Wedding Pricing Help

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by Saint-Brown, Jan 27, 2008.

  1. Saint-Brown

    Saint-Brown TPF Noob!

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    I have been strugling with wedding package pricing. I don't want to undervalue my work, but I also don't want to "overprice" as I am new to the wedding market, I've only done a weddings to date. How do you price out your packages? How much of a markup do yo guys and gals use.
     
  2. rachlynn17

    rachlynn17 TPF Noob!

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    I would start by answering these questions:
    How will the packages be set up?
    Do I charge by the hour; for full-day coverage; of a flat rate per event?
    Does the photography include photoshop touch ups/ editing? (You need to account for the time you put into the pictures after the actual event.)
    Does the package include the copyright release?
    Does the package include any prints or an album? If so, what? How much will this cost me, & how much do I want to charge my client for the items?

    I'm not sure about "Undervalue-ing" or overpricing, but I would say that around $1000 is the starting point for photography services. Since you've only shot 1 wedding so far, you probably still need to build your portfolio, and it might be best to try and sit in as a second shooter for another photographer. Or find 2-4 weddings this summer at a REALLY low rate.

    I've been in business for 2 years, and I make about $700 profit per wedding. I'm not sure how that compares to anyone else. I try to market myself to couples who I know can't pay Big Bucks ($5000+) for a photographer.
     
  3. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    (Or you could reverse engineer it and ask yourself, "What is the most I could pay back if I totally screwed up this shoot and lost a lawsuit?")

    If you get into the business, how much money is it going to take to stay in the business is the question you should ask. Once you are in the business, you can't just say OOOPS, sorry, I didn't know what I was about so never mind. I know that you want prints and whatever, and I'm sorry your house caught on fire but I can't be bothered any more.

    Servicing your clients isn't like Neurosurgery but you will owe them more than just the one night stand. This holds even if you are just a part timer.

    Again, being in this for the long haul isn't that difficult but you have to plan for it from the start and price accordingly.
     
  4. MichaelT

    MichaelT TPF Noob!

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    I would caution you about approaching photography from a "markup" point of view. You're not selling paper, and the cost of your service has little to do with your pricing. (Use a lab that can produce the finest portraits, not the cheapest.)

    A better way is to count the costs. Include absolutely everything connected with producing a wedding, it's not just the few hours of the ceremony, include the hours of pre and post wedding work too. After it's all calculated, $30 - $50 per hour is a reasonable income, plus expenses, for a new photographer.

    Say you spend 3 hours in meeting with the couple and preparation, 5 hours at the wedding, and 10 hours in post-production. That's $600 - $900 for your time. Then add in pro-rated expenses like advertising, car, equipment, processing, assistants, etc. etc. (don't overlook anything). If you use packages, add in not only the cost of those items but the time it takes to create, produce and deliver them. This will give you a place to start and not go broke or work for free, like so many new photographers tend to do.

    After your experience level comes up and you have many satisfied clients, that hourly rate can go up significantly.
     

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