I've been having a bit of a dilemma recently about pricing. There are a lot of photographers around and competition is quite fierce. Especially around this time of year. Many of them are offering free shoots and heavily discounted photo packages. I wondered how I could compete with this and still make enough money to keep the lights on in my house. Or even if I should.
I decided not to. That might sound silly in the current economic climate. Why would I not want to attract business from the opposition? Well obviously I do. So why not wade in with my own free offer?
I did a bit of research and asked a lot of people what their thoughts were on the subject. It basically boils down to value and the old saying 'you get what you pay for'. I provide a personal service giving all of my customers exactly what they want. My sessions are good fun and all of the pictures I show are of a very high quality. What the customer receives is always excellent and everyone goes away happy. Including me.
If I went in with a free shoot and a £19.99 photo package, first of all I would never earn anything. But also my customers and potential customers would expect a certain level of service. I aim (and deliver) higher than that. My prices are already very reasonable while still giving me the margins I need to live off. Reducing the price also reduces the perceived value.
I have discounted Christmas shoots to £15, which still retains the level of expected value while at the same time giving people a bit of a break in difficult times.
In short - if you want something that's worth nothing, go get it for free. If you want something that's worth its cost that you will love and keep forever, come to me!