‘Someone called to get info on a photography session today. I gave them my starting prices and they laughed in my face.’: Small business owner shares reminder ‘we are trying to make a living’

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“Want to know why it’s REALLY hard to be a small business owner?

I am a photographer, and someone called to get info on a newborn session today.

I gave them my starting prices and they laughed in my face.

They said everywhere else they’ve called only charges $300-400 and that includes all photos.

I got home after that call and opened up the utility bill for my studio: $531.51.

Prices for literally everything are up….WAY up.

This is just utilities.

I also have monthly commercial rent.

To put this in perspective, I would have to do roughly 5 newborns per month just to cover the two costs to have a physical studio.

That doesn’t include any of the other expenses like my equipment, props, backdrops, maternity gowns, etc.

That’s a story for another day…

Newborns take an average of 1 hour to set up and take down, 3 hours to shoot, probably another 3-4 hours to edit, and another hour for ordering appointments.

That’s 9 hours per newborn.

To break even, I would have to work 45 hours a month for ‘free’ before I can put any of that in my own bank account.

So.

Be nice.

If a small business isn’t in your budget, it’s not because we are out to take all of your money.

We are trying to make a living we bust our a**es for.

As entrepreneurs, we create our small businesses with our blood, sweat, and tears.

It takes countless hours of creating, brainstorming, studying, long nights running on that 5th cup of coffee to meet deadlines, lots of learning from failures, and time away from our kids and families.

We sacrifice so much but we do it because it’s our passion and sense of purpose.

We will always have people who try to put us down because they think we charge too much.

I’ve learned quickly to take them with a grain of salt, dust yourself off, and wait for the next person who can’t wait to hire you because they value your work.

You don’t have to under-charge to satisfy others.

Value yourself and the insane amount of hard work you’ve put into your craft.

You deserve to reap the benefits.”

small business owner showing how much it costs to run a business
Courtesy of Sarah Jorgensen

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Sarah Jorgensen. You can follow her journey on her website. Submit your own story here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

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