Stop Giving Free Photography Services to Friends and Family | Fstoppers

Photography is a commodity; It’s not a secret, and we all know it. When I meet a new group of people, it seems that every time the conversation of “jobs” or “careers” is brought up, inevitably, someone is always a “photographer” by trade. Commodification is a process that happens to every industry, and we couldn’t prevent it even if we tried. So since becoming a commodity is unavoidable in any market, we, as small business owners, have to learn to overcome being branded a “commodity.”

First, we have to realize that when we are a commodity, we’re literally fighting a standard market price point, and if done incorrectly, we’ll be fighting until we hit rock bottom and get burned out. When we’re not pricing correctly, we price ourselves out of our target audience and directly into a downward spiral of self-depreciation. And while plenty can be said on the topic of having a proper pricing strategy, I want to stick to a specific area of pricing that several photographers seem to have a problem with: charging friends and family.

Give “Friends and Family” Pricing

We obviously love our friends and family and when they have a special event or mile-marker in their life that they’re coming to us to document, a natural inclination is that we want to gift them something. It is absolutely possible to gift them part of our services or products without devaluing ourselves. A great way to do this is by having special pricing specifically for friends and family. Having a “friends and family” price list is also a great way to set proper expectations with a loved one, while also showing them that you love them and are willing to give them special pricing. At the end of the day, we all know that we photographers still need to eat. Our loved ones don’t always understand what is involved behind the scenes and with our overhead, so having a specialized price list is helpful (and again, it’s important that we’re setting proper expectations and educating friends and family about our business and our value). To be clear, though, your friends and family pricing isn’t about making money off of your loved ones. Its a way for those closest to you to understand that you still have costs of living, regardless of who you’re performing a service for. So your friends and family price list doesn’t have to make a profit, but it is a good tool in setting expecations with loved ones.

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Stop Giving Free Photography Services to Friends and Family | Fstoppers.