Decent Wedding Photo Pricing Structure?

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by astrostu, Nov 19, 2009.

  1. astrostu

    astrostu I shoot for the stars

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    After my first first/only-shooter experience two months ago where I photographed a pretty difficult wedding full of dim lighting of different colors for a Hindu ceremony where I was photographing for 14 hrs that I did for free ... I created a price list 'cause I decided that I'm never doing it for free again. My advisor just told me yesterday that he got engaged and is getting married next summer and he would like me to do his wedding. After explaining to him that I'm not a pro (which he obviously knows since he's seen my work for the last few years and he's my advisor in my real job), I sent him a link to the photos I just finished for the wedding I did 2 months ago to see if he's still interested.

    Anyway, after that unnecessary preamble, I wanted to see what you folks think of my prices. I tried to make them reasonable and kinda low, and I would definitely give my advisor a big discount, but for future reference I'd like to know what y'all think:

     
  2. NateWagner

    NateWagner TPF Noob!

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    prints are way to cheap
     
  3. rhondag

    rhondag TPF Noob!

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    Who do you use for photo processing?
    I think you could go with a pro lab...like mpixpro or whcc or bayphoto---charge more---and make more money.
     
  4. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    The cost of most prints is miniscule compared to the retail selling price.

    Astrostu, your pricing will determine the type of client you attract. At those prices you will have to be very careful when you qualify a B&G.

    It is difficlut to increase prices. It is much easier to lower them. Best yet is to leave them high and offer an introductory 20% discount to your next 2 B&G's after the you decide to price higher. I would suggest you double your package prices. If you don't, you won't really be making any money if you consider your real and actual costs of doing business (CODB).

    Actually, you want your top package priced over the top. That makes it easier for your clients to justify the cost of the 2 middle packages (the ones you really want them to buy). Use the lowest priced package to ferret out the price buyer from the ones that really want YOU and your STYLE. The clients wanting the lowest priced package shouldn't qualify for your service, so you then refer them to the shooters priced lower than you.

    I'm with Nat. I'd say markup your desk size prints about 1500% to 2000%.

    Besides print sales should all be gravy, thick gravy at that. ;)

    A good place for retail photography pricing advice is the forums at mpix.com. A very experienced pro on that forum has a current 9 or 10 segment discussion on pricing .
     
  5. astrostu

    astrostu I shoot for the stars

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    Okay, I just want to emphasize at this point that photography is not my main source of income. At this point, I get 1-2 jobs/year. My pricing point is right now in the "friends" and "friends of friends" category. I'm not trying to make this into my primary income source.
     
  6. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    So? You asked what we all thought.

    Your pricing is to low to cover your costs, even before giving discounts. You'll be paying out of pocket to shoot weddings once or twice a year.

    That's not a problem if it works for you.

    For someone else looking at this thread, thinking of doing this for profit, your pricing structure won't work.
     
  7. astrostu

    astrostu I shoot for the stars

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    Keith - I'm not disagreeing with your advice nor not taking it, I just wanted to make sure that folks were answering it in the proper context for where I am at this point. :)
     
  8. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Fair nuf!
     
  9. RyanLilly

    RyanLilly No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    There seem like reasonable prices for friends of friends, coworkers etc, however I you make these prices known You will probably attract clients that you don't want. If this is just a list for your own reference than its fine. But you could also Double all of your prices, then tell your friends that you can do it for half of what a competitive pro would charge.

    My thinking is that If friends ask you to shoot first, then they probably wont do there homework and find out what actual professional wedding photographers charge, so showing them a competitive price, than cutting it in half, Will give them a better understanding of the cost of the services an products you provide.
     
  10. swoop_ds

    swoop_ds TPF Noob!

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    Just wondering, what do you guys mean by undesirable clients in this post?

    I'm in the same boat as OP and was considering prices that are similar to what he has listed.

    Thanks!
    -Dave
     
  11. benhasajeep

    benhasajeep TPF Noob!

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    Even though your doing friends and friends of friends. I would increase your rates to that you would charge anyone off the street. Your prints are way too low for any kind of photography. I would suggest you raise your rates and then give discounts to your freinds and freinds of friends. This way they feel you are giving them something special.

    People love to hear discount. And if they get half off most feel they have won some kind of contest. My mother owns a furniture store. She sets her pricing so that the lowest sale price is actually the price she wants / needs to make on the furniture. The normal price is just something to make the sales price look inviting. And normally when someone wants something not on sale she will give them a discount anyway. She makes more than she wants and the customer feels they got a special deal. Everyone ends up happy.
     

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