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 09 Dec 2012 (Sunday) 16:06
Search threadPrev/next
sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as a registered member)

Share the history of your business

 
mclaren777
Goldmember
Avatar
1,482 posts
Likes: 85
Joined May 2012
Location: Olympia, WA
     
Dec 09, 2012 16:06 |  #1

This topic was inspired by Thomas Campbell's comments in another thread, but I'm curious to hear how your photography business has grown over the years.

If possible, share the number of weddings for each year and perhaps even the typical fees you charged at the time.

Thomas Campbell wrote:
I shot my first wedding in Feb 2009 for $2000 even. I had no clue what to charge. They got a portrait session, an album and 8 hours of coverage from me only. I shot 5 weddings in 2009. In 2010, I shot 9 weddings. IN 2011, I shot 22. In 2012, I will shoot over 30. My average booking is just under $5k.


A simple comparison of sensor technology: Nikon vs. Canon (external link)
A technical comparison of sensor technology: Exposure Latitude (external link)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as a registered member)
SMP_Homer
Cream of the Crop
Avatar
5,635 posts
Gallery: 26 photos
Likes: 445
Joined Mar 2008
Location: London, Ontario
     
Dec 09, 2012 21:29 |  #2

I was just a guy with camera at my sister's 2nd wedding... Photog was a friend of hers... He let me use some of his glass throughout the day, etc...
When he delivered her pics, she showed him my stuff, and he talked me into shooting with him...
So for 2-ish years, I was a 2nd for this guy...

Come time for my own wedding, we interviewed several photographers, made a choice, and when she delivered the pics, my wife liked them but said I can do better... That's when I jumped in on my own... That was almost 6 years ago... Every year, my goal is 25-ish weddings, envisioning one every other week... But it doesn't really work that way... I do my 25-ish (or more) every year, but hardly anything in winters...

I do have a wedding on my 6th year anniversary (Feb 23), and before taking it (soon to be bride was a bridesmaid at another wedding, and she called my wife directly to have her permission to get me that day) I made sure my wife would be ok with it... And everyday I get closer to that, the more I realize its going to cost me...

As for my sister... She is on #3 now...


EOS R / 7D2 / 1D IV (and the wife has a T4i)
Sig35A, Sig50A, Sig85A, Sig14-24A, Sig24-105A, Sig70-200S, Sig150-600C
100-400L, 100L, 300 2.8L, 1.4x II / 2x II
600EX-II X3, 430EX-III X3

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
memoriesoftomorrow
Goldmember
3,846 posts
Likes: 289
Joined Nov 2010
     
Dec 09, 2012 22:12 |  #3

Early 2004 bought a 300D, didn't have a clue how to use or even that you could change the lens. Learnt about ISO, aperture etc from the manual which came with it.

March 2004 shot a wedding for a friend as a present. They weren't going to have a photographer and I had a "nice camera".

June 2005 shot another wedding for my cousin as a present. They weren't going to have a photographer and I had a "nice camera".

Early 2007 shot two weddings for friends as a present. They weren't going to have a photographer and I had a "nice camera". I had a 20D by this point.

July 2007 started a photography business with no training, no time as an apprentice, no second shooting experience, no prior experience running a business.

Wedding count since I started the business:

2007 - 1
2008 - 5
2009 - 16
2010 - 24
2011 - 25 (relocated business by 300km)
2012 - 38
2013 - 23 (booked so far, taking 35 only in 2013)
2014 - 2 (booked so far)

I have gone from averaging being booked 26 weeks in advance (2008) to 54 weeks in advance (2013).

I was an Uncle Bob (external link) / Fauxtographer whatever people want to call it. I'm very proud of that fact. I have the 300D manual to thank for getting me started to becoming a pro.


Peter

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
Peacefield
Goldmember
Avatar
4,022 posts
Likes: 2
Joined Jul 2008
Location: NJ
     
Dec 10, 2012 07:15 |  #4

Back in the 80's, I was a hobbyist with a lowly all-manual Pentax k-1000 and wanting to acquire equipment that I couldn't otherwise justify or afford for a hobby. So I offered to shoot weddings for $200-$300 per. (not a tiny sum 25 years ago.) I found clients through direct mail, reaching out to those who announced their engagements in the paper. I was the 1980's version of a shoot-and-burner; I would process the prints so I could see them, make copies for my portfolio, and they'd get the prints AND the negatives.

I started back up again about 3 years ago because digital changed everything about this business. Originally, it was again to make a few $'s to pay for gear but it has grown into a genuine and viable business.


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
tnis0612
Member
233 posts
Joined Oct 2011
Location: Virginia, USA
     
Dec 10, 2012 15:28 |  #5

In February of 2010 I bought a Pentax k-x and learned everything I possibly could about photography starting from complete scratch before a late May trip to Alaska. This was my first ever DSLR, never took a photography class, and know nothing about film.

In 2011 took some nice pictures of family members for fun, and in fall 2011 started getting some inquries from family friends to take some family portraits for them.

In October 2011 a friend/co worker decided to plan and have a wedding the day before Thanksgiving that year and didn't want to pay much for a photographer. So I told her my wife and I would do it and we bought a 5d2 and 7d with a 24-70 2.8 and 85 1.8 and charged her $500.

I second shot for another photographer about 2 weeks before that wedding in early November, and used those two weddings plus a handful of family shoots to put together a website and promoted on Facebook to my friends and my wife's friends trying to get weddings at $1500 for 6 hours + engagement shoot.

We have one more wedding December 29th and that will make 12 for 2012. We've raised our prices here and there and have 15 booked so far (3 more closing soon I think) for 2013 and now charging $2650 for the same package.

My wife and I both still work full time in corporate finance jobs, but after how crazy this fall was something is going to have to change for next year as i'm expecting we will be doing 20-25 weddings.


5d Mark II, 7D
17-40L, 35L, 50L, 85 1.8, 70-200 2.8L IS II
www.stevenandlilyphoto​graphy.com (external link)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
jcolman
Goldmember
2,643 posts
Gallery: 17 photos
Best ofs: 2
Likes: 501
Joined Mar 2008
Location: North Carolina
     
Dec 11, 2012 14:27 |  #6

I originally went to school for photography, got my degree, then got sidetracked by the lure of filmmaking. I was in the video/television industry for over 30 years. I was a producer/director/cine​matographer. I loved my job, but after all those years, I was getting burned out. I started my photography business in 08', knowing that I would be retiring from the video biz soon. I walked away from video nearly 2 years ago and haven't regretted it once.

I decided to specialize in wedding photography because that is where the money seemed to be. Turned out that I enjoy this kind of work. I also shoot some commercial and corporate work, but weddings are my bread and butter now.


www.jimcolmanphotograp​hy.com (external link)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
mclaren777
THREAD ­ STARTER
Goldmember
Avatar
1,482 posts
Likes: 85
Joined May 2012
Location: Olympia, WA
     
Dec 11, 2012 14:38 |  #7

jcolman wrote in post #15354152 (external link)
I started my photography business in 08'...

As one of the preeminent wedding photographers on this forum, I was really hoping for a more detailed breakdown of the last four years.

Did you instantly have a large client base? How has your business grown since starting?


A simple comparison of sensor technology: Nikon vs. Canon (external link)
A technical comparison of sensor technology: Exposure Latitude (external link)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
jcolman
Goldmember
2,643 posts
Gallery: 17 photos
Best ofs: 2
Likes: 501
Joined Mar 2008
Location: North Carolina
     
Dec 11, 2012 15:12 |  #8

mclaren777 wrote in post #15354193 (external link)
As one of the preeminent wedding photographers on this forum, I was really hoping for a more detailed breakdown of the last four years.

Did you instantly have a large client base? How has your business grown since starting?

I wouldn't call myself a preeminent wedding photographer but thank you for the compliment.

I shot one wedding in 08'. A $500 craigslist job.

I shot 20 weddings in 09', the vast majority I got from craigslist. My pricing went from $500 to $1700. (no albums, just shoot and burns)

Then in 10' I shot 21 weddings, but slowed down my craiglslist advertising. I spent some money advertising on wedding wire and facebook. I also got some referrals from venues and clients/friends.

In 11', I shot 18 weddings. I stopped facebook ads but kept the wedding wire ads going. I also spent some money on getting placed higher in google. I can't really say that I got much business from wedding wire. Most of my weddings were referrals or from google. My pricing ranged from $1800 to $3500. I also shot my first destination wedding in Cancun.

This year I shot 18 wedding, ranging in price from $2100 to $4500. I stopped advertising on wedding wire in mid summer, spending my money instead on a bridal show. I booked 6 weddings for next year from that one show, ranging in price from $2100 to $5100. I'm meeting with a bride tomorrow that also found me at the bridal show. I'm also doing a bridal show in January. Two of the weddings I shot this year actually came from referrals from this site.

I have 10 weddings on the books for next year (including another Cancun wedding) and I'm looking to book another 10 or so from the upcoming bridal show.

I only like to shoot around 20 or so weddings a year.


www.jimcolmanphotograp​hy.com (external link)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
ChadAndreo
Goldmember
Avatar
1,879 posts
Likes: 8
Joined Nov 2006
Location: WPB, FL
     
Apr 05, 2013 05:01 |  #9

jcolman wrote in post #15354332 (external link)
I wouldn't call myself a preeminent wedding photographer but thank you for the compliment.

I shot one wedding in 08'. A $500 craigslist job.

I shot 20 weddings in 09', the vast majority I got from craigslist. My pricing went from $500 to $1700. (no albums, just shoot and burns)

Then in 10' I shot 21 weddings, but slowed down my craiglslist advertising. I spent some money advertising on wedding wire and facebook. I also got some referrals from venues and clients/friends.

In 11', I shot 18 weddings. I stopped facebook ads but kept the wedding wire ads going. I also spent some money on getting placed higher in google. I can't really say that I got much business from wedding wire. Most of my weddings were referrals or from google. My pricing ranged from $1800 to $3500. I also shot my first destination wedding in Cancun.

This year I shot 18 wedding, ranging in price from $2100 to $4500. I stopped advertising on wedding wire in mid summer, spending my money instead on a bridal show. I booked 6 weddings for next year from that one show, ranging in price from $2100 to $5100. I'm meeting with a bride tomorrow that also found me at the bridal show. I'm also doing a bridal show in January. Two of the weddings I shot this year actually came from referrals from this site.

I have 10 weddings on the books for next year (including another Cancun wedding) and I'm looking to book another 10 or so from the upcoming bridal show.

I only like to shoot around 20 or so weddings a year.

How did the last bridal show work out for you?


Photographer + Cinematographer
LETS CONNECT - SOCIAL PHOTOGRAPHY SITE LINKS | Website (external link) | Wedding Site (external link) |
| Flickr  (external link) | Gear | 500px  (external link) | Tumblr (external link)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
jcolman
Goldmember
2,643 posts
Gallery: 17 photos
Best ofs: 2
Likes: 501
Joined Mar 2008
Location: North Carolina
     
Apr 05, 2013 07:01 |  #10

ChadAndreo wrote in post #15792853 (external link)
How did the last bridal show work out for you?

Quite well. I'm now at 20 weddings for this year and I'm starting to book next year. I could have booked more weddings this year but I'm taking four weeks off during the prime wedding season to go on vacation.


www.jimcolmanphotograp​hy.com (external link)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
rincon
Member
240 posts
Likes: 452
Joined Apr 2009
Location: Tucson, AZ
     
Apr 05, 2013 09:37 |  #11

I have been an enthusiast for almost 40 years, shooting landscapes, still lifes, and the occasional portrait. In 2009 my niece asked me to shoot her wedding because she liked the portraits I had done for her. I flatly refused, but under intense pressure from the entire family (close and extended) I relented and agreed. I spent the next 6 months in intensive self-training, reading everything I could about wedding photography, watching You Tube videos on posing, and practicing everything I was learning. I shot that wedding and found that I was in love with it - like I had found my calling.

As luck would have it, I had 3 nephews getting married over the next 8 months, so I shot those for free and honed my skills. Shortly after, I received my first paying wedding - that gave me 5 weddings my first year. As I still have my day job, my wife and I decided to limit wedding photography to no closer than 4 weeks apart. I retire from the day job in 2 years, but we have decided that we will still set a limit to the work - we anticipate that to be weddings no closer than 2 weeks apart.

2010 - 6 weddings
2011 - 8 wedding
2012 - 13 weddings
2013 - 8 so far either shot or under contract (hoping for a few more)
2014 - 3 already under contract




  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
awad
Goldmember
Avatar
1,067 posts
Joined Mar 2005
Location: Philadelphia
     
Apr 05, 2013 09:57 |  #12

Started shooting weddings in 05. Had 3 that year. I decided I wanted to learn more about photography so i took a hiatus and went to art school for the next three years. I finished and got a job as the head color corrector at a post pro lab. Where for the next 4 years I edited around 2000 wedding photos a day. Every day. I got a chance to see what the photographers in my market were providing and I knew I could produce something different. So I started shooting weddings again.

2011 - 3 weddings. $1500 average booking.
2012 - 15 weddings. $2500 average booking.
2013 - we currently have 28 on the books with an average booking of around $6000.

I quit my job earlier this year to concentrate on pushing our business further. We had a ton of exposure from a few of our 2012 weddings which really helped this year. But now I'm struggling with getting my print sale game up after the fact.


http://www.redfieldpho​to.com (external link)
http://www.theredfield​blog.com (external link)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
picturecrazy
soft-hearted weenie-boy
Avatar
8,565 posts
Likes: 687
Joined Jan 2006
Location: Alberta, CANADA
     
Apr 05, 2013 12:01 |  #13

It's all really a blur. I was trained in 1990 when I was hit by the bug. Did my first wedding in 1999, I had a lot of years behind me at that point but still SO much to learn. Back then you carried a colour camera and a black and white camera.

Switched to digital in 2005 and got more serious into the game, and actually built a website! Digital was a whole 'nother world, I felt like I was starting new again. Darkroom equipment is now packed away in the corner of my garage.

2013 is treating me well. Average booking is $7500. Have a family now so I cut off bookings at 12 MAX a year. Filling in the off season (Oct-April) with Boudoir. Still feel like I have SO much to learn.


-Lloyd
The BOUDOIR - Edmonton Intimate Boudoir Photography (external link)
Night and Day Photography - Edmonton Studio Family Baby Child Maternity Wedding Photographers (external link)
Night and Day Photography - Edmonton Headshot Photographers (external link)
Facebook (external link) | Twitter (external link) |Instagram (external link) | Gear

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

2,279 views & 0 likes for this thread
Share the history of your business
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 gardenchefs
1143 guests, 346 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.