When should photographers raise their prices?


This is a common and important question that I have asked many other photographers and business owners. I am not just referring to the date, I am also referring to situations that would facilitate a price increase. Let’s assume that you are already confident that your work is definitely due for a price increase.


1) “When you have at least three months bills in the bank” This is probably my least favorite situation, mainly because it is an indirect result of your profession. It is also not the most confident reason. You are basically bracing for a major drop in sales due to your sudden rise in prices. I would encourage photographers to have at least this amount in savings ANYHOW as sales can have highs and lows depending on the season. 

2) “When you get a new certification or accolade” I love this situation. I believe it works for you on so many levels. You have mostly likely educated yourself in doing this and have added value to your work. Kudos! You should definitely let the world know what you have done (humble brag) to promote confidence in your business. It also gives you the confidence to raise those prices and stand up for them.


3) “Every dang year” I believe any business, large or small, should give their employees raises every year as long as they are in good standing and the business has turned a profit. That would include the business owner. It’s good to be consistent with the amount and timing of this to train your clients to expect the price change. I believe the best date to do this is right after tax day in April and the second best date is the new year. 


You may lose a few clients and that is ok, they probably weren’t clients you want anyway if they are willing to jump ship over an incremental rise. Now, don’t go over board unless you are prepared for the results. I had one client complain about the change and they started using another photographer. As their needs got more sophisticated, they came back for one shoot and have stayed ever since. I won. Also, you don’t need to make a major press release about your price change. Update all your price lists and do business as usual. Your VIP clients probably don’t look at your prices every shoot and won’t mind the change.

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    The Two Year Timelapse

    I was hired to return to the same spot and take a photo every week for two years. I thought the tree in the center would have appeared to grow more. I definitely grew as a photographer during this process.

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      The Transition out of “Commercial”

      Making the transition out of Commercial Photography – This is a personal observation but I’m deleting the word “Commercial” from my business. It’s vague and doesn’t describe what I do. Architectural and Industrial photography may be a mouthful, but you hopefully get a clear picture 📷 of what I can do! Here is a shoot involving both for @vaughncconstruction @uhdofficial central plant.

      University of Downtown – Central Plant
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        The Art of Critique

        I have encountered plenty of critique, both solicited and unsolicited. As a photographer I have been through several portfolio reviews in my career, some solicited and some not. Some of the solicited critique was very helpful and some was downright mean. I immediately started to consider how solicited critique is given and received. I am not an expert on this, but my thoughts and experience may indeed help someone.

        It is not an easy thing, presenting your work for judgement. This is something you are passionate about and more than likely have worked very hard at. If you are just looking for complements I wouldn’t advise “asking” for critique. You need to have “thick skin”. You need to learn to FILTER what can help you out of what you are hearing. Now, giving helpful critique is a very delicate skill. That’s why I refer to it as an art. Here are some tips on offering solicited critique:

        • Allow your self to look at the object with fresh eyes. Try to take in the complete work, along with the intent of the artist. Ask your self, “How does this make me feel” to help understand the intent.
        • Don’t just look for what you don’t like about the piece, allow yourself to see what appeals to you.
        • Once you are ready to respond with the actual critique, do not be vague. Address specific points that need help and use the correct parlance. For example, saying “I hate this” about the piece doesn’t not let the artist know what is wrong with it. You can say it makes you feel a certain way, however.
        • Try to compliment the piece up front. Remember you are trying to help this person become better, so even hearing “I think this piece has great potential” will allow them to hear that actual critique that maybe they should start over.
        • Help the artist – offer advice, offer praise. Even if they have no business being in this art, it’s not your job to run them out of it. Allow yourself to see what is good about someone’s effort them address the problems accurately.

        Employing the helpful critique you received, and learning to give effective criticism are all a part of learning your craft. Through learning and practice you will hopefully achieve your “great potential”.

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          Never stop learning

          Preserve At Old Dowlen

          Here’s an image from a recent shoot at The Preserve at Old Dowlen Apartments. I recently attended an architectural photography workshop in Kansas, MO and was happy to use some new techniques I have learned.

          There’s a personal pledge I adhere to: Always stay on the cutting edge of music, fashion, and technology.

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