Negotiating Photography Prices: How to Avoid Things Getting Weird

You have priced yourself in a way that allows you to work sufficient to pay yourself without having to work a lot that your work-life balance is completely out of whack. You are right about yourself and your customers. So why do people still demand that terrible discount?

Negotiating your photography prices does not have to be a negative experience when you know where your customer’s coming from with these pricing truths. Let us see why people negotiate prices and how to get reservations without reducing profits.

You cannot work with everyone

Sometimes it is necessary to realize that you should not work with everyone who loves photography. And thank God for that. You cannot humanly deliver consistent results and exceptional customer service if you accept every prospective customer that pops into your inbox.

Instead of lowering the price based on their needs, consider providing a list of other photographers you love and trust that appear in their particular price range. You will thank yourself when you get an inquiry from somebody that wants to book you at your most extensive collection on the same day.

You will never charge what you’re worth

The worth has nothing to do with what you should charge. When anyone contacts you and asks for a deal immediately, please note that this is not an attack on your worth as a photographer or businessman. Are you still getting your hackles up? Your value as a person is different to that of someone willing to pay for your services.

Of course, you should not charge any numbers that match what you think is worthwhile. It does not matter if you are much better than the wedding photographer next door, and she has already charged 10,000 for each wedding. The price should be an accurate calculation, combining your strengths, customer service and experience with overall market share, operating costs and demand.

They cannot see the difference between an average photo and a fabulous one

You know camera like the back of your hand. Your postproduction skills are unique. You have completely curated everything you post on social media. But do they want you to bargain the price, or should they hire an uncle with a great camera?

Most people outside the art world do not know the difference between a professional photographer and Uncle Bob. You will educate them with all the information you provide to your clients from the first consultation, not just your great photos. Show them the value of choosing you by pointing out how to make you a true professional.

“The hardest part of photography is being in the right place at the right time.”

John Greengo

Some people cannot afford you

What is inexpensive for one person may be expensive for another. How many people you can budget for a photographer depends on many factors, so it rarely has anything to do with you. Therefore, if you have a question that comes in asking for a bit of wiggle room, understand with a grace that this potential customer values your work enough to contact you even though they cannot fit you into their budget.

Just because customers cannot pay for the service in advance does not mean that they cannot find a long-term service. Work with your customers to divide the payment into easy-to-digest parts so you can book without compromising your budget.

What is your price?

So what price should you charge? It depends on the country, city (or suburb) you live in. To get an approximate price, find another photographer in your area, call them a potential customer and ask for the price. If we could provide a simple tip, it would be: Know your worth and look for it. Show yourself as a pro, and you will be treated like a pro.


Explaining and defending your prices confidently will lead to less haggling and negotiations during your customer meetings and phone calls. Being able to streamline the photography pricing system, predict the price and say “no” politely (but decisively) avoids troublesome negotiations and only book the perfect pair for you. We sincerely believe that this is the best choice.

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