I remember the first time a client told me I was too expensive for their wedding photography and asked me if I would reconsider my pricing. Initially, the pang of fear that I wasn’t going to be accepted or I wasn’t going to earn more money plagued my mind. And I caved. Yep, you read that right. I “haggled.” I came down.
Then I received an inquiry for that exact same date from a sweet, loving, enthusiastic bride that loved my style and mentioned nothing about my prices being too high. Of course, at that point it was too late. I had entered into a contract with said haggler and was committed to being her wedding photographer.
It was a time of realization for me. Someone out there WILL appreciate my work. Someone out there WILL pay my prices. Someone out there may even think working with me is worth MORE than what I charge. So why put energy and effort into someone who doesn’t believe in my worth when I am fighting so hard to prove my worth to myself in the first place?
While going down this rabbit hole of a train of thought, I came to a few conclusions:
- My prices are there for a reason. I have calculated my cost of doing business, so if I don’t charge what I need to charge, I will essentially be losing money. Bad business.
- If I haggle with this client, then she tells someone (perhaps someone who is engaged) that she was able to talk me down, I could get a referral from her and then have to repeat the process over. Bad business.
- Logic should reign over emotion in this scenario. Know your worth, BELIEVE your worth, and stick to your guns. Good business.
Since I have decided to stick to my guns, my peace of mind has skyrocketed. If a client asks me why I charge what I do, I can show them: This is what it costs me to do business, therefore, in order to remain in business and be able to serve my clients, this is what I HAVE to charge. Additionally, this is a contributing income to our household, so I must be able to pay myself. This is my job, not my hobby. And THAT distinction is important!