Everyday in a facebook group, there are posts written by photographers about other photographers. Posts saying "so and so local photographer is advertising sessions for $50 and giving the files away! I don't know how they can do that! They are destroying the industry! I know them a little, I'm going to talk to them about why they should charge more." Seem familiar?
There are very likely in OTHER groups that you aren't a part of comments like "so and so local photographer charges $100 for an 8x10! Can you believe that?!! Who do they think they are charging so much! I charge $50 for my sessions and am booked solid!"
I'm here to ask one serious question that I want you to think really hard about.
Why do you care?
I don't want to imply that there is anything wrong with caring, I just legit want you to think about why.
Do you think they are taking clients from you? Are you afraid that potential clients will compare your prices to theirs and make the choice to go cheaper? Are you annoyed that you have spent time and money on educating yourself and take pride in running your own business and they don't seem to follow any rules? Or are you just annoyed that they exist in general?
I understand all of those scenarios. I've thought them all over the last 7 years in business. I'm chimed in before with "Ugh! I know! What are they doing!?" type of comments before. And you know what it did for me? Nothing. Absolutely nothing.
Well, I take that back. It did do something. It perpetuated a very negative attitude and outlook that effected my business. My own attitude hurt my business not the other, cheaper photographer.
Instead of working on my business I instead internet investigated said photographer. I took time out of my day to look through their website, facebook, and social media. Instead of emailing my clients I took time out of my day to read through comments on the facebook group. Instead of getting a newsletter out I was too distracted by wondering about if said photographer even filed taxes. And if I added up all that time wasted. . . ugh. I can't even begin to think about the total number of minutes, hours spent doing unproductive, negative things.
So think about how you can react when you see posts like that. The posts will ALWAYS be there. From photographers you know, photographers you even may respect. But why do you care? Always put your business first and instead of comparing or wasting your time with negative thoughts, instead think about how you can make your business better. Do something for your clients so they know you are providing more than just photos on a thumb drive; show them you are providing a service that can not be compared to any other photography business in your area. Stand out.
This isn't a post about community over competition either. I think a little competition is healthy and can drive you forward in your business! But those photographers charging $50 for their hour session and giving away the files are not your competition. They are not ruining your industry. They are doing what they are doing. You go do what you do.
Don't stand with the crowd of complainers. And then see who's out in front after a year.