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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Weddings & Other Family Events Talk 
Thread started 13 Dec 2011 (Tuesday) 12:54
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What % of your expected 2012 weddings have you already booked?

 
Gel
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Dec 14, 2011 12:47 |  #16

Assuming that I am available on every new enquiry next year for 2012 probably about 60% already.

But because I've got quite a few bookings already nearly 50% of all enquiries going forward I won't be able to do. So on balance about 80% booked. (41 weddings booked, space for around another 9).


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Tanya ­ De ­ Leeuw
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Dec 14, 2011 14:11 |  #17

Gel wrote in post #13544373 (external link)
Assuming that I am available on every new enquiry next year for 2012 probably about 60% already.

But because I've got quite a few bookings already nearly 50% of all enquiries going forward I won't be able to do. So on balance about 80% booked. (41 weddings booked, space for around another 9).

Holy c***! 50 weddings a year?! Call me seriously impressed with your stamina!


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Dec 14, 2011 15:43 |  #18

Tanya De Leeuw wrote in post #13544809 (external link)
Holy c***! 50 weddings a year?! Call me seriously impressed with your stamina!

Me too! There is no way I could shoot 50 weddings a year.


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umphotography
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Dec 14, 2011 15:53 as a reply to  @ jcolman's post |  #19

50 wedding. :eek:

Got to say wow as well. Correct me if i am wrong, but Im told weddings in England are usually smaller family events v/s the big shows that tend to get put on in the states. Is this correct ??


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Gel
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Dec 14, 2011 17:09 |  #20

It depends on what you call a big show. They're an all day thing, usually around 80 people, 2 locations etc. Like the states but smaller. About 26 galleries on my website to get an idea ;)

50 weddings is my limit. But as it's all I really do, full time, it isn't an unreasonable amount. The initial meeting and attendance for the wedding itself is about two days, editing around 3 days. So a 5 day week. If you get good light it's less, bad weather more. If you take the pictures right and frame them right you're lifes easier.

But, I'm relaxed reportage. Not big on staging or posing things so there's no heavy editing with my work. Not big on engagement shoots. There is a very low demand for albums too so there's little design time involved.


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memoriesoftomorrow
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Dec 14, 2011 18:16 |  #21

picturecrazy wrote in post #13543938 (external link)
I target 12 weddings a year. But I'm already at 10, which is actually a bad sign. That means my pricing is too low for the amount of weddings I want to do. I should be around 7 bookings for this time of year.

You could say that I'm in a similar position (pricing to low). But I'm operating in a new marketplace (location wise) and am trying to get a feel of what I can expect. I'm also already selling around the average spend bracket for wedding photography in Australia. To move up into the higher end of the market I either need to change my product or the demand has to be there for my photography style.

I actually want to max out though for one year to create a bit of a buzz. I'm getting a lot of referral bookings and word of mouth is really kicking in. Being talked about as a photographer who books out well in advance would be great. I want the limited supply/scarce resource to come into play when people are booking.

I can be very clear to price shoppers now that I won't discount at all. Someone else will book the date if they don't and it has already happened for about 6 dates next year. From a sales point of view it means during client meetings I don't do a sales pitch. I tell people what I do, how I do it, show some work and if they book, they book. If they don't they don't... makes no difference to me.

However, I have already planned to raise my prices in the New Year but nothing major.


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Peacefield
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Dec 14, 2011 20:18 |  #22

One of my biggest competitors in NJ shoots 50 weddings/year. And he does portraits and commercial work, too. I keep an eye on what brides are talking about on forums and he comes up often. While his photograpy is pretty decent, there are many complaints that his turn around for images and albums is very slow.

It seems to me his prices are too low for a full time professional photographer.


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umphotography
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Dec 14, 2011 22:41 |  #23

picturecrazy wrote in post #13543938 (external link)
I target 12 weddings a year. But I'm already at 10, which is actually a bad sign. That means my pricing is too low for the amount of weddings I want to do. I should be around 7 bookings for this time of year.

But so far, my average package price for 2012 lower than 2011. I might have to take on a couple extra weddings to make up the difference.

Getting bookings shouldn't be easy. If it is, you're priced too low.

Lloyd

Are you full time ??


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Svetlana
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Dec 15, 2011 00:03 |  #24

I target to do 10 weddings next year (this year I had 15 and it was too many for me), so far I have 4 booked for 2012. Average price for 2011 - $1900, for 2012 - $4400.


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rhommel
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Dec 15, 2011 12:17 |  #25

I did 18 weddings in 2011... looking to do 20 (max) in 2012 ... only got 6 so far tho, hopefully it picks up in Jan/Feb


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DirtyMax
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Dec 15, 2011 14:27 |  #26

I have 2 bookings for 2012 out of the 3 inquiries. The other bride who didn't book thought she could book a photographer for 12 hours of wedding coverage plus an e-shoot for around $300. I'm cheap but not that cheap!

I've been hesitant to do much proactive marketing because my company may be relocating me. In that case, I will come back and do these weddings. It's a great excuse to come back "home" and visit for a few days on either side of the wedding.




  
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picturecrazy
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Dec 15, 2011 14:49 |  #27

umphotography wrote in post #13547126 (external link)
Lloyd

Are you full time ??

Yes, full time. I know my numbers are low for a full timer.

But I also have two children under 2 years old so I've been purposely focusing more on them than building my business. I used to shoot around 25 weddings a year but I decided I wanted my career to work for ME, not the other way around. So I cut my bookings to 1/2 of what they usually are, and am enjoying my family a lot. A lot less money, but no regrets. I've always considered myself rather thrifty but still, it's amazing how much spending you can cut out of your life, and how many efficiencies you can implement to save a craplaod of cash. Most of my friends are surgeons, dentists, doctors, and lawyers, and we still manage to put away as much as they do per year, and we work MUCH less hours (with the exception of one doctor friend who averages 5 days worked per month, but he's also careful to make his career work for HIM).


-Lloyd
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umphotography
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Dec 15, 2011 14:59 |  #28

picturecrazy wrote in post #13550167 (external link)
Yes, full time. I know my numbers are low for a full timer.

But I also have two children under 2 years old so I've been purposely focusing more on them than building my business. I used to shoot around 25 weddings a year but I decided I wanted my career to work for ME, not the other way around. So I cut my bookings to 1/2 of what they usually are, and am enjoying my family a lot. A lot less money, but no regrets. I've always considered myself rather thrifty but still, it's amazing how much spending you can cut out of your life, and how many efficiencies you can implement to save a craplaod of cash. Most of my friends are surgeons, dentists, doctors, and lawyers, and we still manage to put away as much as they do per year, and we work MUCH less hours (with the exception of one doctor friend who averages 5 days worked per month, but he's also careful to make his career work for HIM).

Oh, I wasn't suggesting anything about your numbers at all. That's your business not mine. Im a huge fan Lloyd. Im full time as well and actually semi retired. We are building the business so my wife can stop what she is doing. She makes 6 figures but is a slave to her job. Money is not everything. You have to have some quality of life.

Your work is excellent so it led me to believe your at it a lot. I'm gonna spend some more time this season and work on the post processing skills a bit more . We have some really great weddings booked so i expect to see better things for us in 2012. I think we will hold tight at 25 and try to get the price line up a bit as well. the economy is still very tough still here in Minnesota but were priced where we need to be for our market.


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picturecrazy
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Dec 16, 2011 13:37 |  #29

Being a slave to your job is one thing that I'd like to avoid. Though when you are in a transitional or building phase, more effort has to go into it. And yes, you hit the nail on the head in that quality of life is more important than money.

In the last couple seasons, I haven't been shooting nearly as much, but it has actually helped me improve greatly. Before I was in 'survival' mode, just getting through all the shoots. But now, I have time to evaluate each shoot, pre-plan and think of new ideas for each upcoming shoot, and sit and brainstorm new ideas that I want to try. Shooting less has improved my photography... ironically enough. Not a good strategy for a beginner, but after shooting 13 years of weddings and 22 years of photography, it's nice to be able to sit back and really enjoy shooting again because I can put more into each shoot than I could before. And that includes post processing, as you mentioned.


-Lloyd
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NewHorizonPhoto
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Dec 16, 2011 17:28 |  #30

So far I have only booked 1 for 2012. My target is 6-8. (I already have a full time job) So I guess you could say I am 17% booked. Glad to hear from others that bookings pick up in Jan/Feb. My goal right now is to revamp my webpage during the holidays to be ready for the first part of the year. This is my 2nd year (first full year), last year I did 4 weddings.




  
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What % of your expected 2012 weddings have you already booked?
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