Discussion in 'The Professional Gallery' started by Zansho, Jul 16, 2008.
Some of my wedding work, most are fairly recent.
Beautiful work! Love the lighting in the first one. Bravo.
Zan, I am curious as to what you charge for your wedding work? I was asked to be a back up shooter at someone's wedding I know and they asked me what my fee would be and to be honest I have no idea where to start...
First question would be, what would you charge if you were the sole photographer and what would you charge if you were the back up/second photographer?
Anyone else can chime in with suggestions as well, thanks...
subscribed...i wanna know too
When I first started out as a second shooter, I had no clue, honestly. I was shooting film (this was back when I was a teenager, I second shot my first wedding (about 5 hours) when I was 15) and I got paid 150 bucks, and thought I hit the jackpot lol. I used that to buy myself a Vivitar flash.
Nowadays, when I second shoot (it's rare), I charge $45.00-$60.00/hour and I DO NOT sign my rights away. I will allow the primary photographer to use my images for the wedding book and whatnot, but all rights remain with me, insofar as advertising and the like. The reason I don't normally second shoot very often, is because I like to control how my images look and quite frankly, I prefer to be a primary photographer!
If you're starting out though, as a second shooter, and just want to get your feet wet and get some portfolio material, I would suggest starting off with charging a fee of $20.00-$30.00/hour. Work it out with the photographer that you want to use these for your portfolio, and your website, and for whatever book you may want to design for your future clients to peruse through. In exchange, they can use your images for the wedding book, manipulate your RAW files as they see fit for the wedding albums and reprints. They may ask to retain your rights (e.g. work for hire) - whatever you do, do not do that. This is your work. You can allow for the photographer to reprint the images as they need, but they shouldn't be displaying them on their website advertising it as their work.
As for me being a primary shooter, I'm going to keep that one close to the vest. I'll impart a few things though - if you have experience, know how, and the professional equipment to produce *CONSISTENT* quality images, charge accordingly. Your time is valuable, from when you travel to consultations, prep for weddings, shoot the actual wedding, post production in photoshop/lightroom/whatever, creation of an album (digital or classic), delivery of said album.. time adds up. CHARGE FOR THAT TIME, YOUR MATERIALS, AND EXPERTISE. Never sell yourself short.
To put things in perspective, my last wedding - my bride purchased my top package. I went all out on it, and spent about 45 hours total from start to finish. It can be a very time consuming affair.
If you're going to shoot a wedding, I strongly suggest having backup equipment for everything, including lenses and flashes. You're expected to provide the photography services, and you can't very well stop once a piece of equipment breaks, you need a backup to keep on trucking. It wouldn't look very good if your camera's shutter broke and you have to go up to your bride and explain that you can't shoot anymore ... Backups are a must.
Good write up...this helps...thanks
Zan, thanks for the info and the time to thourghly explain everything, I really apperciate it. I also understand not wanting to completely throw out your pricing.
One of the reason I asked was because I know the bride and groom and they told me the fee they were paying for the primary photographer. $6,000 up front with the opportunity for him to sell prints to the family of course. I thought that was a very good amount of money and that is the reason I asked...
Again, thanks for taking the time to respond:hail:
Beautiful images, I especially love the first one. Great use of soft (and what I assume to be natural) light.
Oh wow, 6k? I don't charge that much, but I've seen that kind of price around a few places. I don't think the quality of my work would justify a 6k price tag just yet.
If he (the 6k man) wants you to second shoot for him, and you know you can put out good quality, by all means negotiate a fair rate for the both of you. Ask him what he has budgeted for a 2nd shooter/assistant.
Weddings aren't for the faint of heart though, it's very fast paced and you really need to know your equipment in and out, backwards and forwards, to the point where it's almost instinctive.
It's a lot of fun though. I enjoy my job tremendously.
Too be honest I think I am going to pass on the opportunity. IF he can demand a 6k price tag, then my little crappy Sony a200 and 2 lenses are gonna pale in comparsion to the stuff he puts out I am sure. I probably don't need to get in his way, which is the way I bet he would take the situation. I may show up early and just watch him work, I can probably learn just as much from that as actually shooting...
I'm going to tell you something that someone has imparted to me, mostly in reference to your gear.
"Your camera is awesome, it must take wonderful pictures!"
"Yes, I bought it from the same store where Shakespeare bought his pen!"
The point is, the camera is just a tool. As long as you understand how to use your camera, your equipment, and your limitations of light presented before, ANY camera is going to get your image for you. Granted, there are some exceptions like for action photos, and some other things, but that's nitpicking.
The photographer makes the image, not the camera. The cook makes the meals, not the utensil.. The carpenter builds the house, not his hammer.. you get the idea?
It would be a shame for you to pass on a learning opportunity like this. I strongly encourage you to go after it.
You're correct, Mike! it was completely all natural light, softened by a big homemade scrim roughly 6 feet high by 4 feet wide.
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