As a professional photographer, it’s not uncommon for someone to challenge what you charge for your services, especially when another photographer lowballs for the same photo shoot. I’ve heard it, “Why should I pay more for you when I can find another photographer that will charge less?”

location model photography

This photo was created by me, a professional and while I we took all necessary precautions, please do attempt this. It is dangerous and sharks do feed at night.

The answer is simple, “Would you rather pay for me (put your name in here), or for economics?” Usually that question is followed with, “Give me an example of what makes you different,” or “Give me an example why you over someone else?”

Now everyone’s answers will vary, so it’s easier to prove your worth if you can figure out your client’s needs first, not just try to “sell your pen” to them like Leonardo DiCaprio did in a scene of Martin Scorsese’s, Wolf and Wall Street. You need to find out who your client is and what they need, and normally this is done before they’ve asked you why they should pay more for you.

location model photography

My models don’t normally walk on water, but when they do, I take their photo.

So instead of selling a pen to someone, show them their need for your photography and why they need it. Not sure how to do that, then practice first by trying to sell a glass of water to someone, not a pen, and apply that method to sell them the need for your photography and your photographic style.

How would you sell a glass of water?

You don’t sell just the water, you also sell the glass because even though water is a precious resource, glass is rare when compared to water which covers 71 percent of the Earth’s surface, plus glass is so powerful it can protect water from contaminates and even stop diseases plus viruses from spreading.

Photography example: I’m not here to sell you photography, the world carries smartphones, I’m here to sell you my unique photographic style. No one has it but me, it’s how you noticed me and got me here. I’m good at what I do, and I will protect your image and reputation with my photographic style.

The Importance of Glass

You’re first objective is to stress the importance of glass itself dating back to the Stone Age where the earliest forms of glass were valuable beads. As time moved into the Late Bronze Age, 1550–1200 BC, ancient civilizations considered glass a luxury and the Roman Empire gave it a name from the late-Latin term glesum. It’s popularity increased during the Middle Ages where you’d find beads, windows and even jewelry.

From the 10th century on, stained glass windows for churches became popular and by the time the 14th century hit, “architects were designing buildings with walls of stained glass such as Sainte-Chapelle, Paris, (1203–1248).”

Then you cap it off to your client, especially if they wear prescribed eyewear, how optical glass for spectacles started in the Middle Ages and as lenses were refined, they progressed in aiding astronomers, followed by applications in medicine and other sciences.

Photography example: I didn’t just pick up a camera yesterday, I’ve been doing this for (insert your number) years. What you’re paying for isn’t just me, but all those years of experience and honing my craft to get me where I am today. Pretend I’m your heart surgeon with the same years of experience and you need a triple by-pass procedure, would you hire me or prefer an intern?

Don’t Minimize the Importance of Water

We can survive without glass but not without water as approximately 57 to 70 percent, depending on age, of the human body is composed of water. Thus the emphasis to our clients is that glass allows us to progress with technology including the making of sustainable water filtration systems, something important to all “world” countries.

location model photography

Water is your friend in photography, so treat it like a friend and you’ll get some great photos with it.

Then you move on to the glass and how its curved walls protect the water it surrounds from contaminates plus how it gives a liquid — shape — so it’s controllable and containable. You stress that without the glass, a liquid like water can create hazards, contamination, and even pools that can host the larvae of pesky insects that can carry viruses like Zika.

Photography example: Sure, you can survive without me, but my photography will provide you with the ability to show the world your value. My photography of you will show the world your character. The world will size you visually by my photography.

Call For Action

So, there you have it, you can’t sell the water without the glass, as uncontained water is dangerous with the slickness it creates plus it’s susceptible to contamination that can spread disease, viruses, and even pollution to humans and our ecosystem. Buy this glass now; drink the clean water that it contains so you can live another day, and if you don’t, I guarantee you someone else will; and oh, if you’re wondering, don’t worry about me, I already have my own glass of water.

Photography example: So, there you have it, you can’t use my photographic style to showcase your character if you can’t secure all those years of experience and knowledge it took me to become me; that’s what you’re paying for, and if you don’t, someone else will, but don’t worry, you’ve got a smartphone.

Note, you can replace “your character” with “build your brand” or “sell your product” or include them together, depends on your client and your client’s needs.

Rolando Gomez is a professional photographer and author of five photography books that has traveled to 45 countries for assignments. The former soldier and U.S. Army combat photographer has taught hundreds of photography workshops for almost two decades. A 2016, 2017 and 2018 Top Writer for Quora, his partial credits include Newsweek, Parade, Playboy, Rangefinder, Maxim, Rangefinder, New York Times, Stars & Stripes, and various other publications.
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