One Size Does Not Fit All
Like stores, photographers should come in all sizes (and price points). I hear popular photographers talk about charging what you’re worth and not undercutting the business all the time, and that always gets my stomach in a knot. You know how it gets uncomfortable when the pastor starts talking about the importance of tithing and you squirm in your seat a little? Same thing! I think it’s great for the photographers who make their living solely from photography to target the Neiman Marcus customer. They should! Way to go! The customers I hope to attract might enjoy some retail resort browsing, but they mainly shop at Target and Walmart. One size does not fit all.
This is my “about” info on my Facebook Page:
“Are you looking for special photos but suffering sticker shock from your search? Well, look no further! I’m here to help. I don’t believe that anyone should go without treasured photographs simply because they can’t afford a popular or well-known photographer. I can work within your budget to provide you with family or individual portraits to cherish forever.”
Other photographers shouldn’t feel like I’m undercutting the business. I do have a full-time job outside of photography, but I still realize that my time is worth more than $1.25/hour. I understand that people have no idea how much time goes into getting to those final images. For example, teachers and parents probably don’t realize that the 2 hours (not including prep & travel time) I spend taking photos of final dress rehearsals for school productions isn’t all it takes. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. I spend at least another eight hours culling and enhancing those images for the “ooo … ahhh” factor that you just can’t get from over-the-counter camera snapshots. I do this voluntarily for the kids, though. It’s a value of about $250-$400.
Target isn’t undercutting the retail business. They don’t steal customers from Neiman Marcus, Saks, and Nordstroms. Likewise, I don’t believe I’m currently stealing business from the higher-priced photographers. I’m providing a service to those with tighter budgets.