Recession Busting – Lowering your prices in photography? Is it a good thing?

In this time of need, folks just don’t have money to spend on photography services or fine art prints for that matter either. But is this really true ? Is it ?

People will always look around for the best possible deal without understanding the quality of a photographer’s work or vision. Many photographer who produce excellent images feel that they are undiscovered or simply ignored. The Internet is overrun with poor photography that everyone thinks is ‘stunning’. Actually at this stage, I’ve begun to hate that word – ‘stunning’ for this very reason alone. I would prefer to hear what people felt or saw in an image, not just a one word response. So should good photographer simply go lower in price ?

It may seem so, that reducing our prices or giving more in terms of service or hours is the way to go. Why not reduce our hourly rate to compete against those who wish to charge a mere few hundred for a days wedding shoot is one example – ye right! Ask yourself, are you really willing to reduce your skill set and know-how down to this level ?  Well If soI don’t think you were a decent rate photographer at all in the first place. There is just something wrong with doing that.

It’s not just photography we sell but own skill at producing something impressive and brillant.

Fine Art Rant

But I don’t believe that all customers are the same. In my game at least. In my type of photography, it’s a small market. My clients are buying my vision of the world through the medium of photography. They like what I do, they are interested what ‘I’ do. This is what we are as photographers and should be selling. We offer our skills and our eye. That is producing something which is unique in term of style and excellence too. But going further to offer the higher possible quality we can produce from camera to print. This is what fine art means to me as a photographer.

However fine art is a word which is become trampled on from iPhone photography to those who try every effect in Photoshop to produce something! Something that isn’t art but worse . Being true to your vision, with quality and very important – being consistent.  Consistency is what makes artists or photographers true and serious. They continue to explore and improve their style and meaning, while being consistent. Not jumping from one photoshop effect to the next. It’s just confusing and crap – to be honest. So find your style, find your way and stay focused (pun probably intended!)

So back to the subject on lowering our prices!  I maybe flexible for many things but I do have to support my own family and pay taxes too. Not forgetting cameras, lens, computers and software costs. These are in the hundreds and thousands of Euros if you are truly committed and serious about the work you are doing.

Taken 25/10/2009

So offering cut cost deals to attract clients to your service may actually damage and effectively put you out of business in the long run. It’s a temptation every business is currently facing and willing to take but is it a spiral route to bankruptcy ?

Taken 15/07/2012

The two images I believe portray this, It’s just food for thought if you serious about what you do – for the long run that is.


I think all camera carrying folk has had the same thoughts over the past years. Here’s a little story of mine that sums up the dilemma: I had my prints for sale in a coffee shop in Kilkee (a seaside resort in the West of Ireland). Before the recession hit I had to refill stock almost every month. Last year I sold only a handful of prints over the whole season.
Fine Art Prints are a luxury article and are the first thing people safe money on and understandably so. Lowering my prices however is not really an option. Like you I have to feed a family, cover running costs like travel expanses, pay taxes, etc. I could of course (like many so called photographers) get my prints made at the local pharmacy, save a lot of money on paper and ink and lower my prices. But I like to deliver a quality product that lasts for many years and quality unfortunately has its price.
I don’t sell many prints these days but at least I can still be proud of what I sell… and I do postcards now and as it seems everything under € 10.00 still sells well!

Totally agree Carsten, there is still a market but as photographers we need to use our creativity in this area too. 

Leave a Reply