How many weddings to shoot in a year?

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by rachlynn17, Jan 13, 2010.

  1. rachlynn17

    rachlynn17 TPF Noob!

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    I primarily shoot weddings, but also do child photography. I'm at the point where I'm getting too overwhelmed with balancing how much work I should accept.
    I work out of my home with my two girls at home with me, and I don't want this next year to be an impossible task.
    Give me feed back, as to how many weddings is a good balance for you. Or, do you or do not turn away jobs?
     
  2. K.Li

    K.Li TPF Noob!

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    When there are more jobs then time it is a sign to start charging more to lower them and earn more.
     
  3. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    This is a common issue. Many photographers, especially wedding photographers, may find that they overextend themselves pretty easily. It's great to book up your summer or your whole year, with weddings. But when wedding season rolls around, you get to be very busy and the next thing you know, you are getting further and further behind on other things, like your post processing, your household chores, your family life etc.

    You should try to decide just how many you think you can take, and try to stick to that....but you also need to think about the big picture and where you want to be in 3 years or 5 years etc.

    As mentioned, an easy thing to do is raise your prices. That way, you can make more money for less work. If you are still getting clients, then it's a great decision. If you raise them too high, it might backfire. Actually, I've heard from many photographers that when they raised their prices, they actually got more inquires and booked more weddings. Probably because their new higher price put them into a new market segment.

    A photographer I know, who is/was going through the growing pains of being too busy, just decided that he needed to expand, if he wanted to be successful, so he hired one or two people to do his post processing for him. He made a blog post about it, and it was a brutally honest post...very ballsy.
    2010: an update (with an overdose of honesty) ยป one fine day photography

    As for myself, I'm still taking every wedding & gig I can get...but it won't take many before I find that it's too many. Part of my solution to this, is taking 2nd shooting jobs. That way I can earn money shooting a wedding, but I don't have to deal with all the extra time involved.
     
  4. Double H

    Double H TPF Noob!

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    I wish I were in your shoes! As secure as my teaching job is, I have gotten the craps of it and would like to say goodbye to it (still teaching college course, however). Problem is not having your problem.
     
  5. bennielou

    bennielou TPF Noob!

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    I try to stick to no more than 30 a year. This I learned from the past.

    What I tell my assistants is this:

    If you take on 20 weddings, that means 60 shoots. 20 weddings, 20 engagements, 20 bridals. Now compound that with album designs, and you are one busy peep. Too busy sometimes for a full timer like me.

    It would be fine if that was just 60 shooting days, but add to that all the processing time, meeting time, designing time, business time, and you can easily be busy for every day of the year, 6 days a week, 10-12 hours a day.
     
  6. VirtualPhotographyStudio

    VirtualPhotographyStudio TPF Noob!

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    Since you photograph two types - children and weddings - you need to know what you love the most, and what's going to make you the money you need and deserve. My hubby and I were wedding photogs, and did 25-30 per year, and would follow it up with family/children portraits of our wedding clients. That kept us busy and earning well into a six figure income because that's how we designed it.

    If you're too busy in one area, its time to raise the bar and get more money for it. If you're shooting 40 a year at $3000, how can you move it to 30 at $4000? Your clients will change over time because someone that could just squeeze into a $3000 wedding package will very rarely refer friends that can book $4000, $5000, etc. But as you move pricing, you'll move to the right referral sources as well.

    Good luck this year.
     
  7. jnm

    jnm TPF Noob!

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    if your demand is inelastic as it pertains to price then you cannot be maximizing your profit. that is, if your price is set in such a way that an x% increase in price brings about a smaller than x% decrease in quantity of sales then you need to up your prices.
     

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