Let’s face it. At one point or another, every single photographer has been asked to slash their rates. Whether it was a client who just didn’t respect our craft, or a tighter budget than normal, we’ve all had to make the decision to accept or reject a gig that was much lower than normal. When should you or should you not? Here are five questions to get you started:
1. What kind of project is it?
Is this a hard project for you? Is it a project you typically shoot, or is this a one off? If this is a very simple and easy project, then this should be a yes.
2. How time intensive is the project? What’s required in pre and post?
What I mean here is how long is it going to take to complete the project, from beginning to end? Sure, the actual shooting portion may only take fifteen minutes, but we all know that’s not the only aspect to our jobs, so its important to consider the entire scope of the project.
3. Will the one-time slash in rate hurt your business in the long run?
You never want to be known as the “cheap” guy. Being the “cheap” guy will get you a whole bunch of “cheap” work. There’s nothing wrong with a one-time drop in price, when its well placed.
4. Will you work with these folks again?
Prime example. I recently dropped my rate on a project. It was a two hour event, they wanted just basic photographs(think grip and grins) they live in the Northeast, and are only here for a weekend. Odds are, I won’t be hearing from these folks again. Simple project, quickly done in post, and I was comfortable with the price drop…plus I was completely open on the day of the event…so…why not?!
5. Is it worth it?
We all want to make sure our work, even on more ordinary or mundane projects, reflects our brand, right? While you can make adjustments and sacrifices on the bottom line, you should never sacrifice your standards or brand as a professional.
Simple enough, right? 😊
There’s obviously much more to consider, however, starting off considering these questions will get you going in the right direction at least. What other considerations do you think should be made when considering a one-time price drop?