Got a phone call last night (one of the very few these days) from someone who asked if I did headshots for business. I said I sure do, and costs around $100. He thought that price was outrageous given that everyone has an iPhone these days. I told him that does not mean he will get a very good photograph, and that I don't do passport photos, and asked if he had seen my work (he didn't answer). Then he says he was just trying to find out if he could get a cheaper price than Target. I told him he absolutely should go to Target, just before I hung up on him, spluttering to himself.
Now I know I was probably just tired from the prior 10 hours of work, and probably should have spent some time educating him on why my portrait was worth more than the Target store. Maybe I would have turned him around, but in the end, I just didn't want his business. I just couldn't see spending 20 minutes talking him into something he was probably expecting to pay $20 for.
Yes, I could take a very fine headshot with an iPhone. But most people could not. So what makes an image valuable enough to pay for the time and skill to produce it?