As a new year begins, you may be considering how to revamp your business and make more money. As a wedding photographer, navigating increasing your pricing can feel daunting, to say the least. You don’t want to price yourself too high, where you lose out on bookings, but you also want to be paid what you deserve. This can feel like a fine line to walk on when you’re self-employed. Firstly, we just want to say that your work is worth it. You are worth it.
Now that we’ve gotten the self-doubt out of the way, it’s time to get those prices raised without losing your clients. Not sure how to do that? Don’t worry–we’re here to help with that too.
How To Navigate Raising Your Photography Prices
Determine If You Actually Need To Raise Your Prices
Are you working yourself to the bone in order to make enough money? If this is the case, you probably need to raise your prices. If you have the availability to shoot more weddings and engagements, you may be okay with keeping your rates as is. However, we firmly believe that you should have a work-life balance, and if you’re struggling to maintain this, it’s time to take that leap and increase your prices.
You may also want to consider revamping the wedding packages that you offer. If you notice that some aren’t selling, restructuring these may also help you bring more income.
Crunch The Numbers
If you’re ready to increase your prices, it’s time to crunch the numbers. The first numbers you need to take a look at are how much you made in the past year, along with how many weddings you booked. You then need to consider how much income you’d like to make and how many weddings you’d ideally like to shoot in the upcoming year. Are you looking to cut the amount in half? Or maybe you like the workload but would like to walk away with more money in your pocket. These are the essential things to think about before deciding on your new prices.
Make Small Increases
If you’re looking for the safer option, you want to raise your rates in small increments. This is definitely the route that requires more patience. However, it can make a big difference. To see what we mean, take a look at this example.
Say that you shoot weddings and engagements and charge the following for each:
- 20 weddings a year at an average of $3,000 each
- One engagement a week at an average of $500
That means that your annual income would be about $86,000. If you were to increase your prices by 10%, making your new wedding prices $3,300 and engagements $550, that’s an additional $8,600 that you were not making before. If your costs and expenses haven’t gone up, that’s simply money you didn’t have before.
Make Large Increases
We’re going to start this off by saying that this is the riskier approach. But it’s almost the more popular choice. If you’re tired of booking clients that only want the best deal and want to spend more time with clients who actually see the value in your work, this may be the better business decision for you.
If you feel it is time to make a drastic change, raising your rate in large increments is the way to go. However, if you do this, it’s imperative that you focus on marketing. Why? Because there’s a chance that you may lose some clients and will end up having to search for new ones. Scary, we know. You’re most likely going to experience a booking lull, and inquiries may slow for a bit. This is when social media, such as Instagram and TikTok, becomes extremely important. You want to reach as big of an audience as possible to get your name out there.
Should you go down this route, we recommend that you have some money saved up to help you get through this slower season. It will be worth it in the end. It may just require some patience.
How To Tell Your Clients You’re Raising Your Rates
Chances are that you will raise your prices over the next few years. That’s why setting expectations from the beginning makes it easier. For example, if you send out pricing sheets with your packages to couples, ensure that it states “2023 Pricing Guide.” This implies that a new one comes out every year. It’s also wise to announce it on social media. Because couples often shop around for photographers on Instagram and Facebook, keeping your audience updated on these platforms will also ensure that new clients are aware.
If a previous client is coming back to shoot with you again, let them know upfront that prices have since increased since the last time you worked together. This gives them time to decide if it’s something they are okay with before committing. Just remember that whatever you do, you don’t need to justify why your prices were raised. The people who value your work will stick around. And if they don’t, you will find new clients who do.
Now that you’ve figured out how to navigate raising your photography prices, it’s time to think about other steps you can take to make this next year one of your best. To get started, check out this 11-day challenge to help revamp your business!