I got a text message from a photographer asking me, “What should I charge for a maternity session?”
Of course my mind flooded with a bunch of follow up questions, as this is not a simple one size fits all answer. There’s so many things to consider when it comes to pricing services (and products).
- How much time (pre-consult, the actual session, retouching, uploading to online gallery/back up server/lightroom catalog, designing product, sales session, emails back and forth, driving time)
- What are your cost of goods (the cost of the products you selling to the client)
- Don’t forget about charging tax (sales and income)
- Plus what is the overhead of running your business (costs you incur regardless if you have a client)
So many moving parts and each person will have a different answer. Our lives are not identical and therefore our pricing will not be the same.
Once I asked a few of these questions, the photographer’s response was “I’m not sure, I’m overwhelmed.” This made me to realize that it was time to dig a bit deeper. Why was this question causing her to spin into overwhelm causing decision paralysis?
She was reacting to an inquiry. There was potential to serve a client a need, make some money to weather the her upcoming slow season which led her to feel obligated to saying ‘Yes’.
We talked about her ultimate intention for her business over the next 12 months and not surprisingly, it had nothing to do with maternity sessions.
When you get clear on your intention, you can view every opportunity through this lens and make a decision that’s going to move you further along the road to your ultimate goal.