Do Your Customers Prefer Price Or Quality?

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by LarissaPhotography, Jan 2, 2009.

  1. LarissaPhotography

    LarissaPhotography TPF Noob!

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    Is price a major consideration when your customers choose you as their photographer or are they more interested in your portfolio to make sure you've got good work?
     
  2. ACrossley

    ACrossley TPF Noob!

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    I think it is a careful balance of both ... especially as a beginning photographer. I do not think people would consider a photographer who had no samples or poor material. Price is essential, too, at least in my market. It is very competitive with a great deal of talent. Keeping my prices lower is allowing for more experience.
     
  3. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    I agree. Some people look to prices first, others the portfolio, but in the end it's often a compromise between what they like, and what they can afford. I definitely prefer working with clients who have chosen me primarily because they liked my portfolio than because they thought I was a bargain. It's fine if they like my work and think I'm a good deal, but I like folks who think the photography is important, not just something they are supposed to do.
     
  4. jlykins

    jlykins TPF Noob!

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    Lets be honest. We'd all like to say "they loved my work, so they picked me to do their wedding", but to be honest with the economy the way it is a lot of people are looking to make their money stretch farther. Offering cheaper packages may not be a bad idea, it may even be good for business. Whatever the reason they want to choose me is fine, as long as they do choose me.
     
  5. LiveWave

    LiveWave TPF Noob!

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    All depends on the clientele that you are targeting, if you aim to shoot high end weddings and charge a lot but you have an extensive portfolio then the people who go you obviously have more money to spend. If you aim to show midrange, then it would probably be a balance between portfolio and pricing, and of course how you interact and your personality also helps.
     
  6. federerphotography

    federerphotography TPF Noob!

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    Oddly enough, the higher you go up the price range, the less people care about the price and the more they care about quality and perceptions.

    BUT...

    You HAVE to have the quality in the first place.
     
  7. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    :thumbsup:

    This is why the #1 advice for photographers is: Raise your prices.
    Not only does it improve the viability of your business...but it can also bring you 'better' clients who come to you for the right reasons.
     
  8. amandakifer

    amandakifer TPF Noob!

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    big mike--- I agree with you 100%. You want clients that respect your work. You want to be in the range where your clients really want you for your skills and not just looking to save a buck.
     
  9. shuttercraft

    shuttercraft TPF Noob!

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    This is true, but if your work needs some improving then lower prices or not a bad idea. If you are just starting out then I suggest you sit down and write out a list of services you offer, you will need to be honest to your self about the quality of your photography and base a price off of that. Compare the prices you have come up with to other photographers offering services similar to you own at the quality you offer.

    It is better to charge slightly less then the other photographers in your area. You will make a little less money, but if to similar products where on a store self and one was priced at $0.99 and the other at one dollar which would you buy?

    If you are just starting out and you have not yet made a name for yourself you may need you charge a bit lower then the others to get some of your first jobs. If you undercharge to much some people may not look at you as a legit photographer, to many people have the mindset of "you get what you pay for."

    Good luck!
     
  10. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    Quality on this end. My clients choose me because of my book. Sometimes I blow the bid. More often then not I negotiate within the client's budget. That is where the juggle for me begins.

    Love & Bass
     
  11. nmerrick

    nmerrick TPF Noob!

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    This is an interesting question. Most of your clients are certainly interested in price - up to a point. But, if you can't get them emotionally involved in the photography first, then the price really doesn't matter, because they will not buy from you. I agree that, for some clients, price is all that matters and I prefer to send those away - I've found that they are never pleased with anything and are constantly dickering.

    Regarding quality - I would say this. Your client generally can't tell good photography from bad - it's a sad fact, but it's mostly true.

    I don't really care what the client thinks about quality of materials - I use only the best products and work only with the very best professional vendors - because the quality of those things absolutely matters to ME as the business owner. I charge the prices I do because I believe in the quality of my products and services and the client will only be able to judge that quality in the products and services that they themselves receive, not by looking at what everyone else got or at my samples. Quality is related to how they are treated in a sales presentation, service and the experience, as well as tangible things like prints and books.

    Sorry if that's a bit garbled :) and I hope it makes some kind of sense.

    I plan to write a more in depth article on this on my blog later, so check that out. I added an interesting piece on there yesterday about the difference between price and cost - "How Much Does That Cost Again?"

    Best regards

    Nigel
     
  12. 93rdcurrent

    93rdcurrent TPF Noob!

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    Whether it is a fine art print or a portrait that my client is buying from me it is always because they like working with me... it really isn't about quality or price. I have been in the sales field for over 19 years and it has always been a matter of comfort and trust. Part of the trust comes from seeing my portfolio and the other part comes from talking to me and how I convey my vision with them. As for the price well that's just what it costs to work with me. If they like me after talking to me then I have a client.

    I orginally went to school with a major in psychology and a minor in business. Kind of a dangerous knowledge set I know... but the moral here for me was that I learned how to tap into the emotional side of the sale while keeping a good focus on best business practices. It has allowed me to understand what is important to my clients and kept me in my toes to make sure I am meeting and beating their expectations. All too often people think of slimey used cars salesman (no offense meant to any used car salesman on the site) when they here the term sales but a real salesman is someone who satisfies their customer in the end and both parties are happy.

    My first month in business I did a group photoshoot at a martial arts studio (over 50 students), a set of family portraits, a wedding and sold 3 fine art pieces from my stock portfolio. I purchased my first camera since I was in highschool just a little over a year before this. I'm not the best photographer in the world and I am always trying to find new way to improve but I am making a living and I'm happy with the direction my business is going.

    I guess what I'm getting at is that you can be a successful photography business by understanding your clients. It's not about what they pay but about what they perceive that they are getting from you for what they pay. In many cases that is not just the photographs but the personality behind them. I like to pride myself on my number of repeat clients, too. I see it as a measure of their overall satisfaction with the experience of working with me.

    OK, price does play a part but it is a much smaller part than most people think and most of it is about you. Get to know your clients, take the time to find out who they are and what they are interested in. I find this only takes about 45 min and that is when I get paid for the sitting fee. After I know a little about them I let them know what to expect when they show up for the shoot and how to prepare. How many Sit & Smile mall retailers or Super-marts (you know who I'm talking about) do any of this? People expect to pay for quality... it's your job to demonstrate that you represent quality.
     

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