Wedding Photography question...

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by DGetz, Nov 24, 2003.

  1. DGetz

    DGetz Guest

    Hi,

    I'm offering a complete wedding photography package for about $275--
    for the Kansas City area. I use 35mm exclusively (Nikon F3, MD-4 motor
    drive, other camera bodies, etc.). I have over 20 years experience,
    but not strictly weddings. I've also done portraits, reunions, etc.
    Does that seem like a fair price? Any feedback would be highly
    appreciated.

    David


    P.S. I have some experience in medium format, but I prefer 35mm.
     
    DGetz, Nov 24, 2003
    #1
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  2. That's very cheap, even for 35mm......Most weddings today cost over $1000,
    and that's the low end....I don't see how you can suit up and bring your
    gear to the church for $275.......
     
    William Graham, Nov 24, 2003
    #2
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  3. That price suggests more like 20 minutes in experience.
     
    Michael Quack, Nov 24, 2003
    #3


  4. Most of the wedding photographers in San Diego where I live charge at least
    $1000, and many $2000 - $5000, depending on the package offered.




    Patrick
     
    Patrick Lockwood, Nov 24, 2003
    #4
  5. DGetz

    ken Guest


    No it doesn't seem like a fair price. Just what is included in your
    "complete" package? IF it is a complete package you should be charging
    a lot more than that.
     
    ken, Nov 24, 2003
    #5
  6. DGetz

    T P Guest



    For your level of knowledge and ability,
    $275 would seem to be excessive.

    ;-)
     
    T P, Nov 24, 2003
    #6
  7. DGetz

    Matt Clara Guest

    Is this our google troll returned again?
     
    Matt Clara, Nov 24, 2003
    #7
  8. Matt,
    I'm with you on this. "Troll" was the first thought I had on reading his
    ridiculous post. Even if not the same person, it is so off-base as to be not
    worth a reply. However, as with most troll postings, the replies should be
    numerous. Including mine, I suppose, even though it's more of an addendum to
    your own.
    Ken
     
    Ken Rosenbaum, Nov 24, 2003
    #8
  9. He made a post to soc.couples.wedding advertising his service so he seems
    sincere. However, his costs are going to exceed his receipts, as he will
    certainly find out, and I am at a loss at how he cannot see that, especially
    if he is truthful about his portraiture experience, and I doubt it, for with
    all that experience, someone, somewhere down the line would have inquired
    about weddings, and then he should at least have a few of them, over the
    years, to understand what the financial realities are.


    Patrick L.
     
    Rudy Von Tschudi, Nov 24, 2003
    #9
  10. DGetz

    Jim Guest

    Contact some local photography studios and find out what they charge and
    then charge accordingly.
    You probably will need to get a friendly female to make the inquiries so as
    not to tip your hand.
    And your price sounds incredibly low.
    I won't get out of bed for less that 600 bucks.
    Jim
    Jacksonville, FL.
     
    Jim, Nov 26, 2003
    #10
  11. DGetz

    DGetz Guest

    Hi again,

    For those of you that gave me a legitimate, helpful reply, thanks so
    much! Your feedback and info is very much appreciated.

    For those who think I'm a "google troll" (whatever that is), I'm just
    a guy trying to make some money to help my wife pay bills and
    hopefully have a halfway decent Christmas. I've been unable to work
    for the past 12 years due to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and a couple of
    other ailments-- mainly CFS. I am feeling better now and am confident
    enough to make "date commitments", like booking weddings.

    As far as my experience goes, I've done almost every facet of
    photography, but I haven't done it for a "straight" 20+ years. It's
    been very "off and on." To be honest, I've probably done about 20
    weddings, which in my opinion, is enough to know what I'm doing and
    how much to charge and still make a decent profit. I'm not trying to
    get rich. Like I said before, I've been sick for over 12 years. So how
    can I possibly justify charging more that just a couple of hundred
    dollars for a wedding? I won't be using a "professional" lab, and my
    potential customers will know that in advance.

    Keep in mind that I didn't have to write this "letter of defending
    myself". It just ticks me off that there will always be at least a
    couple of people who are so skeptical, judgmental, or whatever you
    want to call it. I guess that's just the nature of USENET.

    Thanks for listening,
    David
     
    DGetz, Nov 26, 2003
    #11
  12. DGetz

    Patrick L. Guest

    but I haven't done it for a "straight" 20+ years. It's
    In my view, $500 is rock bottom for weddings. Less than that and people are
    going to think there is something wrong with you, I would swear on that.

    Don't give your talent away, you can certainly get more, but then there is
    a psychological thing involved, perhaps you don't value your work that
    highly.

    You should.

    Patrick
     
    Patrick L., Nov 26, 2003
    #12
  13. If I were you David, I would charge $275 plus expenses for the first
    one.....That way, you would see just how much work you have to do for $275,
    and you won't lose any money, since you can add your expenses to that fee.
     
    William Graham, Nov 26, 2003
    #13
  14. DGetz

    T P Guest


    But there *is* something wrong with him ...
     
    T P, Nov 26, 2003
    #14
  15. DGetz

    Matt Clara Guest

    We've been plagued by a person using Google Groups, who posts all manner of
    threads, from obscenity laden to "stupid newbie" questions. Yours sticks
    out as the latter.

    My first wedding I shot for free. I wasn't going to do it, but the couple,
    friends of mine and my wife, insisted that they'd have no photographer at
    all if I wouldn't help them out. They paid for development, but I covered
    cost of film.

    After that I started to charge. Having seen how much film I shot and
    knowing that I'd work my ass off, I charged $500. Since then I've only
    charged more. I'm up to the $750--$900 range now. I get half down up
    front, non-refundable.

    Every wedding I shoot, I bust my ass. The last one took me 10 hours (just
    throw the f'ing garter, so I can leave, would ya!!!).

    I would never want to do it for a living, and if I did, I'd definitely
    charge $2000 or more, and screw the people who can't afford it (you know,
    people like me!).

    Matt Clara
     
    Matt Clara, Nov 26, 2003
    #15
  16. DGetz

    Matt Clara Guest

    If your customer isn't thrilled, you've failed.
    If your customer isn't satisfied, you've failed.
    You can't possibly thrill them all, though I agree in so far as "thrilled"
    is what you should shoot for.
     
    Matt Clara, Nov 26, 2003
    #16
  17. DGetz

    Gene Guest

    Sit down with a pad and pencil or spreadsheet and start totaling up the
    costs of shooting a wedding. Add what you want to make per hour. Add up the
    total time investment.

    Time:
    Initial & subsequent marketing contact(s)
    Trip to the camera store to buy film
    Attending the rehearsal to get a feel for the lay of the land
    Wedding day 8-12 hours
    Taking the film to the processor (or post office)
    Picking up the processed proofs
    Trip to the camera store to buy proof book (may be combined with previous)
    Preparing proof book, numbering and matching negatives
    Delivering proof book to customer (or waiting around for them to pick up)
    Preparing album print order
    Delivering negatives to processor
    Picking up album prints
    Trip to the camera store to buy album (may be combined with previous)
    Prepare album
    Deliver album (or wait around for them to pick up)
    Take check to the bank

    Actual Expense:
    Film
    Processing
    Milage (use IRS allowance)
    Albums
    Depreciation (wear on equipment - replacement fund)
    Overhead (insurance, electricity, telephone, etc) amortized as to business
    vs home

    If you are unable to work, how are you going to shoot weddings. Wedding
    photography is work! Although a lot of brides mothers don't seem to agree.
    When you shoot a wedding you take on a measure of liability. There have been
    and will be more lawsuits over photographers performance. There are people
    always trying to get something for nothing. Therefore liability/omissions
    insurance is a must in today's environment.

    If you don't take all the above into account, you will not be helping the
    wife to pay bills, but will be contributing to the problem. Based on the
    price you quoted, you could not possibly cover expenses, much less pay
    yourself anything for your effort.

    If you are going to get into wedding photography, treat it like a business,
    which it is. Be professional and provide your customers with the best
    service they ever got. If your customer isn't thrilled, you've failed.

    Gene
    Part time wedding photographer for 30+ years.
     
    Gene, Nov 26, 2003
    #17
  18. The only thing I worry about is the terrific responsibility....People only
    get married that one time, so if you screw up, there's no getting everyone
    to dress up and come back for more shots......I lurk, and take pictures by
    parasiting off of some pro's set ups, and give my friends the photos for
    free, just to get the experience, but before I did one for strangers for a
    fee, I would have to rent a lot more equipment and have a lot more
    experience........
     
    William Graham, Nov 27, 2003
    #18
  19. And from what I've seen with my meager experience, the sooner you get the
    finished set of pictures back to the bride, the better off you will be. Try
    to get them into her hands while she is still thrilled by the whole affair,
    and well before the honeymoon is over........
     
    William Graham, Nov 27, 2003
    #19
  20. DGetz

    T P Guest


    I also don't want to do it for a living ...

    .... but the mortgage needs paying.

    ;-)
     
    T P, Nov 28, 2003
    #20
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