47. This happens when you compare your prices to others

Sustainable Podcast Episode Cover 47 "Why it's a bad idea to base your prices on others?"

As a photographer, you are likely always looking for ways to improve your business and bottom line. But how and where do you base your price? While it might seem like a good idea to base your prices on what others are charging in your area, it can damage your business in the long run. 

There are several reasons why basing your prices on others is not a good strategy. Also, the question is, how you can find other ways to improve your photography business? 

Stick around – I’ve got some great tips for you!

How to find your price as a new photographer 

As a new photographer, one of the most challenging things is setting your prices. There are a few things you need to take into account when setting your prices. These are your experience, the quality of your work, and the market you’re in.

When you’re just starting out and already have these skills, you want to calculate your rates and know what you need to start right from the start. Working for free is usually better than starting off with lower rates. But in a transition period maybe you want to do a promotional rate. The exact strategy you need is unique to you though. But the fact is that you need and deserve to get paid for the work you do. As you gain experience and build a portfolio, you can easily raise your prices.

On the other hand, if you are starting and don’t have the skills yet, you should probably want to practice more before charging people for your work. When you deliver work that is not good enough, this will only discourage potential clients from working with you in the future. 

What happens if you compare your prices to others?

Comparing your prices to other photographers can be a slippery slope. Here are three things that can happen if you’re not careful about how to base your price:

1. You might start to doubt your worth.

If you find that your prices are significantly higher than other photographers, it’s easy to start doubting your worth. After all, why should someone pay more for your skills when they can get similar quality elsewhere?

Don’t fall into this trap! 

Remember that you are the only one who knows the value of your work. If you truly believe in your talent and skills, then your prices reflect that. Your clients should want you for you. And if you don’t know how to let that shine through, you definitely should check out the Sustainable Photography Program. Get on the waitlist as it starts this fall!

To know the value of high prices, you can listen to podcast episode 19.

Episode 19

2. You might end up lowering your prices.

On the other hand, if you find that your prices are significantly higher than other photographers, you might be tempted to lower them to compete.

Don’t do this! 

Your prices should reflect the value of your work, not the going rate for photography services. If you lower your prices, you’ll only end up devaluing your work. 

Learn the things that can be hurting your business in our podcast episode 39. 

Episode 39

3.  You might end up running a business without profit

You’re getting money in, but not paying attention to everything that’s going out. Running a business that isn’t making enough money to make a living, or even one that’s losing money is easier to do than you might think. Unfortunately. 

4. You might get caught up in a race to the bottom.

Comparing your prices to other photographers can also lead to a race to the bottom, where everyone is trying to undercut each other on price. Everyone is so focused on how to base their price using others’ prices. This could hurt your business.

This is a lose-lose situation for everyone involved. Not only will you end up making less money, but the quality of your work will suffer as well.

What should you do to be able to make a living from photography?

Focus on what you can control, which is the quality of your work, your marketing skills, and the direction you’re taking your brand. The better your work is, the more clients will be willing to pay. 

In addition, don’t forget to factor in all the other costs that go into running a photography business, such as equipment, software, props, and marketing. These costs can add up quickly, so factor them into your prices.

Your prices should be based on your expenses, the hours you put in, the value you give your clients, and how many bookings you get compared to your capacity. Your brand has to reflect this, and the marketing you do should draw the right people in.

Finally, don’t be afraid to charge what your work is worth. You should feel confident in your prices if you’re providing a valuable service and delivering high-quality work.

Don’t let comparisons bring you down – focus on what you can control and deliver the best possible photography to your clients. It will always be up to you how to base your price–just stick to my recommendations!

You can also check out how to learn from my mistakes in podcast episode 43. 

Episode 43


Comparing your prices to other photographers is a dangerous game.  It can lead to self-doubt, lower prices, and a race to the bottom. Instead, focus on what you can control – the quality of your work. If you deliver high-quality photography, clients will be willing to pay for it. 

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Sustainable Photography
Sustainable Photography
47. This happens when you compare your prices to others

hi, i'm ingvild

This podcast is all about education and inspiration for photographers. A sustainable business is profitable and lasting. Instead of short-term wins you want to make sure you’re doing things that matter. Both to yourself, and to create the business you want. The goal of this podcast is that it will help you build and structure your business around your life, instead of the other way around.

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