“How does a photographer with social values price themselves in a capitalist market?”
As a wedding photographer, I’m often asked how my social values align with the realities of doing business in a capitalist economy. Often these two ideologies can feel like they are in tension with one another, but I have created a business model that I feel has struck the right balance. The desires to provide value, create meaningful work, build a sustainable business, give back and invest in my long-term financial well-being have all contributed to the way I structure my pricing.
First and foremost, as with any successful business, my pricing is determined by the value created. I know that I provide much more than simply pretty wedding photos. From start to finish, I will go above and beyond. I bring my curiosity, my energy and my expertise. I will help plan your wedding timeline, affirm that you look #stunning every 5 minutes, and promise not to project mainstream, heteronormative notions of romance onto you. That is the true value of my services, and my customers want to pay for it.
Create meaningful work:
As a photographer, I’m deeply committed to creating the best possible work for my clients. When someone trusts (and pays) me to photograph their wedding, it motivates me to consistently strive towards bigger & better images. It also means my clients are invested in my creative process, trusting the choices I make throughout their wedding day without question. This is why I have set prices for my services and don’t offer discounts – it creates bad incentives that end up hurting my clients and producing sub-par images. My price reflects the quality I strive for in all my work.
Build a sustainable business
I’m also determined to remain in business long enough to ensure that I capture the special moments of your day. My rates reflect my commitment- by charging what is necessary for me to keep running effectively and sustainably so that you -and future clients like yourself- can enjoy all the beautiful memories from your big day!
I strongly believe in making my work as accessible as possible without compromising its value. That is why I offer flexible payment plans, pre-order album pricing, and a comprehensive budgeting and planning tool, The Ultimate Wedding Planner spreadsheet, to all my clients.
Giving back is an important part of my business model which helps to ensure that I am making a positive contribution while also running my wedding photography business. Through various initiatives, I aspire to make my work as inclusive, sustainable and equitable as possible. For example, the entire business is carbon-neutral, and I adopt 3 trees to be planted for every wedding booked through Rotary’s Adopt-a-Tree program. I also offer equitable pricing to low-income and historically marginalised communities who need it. Additionally, I volunteer 1 day a week as the Chief Storytelling Officer at Out For Australia – an organisation that empowers LGBTQIA+ people to bring their authentic selves to work.
By giving back through these initiatives, I’m committed to creating a better future for everyone.
Lastly, I need my business to provide financial security for my future. By making a profit in my business, I’m able to invest in my long-term financial well-being and ensure peace of mind.
I’m so grateful to be able to do what I love for a living. I believe that wedding photography is an investment – it’s one of the most important ways to capture the memories and emotions from the wedding day – and I am committed to providing a high level of value for my clients.
If you’re looking for a values-based wedding photographer in Sydney, contact me. I’d be happy to chat with you about your vision for your big day and see if we’re a good fit.