PEI Talk

Wedding Photographer
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Author:  socktan [ June 12th, 2009, 7:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Wedding Photographer

Janelleb001 wrote:
How could $500 be not making any money?

I'm thrilled you asked!

This reply is getting a little long, my apologies, if you last through it, thanks. haha as I read on here, maybe my reply is moot, especially if we're talking about a hobbyist photographer with no goal other than to fund new gear under the table.

With that said - assuming the goal is to ultimately become a self employed professional photographer, or even a profitable part time photographer.

OK, first thing - $500 looks great in your hand, but it's self employment, and you have to pay your taxes. I assume 30% for mine. 70% of 500 leaves me with $350. 30% might be a touch high, but the first year I filed as self employed, I owed substantial sum of money that was difficult to repay.

You mentioned gas - but wear and tear wasn't mentioned. Cars break. It sucks.

When the lens cap goes on after a day of shooting, the photos do not download, sort, adjust, select, export, burn and deliver themselves. There can be a lot of work involved in the selection and editing process.

I know you mentioned it, but where one photographer could burn through a library in an couple of hours, another may take every photo and ensure the eyes are as sharp as possible, blemishes touched up, color, contrast, saturation. Some add their artistic processing to the image - B&W, sepia, color wash, textures, whatever is popular for the time. selective color (blegh!)

Now that the files have been sorted and burned to disc:

1) Gear doesn't last forever. Camera bodies are disposable, and like anything electronic, becomes outdated and needs replacing

2) New gear means old computers can't cut it - upgrades are due, bigger files means more hard drives and so on

3) Average price of a quality lens is a thousand dollars and rises sharply. Glass should last a long while, though.

4) Software tools of the trade are expensive. Downloaded at no cost? That is not professional. tsk tsk.

5) Software upgrades every couple of years; or more.

6) Insurance. For god sakes if you're not insured and your gear gets knocked over, or, grandmother-in-law breaks a hip after tripping over a camera bag, what do you do?

7) Investing in new gear to expand shooting capabilities.

Now that the expenses have been calculated, the photographer gets paid.

Seriously, what's left of $350? What's left of $700 (based on 1K wedding photographer).

There's other stuff on this list, like office supplies, the additional cost on the Maritime Electric bill, heat, caffeinated beverages to keep the eyes open while editing.

Still with me? Thanks :)

In the world of digital photography I think the end result is undervalued and misunderstood because anyone can buy an SLR and see the images instantly. In the days of film when the photographer would disappear with canisters of and return with proofs that brought tears to a brides eyes, the true value was there. You could hold it. fword I love holding prints.

Author:  sarah11918 [ June 12th, 2009, 8:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Wedding Photographer

I was waiting for the photographer to chime in, Chris! I can only speak as a service provider with cyclical/seasonal demand but I put it like this:

When a kid writes a math final exam, it's not just the effort of last weekend's studying being measured, it's the accumulated learning of their entire math studies to date. Similarly, you're not just paying a service provider for x number of hours of their time - you could be paying off their expensive, specialized equipment, paying off their student loans, paying for the hours of time they've spent perfecting their skills.

And, let's say for a moment that someone charges what the customer feels is a ridiculous price, even though it's the going rate. Whether or not the price is actually justified, that's the going rate and that's the rate a service provider budgets for. Since wedding photographers can make $x, they know they can afford fancy lens "y" or can afford to pay "$z" per month on rent for a studio or for a newspaper ad. Costs will always rise to the level of income; it's true for a family budget and it's true for a self-employed professional or small business. How easily could a salaried worker handle a period of half (or less) pay? Wouldn't that put a crimp in anyone's operations?

There's also opportunity cost. If the going rate is $2000, say, then by booking a $500 engagement, you're losing the opportunity to book a "normal" $2000 gig. (Or to take a weekend off! Working people get those sometimes, right?)

And, I'm sure in a lot of industries, like mine, it's very difficult to provide lower quality work for a lower rate. If you pay me half as much, I don't tutor any less well. And if word got out that I was accepting half-price work . . . Keeping in mind of course there are only so many hours in the day I can tutor. Just like there are only so many weddings a year a photographer can shoot. But, that money has to last all year round, even when school's out or there are few weddings.

There usually isn't a linear relationship between time and money. For example, Joe and I were pricing out the cost of him providing training to a company in Turkey. They wanted to only do a 2 day course instead of a 3 day course to save money. Well, as you can imagine, the marginal cost to us for staying one extra day in Turkey is only a tiny portion of the "start up" cost of actually getting there, booking the time and thereby making it unavailable to other clients, planning the course (in fact, doing MORE work to cut down what's normally a 3 day course) etc. That one extra day should be the least of everyone's worries, but that's what's first on the customer's mind, of course... even though it's probably the most inconsequential part of the equation when we calculate a training fee.

Now, the wedding isn't being held in Turkey, of course, but on a smaller scale, that example shows kind of what's going on when you book a professional. "Expenses" (be they travel, or equipment, or business operations or whatever) are a much bigger part of the picture than is often apparent at first glance.

Author:  socktan [ June 12th, 2009, 8:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Wedding Photographer

Hey Sarah, I think your reply brought a tear to my eye. ha!

Author:  Janelleb001 [ June 13th, 2009, 8:55 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Wedding Photographer

I think maybe the kind of photographer you're thinking and the kind that I'm thinking are completely different. I had a friend pay close to $2000 for her wedding pictures and they really weren't anything special compared to my $200 ones. I didn't see the difference and I didn't hear them say anything nice about the photographer.

I'm sure if I showed you my wedding pictures you would probably find a million flaws in them but I think she did a great job. There were lots that I didn't like, but out of 900 pictures, there's bound to be some. She didn't have any fancy lighting, she just her herself and her camera and took a lot of pictures. I think maybe that's the difference between what I consider to be good pricing and what a professional photographer would consider. I know she's not doing this for a living so maybe that's what makes the difference?

Maybe I just don't appreciate the editing the way a professional would?

Author:  Suzy Q [ June 13th, 2009, 7:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Wedding Photographer

I think it just depends on the who is doing the pictures, some have a talent for pictures and some dont. I have seen people pay 1200. and the pictures were very poor and not many of them, and i have seen great pictures and lots of them for 500.

Author:  Janelleb001 [ June 15th, 2009, 9:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Wedding Photographer

Now, I've seen people take really horrible pictures, but are great with photo editing and they make the pictures look great. I've seen others that charge $500 and I could do a better job with a disposable camera.. lol

Author:  harpomanx [ June 21st, 2009, 4:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Wedding Photographer

I don't shoot weddings, mostly because of the hassle.
But to defend the guys and gals who DO shoot weddings: you get what you pay for. And by giving some "person with a camera" $200 to "shoot your wedding" you're kind of devaluing the hard work and great skill of the many fine wedding shooters.
People have to feed their families, pay rent etc. We start paying just anyone $200 to do a job worth much more, people expect the pros to do it for less.
In my opinion.

Janelleb001 wrote:
How could $500 be not making any money? This girl doesn't want prints, albums - nothing. She just wants someone to come, take the pictures edit a few and burn them all on disks. She considered putting up a slideshow at her reception but it wasn't a huge huge deal. It would be a lot of hours I guess but even if it was 10 hours, someone would make $40 an hour (as long as they only spent a few hours at home editing a couple of pictures. I think even the places htey are taking the pictures and the chruch/reception are all in really close proximity to each other so there isn't a huge gas cost either.

I don't think she's looking for amazing pictures, I think she's looking for someone to come in and take good pictures with the odd one that she really loved. That's what I was looking for too - I just figured as long as I have a few really good pictures that I really like enough that I'd put them on my wall - I'll have gotten my $200 worth.

That being said - there aren't a whole lot around for $200 lol. The ones on Kijiji are about $1000 + I contacted a few when I was looking too.

Author:  michaelharris [ May 6th, 2010, 2:28 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Wedding Photographer

Hi guys,

Your idea is sounds good,you know i m getting married soon and little worry about all arrangements,but i think u r idea might have been helpful for me for few things.

Many thanks

Michael Harris

(spam link removed by admin)

Author:  nb132 [ May 8th, 2010, 12:40 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Wedding Photographer

ohhhhhhh my

Author:  arod [ May 10th, 2010, 8:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Wedding Photographer

oooooh yours

Author:  redhead27 [ May 12th, 2010, 10:21 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Wedding Photographer

I'm getting married next year, but I don't think I am going to hire a photographer, mainly because of budget concerns. The best man and his wife both went to NSCAD, and she is a photo hobby-ist, so I just think I will ask her to take some pics for me. I am going to have a special email address on the place cards at the reception that asks for people to forward any snapshots they want to share with us. Then after the wedding, I am thinking of booking a "rock the dress" shoot to get a few really nice (possibly frame-able) pics.

arod, I met you at Hunters at a Slowcoaster show a while back, Matt Morford is my finance :-) If we weren't so poor we would be hiring you in a flash! (no pun intended lol) Maybe for the RTD though!!

Author:  arod [ May 12th, 2010, 2:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Wedding Photographer

HA! That is hilarious. I had no idea that was you. Nice to meet you btw.

Author:  haidivolume [ July 12th, 2010, 11:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Wedding Photographer

I think you can find a wedding store.

Author:  appiechrist [ September 15th, 2017, 3:00 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Wedding Photographer

One of my friends got married last year and her budget was the same. The wedding photographer did a fantastic job and every click was looking natural. He was very caring and helped in every way. So I agree with your point that you can get a wedding photographer easily in this budget.

Author:  rayna123 [ October 23rd, 2017, 3:31 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Wedding Photographer

Hello appiechrist,

Can you give me information about the wedding photographer because I want some information about photography?

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