That rather neat and tidy title really sums up my thoughts on pricing.
Yes, it's that omnipresent post that belongs on every photographer's blog at some point or another: Justifying the Monstrous Cost of Photography.
I had always read with mild amusement and a little bit of eye-rolling these articles when I ran up against them. However, in one of the photography forums I haunt quite frequently, someone posted this delightful little Craigslist ad...
Yeah, she's a pretty angry girl.
While she was right that 'fancy photographers' don't hang out on Craigslist, she was wrong that no one would read it. It straight up, blew. up. in the community.
What followed from that posting was a long, long thread of comments as evil professionally-minded members went at it with their cousins, the hobbyists. Horrible epithets were put out there, judging both the girl who vented in this ad, and the photographers she was railing against.
The point I want to make is that I agree with both sides to a certain extent.
I'm not going to sit here and pull out the usual crapola I see from many of my peers. For an extreme example, you can see this article which also started a similar fight in the photography community recently. Yeah, maybe his critics did miss his point, but if you insist on wrapping your point in the deepest most sensationalistic hyperbole, don't be pissed about it.
I'm pretty sure no one seeking to work with me thinks that all I do is show up for a day and take pictures and that's that. I only work with reasonable, intelligent people, who know I do this for a living, not a side job. However, I'm equally sure that they're not sitting there thinking I'm working for minimum wage.
I could charge far more for what I do, but ultimately I would miss out on working with some great couples. One of my tenets starting out was to give people a good deal, and I think I do that.
I'm not going to give you some sob-story justifying anything, but neither am I going to encourage you to try and bargain for a deal. Please don't do that, it makes me feel badly saying no.
Do I think that photography should be one area you stretch your budget for what you want? Of course I do, I'm a bloody photographer. I'm sure your DJ or your florist would say the same (even though they'd be totally wrong).
I guess all I'm saying is that there's a client-professional match for everyone. Let's see a little ebony & ivory action here.
So brides...quit bitching about how expensive photographers are.
Photographers...quit bitching about insulted you are being 'low-balled' for your 'art'.
(We all know the damned DJ's are the enemy anyway... Hey oh!)
So just skip the explaining, then no one is a loser.