The Price is Right… Or is It? (Part 2)


The Issue with Pricing

 © by Anne Herbert

Now that you have a handle on what price based selling is let’s talk about how to get out of it.

You’ll need to change the way you think to the concept of value based selling.  By injecting value into your offerings and giving your clients an amazing experience before, during, and after the shoot, you can transform the way you do business.  You will also be attracting amazing clients who value your work.  It is known that there is a big difference between what people pay for and what people buy.  They may pay for pictures, but they are buying the experience they have with you.  Understand what customers want in your area.  What is their vision for the finished images?  Take a look at your local competition and make yourself original.  You’ll provide value!  Here are some examples.  Local markets all vary widely so not all of these will make sense for you.

  • Offer a pre-session outfit consultation either by email, phone, or in person included with your session fee.  Not only will you provide value for your client, who may find this task daunting, but you’ll end up with better photos!
  • Offer a complimentary home visit to assist in image placement.  You’ll be able to make sure they aren’t unhappy when they order that 8×12 for a space that should have fit a 16×24, and you’ll increase you’re sales and customer satisfaction at the same time.  You may be able to identify other areas for photos or wall collages that the client would not see without your insight.
  • Offer a frame or other unique product option to differentiate yourself from the typical  offerings in your area.

Changing your pricing can seem scary.  You may even get less business at first, but you’ll be working with people who value you and your work.  You’ll never have to wonder if people are only booking with you because you are so cheap, wondering if they really like someone else’s work more.  Once you give those first new clients an experience with you they will start doing your advertising for you!  You can make the same amount of money doing one session than you could doing three or four priced low.  You’ll either work less and make the same amount or work the same amount and make much more.  Open up your potential.  As newborn, child, and family photographers we work incredibly hard to run our own businesses.  You aren’t ripping people off by charging more.  You are enabling a better customer experience, something that will leave them amazed.  Something they will tell their friends about.

Anne Herbert is a full time newborn and family photographer in Harford County, Maryland.  She also is a wife and stay at home mother to two little girls.  Her passion for photography lives among the brand newness of those first few days of life, holding on to those fleeting moments of childhood, and the magic of family.


  1. Rob Tannenbaum says

    Beate, Anne,
    Thank you, both. To you, Beate, for asking the tough questions and keeping the conversation going. I’ve “stalked” your blog and LinkedIn posts for some time and have always admired how articulate and straight-shooting you are, and following this post, had to let you know how valuable your sharing has been.
    Anne, I believe we all get in to the photography business for the art, the love of meeting wonderful people and having our work appreciated. Our love of the art can keep us from asking to be paid for OUR value. Your concise two-part article, for me, is like getting permission to succeed. In the end, if I’ve done my job to the best of my creative ability, then I should expect to be compensated at a price commensurate with the experience I provide.

  2. says

    Thanks for your feedback, Rob. I totally understand what you mean by “permission to succeed”. I think it can feel strange at first to put a dollar sign on your talent and time, but in the end you want to be around next year and the years after to offer the same great experience for your clients. It’s ok to enjoy your craft and also support yourself financially at the same time.

  3. says

    Well what a refreshing article you share with the world its great to hear such honesty about pricing and getting the confidence to get paid so we can also pay our people which makes the world go round thanks.

  4. says


    Your comment: “you are enabling a better customer experience: is IMHO right on.

    I have worked with the Disney company since 1982 and it’s always been about creating the best customer experience for them that I can. That means I have to charge for my time to produce the quality work I’m known for. A bit scary to set the pricing bar to a level that is sustainable but a very practical approach to staying in business. 32+ years and counting.