When getting started in boudoir photography you might find yourself unsure of where to begin. To begin you need to set your business up so that potential clients can book with you. Get a website, tax id, business cards, build your portfolio, etc… the basics. You'll also need a list of what you sell and how much you sell it for.
Pricing can be one of the most challenging decisions you have to make for your business. Luckily there are a LOT of pricing guides available for photographers that will help you understand how to price yourself. What is more difficult, though, is choosing which one of these pricing guides is best for you. I too had to make this decision and found it quite difficult. I first started shopping for boudoir specific pricing guides. This really is unnecessary. Boudoir is part of the portrait genre so a portrait pricing guide (or a wedding one and change it up a bit) will work swimmingly (did I just say swimmingly?) So, I decided to do a write up on each of the most popular pricing guides to better help you decide.
TMT Pricing Guide – TMT's Price Guide helps you get right down to business. The guide is an editable excel doc. worksheet. In addition to the guide is a series of blogs that help educate you along the way. Her pricing blogs can be viewed for free here. With the guide comes an overview and FAQS to answer anymore questions you may have along the way. You plug in your numbers along the way and it helps guide you to see what you need to be charging in order to pay your bills and make, the profit you desire, etc. There is also a tab within the worksheet that helps you to price prints, albums and add-ons individually. There is another tab that helps you to price out packages. Although the pre-filled out parts mention weddings you can easily apply this to your boudoir business. If you want to get right down to business then I suggest this pricing guide. It truly has everything you need. Did I mention it's only
$89 $59 (use code: PRICINGROCKS /expires Aug 31st 2012) Click here.
Matt & Katie's Guide to Selling in Person: This guide truly puts together the whole sales picture. Matt and Katie have one chapter on pricing and the rest of the guide is on SELLING. If you want more on how to price then I would suggest pairing this guide with TMT pricing guide or Easy as Pie Price Guide and you'll be WELL on your way to making bank. Matt & Katie go into detail with large photos of their sales room and show you their tricks. They teach you how to be a confident sales person. This guide really takes the guess work out and is so much more then “how to price.” It should be called the “In Person Sales Bible.” The layout is also spectacular. So easy to read and so many great pictures. They also have a chapter called “the sales session step-by-step / word for word,” Which is exactly what it is. The bottom line is that if you want to make money in person sales is where it's at. The guide is $150 and you can read more about it or purchase it here.
Easy as Pie Pricing Guide – If you like a step by step FUN workbook with silly jokes along the way then this pricing guide is for you. This is the guide that helped me to step up my pricing and step out of my self conscious state of mind. Essentially the guide is a workbook. I read it beginning to end. As you read through you fill in your numbers. How many shoots do you want to do per year? etc. Once you've answered these questions you will determine how much you need to charge for certain things like digital files, a cd of all the files, prints and albums. There is also a section that shows you how to best put these components together in order to create packages. If you have a few hours to sit down, read and fill out this workbook then I would say this one is for you. It is funny and educational at the same time. I would highly recommend it. The only real downfall for me is the price tag. This workbook will run you $349 and you can view it here.
Tofurious's Pricing Guide: This guide really talks about pricing packages. Although it is geared towards wedding photographers it can easily be used for boudoir or portrait packaging. I think my favorite part of this guide is that is goes into the psychology of pricing. It really talks about decision making and why people choose a certain way. For the price of this guide I almost feel it would be best to buy this in additional to a pricing guide or workbook. It's important to know why people make decisions so that you can know how to price yourself a certain way and decide upon how many packages you should give them as choices, etc. The guide + Price sheet is $65 and you can read more about it here.
So which guide is best for boudoir photographers?
Overall any of these guides will help you price your services. My recommendation for boudoir photographers would be The Modern Tog's Pricing Guide or Easy as Pie Price Guide in addition to Matt & Katie's Guide to in Person Sales. Then if you had a bit left to invest I would put it towards Tofurious's Guide so you can learn the psychology behind WHY your clients buy and learn how to better structure your packages. Figuring out your numbers and polishing your in person sales are so crucial for boudoir photographers! Why put in all the time pre shoot and during the shoot if you don't know how to sell. The post shoot in person sales is the most important part for you as a business owner. You need to be making money to continue your business and live, it's as simple as that. Not only would your first sale pay for both of these but you would STILL be left with a profit…. WINNING!
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