Approve the Cookies
This website uses cookies to improve your user experience. By using this site, you agree to our use of cookies and our Privacy Policy.
OK
Index  •   • New posts  •   • RTAT  •   • 'Best of'  •   • Gallery  •   • Gear  •   • Reviews
Guest
New posts  •   • RTAT  •   • 'Best of'  •   • Gallery  •   • Gear  •   • Reviews
Register to forums    Log in

 
FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Weddings & Other Family Events Talk 
Thread started 12 Dec 2011 (Monday) 10:17
Search threadPrev/next
sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as a registered member)

What's my work worth?

 
NDPhoto
Hatchling
Avatar
9 posts
Joined Jul 2011
Location: Western New York
     
Dec 12, 2011 10:17 |  #1

I've been a wedding photographer for a few years now but I've done a lot of weddings for very little compared to most in the business. The reason for this was because I needed to gain experience and build a portfolio. Now, I want to begin to charge what I'm worth. It's hard sometimes to determine that about yourself so I'm tuning to all of you.

I'd like to hear what some of you think my work is worth.

Let's say the package includes:
- 8-10 hours of shooting
- 200 Digital copies delivered on a DVD
- 40 page 10"x10" hard cover ProLine photo album from Blurb
- Reprinting rights
- Slideshow set to music
- No online proofing or viewing
- No prints

Also, I live in a smaller town between Buffalo and Rochester, NY. I've done weddings everywhere from Buffalo to Syracuse to Pennsylvania but my clients have been people who are looking for a photographer in the $1000 range. I'd like to break out of that and charge more, the question is, how much more.

If I've left something important out, let me know.

Thanks!

Here's a link to my Flickr page: Photography (external link)




  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as a registered member)
Red ­ Tie ­ Photography
Goldmember
Avatar
3,575 posts
Likes: 1
Joined Nov 2009
Location: San Diego
     
Dec 12, 2011 10:26 |  #2

Dont use blurb. Use something only professional photographers can use. If you use a cheap book, your whole product becomes cheap.

And why a disk of 200? Is that all you choose to deliver? Be careful locking yourself into a set number of photos.

And why no online showing? Its cheap enough.


Bryan
Gear List (external link)
San Diego Wedding Photography - Red Tie Photography (external link)
Red Tie Photography Blog (external link)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
Peacefield
Goldmember
Avatar
4,022 posts
Likes: 2
Joined Jul 2008
Location: NJ
     
Dec 12, 2011 11:22 |  #3

I agree with Bryan's questions/recommendati​ons. Couples will expect 500+ images on their disc. Blurb is bottom of the barrel and why should they pay you to get them something they can get themselves? I pay $100/year for on-line proofing and selling through Zenfolio and I sell $1,000+ in prints every year through that site and the whole thing requires no time or effort other than uploading the images to a gallery.

Looking at your work, I'd say you have some fundamental skills, but I would characterize them as CraigsList level. I'm not being critical or insulting, just trying to offer feedback. I see some framing, I see some posing, basic exposure and sharpness, etc., but your images are all kind of snap-shoty and I also think you could use stronger post processing skills.

So back to your primary question, what is it worth? The short answer is we don't know. That's because the real answer is it's worth what people will pay for it. Only you know your market; who you're going after, the level of saturation, the quality of the competition, etc. I'm ~50 miles outside of NYC and only IF you were to offer more prints on CD, on-line proofing etc., I'd guess you to be able to pull weddings at the $500-$800 range. IMO.


Robert Wayne Photography (external link)

5D3, 5D2, 50D, 350D * 16-35 2.8 II, 24-70 2.8 II, 70-200 2.8 IS II, 100-400 IS, 100 L Macro, 35 1.4, 85 1.2 II, 135 2.0, Tokina 10-17 fish * 580 EX II (3) Stratos triggers * Other Stuff plus a Pelican 1624 to haul it all

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
jamiewexler
Goldmember
Avatar
2,012 posts
Likes: 6
Joined Feb 2006
Location: Grafton, MA
     
Dec 12, 2011 11:46 as a reply to  @ Peacefield's post |  #4

This is an easy question to answer, even though I haven't yet clicked through to your website. So without even seeing your work, I will tell you what it is worth:

Whatever you can get people to pay for it.

I have seen photographers whose work I didn't particularly care for with very successful businesses, and people whose work was exceptional fail miserably. So it's not really a question that a bunch of strangers from varying geographical areas can tell you. Your best bet is do some market research for your area, then base your price list on what you think your time and expertise is worth. Your prospective clients will tell you with their checkbooks if they think your time and expertise is worth the same. Be willing to adjust until you are on the same page as the people who will be paying for your services. Once you get to the point where you have too much work, then you are in a good position to evaluate how much your photography is worth and raise your prices accordingly.


Massachusetts Wedding Photographer (external link)
My blog (external link)
my facebook (external link)
my gear

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
bigarchi
Senior Member
Avatar
962 posts
Likes: 1
Joined Mar 2008
Location: upstate ny
     
Dec 12, 2011 12:06 |  #5

welcome to POTN Nick, you've certainly found a great community of fellow photog's and this place can be a great forum for you to learn from.
As most have pointed out though, this questions is a hard one and one that only you can answer :)

But I actually happen to be from the area you are talking about, so I could probably be of more help than someone from southern california, or someplace equally unrelated when it comes to our own microclimates of Wedding photographers. though you can still learn alot from those that aren't in rural western ny, for example, redtie's advice is solid, no matter where in the country you are.

I haven't spent a ton of time going through you flickr, but i can immediately see that you've improved in the last year or so :)
honestly, this kind of work, in this market is quite saturated because of RIT, there are a ton of photographers in the area that scrap up the jobs in that $1k range. and some of them have some really solid skills. there are also a ton of out of work Kodak employees, and retirees, that also saturate the area.
anyway, i won't pretend to know anything that can help you stand out or get more work unfortunately, but networking and personality are what are going to get your saturday's booked up imho. but sending clients to something other than flickr will be a huge improvement in itself.

If i were you though, i'd slowly start bumping your price up. and judging by you're work, you probably aren't too far off having charged around $1k for any recent 8-10hr days. if you have an actual business, are insured and paying taxes etc, I'd suggest the above package at $1,200 would be a fairly typical price. let's put it this way, i've seen worse work around here for that price! but there are a lot of pretty good photographers that still only charge that, and that's hard to compete with when their experience is a lot greater, and they are established in their communities.

anyway, that is just some of my thoughts at the moment.

oh, btw, i grew up in the batavia area, half way between b-low and the roc :)


~Mitch

my gear and feedback

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
NDPhoto
THREAD ­ STARTER
Hatchling
Avatar
9 posts
Joined Jul 2011
Location: Western New York
     
Dec 12, 2011 12:18 |  #6

Thanks for the honest opionions.

@jamie - good point :)

I said 200 photos and used blurb to try to give some specifics to my packages for the sake of getting feedback on package pricing.

Since you guys feel like it's impossible to put a dollar amount on my packages without taking into account all the things Jamie mentioned, let me high-jack my own post...

1) What would you consider a step up from places like blurb for albums? Something like Queensberry?

2) What do I need to get better?

Robert, you thought all the images were "snap-shoty" - can you define this a little more?
Also, where are my weaknesses in post processing?

Thanks, I really appreciate the feedback.




  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
scorpio_e
Cream of the Crop
Avatar
7,402 posts
Gallery: 3 photos
Likes: 258
Joined Aug 2007
Location: Pa
     
Dec 12, 2011 13:07 |  #7

If you do not have a dedicated and professional website, I think you will have trouble increasing prices. Clients like to have online galleries.

You may even have trouble getting an upscale album company to sell you albums. Just my opinion.

Adorama offers a pretty nice album with photo-paper and you can get a leather cover.

Good luck :)


www.steelcityphotograp​hy.com (external link)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
Peacefield
Goldmember
Avatar
4,022 posts
Likes: 2
Joined Jul 2008
Location: NJ
     
Dec 12, 2011 13:21 |  #8

First, let me reiterate my earlier statment that I am in no way trying to bash or insult you, simply offering my views that I hope you accept in the cordial spirit in which they are intended. And your work isn't bad. In the interest of answering your question, I was simply trying to place you on that price/quality spectrum.

I should stop using phrases like snapshoty because it's not unlike porn; it's hard to describe but I know it when I see it. I suppose another way to say this is that I don't feel like your images express emotion or tell a story. More importantly, they don't seem to coalesce into a single definable, recognizable style to call your own. This is something you will very much need if the market is truly as competitive as BigArchi describes.

My style of photography is not for everyone, but it is for someone. I strive for a look that is soft, emotional, has a classic/timeless quality to it while at the same time tries to be fun and fresh without being edgy. You should look to acheive a style, whatever it is, but something that can be expressed succinctly and clearly. Ask yourself, what do you want to be known for? Ideally, the answer is something that goes beyond saying simply that you take pretty nice photos. Once you know your style, you can build a brand around that and pursue your market niche.

I think your work is pretty solid, but I'm not seeing that definable style that allows you to stand out from all those other "guys with cameras" out there. I see some posing, you made some good use out of your environments, but many of these shots look like anyone could've taken them with a decent camera and the P mode . . . if you know what I mean.

When it comes to my thoughts on your post processing, it's also hard to describe across a body of work because the most important insight I can offer is that for me, it lacks consistency (which kind of ties back to the last two paragraphs). WB varies from image to image, too often it runs a bit cool when a bit warm might be more desirable, and some images look a bit flat; lacking some punch.

Regarding your other questions, I would tell you that Queensbury is too far to the other extreme. Before partnering with an album company, take some time to understand your client. What price point will they pay for your services? This will give you some indication as to what kind of album they'll also pay for. If, at this stage, your services can only attract $1,000 clients, they will not likely pony up an additional $2k for a very high end album. So think like a marketeer first and let that lead you to the right album company. There are posts (I'll need someone else to insert the link; I don't tend to save them) that talk about album companies by price range. You might want to look at Asuka Book, KISS, and GraphiStudio for starters.

Hope this helps.


Robert Wayne Photography (external link)

5D3, 5D2, 50D, 350D * 16-35 2.8 II, 24-70 2.8 II, 70-200 2.8 IS II, 100-400 IS, 100 L Macro, 35 1.4, 85 1.2 II, 135 2.0, Tokina 10-17 fish * 580 EX II (3) Stratos triggers * Other Stuff plus a Pelican 1624 to haul it all

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
tim
Light Bringer
Avatar
50,988 posts
Likes: 361
Joined Nov 2004
Location: Wellington, New Zealand
     
Dec 12, 2011 13:53 |  #9

I went to check out your website, but it turns out you use a consumer photo sharing service, flickr. Flickr is blocked where I work. Until you represent yourself as a professional, which includes having a professional website, you're not worth professional prices.


Professional wedding photographer, solution architect and general technical guy with multiple Amazon Web Services certifications.
Read all my FAQs (wedding, printing, lighting, books, etc)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
NDPhoto
THREAD ­ STARTER
Hatchling
Avatar
9 posts
Joined Jul 2011
Location: Western New York
     
Dec 12, 2011 14:08 |  #10

Just a really quick response, I do have a website I just didn't include because I was looking for opinions on pricing and I didn't want anyone to be skewed my exisisting packages. Plus, I'm in the middle redesigning it so it hasn't been updated recently.

My web is nickdantoniophotograph​y.com (external link)




  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
Gel
Goldmember
Avatar
1,145 posts
Likes: 45
Joined Sep 2009
Location: Brighton , East Sussex
     
Dec 12, 2011 15:12 |  #11

Classy move using Blurb :D

Bet they love that thar' huge staple in the middle as they run their thumb down the binding.


Chris Giles Photography

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
tim
Light Bringer
Avatar
50,988 posts
Likes: 361
Joined Nov 2004
Location: Wellington, New Zealand
     
Dec 12, 2011 15:30 |  #12

A very quick look at your website suggests that your capture of moments is fine, but creating moments, inspiring emotion, and creating the type of images people would want to put on their wall needs a bit more work.

I can't advise on pricing, I don't know your area. It seems you should at the low end of midrange to me, or the very high end of budget photographers.


Professional wedding photographer, solution architect and general technical guy with multiple Amazon Web Services certifications.
Read all my FAQs (wedding, printing, lighting, books, etc)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
dynamitetony
Goldmember
Avatar
1,023 posts
Likes: 30
Joined Sep 2007
Location: london UK
     
Dec 12, 2011 15:39 |  #13

tim wrote in post #13533079 (external link)
I went to check out your website, but it turns out you use a consumer photo sharing service, flickr. Flickr is blocked where I work. Until you represent yourself as a professional, which includes having a professional website, you're not worth professional prices.

i agree., get rid of flickr and get a proper site


5Dmk4 : 5Dmk3: Sigma 24mm F1.4 :Sigma 35mm F1.4 : Canon 50mm F1.4 : Canon 85mm F1.8 : Canon 100mm F2.8 Macro : Canon 24-105 F4 : Canon 70-200 F2.8L mkii : Flashes, lights & Stuff

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
Red ­ Tie ­ Photography
Goldmember
Avatar
3,575 posts
Likes: 1
Joined Nov 2009
Location: San Diego
     
Dec 12, 2011 18:20 |  #14

Its refreshing to see someone asking for honest feedback, and willing to listen. Here is my recommendation - rebuild your package. If you price it around $1200, its not expensive enough to make it a professional product, but also too expensive to offer what you are offering.

I dont think your first package should include an album if you are looking to remain in the lower end of the bracket. Offering a professional album which costs several hundred dollars on a cheap package is not worth it.
Also, get rid of the number of images on a disk. Offer a disk of images, but I make sure that I give an approximate number of images they will be receiving (I say between 400-600, but it depends on the wedding. This way, they are not expecting 1500 images and getting 150.)
No prints - thats fine, I dont offer prints either
Online hosting - its easy and cheap. This is something you should offer no matter what. I use Zenfolio (working on trying out pictage). Zenfolio is $100 a year, can sell and fulfill print orders, and unlimited storage space to my knowledge.

Are you going to offer things like engagement sessions or second shooters? Engagement books, different albums?


Bryan
Gear List (external link)
San Diego Wedding Photography - Red Tie Photography (external link)
Red Tie Photography Blog (external link)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
NDPhoto
THREAD ­ STARTER
Hatchling
Avatar
9 posts
Joined Jul 2011
Location: Western New York
     
Dec 12, 2011 18:59 as a reply to  @ Red Tie Photography's post |  #15

@ Peacefield - No worries, I didn't feel insulted. Bottom line, I want to be a great photographer. I'll take advise whenever I can get it.

I appreciate the time you to explain your comments. Regarding WB, how to you (and anyone else reading) approach it? I use Lightroom for the bulk of the editing and sometimes find I have a hard time keeping it consistant (which apparently is obvious). Also, how to you suggest adding "punch"?

@ Bryan - Thanks for the advise. Are you editing 400-600 for each wedding? I do offer engagement sessions on my website. I'm working adding a 2nd photographer option and also more album options.




  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as a registered member)

2,384 views & 0 likes for this thread
What's my work worth?
FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Weddings & Other Family Events Talk 
AAA
x 1600
y 1600

Jump to forum...   •  Rules   •  Index   •  New posts   •  RTAT   •  'Best of'   •  Gallery   •  Gear   •  Reviews   •  Member list   •  Polls   •  Image rules   •  Search   •  Password reset

Not a member yet?
Register to forums
Registered members may log in to forums and access all the features: full search, image upload, follow forums, own gear list and ratings, likes, more forums, private messaging, thread follow, notifications, own gallery, all settings, view hosted photos, own reviews, see more and do more... and all is free. Don't be a stranger - register now and start posting!


COOKIES DISCLAIMER: This website uses cookies to improve your user experience. By using this site, you agree to our use of cookies and to our privacy policy.
Privacy policy and cookie usage info.


POWERED BY AMASS forum software 2.1forum software
version 2.1 /
code and design
by Pekka Saarinen ©
for photography-on-the.net

Latest registered member is Nidzza2
1232 guests, 329 members online
Simultaneous users record so far is 15144, that happened on Nov 22, 2018

Photography-on-the.net Digital Photography Forums is the website for photographers and all who love great photos, camera and post processing techniques, gear talk, discussion and sharing. Professionals, hobbyists, newbies and those who don't even own a camera -- all are welcome regardless of skill, favourite brand, gear, gender or age. Registering and usage is free.