Know your value

There was an article in Fast Company recently about Gary Anderson, the designer of the Recycling logo. It reminded me of the story of Caroyln Davidson, the designer of the Nike Swoosh. Both artists were paid relatively measly paychecks for their instantly recognizable and unique brands and while both have gone on to do more impressive work, they will forever be remembered by those brands.

These anecdotes resonate with me constantly because I often run into situations where I am left questioning if I am charging what I am worth. Both artists charged what they felt were fair in exchange for their time and skill, but both lacked the foresight to see the magnitude of their work.

CLOTH Editorial, 2009

Sometimes I get the occasional “cheap” client who proposes to pay in networking or name-dropping, promising “lots of work” after people see the work I shot for them. While naive Cheyne may have jumped at that opportunity, my current self knows the difference between a worthwhile investment and a waste of time. Make sure you know the difference too.

This is not an article where I tell you exactly what or how much to charge, but I wanted to remind you of why you should charge it. What may have taken you only a couple hours to produce may very well outlive you, so charge what you’re worth.

Finally, never ever forget that everything you do will represent you. The things you create are part of your legacy. I am happy to say that photos that I create are ones I am proud of being remembered for because they represent me through and through.

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2 thoughts on “Know your value

  1. Great post! I too struggle with knowing what to charge. My current issue is that I’m still in the business of building a portfolio that will give clients a reason to believe I can deliver what they’re looking for, and because of that I am practically doing everything for free, just to build my portfolio. Frustrating to have spent thousands in gear, software, travel, etc and I still don’t feel confident in how to charge someone, much less how much to charge them. Thinking of creating a price package scares me into not creating one at all and telling myself “i’ll just wing it based on their needs” and this doesn’t work so well.

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