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Friday, March 30, 2012

Am I worth it?

Am I worth it? 
This honestly wasn’t an easy question for me to answer, but the short answer is yes.
Here’s the long answer…
If you have been following my photography page at all over the past year, I am sure you noticed that earlier this year there was a change in my pricing. This was not an easy decision to make, but it was one I thought was needed. Do I think I am the best photographer? No… Far from it actually, but my pricing has nothing to do with how I feel I compare to others. What it boils down to is that my time is worth something. I am worth something. Was I busier last year? That is a hand’s down yes, but I will have to be ok with being slower. I put a lot of time into each session. Numerous emails, planning, the actual session, more emails, editing and retouching every image, preparing the gallery, making the disc, placing orders and more…all of this takes my time, and I give it my all. My time, my energy, myself…That’s what I put into each session. I want to capture memories that you will treasure. I want you to come away from the session with images to hang proudly on your walls. I want you to look back at them years later and smile. I want you to value your images, your memories, and my time.
I have had several pricing inquiries that have ended with emails about my pricing being too high. And while I understand that it’s not what it was before, it is what it is. Everyone will not be my customer, and that is something I have struggled with. I don’t want people to feel they can’t afford me, but I don’t want to lower what I feel I am worth or what I feel my time is worth either. Leaving my husband, leaving my kids, leaving weekends and missing that time with them costs me something. Spending hours at the computer editing, resizing, uploading, etc. costs me something.
If people will pay for a nice dinner and not ask the owner of the restaurant to charge the previous price on the old menu, if they will buy clothes, purses, or shoes and not ask the clerk to lower the cost, if they will pay for haircuts and not ask the stylist to charge what they did a year ago, there will be people that will pay for portraits at my current rates and value their purchase.  That person is my client. When I sell images, I am selling a piece of me, and while that may sound cheesy, it’s true. It’s my vision, my capture, my art. I don’t just take pictures, I make art. I consider your images art. I consider you, your family, your love, and your memories pieces of art.
So, like I said, last year I was busy. At the beginning of the year I was charging $100  for a session including images. Booking those sessions was great, but it took me away from my family most weekends, during the weekdays, and at night. And, yes, that’s what work does, but $100 after paying taxes, tithe, and spending 10+ hours on each session, left me with little to nothing. I am worth more than that. Your memories are worth more than that. It took me a while to realize that, but I now do. I struggled with it, but now I have peace.
I feel like I am starting over in a number of ways, but I am good with that. I will probably still struggle with my pricing when things are slow, but I will work through it. I am worth it.
These two little people below think I am worth it too. :)


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