Starving Artist

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Getting your portraits made has always been a luxury. For as long as photography has been around, you always know you have to set a good amount of money aside to pay for this once a year luxury product.

The great thing about today, is that cameras are so much more affordable and so is getting your pictures made by a photographer. The problem with that is, photography is no longer seen as a luxury and it’s value has been decreased. That is also our fault as photographers, not charging what we are worth.

The cost of running any business is not cheap. You have to spend money to make money.
 
This past spring, I went to the farmer’s market with my family and there was a lovely couple selling their gorgeous handmade pottery items. Beautiful bowls and vases that they put all their time and effort in. I fell inlove with two of the pots that they already filled with flowers. Because I wanted both, they gave them to me for $15 each instead of the $25 each that they had priced. I was like, SOLD, take my money! It was a steal of a deal!
To this day, I still feel terrible about it. I feel like I just stole it. All that work they put into their pottery, and they pretty much just gave it to me for free for the price they sold it for.
They didn’t price it according to what it was worth, and what their time was worth.
And people like me, looking for a deal, took advantage of it!

Some of you might not understand why I feel guilty. But for those of us, who know what it’s like to spend your time and effort on something, whether it’s making pottery, creating vinyl decals, styling hair, cleaning houses, mowing lawns, taking pictures etc. we know it is more than just a product that you are paying for.

A banker can get paid 40K a year, and we don’t think anything of it. They deserve to be paid what they’re worth. Most photographer’s don’t even make 20K a year because they are afraid of being seen as too expensive. So they work 50+ hours a week, busting their tails to get their client’s pictures done and what have they got to show for it? I know first hand what that’s like.

Photography is a VERY expensive investment! The cost of doing business is not cheap! When you count in the cost of equipment, yearly upgrades and maintenance, website, insurance, props, gas for travel, taxes, taxes and more taxes etc. it adds up! You pretty much don’t make a profit until all equipment is paid off.

 

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Don’t forget all the hours and hours of editing! Professional photography is not as easy as just clicking and then printing. Photography is an art form. Photographer’s are Artists! They need to be paid what they’re worth. When you hire a photographer, you’re not only paying for their service, but for their art.

 

Most photographer’s are not even making $5 an hour because they are under charging. They under charge due to the fear of not getting any business. I struggle with this. This year is the first year I realized what I was worth. Having a child made me realize how valuable my time is. I have struggled to manage my time and have been seeing that what I make may not be worth losing family time over. I know most photographer’s feel this way.

I am not where I want to be. For some of you, you may think I am too expensive, but to tell you my true feelings, I feel that I am still not making what I am worth. I am charging more than most and less than some.

Please don’t take this as a photographer just needing to vent. I am simply wanting to open the eyes of those who don’t run a business. When you are purchasing a beautiful wreath created by a talented and passionate person, $45 is a steal of a deal. When you are looking to get a monogrammed t-shirt, $20 is a steal of a deal. When you are looking for a beautiful hand crafted table, $500 is a steal of a deal! All the man hours, sweat, tears, heart and soul put into someone’s products, cannot be priced but it is. So please value others work instead of just going straight for the price tag.

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<3 Always,
KatParker xoxo