Now that I have your attention with a pretty picture, I wanna talk about something that is on everyone’s mind, but no one wants to talk about. Sure we discuss it with others in the business, about how we aren’t getting enough, or we toss and turn about it at night, but how often are we really trying to hit the issue head on.
There I said it. Money is such a huge issue to all of us. To those that have it and don’t have it. How to pay for our business and put food on our table, but not feel like we are charging an “arm and a leg”. This is money guilt. I wallow in the depths of it everyday. How do I value my art and still have a clientele? How do I become successful?
I recently read a fantastic article by Angela Hatch about how 90% of all photographers are undercharging and it got me thinking about things. I recently did some one on one mentoring with a very successful photographer duo and the first question out of their mouth was, how are you affording your overhead with the prices that you are charging? I thought, well, really I am not. Sure I cover the cost of the goods I purchase, but barely. I am not covering the things like further education, equipment maintenance, insurance. Then what about things like paying the electric bill, or helping to put food on the table. This is not a hobby for me, it is a business. I might have flexible hours but I have lots and lots of hours. Not just pushing the shutter, but editing, education and marketing. Running a business is really hard and it takes hard decisions. This week my camera needs some repairs and I realized that even though I have been in business for almost 3 yrs, I don’t have enough in savings to cover the cost of a new camera. This needs to change. I need to value my work and make this a successful business, but other photographers need to do the same. They need to recognize what the cost of doing business really is and charge appropriately!
Have you really evaluated your cost of doing business? Are you undercharging for your services? Are you making a living at your business? What can you do to improve your business?