…And Be Comfortable With It

The first part of that title is “Charge What You’re Worth…”


Too often as new entrepreneurs, we want business and experience so much that we timidly charge the amount that we know our services are worth. (I know that goods can be equally difficult to price but factors such as inventory and shipping can help you stabilize that.) In my instance, as one of a heck of a lot of photographers, I started off with a sliding scale that really wasn’t a scale at all. Folks would ask me for a deal and I’d give it to them because I just wanted to shoot. And, as a hobbyist, that’s perfectly fine. As an entrepreneur, it’s not.


I have a former coworker who has a great eye but who doesn’t consider herself to be a photographer (I don’t know why and I know she’s reading this and could make shooting a GREAT additional source of income). She does favors for friends and family sometimes. Sometimes they thank her with a monetary gift and sometimes they don’t. The difference between the two of us is I invest in equipment to become better. I spend time daily practicing to become the best version of myself I can be.  So, when I do inform people that the cost of an hour shooting* is between $100 and $150, some are ok with it. Others aren’t. And that’s fine if it’s not in their budget right now. Everyone who wants to eat at Angus Barn can’t do it right now. But if they want to badly enough, they can put a bit away throughout the year and have a great holiday dinner. The same is true for the quality goods and services you offer. If they see value in it, they will find a way to pay for it.


Before I go, I’ll toss you another example: I have worked on résumés for hundreds of people. I started in college just proofreading them and then I began formatting them. To begin with, I was doing the work for free but, as I began to hone my skills and invest in more resources that would make me better, I knew it was time to start charging for professional development services. I let people know my price. Initially, I thought I was charging too much (mind you, at the time, I was charging half of what I do now) because people didn’t want to pay the amount. I found myself giving everyone discounts. Then, one day, I decided no more discounts. Sure, there are times of year (specifically at the end of a semester) when I may run a two-week special on professional development services but that’s more so marketing. If they want that first $35,000 or $45,000 or $150,000 job (yes, my work has opened all of those doors), it’s nothing to invest $100-$200. It’s all about what we’re willing to spend our money on.


Long story short, charge what you’re worth, be good at what you charge for, and someone will pay for it. Respect your time and others will respect it as well. As my guy Fabolous said, “let these (people) know your worth. Ain’t no discounts.”


*Price varies based on distance traveled and number of subjects in the photograph.




Make knowing your worth a priority.
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Do You Really Need Kanye to Validate Me?

Don’t wait for someone else to validate your friend’s work to support him/her. Ask yourself, “If Kanye said my homie’s art was dope, would I start supporting?” If the answer is yes, don’t wait for ‘Ye or Kim or Barack or Cardi or LeBron or Beyoncé or Cole or anyone else to say it. Just support your people the same way you support ‘Ye or Kim or Barack or Cardi or LeBron or Beyoncé or Cole. Go to their shows. Rock their clothes. Hype them up on social media.

And, while money is ALWAYS nice for artists who pour our souls into our art forms, I get it: We don’t all have bread to spend on every little thing (I blame Sally Mae). But you can click a link. You can repost a piece of work or a web address. You can have their new track playing on your Instagram Story while you’re driving up I-95. You can go hard for your homie’s business like it’s yours every now and then. If you wouldn’t buy their stuff regardless of whether ‘Ye liked the work or not, that’s cool. But if (s)he is truly your friend, still repost because art is like food: everyone has different tastes.

In short, stop killing genuine art (and, ultimately, your friends’ livelihoods) with your apathy. It’s not 1984, it’s 2018. Supporting is as easy as tapping a touchscreen once or twice. If you don’t even do the bare minimum to support, don’t expect to get put on when your talented friends make it.

While we’re on the subject of support, check out my Patreon page and subscribe to get an exclusive look at my creative process and weekly pieces that won’t hit the public.

Make supporting your team a priority.

Bangkok Culture: A Visual Depiction

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Views more electrifying than the third rail.

 

 

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“The moral is ‘All greats have been driven.'” — Pusha T

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“You call him Dr. Jones, doll!” — Short Round (of Indiana Jones)

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Bowl-ing w/ Buddha…

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Kids after my own heART.

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I got now. I don’t care who got next.

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I dig coconuts but never dated Chanel addicts.

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My kid is probably going to wonder what this is.

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I wonder if Marcus from Boomerang would’ve given these feet a pass.

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My first time trying milk tea and I give it two thumbs up.

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Living with no reservations but getting reserved tables.

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Crazy thing is, one of these monks is from Virginia. He gave up modernity to follow his heart. That is courage.

 

 

Turkey Before Thanksgiving

Istanbul, Turkey was an unexpected stop on this trip but it ended up being an awesome experience.

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Eid Mubarak! Ramadan ended and the boys are back to live it up!

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Gotta hit them, hit them angles…

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Streets is watching, two point oh.

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I love to see people who love to do what I love to do.

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Faith is a beautiful thing when it’s relationship-based.

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Amateur tip: Don’t drink Turkish coffee without knowing how to drink it.

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No discussion needed. Just do it. Thanks.

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Like father, like son.

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Orville who?

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Sunset on the southern coast.

 

 

Greek Stop #2 – Athens

Ever seen the Disney film Hercules? Yeah, well I was there (a few thousand years later, but there nonetheless). Check out this historic city below.

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First you control your mind, then use your mind to control your body.

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Stay in the shadows. It’s cooler there.

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Dedication: To the youth who march onward and upward toward the light.

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These guys are serious about their marching.

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Perfecting a technique on the subject that is perfect for me.

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There is no shortage of well-done street art here.

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We won first place but they forgot to give us our medals…

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Pops would’ve loved this photograph.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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View from the cover photo’s rooftop bar.

 

#EatPray10v3 Takes the United Kingdom

A few of my favourite images from the quick stop in the UK. To keep up with all the amazing images over the course of this two month excursion, follow @DSquaredVisuals.

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An artist sits in a café across the street and captures a medieval cathedral in Cardiff, Wales.

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My first international concert had to be featuring rap’s greatest entrepreneur.

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40 Licks in St. David’s Dewi Sant

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A queen kicks it on a corner in Cardiff.

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What if America cared about us this much?

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“The ceiling is the roof.” – – His Airness

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The Great Western Rail felt like the Hogwarts Express. America, can we copy them soon?

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If nature takes time to reflect, why don’t you think you should?

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Need I say more?