Wedding Reception

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by B Kennedy, May 13, 2009.

  1. B Kennedy

    B Kennedy TPF Noob!

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    So I just found out that a co-worker of mine has been looking for prices for his wedding reception. The details are a few family shots as well as photographing the reception (ceremony was small and happened a few months ago. So the most recent price he was given was $1K and here's what kind of made me mad. The photographer was going to show up about an hour early to take family pictures, shoot for 1 hour during the cocktail hour, and 1 hour of the actual event. This would include (1) photographer and (1) dvd of low resolution photos (I'm not sure what low resolution would actually be, but I'd assume you could at least print 4x6's from them). Then as an extra the photographer would charge 500 for the high res dvd images, and another 500 for an album.

    I couldn't believe that this photographer wouldn't give the high res. images on the dvd. I know they are trying to maximize their profit, obviously, but I thought that offering high resolution dvds with rights to the images was a "standard" in most packages. Let me know what you guys think.

    So as a friend and photog. business owner I offered him the following, as I would have been going to this event regardless. $650 to include all night of shooting, before hand included (would probably show up 2-3 hours early to set up flashes and then take pics of the place and with family). My price would include me and an assistant/photographer, as well as a dvd with high res files, including B&W (which my co-worker requested), and the album would be extra if they decided to go that route aftermath. And as part of my present to them I would print 1-2 8x10s and 2-3 5x7s'. What do you guys think? And more importantly whats with that other photographers pricing? 1000 for 3 hours and a low res dvd? I feel they were going to get ripped off.
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    Some photographers are worth that much, some are worth much more.

    You say $1000 for three hours...but what about processing time, travel time, meeting time? What about the overhead costs of doing business?
    Do you have backup equipment? Are you insured?

    Do you think you could run a sustained business by charging $650 per event? (never mind that it's only 3 hours of coverage...you probably couldn't book another wedding on that day). How much does the assistant get paid? You would be unlikely to get any further income because the high res files are included.

    I don't think that photographer's prices are a 'rip off'.
     
  3. B Kennedy

    B Kennedy TPF Noob!

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    Yea thats all very true. I guess i just look at it that I have less overhead than maybe other photographers since I'm not a full time photog. Fortunately my boss pays for my fuel (although he may not know about it on weekends);), and really my only hard costs are less than 200. Thats true though now that I look at it 1000 isn't that bad. Unfortunately I am providing that price for one of my next upcoming weddings lol, which was what they budget'd for. I'm sure if i work out the hours on that one I definitely wouldn't be breaking even, so I'm not even gonna go there!

    I find it's always tough pricing for people you know directly.
     
  4. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Kind of made you mad huh?

    How do you come up with only $200 for your hard costs? I guess if you don't have to consider a living wage as part of your hard cost like a working photographer does it's easy to undercut someone.
     
  5. B Kennedy

    B Kennedy TPF Noob!

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    Yes, photography is not my main source of income. And as a friend I told him I can photograph it for that price. Let me be clear that it is NOT a direct undercut. And what I mean by "direct undercut" is that I did not intentionally chop my price just to get the job. If I were to be photographing another reception only...that would be my price. It is completely up to them as to which photographer to choose. Personally I would not hire the photographer to only shoot 3 hours, I would have them cover the entire night so that you get the dancing, and the drunk people being silly, as well as cutting the cake. But that's just me. For instance I'm shooting a wedding for 1K this fall. So my pricing is not as steep as say what the norm. would be going for, but that has been my decision...one could refer to it as a stimulus package, for lack of better words. I hope I did not offend you with my pricing.

    And to make matters better, I told my friend that they should choose who they felt better going with, if it were not me, I would not hold it against him. I told him that if they built a rapport with this other photographer and really felt good...then it doesnt matter what my price was, they should go with them.
     
  6. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You're charging $650 for $15 worth of prints of an event you'd be going to anyway??!?? To someone who is soon to find out what part timers really charge? And to someone who you are going to have to have a working relationship with for the foreseeable future?

    And griping about a working photographer charging too much???!!???

    You are kidding aren't you?:lol:
     
  7. B Kennedy

    B Kennedy TPF Noob!

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    im not sure where you're going with this?
     
  8. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Aren't you calling the kettle black?

    I don't mean to be argumentative or belittle your skills but someone who is good at that sort of thing wouldn't need any more time than the other photog proposed and if you shoot much later what you'll have is a lot of shots of people with red eyes, runny make-up where applicable and little patience with that *darned* flash.

    Some one who is full time at this has to consider not only how much a job should cost but what it will cost them to do the job. There is more than just the insurance, wear and tear, advertising, travel, rent, utilities, employees, family, dogs, cats, fish-----

    There is also the matter of not being able to work during the time booked before and after. If he's there for 3 hours that means that he's tied up from about lunch through the rest of the evening -very likely on a day when he should be making the bulk of his pay for the week.

    Your indignation is uncalled for in my opinion (especially when all you have done is to cut out his expenses with your price). Chances are great that if he looks around he could find a perfectly acceptable amature for a half of your price and if he does you have just boarded the same boat that you've put the pro in.
     
  9. B Kennedy

    B Kennedy TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the clarification and your point is well taken. You do have to start out somewhere though am I right? I have minimal costs and although I have been photographing for a bunch of years, I have only been in the business less than a year. I don't see my pricing, given the status of my new company, as cutting out the other photographers expenses.

    Yes, it could take me a bit longer to capture the "right images," which would require staying longer. I personally feel that only providing 1 hour of pictures during the reception that is to last 4-5 hours is a bit short (1 hour before ceremony, 1 hour cocktail).

    But anyways, thanks for the reply, and I do stand corrected that the price that photographer charged, in actuality is probably a good price given what their costs would be.
     
  10. guitarkid

    guitarkid TPF Noob!

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    I think both sides are right but I also think you're giving him too much, friend or not. All night shooting AND a 2nd photographer? Plus other stuff? I would have at least kept it to the same timeframe, 2-3 hours, or couple more hours and no 2nd photographer. Not to mention, although you say you don't mind, you will be spending your entire time working instead of having fun. Been there done that. As a side note, when I did something similar, I had a referral asking for the same price...who was not family.
     
  11. B Kennedy

    B Kennedy TPF Noob!

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    I should mention that the 2nd photographer, is more of an "in training" photographer lol. She just got into dslr photography and learning the basics of the camera and what not. So its more of a learning experience for her as well as an assistant to me with setting up, composing pics, etc. I will prolly conclude the photographing somewhere right after cake time, figuring i've collected enough family table shots, and dancing pics. I think with waiting for the cake cutting it will prolly turn out to be around 5 hours, of course you can only get so much dancing pics, so there will be some down time in there as well.

    "Been there done that. As a side note, when I did something similar, I had a referral asking for the same price...who was not family." I can't tell you how many times i've heard and read this, and I'm sure it's going to happen to me as well. I would be comfortable offering the same package at this price for a reception, minus the prints (as this is part of my gift to them).

    Thanks for the advice, I will definitely keep the time factor in mind for future jobs.
     

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