I loved this recent post by Tofurious, a marketing guru: http://www.tofurious.com/pricing-strategy/pablo-picasso-paints-woman-for-an-insane-amount-of-money/
What is the value of the intangible? Just because an established artist perceptually seems to take a small amount of time creating artwork, possibly effortlessly, I can guarantee it didn’t start that way. Take photography for example. Many people just see the photographer at their session for an hour gabbing, laughing, and playing with their kids and think, “Wow, my photographer has a fun, easy job!”. Meanwhile, said photographer is looking at the light, figuring out the best backdrop, formulating a shooting plan including lens choices, composition, setting the camera up with the correct aperture and shutter speed to be successful; all the while gabbing, laughing, and playing. 🙂 They see a few images on the back of the camera at the end and say, “Wow, your camera takes good pictures!” Then in two weeks they see their gallery then balk at the photographers print prices.
Most customers don’t know about all the work the photographer has done to get to that point: countless amount of time, effort, and money spent on equipment, education, and figuring out their own artistic voice and style. They don’t see the time and money spent with session preparation, film processing and development, culling, and editing to show their true style – what you are paying them for.
Of course, I’m no Pablo Picasso. And true value is also determined by the market, supply and demand, and quality of said artist’s product. There is a learning curve and a photographer just starting out should not charge the same rates as an in-demand nationally recognized photographer. But it’s something to think about!