Updated: Jun 8, 2020
Why do boudoir photographers hide their prices? That's a good question! With boudoir photography at an all time high in popularity, the simple fact is that there are lots of women considering sessions and exploring their options on a daily basis, so why do photographers seem make it so difficult to find out the price of a session?
You've been thinking about it yourself for a while. Then, one day you finally set aside a bit of time to see what boudoir is all about and start investigating your local options to see what's out there. You've clicked around to a few boudoir photographer websites, and even saw one or two that had photos which really grabbed your attention. It's a natural curiosity to know what all this costs, and after all, everyone has a budget.
You start to poke around a bit deeper... but where's the pricing? You look and look, but nothing. Some photographers may have a Pricing page-- but there is no pricing listed on the "Pricing" page? What gives? Why have a Pricing page with no pricing? Seems a bit odd. The more you look, the more you notice a trend-- NOBODY LISTS ANY F*CK!NG PRICES ON THEIR F*CK!NG PHOTOGRAPHY WEBSITES!!! You slam your laptop closed in frustration.
You're thinking... Really? After a ten hour work day I have to stop at the grocery store on my way home to get food...I finally get home about 7PM. I'm tired. I'm hungry. AND I JUST WANT TO KNOW HOW MUCH THIS PHOTO SESSION COSTS! Can't they just tell me??? Are you really going to make me fill in forms and go through a lengthy "sales call" to get this information??? Why make my life more difficult? ...NEXT!
You'll see this is the practice with many photographers of all types-- not just the boudoir world. Apparently, their pricing is a deep, dark, hidden secret which can only be unlocked via a lengthy contact form, followed by an even lengthier phone call to someone you really don't want to chat with-- YOU JUST WANT TO KNOW WHAT IT COSTS!!!
Why do photographers do that? There are some legitimate reasons that we'll get into a bit later in this post. When you're shopping for a new bag, Coach isn't hiding the price, they're showing it on their website. There's no "fill in this form so we can call you to tell you our handbag price." Likewise, when you walk into an Applebee's (I don't know...it just popped into my mind 😂) the price of a 1/2 rack of baby back ribs isn't a deep, dark secret withheld from you until the point of no return. So why then, do photographers do this?
This is the year 2020! People just want quick and easy information. Everyone is busy and wants immediacy. With three swipes on your smartphone you can control millions of dollars of infrastructure to funnel a calorie killing cheat-meal from Five Guys right to your home via Uber Eats (Shhh! I won't tell...) but a god damned local photographer is going to put you through the ringer to get the price on a few lousy photos? Doesn't seem right.
You know what is one of the busiest pages on my website? PRICING! After all, isn't that what people want, anyway? Some photographers do list full pricing, or a "starts at" price on their website. So why doesn't everyone follow this logic?
The answer is simple...and not so simple. Part of it is that photographers act a bit like sheep, and they're always looking around to see what everyone else is doing, and just copy it. Part of it is that many photographers lack a bit of self awareness regarding their prospective customers-- and what works best for the potential client. Another part is also there is a good chunk of "professional" photographers who really don't quite know what they are doing, in general. There are, though, some legitimate cases where posting a public list of prices may not be the best solution, too. I'll get into some of these cases, shortly.
So, you want to know why they make it so difficult? Below is a list of some of the potential reasons and "thought processes" why seemingly intelligent photographers hide their pricing and make it difficult for clients...for better or worse.
"I Don't Want My Competitors To See What I'm Charging... Because They Will Charge Less.."
Validity: Dumb. "I don't want my competitors to see what I'm charging... Because they will undercut my prices." This is