What to charge for wedding+reception+bridals

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by tickledpink, May 19, 2009.

  1. tickledpink

    tickledpink TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 19, 2009
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Hey, everyone.

    Photography has been a hobby of mine since highschool, where I was trained for 3 years on a film camera and learned the basics of the darkroom, etc. I moved to a DSLR a few years ago and haven't looked back! I decided a few months ago to try to make a business out of it, and offered to do some free photography to build up my portfolio.

    I did an egangement session for a couple, and now they are asking me what I would charge to shoot their wedding. The wedding plus reception would be a small event, only a couple hours long. I would arrive beforehand to take photos of everyone getting ready, etc. The bride also wants a separate shoot before the wedding for bridal portraits.

    I have only photographed one other wedding before, and it was a favor for a friend.

    How much should I charge? I would include a disk of the high resolution photos, and possibly prints or proofbook/albums if they asked. As of now I am just quoting them the cost of the shoot+disc.

    The equipment I own:
    Canon 20D
    Canon Rebel XT
    Canon EF 50mm f/1.8
    Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro
    Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6

    Obviously I will need to buy a flash, but I have been meaning to do that anyway.

    If you want to check out my blog to see some of my past work: Beth Clark Photography
     
  2. Big Mike

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

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2003
    Messages:
    33,822
    Likes Received:
    1,811
    Location:
    Edmonton
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Welcome to the forum.

    There are a lot of variables to consider. For example, what are other photographers in your area charging for this? You probably don't want to undervalue your services in your area but you also don't want to price yourself out of your local market.

    You should be cautious about setting your price too low because you don't want to become known as the 'cheap' photographer.

    When starting out, you should sit down and figure out a business plan, which includes what you want to charge for services like this, assuming that this is a service you would like to offer. It's getting to be a little 'last minute' if you having figured this out before getting a request.
    Along with your basic price structure, you will want to consider your product and what you offer.
    Do you want to include digital images on disc for your wedding clients? Or would you rather try to sell them prints/albums? Or both? Do you want to include this with your upfront price, or offer it as an add on option or in a package etc?

    As a start, I'd suggest finding out what others in your area are charging and for what. Then figure out all your time & expenses. Don't forget to include travel and meeting time, processing time and of course the shooting time. Are there any direct expenses? Don't forget about overhead like equipment, insurance & business fees, advertising and of course profit. Break it down to a price, or maybe a dollar amount per hour that you will need to be viable and satisfied with...and use that to quote your price.
     
  3. tickledpink

    tickledpink TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 19, 2009
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Thank you for your advice, you brought up a lot of good points.

    I live in Austin, and I have seen prices for basic packages starting out anywhere from 1000-3000 dollars. Generally the more expensive, the better the work, but I have definitely seen some portfolios that I thought were overpriced for the quality. These basic packages generally include 1 or 2 photographers, 4 hours wedding coverage plus a CD of the high resolution photographs. Bridal or engagement sessions usually cost an additional 100-200 dollars if booked with a wedding.

    I guess I feel like since this is my first wedding, 1000 dollars would be too much. But... I definitely don't want to be the "cheap" photographer.
     
  4. Big Mike

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

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2003
    Messages:
    33,822
    Likes Received:
    1,811
    Location:
    Edmonton
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I took a course called 'Designing Wedding Photography', it was all about how to start out in wedding photography. The whole course could be summed up with "Don't set your prices based on experience (or lack thereof)".
    He said that starting out with prices too low, was the number one reason why talented photographers failed in wedding photography.

    Of course, you have to have the skills, talent and professionalism to back your prices.

    Obviously, you want to charge as much as you think your clients are willing to pay (isn't that the goal of everyone who is in business?). There are creative ways to give them a 'lower' price without being the cheap one).
     
  5. holga girl

    holga girl TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2007
    Messages:
    241
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Charm City, MD USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    i figure for every hour that i shoot, involves 2-3 hours of editing, client meetings, emails etc. so i have a base... $150 per shoot hour. I add this, plus my costs together and I have my price. i usually make a lot off of reprints and albums, so I can afford to work within this structure. you will have to find which structure works for you, implement it and stick to it.

    what seems like will be a 'small event' may quickly turn into 50+ hours of work over the long haul... be sure that you are compensated for it.
     
  6. Double H

    Double H TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2007
    Messages:
    550
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    Around the corner from the Turkey Hill, PA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    It's the same way here in South Central PA. There's a ton of wedding photographers, and a lot of them are pretty bad. Whatever price you choose, be firm. I am able to get anywhere from $1500 to $2500 for a full-day of shooting with an assistant (girls getting ready through the cake cutting). I feel that limiting your hours limits your opportunity for great shots.
     
  7. Jim Gratiot

    Jim Gratiot TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2007
    Messages:
    302
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Folsom, CA
    The truth is, if you're not confident enough with your own photo skills to charge at least $1,000... perhaps you aren't ready to take on a wedding by yourself.

    Take what Big Mike said to heart... as long as you can deliver the goods (in other words, as long as your customers are satisfied), then your actual experience is irrelevant.

    There are some life-long photographers I wouldn't trust to photograph my cat... whereas there are some up-and-coming superstars who I'd trust to photograph just about anything. Experience is important; but it's vastly overrated when it comes to pricing your services.
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page
how do you figure wedding reception charges?
,
how much do i charge for my first wedding reception photography
,

how much do photographers charge for a wedding reception only?

,

how much to charge for photographing a wedding

,
how much to charge for wedding reveption photography
,
how much to charge to photograph a wedding reception
,

how much to charge to photograph a wedding?

,
how to charge clients for wedding reception
,

photography how much to charge for just reception

,

wedding receptions for 1000 dollars