How do you charge for friends?
I want to give photography discounts for my close friends, however I don’t want to feel like the services have to be free, cheap or even cost me.
PHILLIP VAN NOSTRAND (ANSWER):
Honestly, you should just charge what you would anyone else. Seriously, don’t give photography discounts. It’s easier said than done. I used to give discounts all the time. But not too much anymore. What’s your hourly rate?
The thing about pricing is, people value things more if they spend more. They value it less if they spend less. Like a car or a house.
I’d be curious to hear how much you charge normally and I’ll tell you if I think you could discount it or not.
Honestly, since I’m new to this my rates have been depending on the job, time, person. I’ve been noticing it to be between an average of $50 – 75 hourly after editing and delivering.
PHILLIP VAN NOSTRAND (RESPONSE):
Cool– 50 dollars an hour is great. You should be able to do any session in an hour or less (family, portraits, whatever). And that’s a GREAT price for your friends. It’s already a discount, because if they hired ME, I’d charge them 350 dollars an hour. And they’d either pay me or they wouldn’t.
You can tell them, “I have a friend who would charge you 350 dollars an hour, but I’ll do it for 50.” You shouldn’t discount more from that. You are worth at least 50. Don’t undervalue yourself!
One psychological technique I use (and many many other photographers, sales people, amazon, etc) is an idea called anchoring. If you suggest the idea of an initial price or “anchor” price, that will end up being the standard that the purchaser uses from that point forward. You can do it with anything, like a car. If I told you the average price for a good car was $30,000 and I have a car for you that’s only $20,000, it will begin to sound like a deal (you just saved yourself $10,000)! But what if I said an average great car should cost you only $15,000? Now 20k seems a little on the high side. This works with photography pricing and negotiation as well. You can always say what something should be worth and cut down the price a little bit to let your client feel like they got a deal.