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Freelance Photography & Getting Paid

It has been twenty plus years that I have been in the professional photography game, running my own studio. One of the most difficult things about freelance photography or running your own studio? Running into potential clients who tell you that they love your work and they want to hire you, but…

Why is getting paid such a hassle? And why do we, as photographers, take it so personally when someone doesn’t want to pay our rates. I think a lot of it has to do with impostor syndrome.

We think that if someone doesn’t want to pay us what we normally charge, they are somehow ‘seeing through’ us. Panic sets in and we may feel the need to make that person happy. That leads to hassling on price and we end up not getting paid our regular rate.

freelance photographer photographer woman using canon dslr camera
Photo by ATC Comm Photo on

It took me a long time to understand this issue, and sometimes I still have problems with it. If anyone starts out an email by saying, “I was wondering if you offer discounts?” I immediately feel on edge because it seems like this customer is only interested in the cost.

freelance photography photographer discounts getting paid

And, maybe for me, possibly for you too . . . those aren’t the right clients. If they don’t value photography and only see the freelance photographer as a number on a budget list, there is not much you can do to change their minds.

I know a lot of people will say that you need to ‘educate’ potential clients, and, to a degree, that is true. However, after a while, you begin to see which people are willing to learn more about what you do and its worth as opposed to those who just want to check something off a list at a set price point.

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The Nerdy Photographer
The Nerdy Photographer

With more than a quarter century as a professional photographer, The Nerdy Photographer's goal is to spread knowledge and laughter throughout the photo industry. Please follow along on social media and subscribe to the podcast.

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