5 Boudoir Photography Pricing Mistakes to Avoid at All Costs
Pricing — it’s something I get asked about a lot as a boudoir photography coach. Whether it’s because someone has a lot of clients but isn’t necessarily profitable (and probably on the verge of burnout). Or if they’re profitable with no clients lined up. It’s a thorn in every photographer’s side.
Or at least, it has been at some point in their careers (myself included!)
I mean…I used to charge $25-100 for a session really early on in my career because that’s what I saw other photographers charging. And as you can imagine, I spent a lot of time working and making virtually NO money at all.
And this is what I DON’T want for you.
It took me some time, and quite a few more boudoir photography pricing mistakes, but eventually, I learned how to get to a place where I had a sustainable schedule AND a good profit.
THIS is what I want for you — so let’s talk about the 5 biggest boudoir photography pricing mistakes I see most photographers make, and how you can fix them!
RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
- Episode 60: Boudoir Sales Without Being Pushy
- TLC Pricing Template
- Episode 8: How This Portland Photographer Went From Regular $300 High Sales To A $9500 High Sale
Pricing Mistake #1: Following the Crowd
I know it can be tempting to set your prices according to what everyone else is doing. And while it is good to make sure you’re comparable in your niche (so you’re not charging in one extreme or the other), your prices should be unique to your business.
That’s because clients may be different, your location, experience, etc. What that other photographer is charging shouldn’t matter to you one bit.
And just because someone else is doing something doesn’t mean you have to, too! Price what you’re worth based on what you’re offering.
Pricing Mistake #2: You’re Following an All-Inclusive Model
I see this one a lot — especially when photographers don’t feel like they have time to do in-person sales (IPS). Non-in-person sales can usually mean all digital packages where they let their clients pick their photos online. Nothing in person.
Now I know this may not sound like a problem, but let me tell you why it’s not the best pricing model for a boudoir photographer.
First, this can be a very intimidating price for a client — even if it includes the works.
And secondly, from my experience, when you send a client a gallery of images, they are so overwhelmed by WHAT to pick that they will either take days or weeks to get back to you. Or they just never actually choose their favorites.
So sure, you saved ONE hour by not needing to do the IPS session (which could have even been done on Zoom in your pajamas), but you’ve got work just hanging over your head for who knows how long.
Not really a fair trade, ya know?
Pricing Mistake #3: You’re Talking About It All Wrong
I understand that when you’re just starting to figure out your pricing model, or maybe increasing your prices, you’re going to be a little nervous. That’s totally normal!
But the truth is, at least in my opinion (and experience), that people can tell we’re nervous more than we think. Most of the time, we aren’t going to sound super confident until we’ve talked about our prices a few times first.
And that’s where having a script comes in handy — you take out the guesswork of what to say or how to phrase it. You can go into each pricing session with clarity and CONFIDENCE because you’re not having to think about organizing or collecting your thoughts.
Worried about sounding robotic?
When you’re passionate enough about what you’re doing, you’re not going to sound like a robot. When you treat each client like their own person, even when you’re repeating the same information, you can still sound personable.
MY SCRIPT STRATEGY
Need to spark some ideas? Here’s an example of a script you can use.
“We will go over pricing more in detail at the session when you can actually look through my albums and see what you might want, but my session fee is $299, which includes hair, makeup, and four outfit changes.
Albums start at $699 and range up to $4,999, with the average client spending around $1-2,000, and getting an album with 10-20 images, depending on their price point. Yes, digital files of the images in the album are also included!
I have payment plan options available as needed as well.”
That’s literally all I say and it’s more than enough to make the clients happy and encourage them to book. Plus because I have this little speech memorized, I’m able to sound more confident!
Pricing Mistake #4: You haven’t Thought About Strategy
Pricing is NOT just throwing some numbers out there just because it sounds good. We’re not throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks. That’s never been a good method.
Otherwise, how do you know if those prices will actually make you money?
Cost of sales is anything that goes into making the session happen AND the end product — and I like to keep mine around 25%.
For me, what factors into that number is:
- Hair and makeup
- What I pay my associate photographer
- Retoucher’s fees (I outsource this!)
- Cost of the actual album
- Credit card transaction fees
And then my sales average is based on my personal and business goals. And while everyone’s will be different, you can strategize YOUR number with the pricing guide here! There’s quite a bit that goes into this number, so I’d really recommend taking some time to hash this out.
Pricing Mistake #5: You’re Not Using a Price List
A strategic price list, that is. (Are you noticing a theme with pricing yet? STRA-TA-GY!)
A strategic price list is great for photographers of any experience level. It helps you narrow down options and will also keep you from sounding too salesy with your clients.
A confused mind says no and by having an intentional product list, that is priced strategically, you help your clients make their purchasing decisions with ease.
It also encourages clients to spend what you NEED them to spend, without you needing to say a word about it. This means you can head into your sales sessions with more confidence because you know you’ll be able to hit that sales average goal — minus the intense pressure of talking about pricing!
To create your strategic price list, you’ll need your sales average goal.
From there, you can “tier” your pricing so that your sales average goal sits right in the middle (where most people will be inclined to purchase). And then you leave room for lower or higher-priced packages if that’s what people want.
There is SO MUCH MORE I could say about this, so if you’re interested in learning more, check out episode #60 for the deets!
Time to Take Your Biz to the Next Level
If you only get one thing from this episode — I want you to know, your pricing shouldn’t be an accident. You’ll have more success if you approach it purposefully and creating a strategic price list doesn’t need to be hard or scary.
It’s just numbers on a price list!
Your pricing strategy will help you stay in business not only by keeping you profitable but by helping you attract the right type of clients. Your pricing and marketing strategies will work hand in hand to build your business!
If you want to learn more about pricing yourself as a boudoir photographer, this is something I go WAY INTO DEPTH within 6-Figures Simplified.
This 6-month group coaching program will show you how to iron out some of the biz-backend (like pricing), and find your way to the photography business of your dreams! You get SO MUCH knowledge, a group to support you, and loads of resources.
If you want in, you can learn more about 6-Figures Simplified here!