So, today I (off & on as no one napped here in my house) listened to a FREE workshop (I’m all about Free) on how to better Market myself & my business (or businesses as this was actually targeted towards Senior Photographers). I have lots of workshops I want to attend. Why? I want to learn! I yearn to learn! I know that you can never grow in whatever field you are in without learning. Learning about how to better your skill set, abilities, yourself. When I was a teacher I had to keep learning, keep bettering & growing my skills & as a photographer it’s the same.
So, as I listen they eventually start talking about pricing. How they price, potential income potential, etc…. While I listen I realize, “I am not tough enough. I don’t think I’m built for this.” Basically, I studied Marketing in college. I know about having to know your market & I know my market. I know that this area the average income is $27K. I know gas is almost $4 a gallon & therefore the costs of everything else has gone up & I know that photos as a whole are a luxury, not a need. Are there people in the area with $100K incomes? Yes, I’m sure. But when I started I did it for people like me. People who wanted better than WalMart, but couldn’t spend $500-$1000 for photos (my hubby would’ve KILLED me if I had done that…or actually laughed when I asked). We live in a small town. Not Dallas, not Jacksonville, not Orlando, Lake City (or Live Oak, or Branford, or White Springs or Lake Butler). A small town, sure we have a Walmart, but that not a large city makes. 🙂 Are my photos worth more? As I grow I think yes. But that doesn’t mean I will raise my prices to get there.
I am not tough enough to charge $200 a session & then mandate minimum $200 print orders. I can’t do it. There are so many wonderful families out there who deserve photos & would never be able to get them if I did that. Is this dumb? Maybe. Most photographers would say I will never be able to make a sustainable income without all that. I will probably have to go back to teaching & cut back on photography at some point to help out my family. But I LOVE what I do. I love photography. I love capturing those special moments for a family. I LOVE when a mom emails or calls me & tells me how much she loves a photo. It makes it worth it.
Hopefully one day I find a balance. I would love to find a way to keep this as my full time job. There may be a point I can charge a little more or give less photos, or something to where I do not spend 60 hours a week where I end up making $4/hr………I am not sure how to do that, but I will keep learning. Keep growing & hopefully, fingers crossed, find a way. In the end, I love my clients. I love photography. I will just need to make sure I am doing a good job at combining the two….so I may have to, toughen up a little…….at some point…..maybe. 🙂
Now, sense a Photography blog needs photos, here are a few of my girls from the Easter session I attempted to do with them. Yes, I ended up doing an Easter card, but my girls make me work for it. 🙂