With costs that can vary between $2500-$5000 (generally speaking) for all day coverage, how do YOU as a wedding photographer go about setting your asking price as a competing provider? I mean, is there an actual strategy for where you should place yourself on the investment scale? Or should you just randomly throw some numbers out there and see what happens?
You probably already know what I’m going to say.
So here is a step-by-step guide on how to determine an appropriate price point:
Step #1 – Survey your competitors
What sort of photographers are you up against? Those who prioritize quality of work, or emphasize cheap deals? Maybe a mixture of both. Are there ones who are willing to shoot anywhere, anytime; versus, those who are more particular about their bookings? And if so, how well are all these different types of photographers performing as far as landing clients? Also, how up to date are their websites and social media feeds? All this research then begins to help you see the landscape of the specific market that you’re in, and how best to tackle it, based on your own strengths.
Step #2 – Determine the type of photographer you want to be
Now that you are familiar with the various categories of providers in your area, and how effective they are at engaging the clientele, it’s time for you to decide what sort of photographer YOU aspire to be. Are you perhaps happy just to be your own boss, and are content to cater to all budgets? Or are you aiming eventually to become one of the premium wedding specialists in your region? Either way, you need to have a clear goal of what it is you wish to attain, in order to start working towards it.
Step #3 – Undercut and overwhelm
Okay, this is the final stage. What you need to do is the following: First, set your fees significantly below that of a recognized photographer, whose level of work you’d be pleased with if someone were to draw comparisons. Next, improve continuously until your skill is just as good, if not arguably better than your worthy colleague, while very gradually adjusting your prices upward over time. Then, ultimately, stop just short of charging the same as them. This way, you will always maintain a slight edge when it comes to relative pricing, but your quality of work is now completely on par, if not a notch above.
That’s how you savage your competition.
And it will now be their turn to up their game. Because if they don’t, they will quickly realize that their business is going elsewhere. Of course, price point isn’t the only way to win in the industry, but with a growing population of savvy young couples, it is surely a contributing factor in the final decision they make in regard to who they choose to go with on their special day.