eek first wedding pricing night mare

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by kirif1, Jul 10, 2009.

  1. kirif1

    kirif1 TPF Noob!

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    Hello,

    First off i do apologise if this has been asked a hundred times and the topic is a but tired but i do need some serious help!!

    I have been asked to do a wedding in September, It is my first wedding...my first event and so i really am in the deep end. The bride knows and understands that by hiring me she is risking i mess up but she wants a budget wedding and knows i won't charge the earth. (she is a friend of a friend's friend!)

    But thats just it, i have no idea WHAT to charge! I dont even have a plan, such as i will take 100 of the best images and put them on a disk and charge her for the disk. Or print little thumbnails of them all, number them and ask which ones she wants and how many? All i know is she has to cover my travel, accommodation and equipment hiring costs.

    So my question is this, what is a good plan for a first time wedding on the price side of things?? (never mind where to hire stuff and what equipment i need!)
     
  2. K_Pugh

    K_Pugh No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Why don't you find out what their budget is (work out what you need beforehand) and go from there. As it's your first wedding I wouldn't be too concerned about making money from it although you don't want to undervalue yourself. The experience is worth more than any amount of money at that stage though so it is a dilemna.

    Good luck :) and let us know how you get on.

    (I know that's not much help).
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2009
  3. g-fi

    g-fi TPF Noob!

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    The only advice I can offer is to not forget the time you are going to spend in post working with these pictures, and calculate your price accordingly. My first wedding was for my SIL (as a wedding present, nonetheless) and I drastically miscalculated how much time I would be spending on pp. The clock doesn't stop just because you put the camera down, and you should charge accordingly. HTH!
     
  4. kric2schaam626

    kric2schaam626 TPF Noob!

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    I'm new to this, so take it or leave it, but I just did my first wedding in May. It didn't turn out horrible, but it was not terrific either. I have had more issues with my computer and getting everything together than I have with the pictures themselves, so I have not delivered the pictures to the couple.

    The thing is, is that, I told them that I would do it for free because they would be my first wedding, and my dad recommended it (he was a wedding photographer in the film days).

    I'm figuring out that this couple is falling under the category of people who do not value your work as much when you give to them for free. That wedding was a long day. I was there for 12 hours, took 1600 photos, have them backed up and am working on them between my regular full time job. This does not mean a thing to them.

    I hope you figure something, don't overestimate a job but do not undervalue yourself.
     
  5. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Everyone in the whole world is a friend of a friend's friend.

    As far as that goes, ultimately we are all related, everyone on the planet alive today.

    I second the "What's your budget route"?
    Plug in the dollar amounts that work for you but tailor your coverage to their budget.

    You absolutely need to have a contract for them to sign.
     
  6. Clawed

    Clawed TPF Noob!

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    I am in the very same boat you are. I just scheduled my first paid wedding for January and another paid wedding for April. The wedding in January is local and being my first event, I charged a very small fee (I have already MORE THAN spent the money on equipment [that i would not need otherwise] without having seen a dime yet). But, the wedding in April is not as easy. It is across the country and i have no idea what to charge...

    I would say to you, keep the pricing simple. I would state up front that you do expect any fees associated with traveling to be covered. From there, maybe give them a flat fee for what you definitely plan to include. For example: You might state that they will have your services for X amount of hours and you can guarantee X number of shots for an album. From there, any reprints and/or enlargements will be X dollars each. Something like that. Although you are new, do not short sell yourself, but also know that if you charge too much, they might be expecting more than you can deliver at this point.

    Best of luck to you!
     
  7. smn_xps

    smn_xps TPF Noob!

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    here are my thoughts, non-pro though they are:

    all these people who take 1600 or more shots of a wedding and PP all, ro much, of it are nuts or well paid, i hope the latter.

    If i were doing a budget shoot for someone i would follow the posts above and sit down with them and ask what's your budget? what shots do you absolutely need? (eg: altar, wedding party etc) what else might you want. then i would look at how much of this can i give them for the price they can afford?

    if they can only spend $500, and mainly want formals, a few ceremony shots and cutting the cake maybe that will work. You don't HAVE to spend 7 hours and take 2000 images with three shooters just cause some do (because their customers want and will pay for that)

    I would also only PP the best shots that will be printed, don't mess with the rest unless the budget increases, say after they get the book they say "wow these are great! what else do you have that we could look at?"

    good luck
    jerry
     
  8. msf

    msf TPF Noob!

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    You could make up a spreadsheet in excel and calculate your time and expenses.

    * First, figure out what you want to make per hour to make this worth your time.
    * Then figure how many hours you will be required to be at the wedding.
    * Find out how many picturse the bride wants *and which ones so your ready the day of* and knowing how long it takes you on average to process images, figure out hwo many hours you will be behind the computer.
    * Plus toss in a couple or so hours for talking to the bride before and after the wedding.

    Then you have an idea of how much to charge to be there.

    *Then figure out what you need to charge for prints. For the album, etc.

    You do need to figure out what you need to make to cover equipment depreciation to.

    If the figures turn out to be more than waht the bride wants, reduce the number of pictures and/or the amount of time spent there.

    This isnt the best way to do it, but it gives you a starting point. : )

    Do you have all the equpment that you need to do the job? Its a good idea to have a backup for everything, especially a body. you can pick up a used dslr off of ebay for pretty cheap, I got a Canon 20d with lens for $300 usd after all was said and done. A couple fast prime lenses is a good idea to have if you dont have or can afford a fast zoom lens. Canon 50mm F1.8 and Canon 85mm F1.8 are good to start off with. And a couple flashes if flashes are allowed during the ceremony *check with the pastor/priest before the day*
     
  9. kirif1

    kirif1 TPF Noob!

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    Thank all for your comments and advice. I have spoken to the bride and worked out everything...now for the actual wedding!
     
  10. Amethyst

    Amethyst TPF Noob!

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    I'm still new to photography but for my wedding the photography was the most important thing (other than actually getting married!). Our photographer did everything digital, then uploaded the pics to a password protected website and gave us the password to view the pics. We weren't having a total budget wedding but we did save money by not having her stay through the reception - no-one really likes pictures of themselves eating anyway! If she's having a budget wedding that's something you can suggest to help keep costs down.
     
  11. ambrose portraits

    ambrose portraits TPF Noob!

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    What a great thread! Thanks for all the advice. I haven't done a wedding yet, but was recently asked to do one. We haven't discussed dollars yet, so I've been going over a lot of this in my head. One question:
    I've only got my xs kit lens (28-55mm f5) and the 50mm f1.8. I don't feel comfortable doing a wedding without at least adding a fast zoom telephoto. I've researched renting, but I don't think that there are any shops in town that rent, and it looks like renting a good zoom off the internet will cost nearly $200 with shipping. Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Suggestions for websites to rent from?
    Thanks!
     
  12. red1013

    red1013 TPF Noob!

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    If you Normally take good pictures just remember to relax an shoot. Money is a whole other issue. The first wedding I did I charged 1000.00 and it stuck. Now it is my entry level package. I typically ask if I can attend the rehearsal. it helps me a lot!!! I get to see the lighting and the wedding party go through the motions. It gives me a sence of where to stand. When you get to the reception get with the dj. they normally set the flow of the night.
     

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