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Dealing with Clients on Photography Pricing

written by: Arnold Zafra•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 8/27/2009

Negotiating with clients on pricing of your photography services could make or break your chances of getting a gig. Two things you must consider when deciding on what price you're going to give in - whether the price is too much for your clients budget or too low for your photography skills.

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    Introduction

    I recently got a call from a previous client asking if I want to take up photo coverage of one of their events. The event was supposed to happen in a nearby province which is around 3 hours away from my residence. Knowing that I might have second thoughts of accepting the offer, the client immediately told me their budget and conditions. Since, I'm yet in a proper position to demand for higher fees, I accepted her offer. The following day, the client called me up again to inform me that their client have given the job to someone else. That photographer happens to live near the venue of the event and so they were able to get their services at a lower fee than what they offered me.

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    Things to Consider When Dealing with Clients Who Asked for Discount

    Interestingly, I did not negotiate with my client to pay at a higher fee than what they are offering. Likewise, the client did not specifically ask for a discount. The fee they offered came from them and not from me. But somehow I knew that she was hoping to get a cheaper bargain if she gets my services. To cut a long story short, I didn't get the photo gig. But I almost did, have the client asked for a discount. And I was even prepared on how I'm going to deal with her when she asked for a discount.

    If you're facing the same situation - that is dealing with clients who asked for discount, here are some helpful tips that may help you in getting a fair bargain for what you can offer.

    Consider your Photography Skills- I must admit that I'm not really a professional photographer when it comes to covering events. Having covered one or two of my client’s previous events earned me my clients' trust and respect. Hence she considered to hire me for another event. During the first photo coverage that I did with my client, I haggled for a higher fee than what she was offering as per advice of a fellow photographer. But my client asked me to lower the price. Knowing that it was my first time to take paid photo coverage, I accepted her preferred fee. Things would have been different if I'm already an established event photographer and I could point prospective clients to portfolios of my previous photo coverage, hence possibly I could have demanded for a higher fee.

    Consider the Location - Like what happened with my previous dealing with my client, she would have enlisted my services had she asked for a discount. Of course I could demand for higher fees since the location of the event is too far from me. But then, that's giving the client an opportunity to look for someone else. Especially in this time when everybody seems to be going into photography, my client can easily hire somebody else who will be willing to accept the job at a lower fee.

    Consider the Competition - In the location where I am right now, photography has never been so active and booming as it is right now. Everybody has access to a good DSLR due to its affordability. Give these photo enthusiasts some time and with constant practice, they could easily become professional photographers. So, there is an abundance of photographers in the market which makes it quite hard for newbie photographers to compete.

    Consider Fun vis-a-vis Earnings - When you are offered a chance to cover an event that you really like, chances are you won't have second thoughts of accepting the offer no matter how cheap this may be. There's nothing wrong with that. In fact, I would encourage you to do so since you'd be hitting two birds with one stone should you accept the offer. You will enjoy what you are going to cover and you'll earn at the same time.