Are you a product photographer wondering how to increase your rates without losing your existing clients?
I know exactly how you feel because I’ve been there. In this post, I’ll share the straightforward methods my wife, Alina Kareva, a professional product photographer, successfully used to increase her prices.
Alina has faced this difficult task and came up with some really helpful ideas. Let’s get started.
Table of Contents
How to Raise Prices for Product Photography Services
#1. Begin by Recognizing Your Value Proposition
The first step in raising your rates is to recognize the value you bring to the table.
You need to understand why people hire you and what makes you unique. Think about how you can position yourself differently from other product photographers.
For example, Alina has a good understanding of marketing and human psychology. She always emphasizes this to her new and existing product photography clients because this knowledge helps her better understand their individual needs and produce product photos that have a much greater chance of actually increasing the profits of those businesses.
Here’s how she explains it to her clients:
Here are a few questions that you can ask yourself to help you form your unique value proposition:
- What special skills or techniques do I bring to product photography that set me apart from others in the field?
- What unique services or features do I provide that my clients can’t find elsewhere?
- How do my client interactions or the overall client experience I provide differ from other product photographers?
- What kind of results have I achieved for my clients that illustrate my unique approach or effectiveness?
- How does my background, training, or experience contribute to a unique perspective or style in product photography?
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#2. Be Confident in Your New Product Photography Pricing
It’s crucial to have self-assurance when presenting your new pricing for product photography. Remember, the increase in your rates is a reflection of the value, experience, and unique skills you bring to your work. Your pricing shouldn’t be a source of discomfort, but rather, it should reflect the quality of service you provide.
When you discuss your new prices with clients, make sure to maintain a positive and confident tone. Instead of approaching the conversation with hesitation or fear, embrace it as an opportunity to show your clients how your service has evolved. It’s not just about higher prices; it’s about enhanced value, better results, and more comprehensive service.
Avoid viewing the price increase as a negative change. On the contrary, it’s a sign of growth, improvement, and the pursuit of excellence in your work. Your confidence in your new prices will instill similar confidence in your clients. If you genuinely believe in the value you’re providing, your clients are likely to see it the same way.
#3. Help Your Clients Understand The Price Change
When my wife, Alina, decided to raise her prices for product photography, I advised her to compile a list of improvements she’d made since she started working with her existing clients.
Her list of improvements included:
- Improved product photography gear
- A lot more experience in product photography
- Improved photo retouching and editing skills in Photoshop
- Improved workflow efficiency
- Received a lot of feedback from her clients on the highest-performing photos
- Relocated to a new product photography studio in the city center of Riga
- Purchased a lot of new product photography props
The next step I suggested was for her to consider how all these changes positively impacted the final outcome of her product photography services for her existing clients.
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- Improved product photography gear: This allowed Alina to capture sharper, higher-quality images, enhancing the visual appeal of her clients’ products and making them more likely to attract potential customers.
- A lot more experience in product photography: This has given Alina a deeper understanding of how to showcase products in the most appealing way. Her expanded experience means she’s better at picking the right angles, lighting, and settings to make each product stand out. Also, she has gained more knowledge about what works and what doesn’t in product photography, resulting in fewer trial-and-error attempts and more precise results.
- Improved photo retouching and editing skills in Photoshop: This has allowed Alina to produce cleaner, more professional images. With better skills in Photoshop, she can now correct any flaws in the photos, enhance colors and details, and create the perfect light balance, ensuring each product looks its best. These advanced editing skills also enable her to give a unique look to the images that match the brand style of her clients, creating a consistent and professional image for their products.
Helping your clients understand the reason behind the price increase is a critical step in this process. This open communication builds trust and helps clients understand that the price change is not arbitrary, but rather linked to the value you deliver.
#4. Introduce Incremental Price Increases
Choosing to introduce incremental price increases is a smart strategy when adjusting your product photography rates.
Rather than implementing a significant price jump all at once, gradual increases can be easier for your clients to accept and adapt to. Small, steady changes can make a big difference over time and can be less likely to cause a shock reaction from your clients.
To introduce this method effectively, you could begin by notifying your clients about a minor rate increase in advance. Explain that this is the first of a few small increases that will occur over a defined period, say, the next year. This gives them time to adjust their budgeting and expectations, while also signaling that you value your ongoing relationship and don’t want to impose abrupt changes.
An essential aspect of this strategy is communication. Always be clear about when the next increase will happen and by how much. Your clients will appreciate your transparency, and it will help them plan their budgets accordingly. It’s always best to avoid surprises in business relationships, and clear communication about price changes falls squarely within this guideline.
Remember that your goal here is not just to get your clients to accept the higher prices but also to understand them. It’s an excellent opportunity to remind your clients about the enhanced value they’re getting due to the improvements you’ve made in your services, reinforcing their understanding of the price changes.
Here’s an email template you can utilize to notify your product photography clients about the incremental increase in your service prices:
Subject: Important Updates to My Product Photography Services
Dear [Client’s Name],
I hope you’re doing well. I’m reaching out to share some important updates regarding my product photography services. Over the past year, I’ve made several enhancements to improve the quality of my work and provide you with the best possible outcomes.
To continue offering you the high standard of product photography service you’ve come to expect from me, I’ll be introducing a minor price increase. Starting from [Date], my rates will rise by [percentage/amount]. This increase is the first in a series of incremental changes that will take place over the next [time period].
I understand that changes in pricing can have an impact on your budgeting. Therefore, I wanted to give you ample notice about this update. I’m truly grateful for your ongoing support, and please know that my commitment to delivering top-quality product photography remains as strong as ever.
If you have any questions or if there’s anything you’d like to discuss, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.
Thank you for your understanding and continued partnership.
[Your Contact Information]
#5. Tiered Pricing Structure
Incorporating a tiered pricing structure can be a beneficial strategy when adjusting your product photography rates. This approach allows you to establish different levels of pricing based on the complexity of the job, the resources needed, and notably, the number of photos ordered. In this way, clients can select a pricing tier that best matches their requirements and budget, rendering the price increase more manageable and equitable from their viewpoint.
For example, you could structure your tiers around the volume of photos needed by your client. A basic tier could cater to clients who need up to 10 product photos per month, charging them a rate of $40 per photo. A second tier could cater to clients requiring larger volumes, such as 50 product photos per month, offering them a discounted rate of $35 per photo. This tiered system can be further expanded, accommodating different levels of volume and complexity.
This is precisely how Alina managed to raise her product photography rates for her existing clients. She prepared an email that clearly explained her new pricing strategy, enabling her to transition from her pre-negotiated pricing structure to a new model with higher fixed-tier prices.
To effectively put this into practice, it’s crucial to provide clear descriptions of what each tier includes and how they differ. This transparency will help your clients understand the value they’re receiving, and make it easier for them to see the worth in each pricing tier.
Additionally, a tiered pricing model can be a potent tool to upsell your services. Clients who initially choose a lower tier may decide to upgrade when they see the value and savings in higher tiers. It also provides a clear pathway for increasing your rates over time, as you can adjust the rates for each tier independently based on the value it provides.
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#6. Offer Additional Services to Your Clients
Another effective way to increase your earnings from product photography is by offering additional services to your clients. These could be services that complement your main product photography offering and provide extra value to your clients.
For instance, during a phone call, Alina learned about a challenge one of her clients was facing – coming up with unique and engaging photo descriptions for their social media accounts, where they primarily use Alina’s lifestyle product photography. She quickly saw an opportunity to assist her client by offering an additional service: writing unique and engaging descriptions for each lifestyle product photo she creates for them.
To streamline this process and generate numerous creative descriptions that perfectly fit the tone of her client’s brand, she utilized the free functionality of ChatGPT. This initiative not only allowed Alina to charge extra for the additional service but also helped her establish a fantastic relationship with her client and differentiate herself from other product photographers.
Consider additional services that you can offer to your product photography clients.
- Photo editing and retouching
- 360-degree product photography
- Short product videos
When introducing these additional services, be sure to explain their benefits to your clients. Illustrate how these services can boost their product’s appeal, improve their online presence, or ultimately contribute to increased sales. This can help clients see the value of these services and understand why they’re worth the extra cost.
Wonder how you can use ChatGPT as a photographer? Check out this guide.
#7. Rebrand and Reposition Your Product Photography Business
Another powerful approach to raising prices for your product photography services is to rebrand and reposition your business. This involves elevating the perceived value of your services, thus justifying the higher rates. Think of it as giving your business a fresh and improved look that aligns with your new prices.
Rebranding might include updating your business logo, website, product photography portfolio, and other marketing materials to reflect a more polished and professional image. Showcase the best of your work, your unique style, and the value you provide. Highlight the quality of your product photography and how it helps businesses boost their sales and brand image.
Repositioning involves changing the way your clients perceive your services. Rather than just being a ‘product photographer’, you position yourself as a ‘product photography specialist’, a ‘visual brand storyteller’, or any title that elevates your status and shows clients you’re not just taking pictures, but delivering a strategic solution to their marketing needs.
Also, consider focusing on a specific niche of product photography where you excel and can command higher prices. For example, if you’ve been successful with product photography for skincare and beauty brands, consider positioning your business as a specialist in that area. This way, you’re appealing to clients who value that specialty and are willing to pay for it.
Remember, rebranding and repositioning is about aligning your business with the value you deliver. It’s not about charging more for the same service but enhancing the perceived value of your service to justify the higher price. It’s a strategic move that, when done correctly, can give your business a significant boost.
To Sum Up
Raising rates for your product photography services doesn’t have to be difficult. As the tips discussed in this article show, there are several strategies you can implement to increase your earnings from existing product photography clients and attract higher-paying prospects. Follow these steps and take your product photography business to the next level!
However, it’s essential to remember that pricing is only one part of the equation.
Always strive to provide excellent customer service and exceed your client’s expectations to ensure long-term success in the product photography business.
With dedication, hard work, and creative strategies, you can develop a profitable product photography business that stands out from the crowd.
P.S. Don’t forget to subscribe to my weekly newsletter to stay up-to-date with the latest marketing trends that will help you scale your product photography business and more!