In 2016 I spoke a lot to aspiring models and now i want to speak to my fellow photographers, to kick off the new year I want to start with a super important topic: Are you messing up the Real Estate? This talks about whether or not you are pricing yourself accordingly and what under cutting your value does to not only your brand but the brands around you.
I was told by a mentor of mine that "the value you see in yourself never equates to the value that others see in you" what I took from this is that you can never really price for everyone but only those who see the true value in your work. The issue that i think many new photographers have is that they are afraid to ask for money, I was there I would price low but attract clients I absolutely did not want. We all know that you have to crawl before you walk, meaning it's ok to increase your prices as your talents grow. A huge tool that new photographers are missing in their kit is a business plan outlining exactly how they want their business to run. From my perspective a lot of new photographers create a name, make an instagram and voila! They are now a photographer but it's so much more than that necessary to run a successful photography business. I am not going to go into the ends and outs of the foundation of a successful photography business in this particular post but it's coming. Just know that if the acronym LLC is not familiar to you you are already off on the wrong foot.
How are you pricing yourself? Are you researching the talent around you? Are you just pulling prices out of a hat? or Are you fear pricing? These questions are the ones you really need to think about because you may not know that you are not only undercutting yourself but you are devaluing the art-form in your area. Consumers don't know the stringent process that goes into our day to day as a photographer unless you educate them not only through your pricing but your work and the education you have to offer them as the professional in your field. If you don't feel that your talent is at a level where you should be asking for money, do some pro bono work to build your portfolio. In addition, a huge thing i did was assist a photographer that has been in the business professionally for a number of years. It will get you great on the job training and on the set experience, also you will be able to sit and learn valuable knowledge from the photographer as well.
I urge you as a new photographer before starting your business, build your business and research, research, research!
I want to interact with you, so definitely comment below on your experiences ask any questions and I will be sure to interact back.