Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Pay Yourself What You're Worth! But, what's that?

Salary.com has an interesting bell curve (see above) that shows a variety of figures for the profession of photographer. Where do you fit in? Where should you fit in? Visiting their site, you can input your zip code, and further modify the figures.

This article suggests the top 5 places to splurge on wedding expenses, and the #1 item is photography:

Sad as it is to acknowledge, most of the wedding details that you worked so hard on will be mere memories the next day...But the photographs will be there to remind you of the memories and document your wedding day. So make sure that they're top notch by splurging to get the best photographer that you can...Make sure that you get a set of pictures printed by the photographer – the finishing work (editing, cropping, printing) should be far better than what you could do yourself."

The Brooklyn Public Library highlighted an interview with an up and coming photographerm, Leslie Barbour who, in response to the following question, said:
BPL: What do you think is the most difficult aspect of being in biz for yourself?

LB: Getting clients to understand the rates for photography services and then collecting the money in a timely fashion... At first as a photographer, you don't realize all the time it takes to complete a project....

And other responses to questions included insights like:
You need to really understand that people are going to think that pictures aren't worth as much as the photographer thinks they are worth. People think they can take their own pictures and then they realize they can't take pictures that are as good as a professional photographer would take. A professional might make mistakes, but she can fix the mistakes.

Until you get to a particular level, you have to face the issues of people not realizing the value of photography and photographers. A photographer is always going to be educating the client about the value of photography and the value of a professional photographer.

Placing a value on your work is part of being a professional.
If you're not sure how much you should be making, as you calculate your CODB to include what you are paying yourself, this is a pretty good place to start.
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