“I just purchased a beautiful painting. It was in a gallery and I fell in love with it. It cost quite a bit of money, but it was a great investment and will look amazing in my house. Well, that is, after I add my some finishing touches to it with my own acrylic paints. Maybe add some extra flowers, put glitter around the edges, or change the color of the sky, because I spent a lot of money on this beautiful painting and want to change it completely.”
“Look at this incredible Native American pottery. Beautiful, right? It cost thousands of dollars, and I saved up to buy it, but now, it’s mine. I can not wait to get it home and stick my kids’ Play-Doh all over it. Maybe put some start shapes or some long orange Playdough ropes around the top. Possibly shove the Play-Doh through the little plastic Play-Doh machine and make spaghetti strands to drape on the side. I spent so much money on this Native American pot so now I want to make it look different.”
“Yeah, the soles of my Christian Louboutin shoes are red. I paid close to $700 for the shoes, and I know the red lacquered sole is the brand’s signature, but I’m thinking I want the soles PURPLE, and thanks to this can of spray paint, I’m going to make that happen.”
Have you ever heard anyone say this?
No, you haven’t, and you’re never gonna hear this. Why? Because people who invest a chunk of change on Art DO NOT WANT IT ALTERED. They bought it BECAUSE of the way it looks.
To change it would ruin it.
I hear a lot of stories about photographers who deliver digital files only (I’m sorry, my eye is twitching just writing that) and then the client takes the file and runs it through some crappy Instagram filter, posts it on social media where the creator sees the abomination of their work and then has to fight the urge to either scream, cry, drink his/herself into a coma, have kittens or all the above.
My friends, there is a very simple reason why this happens: when you price your art, your photography, at rock bottom prices you are not necessarily going to attract clients who truly value good photography enough to invest in it. Does that makes sense?
People who value and invest in photography would never dream of changing it. They bought it BECAUSE of the way it looks.
And when you’re charging $100, $200, $500 for all images on a USB (Sorry, hold on. The eye is twitching again) you run the risk of attracting clients who come to you not because they are in love with your style; they come because of your low low prices. They “just want pictures.” They don’t value your Art; they don’t value your photography…you just happen to be the most affordable. And when that happens, they aren’t going to treat your final product like a fine painting or a beautiful piece of pottery because there’s no value in it to them. They don’t appreciate it. And when that happens, it’s much more likely you will see your beautiful images with some crappy Instagram filter over it. And you will scream, “GET THE VODKA!”
So going forward into 2017 make it a point to take a good long look not just at your work but at your business formula and practices. Make sure you are giving people value. And if the quality is there and the customer service is there, then UP THOSE PRICES, because then you will more than likely attract those people who appreciate what you do.
And isn’t that the point?
About the Author
Missy Mwac is a photographer/eater of bacon/drinker of vodka and a guide through the murky waters of professional photography. You can follow her social media links here: Facebook, Tumblr. This article was also published here and shared with permission.