Pricing Strategies for Your Photography Business

Pricing photography services has always been an issue that photographers struggle with.

Too many photographers automatically want to lower their prices in order to stay competitive and keep their business alive. Instead of lowering your prices, try following these 5 pricing strategies:

5 Effective Psychological Pricing Strategies for Photographers

  1. Take the price down a digit

Believe it or not, reducing the left digit of your price point by one is an effective way to attract more sales. For example, if you have a newborn photography package that costs $1,000, make it $999.

  1. Focus on the benefits

Remember, your clients want to know what’s in it for them. This is why you need to  sell the benefits of your photography services. For example, it’s all good and well to know that your wedding photography package includes 8 hours but how does this benefit the client? Having 8 hours means you will have enough time to get all of the best shots. The same applies if you specialize in family portraits. Sell the “legacy” of the shot more than the actual session. 

  1. Anchor your pricing

Another really effective photography pricing strategy is to place a higher price next to the package or product that you want to sell. For example, placing $1,999 next to a package that costs $5,000 automatically makes it more appealing. Another proven strategy is to limit your packages to 3 main packages and to place the one you want to sell the most, or your "best seller" in the middle.

  1. Offer a payment plan

Sometimes offering customers the option to make monthly payments will make it easier to sell your packages. PayPal makes it really easy to create a monthly payment subscription offer so that you can give clients the option to pay for their photography package in installments.  One thing that I found worked well for wedding photography packages was to collect a non-refundable "retainer" fee to reserve the date and then set the remaining balance due 2 weeks prior to the wedding. To split it up further you could add one more payment option half way between the time they book and their wedding date. 

  1. Add extra value

Try offering something that your competitors aren’t to make your packages more appealing. Get really creative if you want to stand out. If you're a high school senior photographer, try offering a custom, personalized magazine for the students such as the Be Fabulous Magazine as an up-sell product. Not only does this add value to your regular collections and photography services, you could easily make an extra $1,000 a month in your senior photography business.  For wedding photographers, I once heard of a photographer who included a free limo ride in his wedding photography collections because he also owned a limo company. Offering extra value doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to spend extra money to give away free products with every package, it’s more about thinking outside the box and creating an offer that’s in line with what you already have access to. Find a way to make the photography experience more special for your clients to attract more business. And by doing so you can even stand out from your competition which is even better! 

If you’re just starting your photography business, I recommend starting out with higher prices instead of pricing low.  You will always have the option to run promotions with lower pricing options if the higher price point isn't working. But it is always easier to lower your prices than to raise them, so why not start out trying to attract those higher-paying customers to begin with. 

Bonus tip: Another way to look at pricing is to look at the lifetime value of your customers instead of only viewing each customer as a one-time sale. If lowering your prices means that you won’t lose loyal customers in the long run, then do so. Remember, it’s far easier to sell to an existing client than it is to find a new one. So keep in touch with your clients on a regular basis through your e-mail newsletters  and social media. 

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