Day 33: When to Raise Your Photography Prices

I was sitting in the back row, waiting for it to start. Amy and Jordan were speaking, but this was before they were Amy and Jordan. They had just left their jobs as teachers and I was ready with my notebook in hand. I said hello to the man next to me and after a few minutes of conversation, I learned he was a marketing guru. “oooooo do me, do me!” I excitedly asked. What fascinating thing could he tell me about my business?! I almost held out my palm for him to read the lines. We talked about my business for a minute and he raised an eyebrow when I said that no one complains about my pricing.

“No one complains about your pricing? Isn’t that odd?”

Wait what? Doesn’t that mean good things? Did I just fall into a trap here?!

“Well,” he said, “That usually means your prices are too low.”

At that moment,  A&J took the stage and my mind lingered on the piece of truth that was just dropped into my lap. If no one complains that you’re too expensive, you’re probably too cheap.

Years ago, I heard David Jay advise to raise your prices by $300 each time you complete three weddings. As you gain experience, your value increases and so should your pricing. The down side is, there are a lot of fears surrounding price increases. Will I lose all my clients? Will new clients get mad at me and then I’ll have to have an uncomfortable conversation that I’d rather avoid?

There’s a quote that says “When you know your worth, the fear goes away.”

How long have you been at your current pricing? If you’ve been at your current pricing through workshops, through years of weddings, through new gear, through a rebrand, then it’s far past the time when you need to raise your prices. Here are a few times in your career that it might be time to change your pricing:

  1. Everyone is booking you. You should be outside of the budget range for at least a few couples you meet with. If you’re not, your prices need to increase.
  2. After a rebrand or new marketing campaign, people expect a price increase at these times. It’s good to show growth with your rebranding.
  3. Your work has gotten better. Look over the last year or two… are your images significantly better? If they are, your value has gone up!
  4. You’ve invested in your business and as a result, improved your client experience. Are clients getting more? Then you should be getting more too! I know you just want the best for your clients and that’s wonderful, but each time you take money from your business and invest it, you should allow those investments to pay off for YOU as well as for your clients.

So how do you communicate this change in your business? I don’t recommend putting out a big “WATCH OUT CAUSE I’M GONNA BE MORE MONEY SOON!” advertisement on all your platforms, but for inquiring couples, include something in your emails that says:

“I’ve been so blessed in my business that I’ve been able to grow this year. Due to increasing demand, I am raising my prices by x% on {this date}. I will be happy to honor my current pricing to any couples who book their wedding before {this date}. Please let me know if you have any questions and thank you for your understanding!”

Super simple, sweet, short, all the things. When you grow, so should your income. Just like any other job, when you get new certifications, new responsibilities, bring in new clients, add value to the company, you usually get a raise.

What are your thoughts? Leave me your best advice for raising your pricing in the comments and I’ll see you tomorrow for day 34: The Secret To Marketing

Day 98 is currently reserved for any questions you have throughout the next 100 days. To submit a question, please click here!  If you’re interested in supporting this project, please share, PIN and comment! Any other questions, comments or ideas, please feel free to email me at denise(at)denisekaris(dot)com

Denise Karis is an Arizona photographer who enjoys musicals, Doctor Who and breakfast burritos. IG @denisekaris

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