How Much Are you Worth?

I have talked about this problem before, but I will but it into a more realistic context/story:

You wake up in the morning and you grab yourself a fresh cup of coffee, rub your eyes and sit down in front of your computer. DING! goes your email and you find a letter from some company that you’ve never heard of but, they have heard of you and want to purchase your photos. You skim through making sure that it is not one of those ever-so-obvious scams where they want you to send all your banking information to some small African country. You soon realize that this is a legit offer and they are asking some serious questions.

“Dear Awesome Photographer person in Korea, we love your photos of kimchi and random temples. We would like to purchase them for our office and are wondering how much it would cost for a high resolution image. We have attached a copy of the photo that we found on your flickr page”

So… now what do you do? Most of the time I send out a bajillion emails to friends and people that I know in the field and see what they have to say and skirt the issue with the potential client until I get a response that satisfies me. However, this is NOT the way to go about things.

Today over my morning coffee I found a great article on this exact issue. The Article on Digital Photography School was written by Mathew Dutile and it brings up some excellent points.

I really want everyone to take the time to read this article in its entirety. Read and think about it. let me know what you think.

For me the main thing is all about confidence and being firm on your pricing. Confidence is key. If you clients sense that you are not sure about your work or your prices they will use that to their advantage to get a better deal. They may also think that you cannot produce the goods and will not commit to the deal.

I think the most intriguing piece of advice has to be about “knowing when to walk away” This is extremely important to know and understand. I remember once when I was doing some wedding photography the client hired me for next to nothing. The groom was a friend and I thought that I was helping them out. They later came to me and showed me pictures and styles that they wanted me to shoot like. They were from another photographer that was charging 5 times what they were paying me, I should have just walked away.

A while ago I was telling a friend about that situation and they told me a story about a person who did just that. She walked away from numerous clients. Soon they were begging her to shoot for them and actually increasing the price. There is power in the world “No” but just be courteous.

Here is the link to the article again. Give it some thought and let me know what you think about it in the comments section below.


  1. Steve the QiRanger Reply

    You are absolutely right about this one. When I had my own massage business, I charged the fee that I felt was right for me, damn others. I stuck to my guns and knew that it was the right price point for the services being rendered. Photography is the same.

    • Jason Teale Reply

      Thanks Steve! It is a tough game out there and people will do anything to get a better price. This personally really stresses me until I realize that they can always say no and so can I. Now harm done.

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