Contrast your choices when you are in the mood for a burger. There is the gourmet burger joint that is maybe a thirty-minute drive from your place. The food is outstanding with locally sourced beef and veggies and great chefs in the kitchen that have never disappointed you.

However that is a bit of a drive and it is not a cheap burger. With a side of their delicious parm fries and a drink you will be out $20 before tip. Your other option is the fast food burger joint just down the street from your house where you can gorge yourself for maybe $6 or $7 and no need to tip anyone. However you know the food wont be nearly as good – but you will get so much for so little that you are faced with a conundrum.

Pay more for someone that is the best of its class or pay less for something because you get more per dollar spent regardless of quality?

It comes down to what you value. You have to make a choice, your brand has to make a choice. Do you want quality or are you more concerned with quantity? The two are not always connected.

To the amateur and wannabe photographers who are lowballing prices and giving away everything they do for pennies compared to professional rates – congratulations. You’ve become the fast food option. But what happens when you want to move beyond that? You will never be able to because you’ve branded yourself as the cheap option. You’ve branded yourself as willing to do more for less. If you want to raise your rates, if you want to earn a living – good luck. You’re forever stuck in your dirt low price range.

To the amateur and wannabe models whom are willing to work for next to nothing – you will not be taken seriously. If you’re willing to do it for less, when someone has money they simply won’t consider giving it to you. Why pay the cheap option? I have money, I’ll hire the best option I can afford.

When your only competitive advantage is that you are cheaper – you will never move beyond being fast food. And no one believes fast food is good for them.

James Patrick
IG @jpatrickphoto