Do you hire a photographer by the person or by the rate…

So, if you are needing a photographer, are you looking at their skills? Perhaps a photo caught your attention. Maybe you personally know the photographer. You love the work, so why would price matter?
Photographers get asked, “what’s you’re rates?” Then there is nothing after the answer… Crickets…

Prices are going to vary greatly by experience, skill, equipment, licensing, and even availability. It’s like one of those signs you find at flea markets.




You can only pick two… A cheap fast photo won’t be of quality. A cheap photo of quality won’t be fast. A fast quality photo won’t be cheap. Well, you get the picture…

As a general rule, if money is the determinimg factor, then they are not your customer. In reality, you want people to hire you by your talents. One skill is that I’ll talk to those I photograph, I want to connect to bring out the best. That goes beyond just the technical aspects of making a photo. I’m already distracted by camera settings, lighting, poses, and the combination of changes that is happening. I don’t have to talk to landscapes or architecture, people need reassuring that things are going well.

One time I had to make photos for a moment in a movie scene and the actors already had done the scene multiple times. I just had to make it quick, and there was no time for any connections. Other times I had time to just sit and listening to stories about creeps.

I would love to make $3000 a sitting for headshots like Peter Hurley, but I really want to keep working on my skills to get that kind of attention. That has doubled since I first noticed his work several years ago. His old price has been my goal for a while.

It’s always tough while a photographer is transitioning to a higher rate. You’ll always loose some who no longer can afford you, and hopefully you’ll gain more who thought you were previously too low.

It’s heartbreaking when you realize you are over looked because of price. All the hard work in planning and technical skills should mean something.

I haven’t mentioned much about equipment. With skill a photographer can make due with what is available to make a photo. Equipment is going to get pricey. It’s not about having a fancy camera. Knowing how to use that equipment is the skill you need.


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