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For Photographers | Handling Discounts

Discounts…Discounts…Discounts…Where do I even begin?

I love discounts. I really do. I love when I find an awesome deal, or coupon and get something really expensive for really cheap. Most of my clothes are from those deal sites or holiday sales.

But we are photographers; we are not clothes. We offer a service not a product. And when we discount our service, we are telling people we aren’t worth what we charge. You can use a percent off calculator to figure out how much you want to discount your services for. We don’t value ourselves so other’s don’t value us in return. We get walked all over, abused, taken advantage of and end up hurt most of the time.

My pricing is set based on my COST of doing business + HOW much I want to work + HOW much I want to make. I do not want to go below that cost. When I discount my sessions lower than where they are set, I am not covering my costs of business or my time the way I need to to be profitable for my family and my other clients paying full prices for the same service.

(That being said I do have special pricing for close family. I have a short list of people that have supported me and my business over the years that are on this special pricing list. Typically we trade in services like babysitting, meals, etc. I also offer FREE sessions as a service to those in need all year round. We do this on a case by case basis)

so what about your friends?!

“my friend does photography, I bet we could get a deal” I totally used that line when I was planning my wedding, and I bet your friend did too.

Do you walk into your friends work and ask for them to discount their services or make less per hour so you can get a deal? (If you do, maybe you should return the favor).

Does being your friend justify making less? Shooting a wedding is hard work. Shooting a wedding for a friend is even harder sometimes. Your friend should be choosing you because they LOVE your work, and they value what you do.

Instead of discounting your pricing, add value.

Offer them an extra hour of coverage at no cost as a gift. Or a canvas print to display at their wedding. Maybe you can add in a second shooter. Or pay for hair and make up for their bridals.

Educate them on the costs involved with running a business and shooting a wedding – gear, education, training, practice and the hours that you put into each client.

scenarios from opb

can you price match *this* photographer that is offering double the coverage for half the price?

NO. That photographer is priced for their costs of doing businesses and the quality/service that they offer. If they are offering double the coverage for half the price, the quality is probably very different. If they want that type of coverage for that price, they should go with the photographer offering it.

me + my fiance are students. very poor students. Is there a student discount?

Photography is a luxury not a necessity. There are plenty of photographers with pricing for every budget. If someone VALUES photography, they will save for it. I had a 4000 wedding budget, and spent $1500 on my wedding photography. I was definitely poor and I sacrificed A LOT of other things, but photography was a priority.

April 27, 2017

Kylee Maughan

Kylee Ann Mentors moms on all things business. Join us weekly for short bite sized episodes with takeaways that empower you in your role as a business owner and mother! 



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