Photographing weddings

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by jenn2, Feb 2, 2010.

  1. jenn2

    jenn2 TPF Noob!

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    I have a first time customer who just called me to photograph her wedding in three weeks. She is only interested in having the ceremony and a few formals with family photographed. She is about an hour away from me, what are some price suggestions??
     
  2. Johnboy2978

    Johnboy2978 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I will forego the usual rants you see here about being qualified to shoot wedding and the blood letting that usually follows and assume that you are a pro, have done this a hundred times, etc.

    That being said, I would charge whatever my cheapest wedding package is. I wouldn't cut any breaks in price. I would also be a bit leary as to why she is waiting until the last minute and also why she would assume that a PRO would be available at the last minute as well. I always fear that these sort of situations are a recipe for disaster where they expect a million dollar wedding shoot for $100 and then *****, whine and complain about every image. That being said, treat it like any other wedding in terms of price, charge the full fee and make sure both parties agree to the contract, sign, etc.

    If they try to chew you down to a lower price, cut your losses, move on and be glad you didn't accept the job and the headaches.
     
  3. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    That's not much info.

    It must be she likes your style, since she has no clue how much you are going to charge.

    You know what it costs you to shoot, your CODB (Cost-Of-Doing-Business) right?

    So you've got to load-up, travel, un-load, set-up, shoot, tear-down, re-load, travel back, un-load again. You've got gas cost, wear and tear on the car and your photography gear.

    You can shoot the ceremony and the formals in about an hour. So with all the pre and post prep and travel, figure 4 hours, not including editing time.

    What's your time worth to you, per hour? $20? $50? $100? $200?

    Charge 4 times what you feel your time is worth per hour, plus your CODB.

    Next is COGS (Cost-Of-Goods-Sold). This will include: wear and tear on your camera gear, image editing time, your cost of having prints made or burning images to a disc, shipping costs, your markup and what you charge for your talent, since that's what you're ultimately selling. The paper/ink/disc are really incidental, it's the image that counts.


    So, if your time is worth $100 per hour and your CODB is $100 an hour per shooting day and your COGS, including markup, is $800, you just add it up:
    • 4 hours x $100 per hour for your time is $400
    • 4 hours x your CODB of $100 per hour is $400
    • Your COGS is $800 for the shoot so
    • $400 + $400 + $800 = $1600
     
  4. PhotoXopher

    PhotoXopher TPF Noob!

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    $1600 for a ceremony and a few formals? I need to get my but in gear and start doing small wedding shoots!
     
  5. ChasK

    ChasK TPF Noob!

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    Read the above paragraph three times out loud, every time you even think about cutting your price. These last minute type of things seem to come with extra baggage so be careful.
     
  6. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    That is cheap, over here you can pay an average of £1600 and that is cheap
     
  7. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    That is because in the USA, "wedding photographers" are as commonplace as cell phones. The USA market is flooded with "wedding photographers" such as the TERRIBLE HACK that photographed my niece and her fiancee a few weeks ago: a MySpace-advertising MWAC who turned in work that was what I would call utter,total crap. Mixed shade and sunlight, blown-out highlights, no fill-flash even when desperately needed, and just GARBAGE-grade shots. LOTS of them. A shoot-and-burn specialist.

    http://digitalprotalk.blogspot.com/2010/01/are-there-too-many-wedding.html
    http://digitalprotalk.blogspot.com/2010/01/are-there-too-many-wedding_22.html
    Digital ProTalk: "Are There Too Many Wedding Photographers Shooting Weddings These Days?" – Part 3

    I'm waiting for the USA's first cell-phone-camera wedding shooter....$50 to shoot, all the booze he can drink at the reception, and a promise to send the images to your cell phone number. Can't be too far off, can it?:lol:
     
  8. bigtwinky

    bigtwinky No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The money sounds nice but the hassles are always there. Seems that the lower the cost, the more hassles there are as people expect these days to pay nothing and get everything.

    Not to mention that these small weddings are the ones you are starting to build your reputation off of. All you need is a few bridezillas that make your day horrible because their expectations are so high and were not properly managed from the get go.

    Make sure you have a contract. Make sure the shots the person is judging your portfolio on are yours and are ones that you can reproduce 100% of the time in the same conditions. Be honest and be careful.
     
  9. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    The dollar amounts are just examples and were selected to keep the math as simple as possible.

    For all I know the OP figures their time at $20 an hour, has a CODB of $20 an hour per shooting day and a COGS of $20 making the total, $180.

    The main point is, pricing has to based on your costs, time, and talent, or you won't be in business for very long.
     
  10. Along with the Thank You button, there ought to be a This Post Made Me Laugh button.
     
  11. Flash Harry

    Flash Harry TPF Noob!

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    Markets flooded here too with everyone with cheap DSLR and kit lens offering to shoot weddings for £100 ($200) and by the looks of things getting the work. H
     
  12. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Just remember that anyone paying £100 for a wedding photographer likley can't even begin to afford the £1600+ prices that the "pros" are charging. There is always a bottom market and its often far larger than the upper market (there are more poorer people than richer) plus the economy at the moment is in the pits so there are more people both after cheap services and more people (without jobs) out to offer cheap services.
     

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