Upcoming wedding pricing - opinion

Discussion in 'The Professional Gallery' started by Johnboy2978, Oct 10, 2006.

  1. Johnboy2978

    Johnboy2978 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Ok, it's the first wedding I've ever done (probably last) and it's scheduled for December. I tried to talk my way out of it initially, and was asked and asked until I agreed. I don't think that it's going to be a lot of pressure with this couple and they weren't asking a lot.

    Price I suggested - $325us
    What they get: Outdoor engagement pics at their location of choice (possibly indoor under studio lights as well), unlimited poses.
    Wedding - I sent her a checklist that I think Pete had posted here previously and let her check what she was looking for. She wanted several pre-wedding getting dressed, etc, several wedding, several after wedding, several reception and "candid" shots throughout the rest of the day.

    The wedding starts at 6pm so I figured with the pre-ceremony shots and the reception I can pretty much plan on about 9 hours or my day for this, and I would imagine a few hundred raw shots, not including the engagement shots we're doing this weekend. I also figure I can expect to spend at least an hour editing work per hour shooting.

    My thought with this price was to give them a dvd of all the shots, along with 50 or their favorites edited and sized for printing, and let them send in an order to Mpix or somewhere else at their leisure at their own expense.

    Does this sound unreasonable? I think "cousin's, neighbor's, wife who just bought a new digital camera" would charge at least this much, and I'd like to think that I can give them something a little more than Joe Shmoe who happens to have a camera in the closet, maybe not something out of Bride magazine, but something worth framing.

    So let me hear what you think. I've already gone through the "can I handle this" debate both here and mentally, so we can skip that.

    Thanks for reading and commenting.
     
  2. KevinR

    KevinR TPF Noob!

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    For that much time, I wouldn't have charged less than $700. By my calculations, factoring in the engagement and pp time, your making around $21 an hour. I wouldn't touch it for less than $50 an hour. But that's me.
     
  3. Johnboy2978

    Johnboy2978 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I know what you mean. Eventhough I haven't done it yet, I will not agree to do another one (even though I am not a seasoned wedding photographer) for less than 700-800. She's a close friend/co-worker of my wife, and friend of mine as well, and I know that they are working on a budget here, so I am trying to cut them a break. I know if they got someone out of the phonebook who actually does this for a living, it would be at least that, and the professionals here are that only in their self proclaimed title (with the exception of 2 which are very good).

    So you don't think that sounds out of line, well maybe on my end, but a bargain for them?
     
  4. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    Once upon a time I had a friend who sold aluminum siding. He and I were having a drink and just shooting the bull. My mother and father lived in a house with asbestos siding and they needed to have it covered. So I asked just in passing.

    "Roger what is the going price for aluminum siding these days."

    Roger looked at me just as seriously as The President, when he says stay the course, and said to me. "The price of Aluminum siding is whatever the customer is willing to pay." That made a lot of sense to me.
     
  5. KevinR

    KevinR TPF Noob!

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    I think the friend thing should come into play. Just be careful. Probably alot of friendships strained in just this kind of circumstance. Maybe even do it for free as your gift. Expectations then are lowered and reduces a little stress. Not saying you would do a bad job, just saying the atmosphere may become a little more casual.
     
  6. jemmy

    jemmy TPF Noob!

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    I just shot my 1st wedding - hubbys cousin and i charged aus$500... for that they got coverage of brides prep, groom & boys before ceremony, ceremony, 'formals' (yuck!), 3 locations, mock cake, waltz etc... then they got a leather look album, 200 @ 5x7"prints, 1 @16x20" enlargement plus all full sized images on cd.....
    I think they got a pretty darn good deal... and i pocketed about $335.00 which i was happy enough for a 1st... I didnt take into account the labour of shooting and postprocessing which i will in future... but am happy knowing that my images will be out there promoting my little business. Will ask them not to share what they paid though as i dont think i will do it for that price again.... then again, who knows.

    I dont suppose you want to hear the story that the bride was an hour late (and cool as a cucumber) hence no time for 'father/daughter' etc shots at home hence only 5minutes for groom shots... then they strolled around kissing each and every 112 guests after the ceremony after being told we needed to move quickly in order to get the 3 locations in before dark............ Aaaaaaaaaaggggggggghhhhhhhhhhh!!!!! I instantly declared that was my 1st and last wedding till it was over and i wanted the next one!! Addictive maybe? Now I am shooting my girlfriends in new zealand in january........... and charging processing only.... she is paying for my return airfare.......... shes on a pretty tight budget and we have been friends for years and Im just stoked to be shooting a wedding again... This is so much fun .... I am loving it

    Sorry for the ramble... Im in one of those moods!! x
     
  7. AprilRamone

    AprilRamone TPF Noob!

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    I think it's a fair price if she is a friend. I've done a couple weddings for super cheap and now I charge at least 800 (but they get a lot for that in my opinion) but in the beginning I only charged a small amount just to get started. I think Jemmy makes a good point about not telling future customers what you've done it before in the past. You don't want everyone thinking they can get a steal from you.
     
  8. bitteraspects

    bitteraspects TPF Noob!

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    if its a friend, do it for free or not at all, because you have no experiance shooting wedings.
    if youre going to charge, dont charge the "friends and family discount" rate. never charge less then youre worth. in your case, youve never done a wedding, so maybe that price (or less) is what youre worth. but this is what is considered by most, one of those "the most important day of my life" moments. you cant afford to screw that up. if moneys exchanged, expectations will come in return.
     
  9. mgbradsh

    mgbradsh TPF Noob!

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    I have a friend who is a pro photographer. He won't shoot friend's weddings. At all. Ever. If something goes wrong no matter whose fault it is, even if it's free there will always be friction. That and if you are good friends with them you won't be in any of their wedding pictures which they'll probably miss.

    I agree that you shouldn't charge them if they are friends. I'd use it as experience and if all works out well they can recommend you to others.

    And if you do start shooting more weddings, I'd charge way more than that.
     
  10. JTHphoto

    JTHphoto TPF Noob!

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    At first, that sounds like not much for a whole lot of work, but i've taken less in the same situation... I've done 3 weddings for people that obviously didn't care what their photos looked like (who asks a nature photographer to take their wedding pics?). Two were basically for free, and 1 for $250 which I would have done for free anyway but they insisted. That was all 35mm though, and they took care of their own processing/enlargements.

    If they are at all knowledgeable about the cost of wedding photography they should be elated by your offer. Make sure it's okay with them that you retain rights to use some shots in a portfolio.
     

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