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Michael, I would take a lesson from the famous painters. Nobody asks them about the cost of their brushes, paints or canvas. When a painter or photographer is commissioned, they are being valued for their art, their eye, their skill. Equipment is secondary. Obviously, you want the gear that serves you best and doesn’t hold you back…but beyond that, you’re selling your talent.
There are market factors that are often beyond our control. So if the going rate is X and you want to charge 4X, you better be able to justify it. But don’t be in a rush to ‘race to the bottom’. A super-low bid hurts the entire industry and devalues the work that we do.
From a consumer perspective, it’s a perceived-value proposition. Charge too little, and the consumer equates your product as a budget or generic brand. Want proof? Look to any Starbucks. Before they came along, most people would have cringed at the thought of a $4 cup of coffee.
My rant has ended. I go in peace.