How do you assess your value as a photographer?

  • how do you assess your value as a photographer

How do you assess your value as a photographer?

*image courtesy of Lissa Chandler

It’s time for another edition of our monthly series “Ask a Click Pro” here on the CM photography blog in which we give our Click Pros one question and they dish. Their answers alone are always inspiring and this week we asked them…

How do you assess your value as a photographer and for what you bring to a client?

Elena BlairElena Blair, Washington
I assess my value based on how I feel after a shoot. If I feel like I really connected with my clients and I know in my heart that they trust me with their images, I know they will value my work an in turn I will value my work.




Pam KormanPam Korman, Pennsylvania
Since I don’t shoot for clients, I will probably answer this question a little differently. I asses my “value” as a photographer through my own growth and through setting and reaching personal goals. Because I am generally shooting for myself, I become the client. Being able to see my work get stronger and evolve, and to quantify that growth through achieving my goals, helps me to see the value in my photography.



Beth WadeBeth Wade, North Carolina
I think there is a huge value in delivering consistent work to my clients, yet making sure each session feels different and unique to that family. The longer I shoot, the harder this becomes! So if I can deliver a full session that feels fresh and new, stays true to my work and makes my clients happy then I feel like that is a great accomplishment.



Katie WoodardKatie Woodard, Arizona
Finding value as a photographer and in what I give to clients has been a scary journey! The biggest things for me are connecting with people, being kind, hearing Mom or Dad say how touched they were, seeing an image that totally captures my child’s personality and knowing I truly LOVE what I do. I have never felt as strongly about something (besides family of course) as I have about photography! I have slowly learned that if I value it, (some but not all, and I am okay with that too!!) others will too.



Caroline JensenCaroline Jensen, Minnesota
I assess my value by how much I would cry if the images were lost! I love to make pretty pictures, but in the end it is my ability to capture moments that matter that determine my worth. Giving my children memories to pass on to future generations is all that matters to me in the end. The same could be said for any client work. Passing down memories is paramount to me.



Michelle DeMossMichelle DeMoss, California
I like to talk with my clients BEFORE the session and discuss their vision and ideas, as well as mine to make sure we are on the same page. My value as a photographer is to be able to stick to my guns and not cheat on myself by going along with a style that isn’t my own. I also feel like I owe this to my clients since they chose me by looking at my work, I would hate to deliver something completely different that the work that I show on my website. I have even referred clients to other photographers when I thought we wouldn’t work well together.



Colie JamesColie James, Colorado
I value my photography by how I would feel as the client. i recently made the move to indoor storytelling because as a client it’s what I would value and what I love to shoot. After a session if I find that I captured moments that as a mother and client I would love and cherish then I am a happy happy photographer.



Michelle TurnerMichelle Turner, Maine
I find value in capturing once-in-a-lifetime moments. I love creating pretty photographs, but what I want to do above all other things is create images that trigger a memory or an emotion in my clients. Whether it is a touching moment at a wedding ceremony or the fleeting days of childhood, I want every client to feel like I captured a piece of their lives in an authentic, beautiful way.



Stacie TurnerStacie Turner, Connecticut
I think that I create something pretty special for my clients. I only take a very limited number of commissioned portraits so I can bring the same creative energy to them that I do to my personal work. One thing that I am very proud of is that I can bring vintage film and toy camera work to every full session and create images that no one else in the area can do. For the right client that is a tremendous value.



Parikha MehtaParikha Mehta, Pennsylvania
My goal is to tell a full story for my clients through photos, so I basically assess my value by the feedback I get from them after they see the images. When a client says they were really moved by my images (especially when they are moved to tears! not that I am in the business of making people cry, of course), I feel like I did my job. In my personal work, it’s a pretty similar benchmark; if I can look at an image and be instantly transported back to that moment almost exactly the way I remember it, I know I nailed it.



Bethney BackhausBethney Backhaus, Florida
I assess my value as a photographer in emotional response that my images give me and my clients. I love seeing a photo of my daughter when she was a tiny baby and actually feeling the emotions I was feeling at that time and remembering the sounds she made and the way that she smelled. It’s so important to me to capture my clients in this way as to freeze memories for them that will transport them back to that time.



Lissa ChandlerLissa Chandler, Arkansas
For client work, I assess my value as a photographer with how the session flows and how the images turn out. My sessions have been successful when there has been a lot of fun, a lot of laughing, and a lot of emotion captured. When I edit my images and feel a rush of emotion, I know that I have completed the job I set out to do. My personal work is the same way- if I can look at a photograph and feel something- whether it be happiness, love, joy, nostalgia, or wonder- then I am incredibly happy (and ridiculously excited to have them for the years to come!).



Sophan TheamSophan Theam, Florida
I capture intimate moments in an artistic and beautiful way. I want my photos to be breathtaking and to move my clients in the same way a beautiful song, painting, book, or movie would. The feedback I receive is essentially the way I assess my value as a photographer. If the client is not moved by their pictures, then I feel I did not do my job right.



Lauren SandersonLauren Sanderson, Alabama
Most families I work with think there is nothing extraordinary about their life. Like most of us, they are caught up in day-to-day routines, soccer practice, and endless to-do lists. But I consider it my job to prove them wrong – to capture their ordinary life and make it look extraordinary. When clients are looking at their pictures years and generations down the road, I want my images to spark little memories and be the catalyst for conversations about things they used to do together, places they went, and happy moments long forgotten. And this goes for my own family too… I want all the photos I take of them to tell a story, so one day my girls will see what our little life was really like.

About the Author:

From the parent company Click & Company, Clickin Moms has revolutionized the photography industry as the first and largest organization to embrace and serve female photographers of all levels, from hobbyists to professionals. Visit Clickin Moms Blog online.


  1. Sara Apr 30 2013 at 3:50 pm - Reply

    I was really excited when I saw the link to this blog post because I thought it might help me with my current struggle: how to give my work an actual monetary value, and what that value should be. Can any of you elaborate on how you determined your pricing, and what approach you took when you were first starting out as opposed to where you’re at with it now? Thank you!

    • KatieW May 07 2013 at 8:17 pm - Reply

      Hi Sara! Putting a price on something so personal is so hard, I know! This is pretty basic and just skims the whole pricing issue, but the best advice I got was to figure out your hourly rate needed (or wanted), add up all of your expenses, cost of goods, and figure out what you need to bring in per session to break even (your salary included!). Then determine your price, and offer reduced portfolio pricing until you feel comfortable with your full pricing. That way clients already see your higher prices and will not be surprised later. Hope this helps.

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