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ve7clj
25th of October 2006 (Wed), 11:58
As a family/portrait photographer wanting to extend to the wedding photography business, I just come across a client who wants to have photograph taken for $175! Including ceremony and 1-2 hr session. I have some question:

1) I am thinking not renting a backup for this event and I will write that in my contract.

2) she wants all pictures on CD. Really I think my skill are worth more... I want to give her only 8x
10 at 72dpi!!! This is so that she would have to come back if she wants prints... or I will charge her DEARLY afterwards. any comments on this?

GertS
25th of October 2006 (Wed), 12:47
Is your client joking by asking this price?

You can do it with a very low resolution CD that you get your costs back by the prints. But probably she expects full resolution on the CD and heaps of shots to choose from.
However, 8*10 at 72dpi is 4*5 at 144dpi and that's ok for prints. Go for less resolution!!!

Backup, this is essential, it can be film too, but at least you have something to continue in case of a failure. You are in charge if you can't deliver, she won't accept it.

picturecrazy
25th of October 2006 (Wed), 12:51
That price is ridiculous and tell her it's not worth your time. Seriously. For that price, I'd MUCH rather spend time at home with my family. For triple that price, I'd still rather stay home and relax. It's almost insulting...

GCRollo
25th of October 2006 (Wed), 12:53
Well to start, Why is she (The client) telling you whats she's going to pay and going to get for it?

I don't walk into sears and say "I want that lawn tractor for $100 and for you to come over and mow my grass with it"

I would just goggle wedding photographers and look at what they are a charging and what their packages include, for starters.
Then I would continue to read and find out what the Standard Industry Practices are.

Personally I would be insulted if somebody approached me like that... Your TIME is very valuable, no matter what it is you do in life.

Average package prices I've seen range anywhere from $750-$1500+

Of course, in the end, I guess you can do whatever you like.. it's your time.

bangarang
25th of October 2006 (Wed), 12:54
Not meaning to intrude but how much per hour should a wedding photographer ask for as a freelance photographer?

Asking just so I don't get taken advantage of.

Phil V
25th of October 2006 (Wed), 13:10
Not meaning to intrude but how much per hour should a wedding photographer ask for as a freelance photographer?

Asking just so I don't get taken advantage of.
Only YOU can work out what you want to earn an hour, but there are pointers out there for running any business.
Start with depreciation of ALL assets over a 3 yr period, divide that by the number of weddings you plan to shoot, then add insurance and other business costs (software, phone, advertising etc.) do a similar division to the one above. When these two are added together 'per event' add a per event for your fuel and subsistence, battery charging etc (as required).

That figure (not small eh!) is the amount you must charge before you make a bean. Onto that add the number of hrs spent working for a wedding, which can be high depending on your workflow (anything from 10-40), times that by a reasonable hourly rate for yourself (only you know how nmuch your labour is worth). Oh yeah, then add the cost of processing, albums, proofs, etc. so that the couple actually get a product from this.

To the OP, see above, are you really prepared to do this?

BJ Pulsipher
25th of October 2006 (Wed), 13:44
Many people think that if you are taking pictures digitally and putting them on CD rather than in an album, that you aren't 'working' as hard as photographers offering the 'whole package'. The bride isn't thinking. If she can only afford $175 than she needs to hire a friend, not you. You get what you pay for. Photographs of her wedding obviously aren't important to her.
Don't sell yourself short. Your time is worth more than that.

D. Craig Flory
25th of October 2006 (Wed), 15:57
Send her to Walmart. I am low priced and charge $150.00 for the 1st hour and $125.00 for each hour thereafter. That's only my time. Send her elsewhere.

D. Craig Flory PPA Certified, Cr.Photog., ASP
floryphotog@mindspring.com

twinsrus
25th of October 2006 (Wed), 19:23
After I picked myself off the floor from laughing, I'd say "Good luck, Honey."

ve7clj
25th of October 2006 (Wed), 21:40
Well for the sack of the professionalism and the honor of us wedding photographer, I won't take this job and will send her to Wal-MART!!

I will spend my time with my family and taking more pics of my baby daughter :)

Scott_Quier
26th of October 2006 (Thu), 06:12
Well for the sack of the professionalism and the honor of us wedding photographer, I won't take this job and will send her to Wal-MART!!

I will spend my time with my family and taking more pics of my baby daughter :)
I'm thinking this B trying to low-ball you. If the work is something that you would like to do, offer to negotiate. If you get a positive response, be preapred for the negotiation. I suspect you will need to have your numbers well crunched (see above) so that you know how much you MUST get from the job. This allows you to set the line across which you will not cross. If you get the job at a price that is sustainable and if you still respect the B after the negotiation, then do it. Else, respectfully (not burning a bridge could lead to future work) recline the work and spend the time with your family and making images/memories of your precious daughter!

Just my $.02

PIXI_666
26th of October 2006 (Thu), 07:58
Well for what she wants - you should be saying how much it should cost. DONT sell yourself short....and if you give her a CD then charge for that on top of your prices.
If this is your first wedding, even that is not a good price...my first wedding was a $300 one...even though i did use film and a proof book with prints, i think it cost me $200 all up and the $100 i pocketed.

bpuppy
26th of October 2006 (Thu), 08:22
Wedding photography isn't just about snapping pretty pictures ... it's about business as well ... I suggest you take a course or SOMETHING on setting up a business, or you will get screwed. Business acumen and photographic skill should be about the same in your priority list.

xandria
26th of October 2006 (Thu), 12:36
OP: My opinion is based on the little bit of background info you provided.

This sounds like it may be your first wedding "gig" and the fact that the bride is telling you what she wants and dictating the price implies to me that she might know you from other photo work you've done or personally. I think that if you want to take this job as a first time experience, then it wouldn't be unreasonable to counter-offer to do it for $175/hour + a CD of medium res images - which doesn't include prints or require you to have any back-up equipment.

This could be a good opportunity for you to test your stuff "in the field". However, I would encourage you to at least have a back-up body and lot's of memory. You could add the cost of a back-up body (which isn't a lot where I live) to the $175/hour as a one time cost for her. I think that by being unwilling to negotiate you could loose a great first time experience.

sapearl
26th of October 2006 (Thu), 13:03
Even if you're doing a short gig, it takes time to prep your gear, go there, do the work, break it down and travel home. And then there's all the time you'll spend in PS proofing and/or preparing some enlargements. I won't even get into the issue of images on a CD - that's a whole different topic on "giving away your negatives....."

Anyway, my smallest wedding package is 3 hours, one location. I will probably shoot at least 200 pictures (RAW) in that time frame, but will deliver to the B&G 75-100 4x6 lab prints in a nice album. If the shoot is relatively stress free and they are good to me, I will probably give them more.

My fee for all of this is $525, which is very reasonable in this area for somebody who has been doing it as long as I have. I know there are cheaper competitors in the area, but I also know that they won't spend as much time processing these images as I do.

Clients don't dictate to you, although they may say that they are working within a particular budget.

I've had people nicely approach me from that standpoint, and we've tried to work things out. Remember, it's not all about technical proficiency with a camera. There are a lot of people skills required here and your ability to deal with the public. I have given breaks to nice young couples just starting out who literally didn't have a pot to pee in - but that was their special day, you wanted them to have some nice memories, and maybe you're in a slow period..... so you work something out.

However, $175 for all that work is just not being fair to you. - Stu

xandria
26th of October 2006 (Thu), 13:19
If he goes back to her with an offer of $175/hour, he'll be making sapearl's Pro rate for his first wedding, which won't even include prints. ($525/3 hours = $175/hour). There are so many photogs who shoot their first wedding for free... I think this could be a good opportunity for the OP as his first wedding. The client wants 2 hours + CD. Change that to one hour + CD for the price she's willing to pay. Not bad for a first time experience.

ve7clj
26th of October 2006 (Thu), 14:15
May be I need to clarify my situation --

This would be my second wedding session. For the first wedding, I charged $550 Canadian for all day shooting plus "digital negative" on DVD. On top of that I also shot their engagement photographs for $150.

The reason I wanted to get this job is as many of you said -- getting the OP. And yes I know my cost. The biggest chuck of my cost is the backup body rental... In this part of the Great Northern Country rentals for Rebel XT is $100/day and 20D or 30D is $120/day. Ouch.
I also wanted to rent a 70-200 f/2.8 IS USM for $35/day.
This means my cost with all the misc. supply or rental is at around $260 per day.

This is the reason why I don't want to do this shooting. Because I will be at a loss.

BUT - I want your opinion please: Since she asks for a CD but didn't specify the resolution, is it moral to give her low-res jpeg that she wouldn't be able to make prints for? I kinda want to charge her another $300-500 when she realizes this later and want to get the full-res images.

Am I evil?

sapearl
26th of October 2006 (Thu), 14:36
However reasonable or undreasonable she may be, you don't want to mislead her, and need to be upfront about what you will provide. The last thing you want is an angry client who assumed one thing while you were really offering her another. Even if she's in the wrong, that will still get spread around to your detriment.

You could tell her that you will provide a low-rez CD that will be perfectly usable for email and screen viewing, but inadequate for printing. Say that you will provide a high rez CD at extra $$$, because you are literally GIVING AWAY your print sales, and need to cover that loss. Tell her calmly and reasonably, that you are in business to sell prints, and that's why you are structuring your services this way.

And this is what I meant about the people skills. Some people react badly to this sort of honesty and take offense. They don't realize that we are in business to STAY in business. If we don't make a reasonable profit, then we don't really feel like continuing in the trade. - Stu

.......
BUT - I want your opinion please: Since she asks for a CD but didn't specify the resolution, is it moral to give her low-res jpeg that she wouldn't be able to make prints for? I kinda want to charge her another $300-500 when she realizes this later and want to get the full-res images.

Am I evil?

mpoole
26th of October 2006 (Thu), 14:41
As far as your last question, you should deliver what you agreed on, and you should be clear both parties understand what will be delivered when you accept the job, otherwise it can only go badly.

sugarzebra
26th of October 2006 (Thu), 14:59
Hi Jonathan, The best contractual relationships are 'win-win' with both parties happy with the balance between cost & benefits. This arrangment appears imbalanced with you giving far more benefits than receiving income so its just not fair. I would make one attempt at negotiating a fair compromise so you are both happy, and if the other party is unwilling to do so, decline the job. Reducing your services below the other party's expectations (i.e. low res images)without telling them will probably just make the situation worse. Let us know how you make out!

sapearl
26th of October 2006 (Thu), 15:01
I forgot to mention one of the most important things - a WRITTEN CONTRACT.

Make sure you have one of those, signed by both parties, you keep the original, she gets a copy. Clearly written, understandable, non-giberish, signed contracts are great for avoiding misunderstandings. :lol:

sapearl
26th of October 2006 (Thu), 15:08
This is an excellent point. Also, perceived value and quality often has a direct correlation to the amount charged. Drop your prices and this implies that you really don't think much of your own work. And if you think so little of your efforts, why should she?

Now I realize that last statement is not how YOU feel, but potential clients often look at things very differently from those of us in the forum. Our craft is both technical and artistic, and unless they've done any of this themselves they really don't appreciate what goes into a job.

.......Reducing your services below the other party's expectations (i.e. low res images)without telling them will probably just make the situation worse. Let us know how you make out!

Claire
27th of October 2006 (Fri), 13:50
I still don't get how the bride can dictate the price. I mean, if she told you "I have such & such budget", cool, but I want to know more how & why she approached you.