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The Pricing Dilemma

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There are some areas of business that we all like to avoid…. TAXES and PRICING. Maybe this is just me but I literally despise “Tax talks” and I don’t enjoy the pricing conversation either! However, as much as I HATE the pricing topic, I know it’s something that has to be dealt with in any small business. In the photography world, there are dozens of different pricing approaches. I’ll be the first to say that there other options out there that are very different from our approach and they WORK! …. They actually work really WELL! However, they didn’t work for us. 

I struggled with pricing during my first two years in business and then I decided to really THINK about what would work for ME instead of copying everyone else’s strategy.  Early on, I thought I HAD to have packages because everyone else did! Each package that other photographers used had different incentives. There was normally a low-ball package and then a crazy expensive package. Some photographers pulled people in with a really low starting price but if they wanted files, they had to add $2000 to their package price. I took ideas from a ton of other people and tried them for my own business and it was ok… but it wasn’t our sweet spot. I say this because you should know that our pricing strategy, although it has worked for over 5 years for us, may not be 100% perfect for you! I stand by our pricing because it has simplified our life and our client’s life….and it has also helped us create a lucrative business over the last 7 years!

So how did I decide on our pricing structure? Well, I asked myself these three questions:

  1. What would I want as a bride? 
  2. What pricing structure would be simple and easy for my couples to understand?
  3. What do I need to offer in order to give my clients the BEST experience possible?

I you have never asked yourself those questions in regards to pricing, you definitely should! Write them down and work through them today!! Be VERY honest with yourself and also try to put yourself in your client’s shoes. If you were getting married right now in 2015, what would you want? Don’t write down what you would want as a photographer, write down what you would want as a 2015 bride. Think about how many decisions a bride has to make during the planning process and how many little details she has to sort through. Last but not least, take time to list out everything that you need in order to give your couples the BEST experience. Decide on what is a nonnegotiable. What aspect of your wedding experience cannot be cut out?

Think about these questions and then make sure you’re signed up for our NEWSLETTER because we’re sharing our pricing structure on Friday via email!!! 

xoxo, Katelyn
19 Comments Ask Anything, Education
  1. Tatyana reply

    Soooo important to make things as easy as possible for your couples! They have enough to worry about ;)

  2. Stefani Lefler reply

    Great post! I had never thought to ask those questions and even though I don’t work in the wedding industry, these can definitely apply to me. I’m rebranding and restructuring before June and this will help me so much with what will work best for my clients. Thank you!

  3. Loren Jackson reply

    YES!! This makes my heart so happy especially after C@H this past week! Thank you for all your help and guidance on both days!!! I’ll be stalking my email for the coaching dates end of the month!!!

  4. Amber reply

    I live in California, and if I transmit physical media to my clients — such as USB drives — I have to legally tax the entire job, which would add a HUGE amount of money to the total. Since I don’t want to do that, I only offer digital downloads, which is great and convenient, but my friends who give their clients adorable, specialized gifts in the mail with their USB drives full of files make me so jealous!

  5. Brett Denfeld reply

    This TOTALLY speaks to me today! I’ve been trying to tackle this for a long time and I’m working on what will work best for me. Totally wrote down those questions and I’m going to do some brainstorming today! Thanks KJ!

  6. mary pitts reply

    While I am not in your business, I too struggle with pricing for my services. It get even more complicated when I know people are struggling with losing their homes, or have to sell because they can’t afford it anymore. I also struggle with fees when my clients are long time friends.

  7. Cinnamon reply

    The best quote I ever heard regarding pricing is this, “A confused mind says no”. Not sure who first said it, but I think its brilliant. Simple and easy to understand is the way to go!!

  8. Sandra reply

    Love your work!!

  9. Chsrity Glenn reply

    My question is, will the pricing structure only cover wedding session information? I’m new to this, My photography adventure began in 2008 but I am now interested in the business aspect of it. And I’m so glad that I stumbled across your Instagram.

  10. Meghan reply

    Wonderful post and great questions to ask yourself!

  11. Jenn Beal reply

    Wonderful insight! Wedding planning is already a lot to think about, it’s good to simplify where you can.

  12. Ally (almost!) Allison reply

    This is so helpful, even for a wedding designer and coordinator! Thinking about your questions and how my “ideal client” would respond has me thinking I may need to change my pricing structure, also! :)

  13. TahJah reply

    I love this post and the corresponding newsletter on this subject. From C@H , when Michael said that instead of spending x-amount of money on tissue paper and gift boxes, put that towards gifting clients a print. That has been such a game changer for me and my client experience!

  14. becca reply

    So glad you shared this!!!!

  15. Erika reply

    I just signed up. Have you already sent it? Cause I’d love to read it. :)

  16. Jacob reply

    Just came across this post. We’ve had the same pricing structure for the past 3 years and are looking to change it up, simplify and hopefully be more profitable. Would be great to view your pricing structure. I just signed up for the newsletter!

  17. Shawn Swander reply

    I did my pricing the same way for the most part and my clients really appreciate the simplicity.

  18. Embroidered Jacket reply

    Wonderful post and great questions to ask yourself! thank you so much.

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