Helen Oakes PhotographerI am sure as photographers we have all heard this phrase “You’re too expensive” or “I can’t afford that” or “I only paid $100 for my last shoot and got all the images” or “I’m going to have to mortgage my house to pay your prices” and yes that last one was one response I got to a $400 photography shoot!

Finding a good response to these comments is often something photographers struggle with.

We end up wanting to offer a discount as we know the client is uncomfortable with our prices and we don’t want to lose them. This will devalue your services. Don’t feel flustered and blurt out a number to appease your client. This never works out well.

Your clients will end up setting your prices if you allow them to. Some photographers allow their clients to do this, they feel bad and think they are doing their clients a favour by reducing their prices. However, if you reduce your price then you are effectively telling your client you are too expensive.

Some of us find we need to defend ourselves and this is a bad habit to get into. Your prices are your prices and a client doesn’t have to book you if they feel your pricing isn’t a good fit for them. It also works the other way around where as a Photographer you don’t have to take clients that aren’t in line with your pricing. They are probably not your ideal client.

You will always get objections around your price so don’t take this personally. It is part of doing business. If you don’t get any objections to your pricing you may not be charging enough so it isn’t always a bad thing.

After getting stuck and not knowing how to answer this question, I have now figured out the process that works and objections to my prices rarely happen now.

This is what I do:

  • Get to Know Your Client

If you know things upfront about your client then it will stop a lot of objections further down the track. You can get your potential clients to answer a short questionnaire when they book or enquire with you. This way you can ask them some qualifying questions. For example: What is their budget? What do they want from the shoot? What type of products are they looking for? Etc. If you know your clients budget you can then accommodate them more.

  • Show Value

What one client feels is expensive another will feel is great value. Pricing can be subjective and the perceived value of your product and service can sway a person’s buying decision. If you can show value with your service the client will be more likely to purchase from you. Often this can work with a package as packages are generally cheaper as they are bundled. Show the full price of the individual product or service and the reduced cost when they buy a package.

Perceived value can also diminish if the client feels the risk of purchase is too high for them. They don’t feel their needs will be met. They aren’t ready to buy or they are not that interested in your product.

Research suggests that ‘the price is too high’ is the least common reason why people don’t buy.

  • Offer Alternatives

You will get clients that you value that truly can’t afford a session with you. You will then need to make an informed decision about how you can either help this client or let them go. Offering a payment plan can help clients that have a tight budget or can’t afford your full price in one payment.

Another way is to have these clients on your books and then when you have a sale you can email them to let them know. Most photographers have sales in the year and this is a great way to get your clients that can’t afford you at your full price.

These are the methods that work for me, however this is not an exhaustive list. What do you do for your clients if they tell you that you’re too expensive?

I’d love to hear which step resonated the most with you?

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