A bit of honesty

Recently I read an article written by Yan Photography that really got to me. She was honest enough to say that as a full-time photographer, she was struggling to make it. Struggling to get even one inquiry a week and to be told she was too expensive even then, and that she was desperate enough to tell her clients that she is willing to compromise to earn something.

That's what I've been feeling recently. I've been told before not to undersell myself and undervalue my work. There are many, many articles written about the dangers of "cheap" photographers and what happens to full-time pros when people choose the photographer who'll work for a pack of ramen. They have bills to pay, the articles say. What those articles rarely mention, though, is that those "cheap" photographers are probably also trying to pay bills. They've just resorted to getting less than what they think they're worth rather than getting nothing.

Why would you trust someone who charges only $100 for an engagement session? Don't you care enough about your engagement photos to want to invest more in them?
It's not that I don't value my work. I know I can take great photos. I can create stunning imagery. I know I can capture moments that you'll cherish forever. I have the professional equipment, and more importantly, I know how to use it. I take into account the composition and lighting. I know that you probably don't want to stand there with the trash can right behind you. But right now, I have to put aside any pride I may have because I'd like to be able to earn something rather than earn nothing. I've compromised to the point where instead of being paid $250, I'll settle for $25. I'd rather earn $25 than nothing at all.

Somewhere along the way I will better show you what I am capable of. I can't make you love my work to the point where you consider me your "dream photographer," but I will gosh darn try my hardest to.

6 comments:

  1. you are my dream photographer :)

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  2. The sad thing is that I think it's happening everywhere in the world. Could be a sign that the market is getting over-saturated and consumers are getting choosy because of the numerous choices available. What do we do? We push on.

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  3. In this marketplace I think us as photographers need to diversify even more. There's a lot of income that can be generated through teaching workshops, seminars, and writing e-books, among other things. Obviously, print is dying and photographers are all shooting video. Annie, with your background in film I think you could make that transition incredibly easy!

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  4. nicely expressed. And i agree...the choices are plenty now

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  5. Yeah I also read that article and felt both sad and inspired at the same time. It's sorta refreshing to know we're all in the same boat, but then it's a not so great boat. I am trying hard to stick to my guns and charge what I think I'm worth. But it's definitely hard!

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