Pricing of wedding photography question??ethical ?

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by rolenrock, Apr 10, 2007.

  1. rolenrock

    rolenrock TPF Noob!

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    Here is my dilemna, I was approached (called) yesterday to shoot a wedding in august. I am not new to formal occasion photography, however weddings are new. And pricing and printing are competitive. I was asked by the wife to be to shoot the wedding and pre wedding .. a total of 2 hours of shooting time. They offered 200 for the 2 hours, and said they only wanted digital(it was going to be anyway) and a CD only of pictures. this poses a problem to me. I am sure someone here has had this problem before and i would really appreciate a solution. I am going for around 275, and a low res cd. I am sure you guys realize that this sounds like they are just going to use the cd i give them to go print there own. I was wondering how i can get past this problem ehtically and without any problems. Thanks a lot.

    -Ryan
    www.elliottimaging.com
     
  2. neea

    neea TPF Noob!

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    That's a tough one.

    I read on a professional wedding photographers site once about this very thing. He had it in his FAQ section.
    I guess lots of people had asked if they could make prints or put pictures on their websites.
    His answer was definatley no.
    I would explain to the bride to be that you wouldnt feel comfortable with giving just a cd unless it was low resolution.
    The pictures on their wall are a source of advertising for you. If they're slightly grainy or altered in any way it affects your image.

    Set your prices and stick with them. Tell them $275 for the shooting and CD and if they want prints (create a package kinda deal) then it'd be $325 for example.
     
  3. danalec99

    danalec99 TPF Noob!

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    Only you can decide the price you'd want to charge.
    As for the files, you'd want give them high rez files (especially if they are not buying prints from you) and advise them NOT to print from the corner pharmacy store or the VaalMart.
     
  4. neea

    neea TPF Noob!

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    You can 'advise' people all you want. Unless you trust/know them or put it in writing, once they've handed their dough over they could technically do as they please.
     
  5. Big Mike

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

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    Welcome to the forum.

    In most areas, that is a very low price...even at $275. It doesnt matter that it's only 2 hours, it's still an event...a once-in-a-lifetime event. Most photographers will also need some post processing time, not to mention time and mileage to get there and back...general overhead etc. An established wedding photographer would probably not waste their time...especially if there is a chance of booking another wedding for that date.

    As mentioned, it's up to you. Maybe you could do it for their low price and get some great shots for your portfolio.

    In general, I'd like to avoid clients like this. They want to spend as little as possible on everything...but their expectations don't usually match their budget. They will nickle and dime you and expect the same results that they see other people getting (who paid much more). In the end, they are often more trouble than they are worth. On the other hand, it's much better to work with a client who has come to you because they like you work and will pay your price.
     
  6. EOS_JD

    EOS_JD TPF Noob!

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    I do this kind of work for commercial clients. $275 is very low though. I get around £200 per day for commercial work (depending on the job - sometimes a little less). That's about $400. And that's me doing it cheap. I actually have a real job that pays the bills and photography pays itself - although I'm still in the -ive!!!

    Anyway here's your day mapped out.....

    Pre wedding time (you need to find out where the shoot is and do a reccy), 1 hour (if it's close by)

    Travel time on day say 30 minutes (again if close by)

    Your time shooting 2 hours (might be more!!!),

    Download to PC - 20 minutes (by the time it's switched on and programs running etc)

    Resize and put images on to CD - Depends omn PC but say 40 minutes

    Then a further meeting to provide the finished CD - I'd say you are looking at a minimum total time of around 5 hours......!!!!!

    Does anyone else think £275 is worth it? And you are not even getting print sales from this!!! that doesn't include expenses like lunch and fuel etc....

    Even for a cheap wedding in the UK I'd be looking for £400 (close to $800) for little more than the above.
     
  7. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If they want you to Shoot their wedding for $200, ask them if they want you do do the windows and shine their shoes too!

    Charity work is one thing, friends are another but being called out of the blue and them wanting their wedding done and the files too for that price is insulting.
     
  8. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    $200... during the two hours, I'll guess you'll make, AT THE VERY LEAST, 100 images. That's $2/image. That's ONE way of looking at it.

    Now... let's figure two hours of shooting, just one hour of prep/travel, seven hours of post production (preparing files, making CD, etc.). These are VERY conservative estimates. That totals ten hours. Now lets add general overhead. In a sense, they not only hire you, but rent all your gear too... even if you're the one using it. So, there's camera rental, gasoline, advertising, phone bill... all those things that you've invested into your photo efforts. A very conservative number might be... oh... $50.00/hour. So, with all this in mind:

    $200 - $100 = $100 ÷ 10 hours = $10/hour

    Again, all these numbers are SO very low and the real pay is probably less than $5.00/hour.... for you and your training/experience.

    I don't see any problem with ethics, unless you're talking about the couple.

    Pete
     
  9. neea

    neea TPF Noob!

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    Wow. You guys are all so good at breaking the numbers down. I guess that's what years of experience do hey. :)

    There's also wear and tear on your vehicle. Electricity to power your computer and lights while you edit all the images.

    I'd say a minimum of around $800. That's the cheapest I found when doing research to find a photographer for my best friends wedding. However, at that price I questioned their skill (without seeing examples that is).
     
  10. EOS_JD

    EOS_JD TPF Noob!

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    In my example I didn't provide time for post processing because I assumed that they just wanted bare images but I suppose you'd need to!

    So from my minimum 5 hours that's suddenly 10-12 hours (as Christie notes). Also forgot about the wear and tear on your gear and car etxc and the cost of your equipment.

    Unless you need the hassle (and you probably don't) I'd steer clear.
     
  11. darich

    darich TPF Noob!

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    My friend and i shot a wedding a few months ago.
    On the cheap because (i think) he knew the bride.
    She was told the price and she would get an album of around 60 prints included. Further prints or a dvd video would be charged seperately.

    She was charged £450 - or around $900.
    All we did was show up, shoot loads of photos, filter out the better ones minor post processing and arrange prints. My mate bought the album, mounted the images and handed it over. And she was happy with the end result.

    The time really adds up, even just filtering out the better images from the few hundred we had took time.

    $200 as someone already mentioned seems like an insult. If that's the price then use a compact and get the prints from your local Walmart or supermarket.
     
  12. BAB

    BAB TPF Noob!

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    If you are indeed interested in shooting the wedding, I would develop your price and stick by it, $200 is a joke. The problem is that the bride is looking only at your shooting time and thinking $100.00 an hour is great pay for you, but fails to understand all the extra time involved to make create the CD, time to and from etc. etc. If you were approached because you have done good work and have a good reputation, then you should get at least a fair wage and $200.00 is definately not fair, for the bride yes, but not you. As for hi-res vs low res, it is up to you, there are some wedding photogs that would rather shoot the wedding, put the images on a CD and be done with it. They give up future and additional sales in exchange for simplicity and not having to put packages together. If this is your choice, provide hi-res images so that your work will stand up in print.
     

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