01.26.10 Photography

FAQ : Pricing

T
his is my story. This is how I started the business. It is not meant to be right, wrong, or incredulous, but merely meant to share how everything began and how the ball started rolling. I receive countless emails everyday from photographers asking me how they should price their worth, or where they should begin their pricing period. Let me start by saying I HAVE NO IDEA.

There are (loosely) two school of belief when it comes to pricing your business when you start:
1. Price your business in order to get your name out there, get busy, and practice your craft in real scenarios. This runs the risk of being the 'cheap' brand, clients undervaluing your work, and/or creates a referrals within a distinct price range.
2. Price your business according to your worth. This avoids being the 'cheap' brand and being compared to Uncle Bob photographers.

Lucky for me, the decision was made for me. Back in 2006, I was contacted by a bride. She informed she wanted an Engagement Session, 10 Hours of Coverage, Two Photographers, and Disc of Images, and her budget was $1,000. I never shot a wedding before and I wanted this wedding more than I wanted LA Gear Pumps back in 90s. Badly. But at the same time, I wanted her to value her investment, as well as the enormous amounts of time that goes into the backend of wedding photography. Thus, Jasmine Star Wedding Packages were born.

Package One : Engagement Session, 10 Hours of Coverage, and Two Photographers : $1,000
Package Two: Engagement Session,10 Hours of Coverage, Two Photographers and Disc of Images : $1,500

Thankfully, the ever fab bride booked me for Package Two and my business officially began when I shot her wedding in October 2006. I received the best advice from my dear friend shortly thereafter and he said if I was learning more, going to workshops, and investing in my business (which I was), I had to continually raise the package prices because I was becoming a better photographer, and, therefore, was worth more. He encouraged me to raise my prices $300 for every three weddings I booked. In 2007 my wedding business mushroomed and I booked 38 weddings, so my prices have changed a lot since then, as well as a lot of things in regard to my packages.

So, I know this leads, naturally, to more questions about my current prices and collections, but I'll save that for a future FAQ, where I can get into depth about other aspects of pricing, including the inclusion of albums with my services. I debated posting this because, well, it makes me feel vulnerable and silly. But then JD encouraged me because we stand by the decisions we made. Yes, we lost a lot of clients by raising prices so quickly as our business grew, but being a singular photographer, demand was outmeasuring supply (i.e. I could only book one wedding on a given Saturday), so price was used to monitor my growth. If I didn't raise my prices, I could have easily shot more weddings at a $1,000, but I wouldn't have had measurable business development and further define my brand to be, ultimately, what it is today.

If you're just starting out, I hope this information helps out a little bit. If not, my bad. This was just my experience and how my business unfolded. Like I mentioned before, it's awkward posting this stuff on the web, but after all the emails I've received, I think bringing this subject to the surface might help one person. Or two.


This picture is so random, I know. I found my point&shoot camera this morning (stuck in a purse I thought I lost) and found this photo. I took it at a yummy Thai restaurant we visited in Napa. Totally ghetto fab hole-in-the-wall, but the yellow curry was divine. Seriously.
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Edna - Love this Jasmine, so helpful, you are great!  04.14.14 - 6:24pm
Emily - YES. Thanks j* for showing me this article. It really helped! I appreciate it!   10.04.13 - 9:57am
Leah - Thanks so much for posting this...in 2010! YES, I came across your blog today and am now spending my evening reading your previous blog posts. So much great information!!!   02.09.13 - 4:03pm
Louella Allen - Despite your vulnerability and feelings of silliness, you have given advice that is worth more than you can imagine. Just the process alone was helpful to learn. Thank You JD for encouraging you to post this. We are all given gifts and these gifts are not ours to keep. You share your gifts very well and you should be proud of yourself. THANK YOU so much!  02.26.12 - 12:59pm
Spyros Papanastasiou - Thanks for all you have written. Sometimes though price is inevitably related to the local economy. I mean to say that even if the need for better nad newer equipment dictates a rise in prices, so much drama with the world wide economy and so many low wages dictate the opposite. I am trying to keep my prices as high as they were 3 years ago, nevermind increasing them. And I am talking for 1,000 dollars for a wedding including video and album... Let's hope for better days...  02.23.12 - 12:40am
Claudia Strepp - HI Jasmine, first of all : a very happy new year ! thanks for posting this info online, I feel this helps a tremendous deal to the starting out photographers. I appreciate that you are straight forward with this ( even though you stated it felt a bit weird). I think a lot of "pros " just keep this all secret and under cover, but I never understood why... So, thank you putting it out there and shed some light on the one of the major issues the beginning photographers will have to face! have a great year !  01.02.12 - 5:51pm
Renaldo Creative - Thanks for this post Jasmine this helped me out a lot. I’m doing my first wedding this year and this post helped me out a lot.  11.28.11 - 11:05am
Ashley Bee - I don't know anyone else who went from a couple weddings one year to 38 the next! You have something very special Jasmine!  08.17.11 - 7:57pm
denise karis - this might be a weird question to ask - especially so late after posting this, but how did you transition those prices? what if a bride booked you 8 months from now and you charge her your current prices and then in 8 months youre charging one bride $1200 more than the other one? Or what if one bride refers another bride to you and told her how much she paid for your services and then the bride contacts you and is upset that you're significantly more expensive than her friend paid? and was it for every three weddings you SHOOT or BOOK? like if you book 10 weddings realquick and then shoot three and THEN raise your prices? Dang im asking a lot of questions and you surely dont have time to give me a pricing class but maybe for a future shooting star? :P xoxoxo thanks for all your blogness!  06.21.11 - 7:19am
Jim - A post which continues to inspire more than a year after you wrote it. Thank you, Jasmine.  04.15.11 - 1:17am
Laura - Thank-you so much for this!! I am trying to decide on pricing for my first wedding.  03.30.11 - 5:10pm
Maïa - yep, interesting ! Did you finally wrote a post about your current pricing ? I have a problem to create my pricing since I do weddings, but also portraits and companies...how would you do ? And do you still sell cd/dvds ?  03.01.11 - 2:38pm
Jayne B Photography - great words! This is my first wedding season since I graduated and I am faced with decisions about pricing and branding. I want to create a more diverse wedding portfolio this year with out "cheap-ening" my brand! I will take your advice!  03.01.11 - 6:34am
Caroline Lime - Thanks for being so helpful and genuine!!!!   10.30.10 - 9:38am
Becky - Hi Jasmine! This is a totally late comment, but this post stuck out to me and remained in the back of my mind, so I searched for it :) Your tips are always helpful! I just wanted to ask how many images on average you provide your clients for engagement shoots & weddings?? THANKS! <3  04.13.10 - 9:34pm
lisa ruiz - Hi Jasmine! Thanks for this post. I just did a google search for photographers and happen to find your AMAZING blog. Your photographs are TRULY one of a kind they really are beautiful! I'm not a wedding photographer but I'am a backup for other professionals in the business. Your posts are very informative and I want to thank you for all the time and effort you put into them.   03.25.10 - 8:44pm
Megan Swanson - Don't feel silly posting this stuff. Are you kidding me?! You are helping so many of us out right now! Thanks for being awesome and honest!  02.24.10 - 8:34pm
JulieLim - Did your beginning price ($1,500) included an Album?   02.24.10 - 12:12pm
bethany schiedel - thank you for being vulnerable and sharing!! i so appreciate it!  02.15.10 - 10:37pm
Ben - Very helpful, thanks!  02.09.10 - 8:19am
Caity - This really helps me out! I was just like you when I started wedding photography. I gave it some thought and decided $1200 was a decent price for two photographers and a CD of edited images with an Album (okay, so I undercut myself a touch compared to you! BUT it got me booked!). On that pricing I have booked 15 weddings in my area, none of which were referrals (though I look forward to getting some once these weddings pick up in May!). I also want to say that you are a true inspiration for me. Thank you for being so honest, forthcoming, and talented ;)  02.03.10 - 6:11pm
Josh - Great info. Thanks for sharing.  02.01.10 - 11:11pm
Amber Fox - Thanks for sharing Jasmine. I truly think pricing is one of the hardest things about starting a photography business. And on another note, I was in Napa this weekend too. I hope you enjoyed yourself as much as I did. The weather was simply gorgeous and the wine was divine!   02.01.10 - 7:56pm
Jackie - Great article! Thanks for sharing the info.  01.31.10 - 7:50am
KathleeN Porter - Thank you for this Jasmine!   01.31.10 - 7:26am
bradyo - Awesome post, thanks for sharing your experience so that others can benefit. i'm still working my way up the ladder too, i want to be able to charge 10K a wedding someday. i love checking out your blog and i love how you designed it like a magazine. aloha and happy shooting. B  01.31.10 - 12:41am
Aaron - Excellent post. This is a subject my wife struggles with so we've been stuck on the same price structure for three years. Hopefully she'll read this and be encouraged.  01.30.10 - 5:18pm
cookieFLORES - Knowing that even you have gone through this makes me feel so much better. You're always wonderful; from your spirit to your work, beautiful. Thank you!  01.30.10 - 11:25am
Rob - Thank-you for posting this sliver "in-the-life-of" back when you were getting started. As someone, myself, who will never dive into wedding photography, I believe this aspect of business - photographic or otherwise - is a very "blackbox" subject for most entrepreneurs out there. Having a glimpse of how you fell into your package pricing will alleviate anxiety for a lot of you readers. Keep up the great shots. Your perspective on people (and thus your captures) are always a shot in the butt for me to be better!   01.29.10 - 6:22pm
Carrie Roseman - Thanks for this post, Jasmine. But I have another question...I don't understand how you shot your first wedding in Oct '06, then booked 38 the following season. How did it explode over a period of months like that? I would love to know how your business grew so fast. Thank you in advance for your response.  01.29.10 - 2:53pm
Karen (Mikols) Bonar - Keep posting this stuff, J*!!!  01.29.10 - 2:18pm
Haley - Thank you so much for the information. I was just going over pricing today, so the info couldn't have been more timely.  01.29.10 - 1:48pm
Life with Kaishon - Thank you so much for this.   01.29.10 - 1:25pm
Paloma - This was totally helpful. It's such a tough decision to pick a price for something you'd almost do for free, but know is worth a lot. Thanks for such a clear and concise answer. I love your work and your honesty! And your dog is pretty cute too!  01.29.10 - 11:30am
Sarah - Thanks for being so open about everything Jasmine! Funny, these posts always come at the perfect time :) I've been recently thinking about my own pricing and wondering about the what if's and too much? etc. Keep posting these posts please....it helps so many people!Your Awesome!!!  01.29.10 - 11:14am
Heather - Love your blog! Thanks for all the honest information you post each day :-)  01.29.10 - 8:25am
shani barel-desser - Thank you jasmine for posting such a SIMPLE, CLEAR way of doing things and the simple reasons behind it- thank you for being about a subject that is mostly hush hush and not-discussed. This SOOO helps.  01.28.10 - 6:26pm
Matthew Kent - Great information. My colleague and I are always pining over when to raise prices and by how much. We've found ourselves wanting to change our prices daily. This is a great piece of advice. Thank you!  01.28.10 - 5:51pm
Monica - Jasmine you are so cute and wonderful! I love your blog! I read it all the time at work. I look at your pictures over and over again! They are so PERFECT! Thank you for sharing everything!   01.28.10 - 5:27pm
Blair - Jasmine! Thank you so much, I have been going back and forth over this issue for a long time now and really appreciate you sharing! xo  01.28.10 - 4:28pm
Christina - Thanks! It did help a lot! You reassured me my own pricing decisions :] It was wonderful meeting you at TKB today!  01.28.10 - 12:58pm
Nathan Ciurzynski - Thanks for sharing. This definitely helps!  01.28.10 - 10:53am
Christy - O Photography - THANK YOU, JASMINE!! I have tried to explain this to my loving husband for months now. Your blogs inspire me (us) to keep moving forward. You are an angel!!! Much love, Christy   01.28.10 - 10:29am
Allison - Jasmine! Thank you so much for being open enough to share something so huge about your business. We have been wondering how to slowly move our pricing and this gives me some great food for thought! Thanks for always keeping it real and telling it like it is!  01.28.10 - 6:58am
Christina Zimmerman - WOW..Thank you so much for sharing!! I have been struggling with this..and I really appreciate you taking the time to become vulnerable and write this. You are AMAZING!  01.28.10 - 5:49am
Peter - Great blog, I really enjoyed the wedding photography. Keep posting new photography, I like to see all the different pictures of the weddings.  01.28.10 - 4:22am
Samantha Bartolomeo - Thanks for the post, Jasmine. This was very informative and very much appreciated!  01.28.10 - 3:52am
Hanssie Trainor - Who cares what people think? You're Jasmine Star and it's your blog. Love your openness and willingness to share.  01.27.10 - 10:02pm
Elisabeth Carol - Thank you so much for posting this! I love your faqs more than anything! Thank you for sharing your story and your heart. :)  01.27.10 - 8:57pm
Lori - It's really lovely for you to share your advice to freely(if not necessarily easily) with the world. Thank you so much for being so open! This information was great!  01.27.10 - 8:08pm
Stacey Malleck - I always appreciate your FAQ blog posts. Thanks!  01.27.10 - 8:04pm
Nicole Glenn - You are the best. Always. Period.  01.27.10 - 8:01pm
Janine White - Make that two! Very helpful and timley advice for me. Thanks J*  01.27.10 - 6:10pm
Jill Howard - Thanks for going out on a limb and sharing your experience. I have that exact discussion going on in my head as I work through adjusting my prices. I love the way you keep it real on here!  01.27.10 - 5:38pm
tiffany zajas - Thank you so so much for sharing this! As this is my first full year in business, I am still learning and struggling with how to price my services. This is extremely helpful! :) I'm looking forward to hearing more about your packages in your next FAQ.   01.27.10 - 5:15pm
Jenny Photography - Thanks for sharing Jasmine! I love your blog and follow it faithfully...   01.27.10 - 2:54pm
Jenny Photography - Thanks for sharing Jasmine! I love your blog and follow it faithfully...   01.27.10 - 2:54pm
MeganBeth - Thank you so much for sharing! This was incredibly helpful--more than you can imagine. :)  01.27.10 - 2:42pm
JaimeClapp - Thank you for sharing this Jasmine! Great advice and story!  01.27.10 - 2:31pm
!Carly - Thanks for posting this Jasmine! I look forward to the more detailed pricing post as I've been doing this for 2 years and have followed your $300.00 suggestion (you mentioned it awhile ago) and now have many more questions. Do you sell prints or just discs? Thanks for being vulnerable, I APPRECIATE IT!!!  01.27.10 - 2:09pm
Alicia Damron - Thank you for sharing your experience with this. I've had trouble with it also, I'll want a job so I feel like I price myself too low to get it. It's great to hear real life experiences from someone established and I respect that. Thanks!  01.27.10 - 2:01pm
Stephanie Stewart - Thank you, J*, this does help! Pricing is so difficult, especially being new, and people expecting alot for very little or nothing at all. Love how you share your real life business with your fans. Thanks again!  01.27.10 - 9:31am
Stephanie Rose - Thanks for the post. I struggle with my pricing, I've been doing photography for almost a year...I try to stay affordable because I want everyone to be able to afford gorgeous photos. My photographer friends think I charge way too low for my work. : /  01.27.10 - 9:22am
Melissa Yocum - Thank you SO VERY MUCH for sharing this with us!! It's nice to know I'm at least on the right track... sometimes there are too many opinions, but yours is experienced, and I value it! :) Thanks also for passing along the advice on when and why to increase pricing that David Jay passed along. Good work is worth good pay, and I need to remember that more often! Thanks again!!  01.27.10 - 9:18am
Michelle sidles - Thanks! I just finished reading an article that "ripped" cheap photogs. Rather than inspiring us (as your post does) it just feels like those of us who are just starting out are being condemned by established pros. I appreciate you sharing your experience rather than just berating us to quit screwing up the entire industry. ;)   01.27.10 - 9:16am
Nicky - This was extremely helpful Jasmine! Thank you for being real! Thank you for who you are! You are such a blessing to SO many!!  01.27.10 - 9:10am
amanda thiessen - i love that you are so open and transparent to everyone. so, thank you!!!! and i love that my husband and i were lucky enough to have you as our photographer. we will cherish those photos forever!!  01.27.10 - 8:46am
Rose - You're so helpful. Thank you.  01.27.10 - 8:37am
Courtney - I'm shooting my first wedding as in June, and honestly I'm scared poopless! And it's for a dear friend of mine who is total relaxed and go with the flow kind of bride and person in life. But this post will definitely help as I move from "let me take your pictures at no cost to build up my confidence, practice and gain experience" to "I'm a photographer these are my prices". Jasmine, thanks for you FAQ sessions and being an inspiration!  01.27.10 - 8:09am
Rebecca - I freaking LOVE thai yellow curry. Especially when it has pineapple and potatoes in it. Mmmmm *slowly grabs her jacket to head out for thai*.... Darnit Jasmine, how is a girl supposed to diet when you talk about yummy food all the time? :D  01.27.10 - 7:49am
Jessica Lee - Helped me!! Thanks so much!!   01.27.10 - 7:46am
Patty Luna - Great Idea on posting this!! Thank you!! and Have a Wonderful and Blessed Day!!  01.27.10 - 7:16am
Fabrice Lambert - We're you greatful for all of your grace! You're really a master for me. Many, many thanks...  01.27.10 - 7:10am
Sarah - (I have a degrees in engineering, and an MBA. Neither prepare you for the decisions that come with running one's own business.) Thanks for your article. It's not that your way is THE Way. But it's one way that worked. And that helps me decide with a bit more confidence. So thanks. Consider one more person helped!  01.27.10 - 6:52am
Paula Herko - jasmine, thank you so much for your transparency and allowing us to see how it all began. Please know that these little posts mean a lot to me as I struggle with how to price my worth and the value of my work. This post was a great eye opener for me and my business. Thank you!   01.27.10 - 6:52am
Tyler C - Thanks for posting this.   01.27.10 - 6:49am
Christine N - This is pretty much where my pricing has started too. Great post! It would be interesting to see the different packages you offer now. :)  01.27.10 - 6:49am
Celesa Felix - Jasmine you have no idea how much your posts help me. I look forward to reading your outlooks on starting a new business. It is so scary just starting out. Not knowing who to turn to and what photographer is going to help you out and who isn't. So thank you so much for being who you are! You ROCK.  01.27.10 - 6:13am
Jill Swank - Thanks J. Its so easy to get too many options flying at you at once in this business. It's nice to hear some advice from some one that is doing so well. I have 2 (my first weddings) that I may do this summer. I am only 1 photographer and don't know how to go about getting a second photographer without giving them too much of the cut and not getting more business for myself?  01.27.10 - 5:47am
Katie Jo - This advice was TREMENDOUSLY helpful!!!  01.27.10 - 5:33am
Bobbie Brown - You can count me as one that this post helped! Thank you!   01.27.10 - 4:54am
Lisa - Hey Jasmine - I have been following your blog for a couple months now and I have to tell you, that you've really become my inspiration. I'm a newbie to all this but THIS is what I love to do and so I'm going to go for it. Thanks for all your encouragement and help. Your blog reads like a best friend. Thanks so much.  01.27.10 - 4:36am
Joe Anna - Aww, I know stuff like this is awkward but you're seriously helping more than one or two of us :) Thank you for your advice and your candid transparency.  01.27.10 - 4:30am
Candice Lanning {The Beautiful Mess} - love this! thank you for feeling silly...so I could hear this. that's why we love you :)   01.27.10 - 4:29am
Kelly Green - Hi Jasmine - I was the person who asked you this question on the bschool last week. I am really grateful for you sharing this information about your business, as I am just staring mine. I have learnt so much from following your blog. I know it must be hard putting yourself out there, but you have no idea how much it means - thank you from the bottom of my heart x  01.27.10 - 2:12am
Anne - Thank you!!! I've never known how to go about pricing my work, even as a webdesigner I find it impossible to value myself correctly. I always undervalue my work. (as my husband keeps telling me). I'm wanting to branch out into photography, but am way too unsure of myself and my talents. Your post has helped me to look at it from another perspective and to dare to put a price on my work. So thank you! You've helped me more than you know by all your posts and helpful advice. Thank you for being a star!  01.27.10 - 1:40am
Christina Graves - Thank you so much, You are always putting you're self and you're business out there for all of us....it means alot:) Loveyaalot's  01.27.10 - 1:30am
Mindy - Thank you so much Jazzy*!!! This question has been on my mind for forever and a day...it is one of my biggest hurdles to get over so that I can get my business started...I have no idea where to start and what I am worth...but this post helps immensely...thank you for being you and for all of your raw honesty!!! I LOVE it!!! Your words of advice, humor and wit is what makes you YOU...and you are FABULOUS and LOVABLE!!! Happy Hump Day!!!  01.27.10 - 12:43am
manon - one question about that. You said you raise your price every 3 wedding which is a great idea, but how do you do it. is it after every 3 weddings you book, or after you shoot, because clients ask a whole lot earlier. please tell us how you do it in detail.  01.27.10 - 12:11am
Tor-Ivar - Wow... your post was just perfectly timed... I have always wanted to go into the wedding photography-business, and now this february, I have my first three (!) weddings coming up (3 out of 4 saturdays in February are booked!). I am extremely excited, but have also wondered alot about pricing... Thanks for sharing ideas and insight! Regards from Norway making the "big jump" in a couple of weeks  01.26.10 - 11:37pm
Christophe Mortier - Thank so much for sharing! Greetings from France  01.26.10 - 10:31pm
Melissa - Thank you. You have no idea how helpful your business posts are.  01.26.10 - 9:57pm
Myla - yes. . .i echo the rest of the comments. . .this post is helpful for those of us just starting out. . .it is encouraging and invaluable . . . thank you! and bring on more similar posts. . . :)   01.26.10 - 9:41pm
Rory Mole - Hi thre Jasmine, Thanks so much for another fabulous post and for being able to share sensitive info with us all. Just to add something to what you said.... People who book a professional photographer don't realise that apart from growing in your skills as a photographer, there is all the expensive gear that takes your photography up to a much higher level. L series lenses are expensive together with the full frame pro cameras. I know that there is a huge difference between images shot with an entry level DSLR with the 50mm f1.8 lens compared to images shot with a 5D Mk 2 and a 50mm f1.2 L lens. So, in order to get "The look" people need to understand that it has cost you a lot to develop your style to that point to give them something outstanding. Great post... keep em comin...  01.26.10 - 9:11pm
jenny tarau - this post was truly beneficial. Merci!   01.26.10 - 9:03pm
ashley morgan - Jasmine, thank you. You are so generous to beginning photographers. I consider myself pre-beginning...still afraid to jump in with even one whole foot, so your FAQ posts couldn't be more helpful. I've referred so many people to your site. You're the greatest!  01.26.10 - 8:50pm
Audrey - Thank you so much for this info. You advise is so kind. When I get married, i hope to be able to hire you.  01.26.10 - 8:45pm
Chris Whitcomb - Sweet post, thank you for sharing and hopefully inspiring some of the "I'm not worth it" photographers to realize they are.  01.26.10 - 8:38pm
Lisa H. Chang - Thank you SOO much. This makes sense. :)  01.26.10 - 8:23pm
Carolyn Egerszegi - Thanks for this post Jasmine! It was very helpful. I'm just starting to make the move into weddings and I've had a very difficult time pricing myself. I always think "I'm not worthy" and never give myself any credit. There is a constant battle within my conscience over the fact that "I can't even afford me" and the requisite guilt that goes along with that! I just wish I'd read this post before I booked 8 weddings without raising my rates. Grrrrr. See me shaking my fist at you for not posting this sooner. wink.  01.26.10 - 8:22pm
Green-in-the-biz - I don't understand - how can you be so awesome??? I have noticed for a few years now that many photographers (minus a select few) are quite judgmental and evil to people starting out. I'm not talking about critics -- those are certainly always helpful. I'm talking about demeaning comments or snide remarks. I am a newbie...I've been taking photography more seriously since 2006 (though I've always loved it - just never thought I could actually "do" it). I would say that one of the BIGGEST THINGS that holds me back (mentally) are -other- photographers. Not that anyone has said anything to me specifically or even anything about my photos, but I'm afraid they would - so I held back on starting a business. I have gotten wonderful compliments from local photographers/workshop teachers/online photographers whom I greatly respect, but STILL, I read very harsh things directed at other newbies, like me, and automatically feel that they would apply to me as well, so I continue to go to workshops (just went to Imaging USA!) continue to read and read and read, continue to practice (have taken 100s of GIGS of photos - I have a slight hoarding issue when it comes to photos :p) AND STILL I wonder - am I really good enough to charge??!? I have started charging and have received nothing but compliments on my work from clients (and friends/family - but they don't really count, do they??) :p Yet, I still worry mostly about what OTHER photographers think. You are an awesome photographer and you got started the "wrong" way (according to so many photographers) yet you have come so far. It is definitely due to talent, hard work and intelligence. I have at least one of those covered, so I'll continue trudging on and going for my dream.. in spite of worries of my own inadequacy. Thank you for being an inspiration!! Of all of the photographers I've seen and read about - you are the most inspiring to me, because you are the most LIKE me. I hope that one day I appreciate myself as a photographer as much as I appreciate your!  01.26.10 - 8:14pm
chandra - That's great advice and info. If you had to pick one piece of equipment or lens to buy when starting out, what would it be, and how did you learn about setting up your business when you first started? Thanks!  01.26.10 - 8:10pm
Kirsten Staggs Bitzer - You could not have posted this at a better time for me. This is all I have been thinking about and it's good to hear from someone who's been there. Just today I posted an ad on Craigslist that I would do a wedding/engagement/senior pictures/family shoot for, basically, nothing at all. I didn't know if this was the right thing to do, seeing as my desire to expand my portfolio outweighs my desire to get the amount I think I deserve. Your post doesn't change my mind, necessarily but it is still very valuable information. Thank you.  01.26.10 - 7:39pm
Catie Ronquillo - Way to keep it real. It's great to see you had humble beginnings and your business flourished to bring you to where you are now! Pricing is a topic that isn't cut and dry, so that's for sharing what you did.  01.26.10 - 7:36pm
Amy Gibbons - OMG...you read my mind today! I increased my prices for 2010 & have had brides turning me down left & right as I'm now "too expensive." It's refreshing to read this knowing I made the right decision for my business & it's growth & need to stand by it 100%!  01.26.10 - 6:37pm
Charlie - thankyou thankyou..this is one of the most helpful blog posts I have had the pleasure of reading Charliexxx  01.26.10 - 6:34pm
Maria - Thank you so much for sharing! It is definitely helpful!  01.26.10 - 6:32pm
alyssa jul - I was at PPO convention last February where you spoke and I asked this very same question, I took the advise you gave from David Jay and it along with your branding session has completely changed our buisness! (For the good) I still feel blessed to have been in that session!   01.26.10 - 6:16pm
Leslie - I really like this post. It's a lot more honest and genuine.  01.26.10 - 6:14pm
Lydia - If nothing else, you have encouraged us to value ourselves and help our clients to value us and our work!  01.26.10 - 5:58pm
Shannon - Thanks Jasmine. This is our second official year in Wedding Photography so this advice is GREAT. As our business grows it is great to have an idea of how to raise prices and not have to do 52 weddings a year just to survive. See you at WPPI!!!!   01.26.10 - 5:52pm
Carrie K - Thank you thank you thank you!!:) it's good to know i'm headed in the right direction!  01.26.10 - 5:48pm
Taryn Bills - Thanks for being so candid. I find pricing to be one of the toughest challenges for a business owner. I appreciate you laying it out there!!  01.26.10 - 5:19pm
www.viennaglenn.com - You are fabulous... because you are different... You want to HELP the ones that inspire you, like me:) I respect you so much for sharing your experience and knowledge!  01.26.10 - 5:18pm
www.viennaglenn.com - You are fabulous... because you are different... You want to HELP the ones that inspire you, like me:) I respect you so much for sharing your experience and knowledge!  01.26.10 - 5:18pm
Christa - Thanks. I needed this post!  01.26.10 - 5:12pm
Rachelle - Hi Jasmine I'm not a photographer, but I would love to know how photographers balance charging for their worth, and still being an affordable option for brides.   01.26.10 - 5:04pm
Pol - Thank you! Pricing is always a sensitive issue, but this helps a lot.  01.26.10 - 4:42pm
NoelleMonique - I've been soooo confused about the pricing issue lately, and where to even begin....Jasmine, this post was EXACTLY what I needed!!! Thank you so much for your generosity and kindness in helping us beginners!! :)  01.26.10 - 4:36pm
Christie Mumm - Thank you Jasmine, for continuing to share your experiences, pricing is a hard one, great advise here!!  01.26.10 - 4:34pm
Paige Butcher - Jasmine, thanks so SO much for posting this. It is truly one of the most helpful FAQ posts you've written. This kind of guidance is invaluable to a new photographer -- and totally worth your vulnerability!   01.26.10 - 4:31pm
Jennifer Brotchie - Jasmine, thanks for sharing... please don't ever hesitate on pushing the publish button...your experiences are sooo valuable to those of us starting out...so every tidbit is soo much appreciated- more than you could ever know. Thanks a mil.  01.26.10 - 4:10pm
Inland Empire Wedding Photographer - You are a brave soul. Talking pricing is so awkward. Yet I have started doing it too. I have started helping other photographers with pricing..but i still feel uncomfortable talking about it.  01.26.10 - 4:09pm
Katherine - Thanks for sharing- I often wonder about this. ;)  01.26.10 - 4:03pm
Sarah - Thank you SOO much! I have always wondered where to start. $1,000 seems quite doable for a first-timer :)  01.26.10 - 3:54pm
Velia - Jasmine thank you for always sharing tips and insight on your own experience.   01.26.10 - 3:44pm
Kate Whitmore - Remember how you think this might not help anyone? Well, you're wrong. Because this is ... well, awesome. People tend to imply that prices should be set at the beginning of the year and not changed...I hate that rule. And you made my hatred of the rule completely justifiable (sidenote: I would have worried about this until you posted about it). Thank you for saving myself (and my husband) from endless days of worrying.  01.26.10 - 3:33pm
Shannon - J* thanks so much for this post! I am also just starting to take on this venture we call wedding photography and it is hard stuff. No one ever knows what to say about pricing... seems very "taboo" so I am glad you were willing to dive in a bit. Awesome post! Gives me hope :) Pretty sure you helped more than one person... or two :)  01.26.10 - 3:32pm
Brent Pilgrim - I love hearing the beginning of everyone's story. I'm glad to know that even the people that I get inspiration from were once where I am right now.  01.26.10 - 3:07pm
Leah G. - As someone starting out and needing all the help I can get....this post helped alot! Thanks for sharing your secrets and being willing to help those of us who are new at this!  01.26.10 - 3:05pm
Damaris Mia - Thank you J*.. this blog was helpful! Did you second-shoot at all when you first started? Or did you JUMP right in?   01.26.10 - 3:04pm
meg campbell-back - thank you so much for this!!! Due to a work permit glitch I really only started a few months ago, and need to review my pricing for the next season, which here in Fiji peaks june-sept. Really appreciate you sharing..... and I like the idea that there is reward in continuing to educate, go to events to learn etc.... (PS nice to see you were recently in NZ! that's where I'm from!)  01.26.10 - 3:03pm
Amanda :) - Helps me!!! :) Thank you SO much Jasmine. You're FAQ posts are always so helpful!!   01.26.10 - 2:51pm
Lisa - EXTREMELY helpful post, Thank you! Even those of us who have been at this game for awhile and qualify as "experienced" struggle with pricing - the decision to raise prices and lose potential clients (especially if you know you would have liked working with them) is never an easy one, so I always appreciate someone else weighing in on the subject! And what was the name of that restaurant??? I adore ghetto-fab hole-in-the-wall restaurants :-)  01.26.10 - 2:51pm
Melissa Knowles - Jasmine - I loved this post. Pricing has always been an issue for me, and I'm fairly certain I've come off as the "cheap" one, even though I've been trying to make it worthwhile too. I love the idea of raising prices after booking a certain amount of weddings. I am going to do that now too! Thank you for sharing!  01.26.10 - 2:50pm
Kelley - This is awesome advice. Pricing is such a complicated issue when you are just starting out. Thank you for sharing your 'guidelines'. Very helpful!!  01.26.10 - 2:46pm
Kristen Leigh - Haha You're so cute.   01.26.10 - 2:46pm
Aimee T. - Thank you Jasmine. You've settled the anxiety that I get when the question "How much do you charge?" comes my way. =)  01.26.10 - 2:38pm
Kara Layne - Groan...the whole pricing thing haunts me in my sleep every night. Thank you for such a wonderful post on how you started out in regards to pricing. Definitely gives some of us direction and reassurance!  01.26.10 - 2:34pm
fiona andersen - I adore you!!!! Seriously...ADORE!!! You give and then give some more. When others are hiding their secrets you have yours on a billboard for everyone to read and learn from. xxxxxxx   01.26.10 - 2:25pm
Jules Ko Photography - Bravo Jasmine! Thank you for sharing this so candidly. I see so many photographers who hurt themselves and us as an industry cuz they stay so low...  01.26.10 - 2:22pm
Tanja - You rock!.. I so want you to do a workshop in UK.. ( would loove for you to come to Norway ;)  01.26.10 - 2:19pm
whitney law - super super helpful. the end.  01.26.10 - 2:11pm
Jasmine* - My homies.........THANK YOU. It took me a while before I pressed the Publish button on this post. Your support is appreciated. Greatly.  01.26.10 - 2:07pm
Adam Stevens - You must be dense! Not helpful!!?? Like finding a Benjamen in my pocket!! Pricing is forever the crux of just about any industry. Again your transparency and honesty are a boon to us all.  01.26.10 - 2:02pm
April - What can I say that hasn't already been said here? Thank you!  01.26.10 - 2:00pm
Chris Boyd - Not sure why this is such a sensitive topic among photogs? Cheers to Jasmine for being open about it!! I'm sure it's been helpful to more than one (or two) peeps.  01.26.10 - 1:59pm
Angel - This post came at such a perfect time! I have been working on my wedding packages all weekend and have felt soo insecure about my pricing and this made me feel more secure! thank you! love your blog and your photos!! [ =  01.26.10 - 1:57pm
Penny - One of my core beliefs is that we are all entitled to earn a living. While there are many people who do this part time and an extra $1000 is great money, what about the people that are trying to do this for a living? Pay a mortgage, raise a family, send children to university. We should never have to "defend" our pricing in a free market. It's supply and demand. Each photographer is unique. We are not hired because we have white lenses strapped to our camera or know how to use PS to make people look good. :) We're hired for our eye; our vision and view of the world. And no one else has that. Oh I can go on and on with this subject but this isn't a forum. I just want to say I agree with you and don't ever feel you have to defend your pricing or your choices. People love what you do and there will always be a market for J* at any price!  01.26.10 - 1:55pm
tori - thanks so much for all your advice and faq posts! they're so helpful and informative, especially for people like me who are super curious about getting into photography :)  01.26.10 - 1:52pm
Libertad Leal - This is a BIG help Jasmine, you are the best!  01.26.10 - 1:48pm
Jessica - Thank you so much for these wonderful posts, Jasmine! Wedding pricing, in particular, can be a sticky thing in the beginning. I've factored in a lot of things to come up with my pricing. Much to consider, but worth the time and patience. Booked my 1st wedding of 2010 last week and came out with a little extra profit than I planned for! Confidence sells, too.  01.26.10 - 1:46pm
Kaylee - Thanks for opening up about this stuff, it is a weird thing to talk aout, but it helped me!!!! did you ever do the bridal show scene? i cringe at the thought...  01.26.10 - 1:44pm
Jaz Ampaw-Farr - Jasmine, thank you for your honesty. Your candid comments have guided me through the beginning of my business!  01.26.10 - 1:44pm
LAURA HANA - Thanks for being so honest and willing to share your story. I like DJ's advice and it's nice to know how well it's worked for you! Gives us hope!  01.26.10 - 1:43pm
Angel Pope - X O X O For real!  01.26.10 - 1:32pm
michelle cunningham - this is such the sensitive topic. i think a lot of times we are so concerned with how people perceive us and our craft and we use monetary compensation as a means of measurement. a lot of times all we need is permission to charge a respectable fee. and you know what... it's OK! but it's sooooo tough to measure your worth when you are starting out.  01.26.10 - 1:30pm
ohana photographers - "This runs the risk of being the 'cheap' brand, clients undervaluing your work, and/or creates a referrals within a distinct price range." this was our first mistake our first year in business. all our referrals were from our previous price brides. all our calls sounded like this, "but so and so got this for this price" it was difficult turning down those clients, but we knew if we didn't we'd be getting those calls over and over again. anywho, great post jas.  01.26.10 - 1:29pm
Leann Neal - Thank You!  01.26.10 - 1:26pm
ajira - Thank you so much for this post. It's difficult to get it right at the beginning I think but it helps to hear what others are doing or have done and how it worked out for them. I love how generous you are with your knowledge and experiences. I appreciate it even more.  01.26.10 - 1:18pm
Karen - Thank you for this post Jasmine! This topic is always so very taboo, thanks for addressing, you rock!  01.26.10 - 1:18pm
Juli L. - I'm just starting out and this is a constant dilemma for me. I haven't got anything figured out yet, but this really helps and gives me something to think about. Thank you for all you FAQ posts...they are so very helpful! :)  01.26.10 - 1:17pm
Remy - Thanks thanks thanks!  01.26.10 - 1:17pm
Lois - This is very helpful Jasmine, what do you do when someone writes and ask for a lesser amount because they cannot afford it?   01.26.10 - 1:12pm
feuza - Awesome advice form your friend DJ and thanks for sharing, this is a tough subject at times, to give or not to give images, to do album credit versus album inclusion, to do hours or unlimited and so on. thank you so much for your insight  01.26.10 - 1:08pm
Raquel - Thanks Jasmine! You're willingness to help out and provide information so freely is greatly appreciated!  01.26.10 - 1:08pm
Huong - You are so kind to post FAQ's. I've been seeing a lot of posts about this subject recently and yours was very helpful as well. It's always reassuring to hear/read about how one photographer started out and what their system was (and that it worked). In other news, love the image that you have in this post. Everyday elements in life are my favorite :)  01.26.10 - 1:02pm
Shari - yes, YES this was helpful! I have struggled with my pricing from the very beginning, mainly b/c I want to be affordable...but I also want to make money! the two don't usually see eye to eye, ya know? so...I appreciate any and all advice I can get my hands on when it comes to pricing! this is also definitely motivated me to go to more workshops, and learn as much as I can to refine my craft and style! Thanks!!!!  01.26.10 - 1:02pm
Melissa @ Whooo's That Girl - I just love that you are constantly sharing your wealth of knowledge. Thank you. xo  01.26.10 - 1:00pm
s h e r r y - Thanks for sharing! Pricing is something a lot of people don't like talking about... :) But it's something that everyone wants to know more about.   01.26.10 - 12:51pm
Kelli Taylor - Price is a constant struggle for me! At the very least it's nice to know I'm not alone! :)  01.26.10 - 12:51pm
Evie Perez - This came at the right time!! I have been dealing with this since last week. In fact, I was asking Liana about pricing. I am pretty sure that this is helping out more than one person, if not it sure did help me. Peace out!!!  01.26.10 - 12:50pm
Laurie - Thank you so much for addressing this, and I look forward to hearing about your current pricing structure in another FAQ. I was totally going to ask you about it when I see you next month! ;) You absolutely rock, as always!!!  01.26.10 - 12:50pm
Jennifer Bacchiocchi - Great advice, Jasmine! Thank you for always putting yourself out there for us.  01.26.10 - 12:47pm
Dawn McCarthy - Never underestimate the value of what you share. For those who don't care for your experience or expertise they have the ever present option of not reading your Blog. For those of us who value what you share, we thank you. I personally, adore you. : )  01.26.10 - 12:46pm
Lindsi - I really appreciate it when you open up about how you and JD operate the business. I am just starting out with my own photography and working part time for a studio as a second shooter. I welcome any and all information about where to start at any given point. Your post definitely helped me :)  01.26.10 - 12:44pm
MelissaFoscardo - Ahhh, the pricing question...the ever, unknowable unfigureoutable (see, i like to make up words too :-) formula, esp. for newbies like me! I've been reading so much about it recently. I guess everyone is thinking about it...new year, new business ideas/restructuring, etc. It seems to me, after reading lots of different articles/posts about this topic, they all kind of say the same thing: we (I) have to have enough confidence in myself to believe that I'm worth whatever price I charge. In our hearts, we each know what that is for each of us. I just want someone to tell me the dollar number I should be charging! Unfortunately, it doesn't work like that :-) Thank you sharing your experience and just for being you!   01.26.10 - 12:44pm
abriana - this couldn't have come at a better time! THANK YOU!  01.26.10 - 12:43pm
Monica - Thank you for sharing this. I found the decision on price to be one of the main things I stress over each time I'm contacted :) I've been told something similar before so it helps to get a second assurance I'm doing the right thing!   01.26.10 - 12:41pm
Lisa - I think it is simply awesome that you are so honest talking about this stuff. And as a person just starting out, you really have no idea how much it means :)   01.26.10 - 12:33pm
Marissa Rodriguez - It's funny, I've read about how you got started before somewhere on your blog, I've listened to you speak about how you got started before, and yet, I still love reading about it. I love your story about how Jasmine Star Photography was born! Thanks for sharing this!   01.26.10 - 12:32pm
jasmine johnson - you're wonderful to share this information jasmine... and you're helping far more than 1 or 2 people each time you do a faq :)  01.26.10 - 12:28pm
ashley - I'm with the others...this definitely helps!! A friend and I were talking today about pricing, and I've finally decided where I'm going to price my sessions for now... it feels good to have made a decision! : ) Thank you so much for this information, the timing is perfect, and actually makes me feel better about my decision.  01.26.10 - 12:14pm
Amanda - You rock. Did you ever get the LA gear pumps? I wanted those so bad.  01.26.10 - 11:56am
Jessica - Jasmine!! I've been reading your blog for about six months now & finally decided to Speak. I love you! I love your whole schtick. It's Fabulous. I read lots of different photo blogs. Most of the other photogs writing them seem dry & snooty & blah. I'm a sprouting seed, trying to water a photography business of my own. I wrestle with this dilemma daily & I flip flop my point of view every other minute. I'm cheap. But passionate. I worry that potential clients just see me as cheap & devalue my work like you said. Oy. So I keep chugging along, unsure & nervous but in love with what I do. I'm glad to see that you too were where I am once upon a time. This gives me hope. Thanks. I'll keep chugging.  01.26.10 - 11:56am
Morgan - I've been working on pricing lately, as I keep getting email after email of people wondering if I'm for hire. I finally decided I need to suck it up and just come up with a set price and run from there. I've been working through Stacy Reeves guide, and while helpful, the numbers are huge. One thing I've found helpful is to talk to friends who has seen my work, and ask them how they would feel about XX price for this and XX price for that. I feel like it's more than I should ask usually, but most have told me they felt it was reasonable and would be willing to pay it.  01.26.10 - 11:51am
Gregory Bettis - I think this is a great perspective on prices. It might not suit everyone but definitely gives us something to think about. I've changed my prices over and over just to make the selection of photos easier for my client and easier for me to edit and print. [very simple]...but thanks for this post, it does help!  01.26.10 - 11:44am
Gregory Bettis - I think this is a great perspective on prices. It might not suit everyone but definitely gives us something to think about. I've changed my prices over and over just to make the selection of photos easier for my client and easier for me to edit and print. [very simple]...but thanks for this post, it does help!  01.26.10 - 11:44am
Chris c. - Yes.. this helped me. Thanks Jasmime! Look forward to your future pricing post. BTW, do you meet with your clients at your home or is it still Starbucks?  01.26.10 - 11:41am
Mihalis Tsoukalos - Great post! Thanks for sharing!  01.26.10 - 11:35am
michelle - thanks so much for this, really. I'm a newbie, and struggle with this constantly... I know where I WANT to be, but don't feel like I have the portfolio to back me up yet. But I don't want people to think that I'm like "Uncle Bob," either. No way, nuh-uh. So yes, this definitely helps... if only to ease my mind a bit that others are (or have been) there, too. And have grown from that starting place.   01.26.10 - 11:29am
Lacey - Thanks. Consider one person helped. :)   01.26.10 - 11:24am
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