Wedding photography prices

emelli

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Hello all,

I am new to these forums, and so I am excited to hear some opinions. I have a small yet growing photography business, and I often have many business related questions. (Basically the only aspect I hate about photography). But I know it has to be dealt with.

Specifically I'd like to ask about wedding pricing. I have already received 5 wedding inquiries (after very recently launching my new site), to which I have responded to. But I thus far have not received any replies. I assume that they are shopping around, but I can't help but wonder if I am doing something wrong.

I have very competitive pricing, to the point where I'm wondering...do people think my prices are TOO low? To get an idea, my packages start at $800...and the full day coverage is $1850.
Obviously I think it's unreasonable to charge like the pros when I have yet to build up a decent portfolio. But I also don't want to come off cheap and ghetto. Even though they see my images, and know they are good. I don't know, does low pricing turn you off?

In my community, others charge $2000-4300 (others meaning - they're on the same skill/equipment level as me...just a few years ahead)

Thanks in advance!
 

Bossy

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Big Mike

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Several years ago, I took a course from a good photographer called 'Designing Wedding Photography'. It was basically a guide to help you get started in wedding photography.

The most important point/lesson of the whole course, was this...the number one reason why people fail in this business, is that their prices are too low.

One exercise, he had us write down several things that shouldn't affect the price we charge. We all put things like 'number of people in wedding party', 'number of guests', 'venue' and so on. What he wanted us to put down was 'experience'.
In other words, it shouldn't matter how long you've been doing this, if you are good at it, then you should charge well for it.

If you (or someone) doesn't think they're good enough to charge higher prices...then they probably aren't ready to take on the responsibility of shooting weddings.

Of course, when you're starting out, you need to build up a portfolio, but being a 'cheap' photographer to build up your portfolio isn't a great idea. It may be a reality for many, but it's still not a great idea. There are other ways to create a portfolio and there are other ways to book weddings (besides having a low price).

It's also fairly common to hear at story that goes like this....when a photographer finally found the courage to raise their prices, they found that they booked even more weddings. Don't take that as a rule...but it happens.
 

KmH

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To add to what Mike's thoughts:

You don't say if the 5 inquiries were on the web, by phone, in person, or some combination of those. You also don't say what your responses were.

What does your 'new site' look like?

What counts is how effective your marketing is, and the quality of the salesmanship skills you have.

How much do you network with, and do B2B with other wedding services providers like florists, venues, and caterers?
 
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emelli

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See, that's what I was suspecting, I just needed it confirmed. Thank you for that advice Mike. It makes a lot of sense to me, and I agree with it.
 

Joey_Ricard

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People shop everything. Shop and shop some more. I do not do weddings and I get a lot of requests. I always answer with a great explaination of why this is not a service that I offer and I even give them contact info for great local photographers - They almost NEVER reply back with even as much as a thank you.

If call around shopping for tires, I surely am not going to call "jims tire service" back to tell him why I am not getting tires from him, so I understand all of that.
Maybe they are getting rates well in advance, maybe they will call you - when the time for them is right.


EDIT after visiting your site:
OK nevermind all that - I see why----You are a lefty! lol
 
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emelli

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^ hahah what?? How do you know I am a lefty and what does that have to do with anything? lol
 

Bossy

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Something that I noticed on your site, almost all your wedding photos are the same. You have a few of rings, and a lot of just 2 people, and most in the same light. When I was shopping for a photographer, I made sure the photographer had A, a lot of different images, and B, different situations Ie, inside, outside, etc. Even a low price wouldn't be enough for me to have even thought of hiring you because of that.

Also, I was on a couple wedding forums at the time, so those ^ that I looked for weren't just because I'm a photog, its what a lot of brides are told to look for by wedding sites.
 

cgipson1

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Something that I noticed on your site, almost all your wedding photos are the same. You have a few of rings, and a lot of just 2 people, and most in the same light. When I was shopping for a photographer, I made sure the photographer had A, a lot of different images, and B, different situations Ie, inside, outside, etc. Even a low price wouldn't be enough for me to have even thought of hiring you because of that.

Also, I was on a couple wedding forums at the time, so those ^ that I looked for weren't just because I'm a photog, its what a lot of brides are told to look for by wedding sites.

You are being nice! :)
 

Bossy

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Haha you say that like I'm a big meanie or something :D
 

cgipson1

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Haha you say that like I'm a big meanie or something :D

No.. but normally you are more honest... and say what needs to be said. But then I guess I am trying to be nice too! :)
 

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