How To Confidently Raise Your Prices As A Photographer

How to raise your prices for photography
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Ready to raise your photography prices and feel good doing it? If you’re ready, then chances are you’re actually long overdue. (Like way, way overdue.) That’s ok. Raising your rates can be a scary process. You have to deal with internal insecurities, external fears, and let’s not forget – you still have to pay your bills.

But you’re here now…you’re doing this. We’re going to do this together.

The First Step: Step Over Your Pricing Fears

Step over. Step on. Burn them to the ground. You’ve stalled long enough worrying whether a price increase will lose you clients. I want you to shift that mindset. Not raising your rates has made you work more weddings for less pay. The 40-50 weddings you worked last year at $2,000 each? You lost $30,000 – $40,000+ by not raising your rates. That’s a hard number to swallow. 

An even harder number is 0. As in, 0 of those 30-40 clients would have had any idea you raised your prices for their wedding. That’s one of the advantages to wedding photography, most people aren’t looking at pricing until they’re ready to inquire. So, not only can you raise rates without anyone knowing, but if people suddenly stop booking for a month or two due to budget – you can drop your rates without anyone knowing too. 

Find Your ‘Must Make’ Money Number

Once you decide it’s time to raise your photography prices, it’s time to calculate your options. Remember, we’re setting our fears aside. There’s no pressure, we’re simply playing a numbers game – like playing tetris with stacks of your money. 

To start, know what numbers you’re playing with. Add together your Cost of Doing Business (CODB) and personal expenses. That will tell you how much you need to make to get by. (More on how to calculate your CODB here.) That’s your base line.

Turn Pricing into a Game

Then sit down and play with your wedding package prices and your product prices. Just play. Let yourself imagine what it would feel like to book clients at different ranges. Ask yourself if  you want to make all your money upfront or dip into In-Person Sales (IPS) and make bonus money on the backend. Remind yourself throughout the exercise that it’s all just hypotheticals. No one is sitting there judging. There are no wrong answers. Eventually, you’ll find a few numbers that feel good.

** Note: If the idea of playing with numbers is overwhelming, don’t hold yourself back. We can do this together – literally, on a Zoom call – if you need someone else there to take the calculator on for you.

Choose: Raise Your Prices At Once or Over Time

You’re doing this. It is happening! When it comes to deciding whether to increase your prices at once or over time, there’s no right answer. Personally, I like to go all in and just increase. That’s just my personality. If that makes you uncomfortable, there is nothing wrong with bumping up in $200 – $500 increments over time. Give yourself milestones to tell you when to raise your prices again. Maybe that’s increasing every quarter for a year or increasing when you get too many ‘yeses’ in a row.

Last Thing: Tackling Your Confidence

The issue most wedding photographers face after raising their rates is the overwhelming fear if the first one or two couples you speak to don’t book. You’ll worry you made a mistake. You’re too expensive. You’ll never book again. All of these are lies, obviously. But they will invade your brain.

When they do, have a confidence plan. A plan on how you’re working to book higher-ticket clients.

Here are a few ideas to pair with any price increase:

  • Practice your pitch:

    – When I first started raising my rates, my photography bestie and I would sit in a coffee shop and practice selling to each other. We needed to get used to saying those higher prices without choking. Find a pitch partner and practice until it feels natural.
  • Elevate your website copy:

    – Raising your prices means you’re talking to a different client now. (One with a bigger budget.) Make sure your website copy and social media touch on what they value most. It’s not necessary for affordability anymore.
  • Refresh your package deck with anchor pricing:

    – This is something I learned a long time ago. Have packages and collections priced higher and lower than the price you want to sell. People will see it as the “middle of the road” package. Psychology tells us they’ll think they’re getting the best deal for the best price.
  • Network with planners and other photographers:

    – Create a community that will cheer you on and refer you. Nothing builds confidence like hearing someone raved about you behind your back.
  • Join my Art-Biz Challenge

    – Spend 4 days with me to tackle the marketing, external, and internal fears holding you back from working less to make more. Sing up here!

Raising Your Wedding Pricing Shouldn’t Cause Heart Palpitations

This is just one more *totally fun* part of owning your photography business. If it does cause stress, try to remember that higher prices allow you to work less weddings without sacrificing money. And that is really what we’re aiming for! 

Pricing is open to change at your discretion – up or down. Eventually, you’ll find your sweet spot. If you need more support during this process, check out my CODB freebie or join my 5-Day Art-Biz Challenge happening in 2 weeks. We’ll get your confidence soaring so you can move on to making more money.

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