you are?”
“You will be laughed out of Ottawa, Kansas”
“You will lose loyal clients that cannot afford you now”
“You are not ready to play with the big boys”
And those voices are not legitimate. There are issues with each of those statements. I’m not new to this rodeo. I’ve been an artist of some sort or another for over 20 years. I can’t believe I’m even old enough to say that, but it’s true. I’m 37 years old and drive a 93 Chevy Astro van, not because I think it’s retro and cool, but because I can’t even afford a car payment at this time. I work my ass off and I show up to shoots in a vehicle that I can’t even roll the windows down.
I need health insurance. I need to provide for my 4 humans. At least 3 of them need braces. And they keep growing out of shoes and jeans. Plus, they eat too much.
I’m not only a good photographer, but I am an artist. I offer something really special. Why do I continually try to minimize that? Why does everyone else seem to believe I’m worth it, except me? Maybe because I’m still finding extraordinary talent out there in my field and think, “I am definitely not THAT good. Therefore, I cannot charge more for my work.” Bollocks.
This has to stop. There will always be somebody better and what’s more important is that it’s not even about that.
Awhile back I said I would take ownership of my life, speak things into existence and make the very most of the time that I have here. This is just one step in that journey. I am worth every penny.