How Much Is The Perfect Price?

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University of Ibadan, 2016

Dear Friends,

Ever wondered why I call you friend(s)? Well it’s because I believe you are heterogeneous in nature and so I need to serve the needs of photographers that read my blog often and also clients that do the same. Today I want to talk about a problem generally shared so we can generally solve it 😀

So, you’ve gotten in touch with a photographer of your choice and taste and during the negotiations you ask, “How much will that cost?” then he replies and you are like “Oh my God, that’s expensive.” Dear client, think again if you are guilty of that. Let me take you back in time and space!

During one of my college essay classes at the University of Ibadan, a classmate asked, “How long should a paragraph be?” The lecturer, Dr. Yinka Egbokhare of the department of Communications and Language Arts replied, “Your paragraph is like a skirt, it shouldn’t be too short to expose almost all your thighs and it shouldn’t be too long to sweep the floor as you walk”

So how does this relate to photography?

Your price is like a skirt, it shouldn’t be too expensive to make you lose customers and it shouldn’t be too cheap to make you run at a loss!

Here is where am going dear clients : Your photographer charges you based on his personal worth of himself. Photography goes beyond just shooting on the day affixed for the shoot, the post production process takes time and money and then, they offer deliverables of different variables to suit your pocket. So if you think it’s expensive, it’s because the photographer is offering you state-of-the-art services not because he wants to cheat you. Beware though, if it’s too cheap, expect some corner cutting. Let me give an example.

A certain photographer has been hired to shoot a wedding and he is being paid a certain amount he deems is not fit for such occasion,  He may cut down on expenses at various parts of the production chain that will affect work quality. He may decide that he can shoot alone, when he should be with a minimum of 2 assistant photographers or probably reduce the pages in the books. That’s bad habit! Rather than take too small to run in a loss, either don’t take it or take it and give your best

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Akobo, Ibadan, 2016

So clients, best way to be fine is asking what you will be getting for that price, you may decide to cut down on some deliverables so as to reduce cost, that’s fine for you both agree to it.

Now, let’s talk as photographers!

What’s the perfect price then?
There’s absolutely no perfect price. You should charge as you believe you are worth. Take a current price of all items at the post production office (printing houses) if you don’t have machines to print yet then let that be the basis of your charges. Understand not to be too expensive and not to be too cheap! Here are 3 tips you should use while negotiating!

1. Read your clients social class before giving them a price.
Here is the most important thing you need to do. If you are capable of requesting to meet your client in person to negotiate, you will be able to give them a certain price that suits their social class. I’ve had few people who told me after a successful shoot, “your charges are too cheap for my liking thoughts but you are good” Then  I feel like, why did I make such mistake? Some clients believe when a service is too cheap, expect below par items (which is relatively true)

2. Divide your prices into packages.
The committed people photographer should have this already. Split your charges into three, I use Bronze, Silver and Gold. Then let there be variations to the services offered and prices at each level. This will allow you accommodate clients of different social classee

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Lagos, 2015

3. Be flexible
In this part of the world, we know it’s impossible for people pay for services without having the bargaining exercise (if Konga and other online retailers allow for bargaining, Nigerians won’t stop at bargaining items worth as low as 500N). So when you probably drop your offer, expect some negotiation to take place. This is where you have to be careful. Don’t be too nice to accept a price that’s impossible to deliver at the topmost level of professionalism and don’t be too rigid because no one will pay you exactly what you charged them!

So dear Friends (Photographers and Clients alike) this is where I will drop the curtain today. My diary is full of articles for you, expect more this coming days but before then, let’s share experiences. Have you ever had a bad negotiation? Got any questions about my post? Kindly use the comments box below. I will appreciate it so much. Remember, your comments keep me going. You can read my previous article on why I went into photography . Till then, Grazie, Obrigado, Dankie Thank You!

Yours photographically,
Peter Alawode.

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