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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Weddings & Other Family Events Talk 
Thread started 28 Dec 2013 (Saturday) 12:53
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Price requests - what am I doing wrong?

 
Phil ­ V
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Dec 29, 2013 02:33 |  #16

Brilliant answers above, no matter how great you think you are at this (I'm not saying you aren't), you're starting from the beginning.

Only in your head are you the tenth or 50th best wedding photographer in town, until you have a portfolio, a solid business case and a realistic price list, you're just someone who wants to be a wedding photographer.

If you phoned a garage and asked 'how much for a new tyre for my truck, twice, and got no answer, you'd conclude they didn't want your business.

You're seeing this purely from your armchair, where your excuses for having no portfolio are valid, to me and the customer, they are complete nonsense. If you're a wedding photographer, show me the samples, and the price list. If you haven't got either, you're not a wedding photographer.

It might sound harsh, but it's the answer yo your question, I'll bet 90% of the photographers here shot for free when starting out!


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mckay ­ photography
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Dec 29, 2013 04:12 |  #17

I have found facebook enquiries to be hopeless - cant remember the last time I booked a meeting and certainly no weddings from it. I would interpret this as the enquiries not being very serious or they're too price conscious


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Phil ­ V
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Dec 29, 2013 04:59 |  #18

It's the other point that ought to be obvious, if you're showing no wedding images and don't advertise weddings, and you get an enquiry, what do you suspect is the 'quality' of the enquiry.

With hundreds of 'wedding photographers' to choose from, what kind of bride is asking you for a price? I suspect it's a bride who doesn't want an actual 'wedding photographer', but someone they can hire cheap who might be able to do a decent job.


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highway0691
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Dec 29, 2013 05:08 |  #19

In answer to your question, "What am I doing wrong?" Your not answering their question. They don't want to meet until they are sure that you might be good for them. You are most probably one of several photographers they've contacted, they will move on quickly to someone who is up-front and not looking as though they have something to hide.


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SMP_Homer
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Dec 30, 2013 11:57 |  #20

if someone emails asking for a price, I reply with a price... no point in dancing around their question...


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qdrummer21
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Dec 30, 2013 12:54 |  #21

Phil V wrote in post #16561205 (external link)
With hundreds of 'wedding photographers' to choose from, what kind of bride is asking you for a price? I suspect it's a bride who doesn't want an actual 'wedding photographer', but someone they can hire cheap who might be able to do a decent job.

Although probably correct more times than not, this assumption could bite you in the butt if you choose to not follow up with the request. We had established a budget of what we wanted to spend on all of our vendors and were only trying to avoid wasting their time and ours if they didn't have offerings in our price range. In the case of our photographer we chose to go with her highest level package. All of the couples we've talked to who have been married in our area in the last two years (about 20) have the same response to our package. They can't believe we're spending $5k on our wedding photos, on average it's about twice what they have spent and to my understanding is on the higher end of pricing for southern NH wedding photography.

Based on going through this research process recently I would second what many others have already suggested. At the very least you should be able to provide your base upon request. When we contacted vendors if they couldn't at least give us that up front they were crossed off the list immediately, there are too many other vendors out there. Those vendors who provided us with a more inclusive price listing from base to highest tier offerings jumped to the top of our lists. ALL of the vendors who made our final selection provided us with full pricing up front.

Side Note: When booking our honeymoon I contacted 5 travel agents plus used standard online booking sites. The first 4 agents were spamming me with options and pricing while the 5th agent (who had numerous recommendations from friends) told me I needed to sign an exclusivity contract with her and pay a deposit before she would even begin the quoting process. I literally laughed at her over the phone and hung up.




  
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kjonnnn
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Dec 30, 2013 14:11 |  #22

Phil V wrote in post #16561205 (external link)
It's the other point that ought to be obvious, if you're showing no wedding images and don't advertise weddings, and you get an enquiry, what do you suspect is the 'quality' of the enquiry.

With hundreds of 'wedding photographers' to choose from, what kind of bride is asking you for a price? I suspect it's a bride who doesn't want an actual 'wedding photographer', but someone they can hire cheap who might be able to do a decent job.

I don't get why a bride wanting a price, isn't looking for a "wedding photographer." Pricing for a photographer of any kinda can run from very cheap to very expensive. A SMART person would want to know your pricing to see if it fits in their budget. They doesnt mean they are looking for cheap. I bet you don't go to the cashier register without know the price of items YOU"VE picked up.

If I call and specific ask you for a price, and you dance around the question, and not answer me, that means you don't respect me. I hang up, like you're a cold-calling sales man.




  
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Trent ­ Gillespie
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Dec 30, 2013 14:20 as a reply to  @ kjonnnn's post |  #23

You need to establish a base price at what your time is worth. If its $100/hr and a bride wants you at her wedding for four hours, then tell her $400. If brides are hesitant to book you, its because they don't see the value in your name. Even to them, time is money.

Until you have a wedding(s) that you can use to show your value, you might have to finagle deals. If you do shoot a free wedding, it needs to be very hush hush. You need to get away from using the words discount & friend/family as soon as possible.

If you still can't seem to muster up business, ask a friend who's gotten married, and ask if you can shoot a bridal session of her in her dress. Lower end brides can be duped into thinking that bridal sessions equate to solid wedding photography coverage. Your higher end brides will want to see a wedding start to finish though.


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Phil ­ V
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Dec 30, 2013 15:54 |  #24

qdrummer21 wrote in post #16564416 (external link)
Although probably correct more times than not, this assumption could bite you in the butt if you choose to not follow up with the request. We had established a budget of what we wanted to spend on all of our vendors and were only trying to avoid wasting their time and ours if they didn't have offerings in our price range. In the case of our photographer we chose to go with her highest level package. n begin the quoting process. I literally laughed at her over the phone and hung up.

kjonnnn wrote in post #16564603 (external link)
I don't get why a bride wanting a price, isn't looking for a "wedding photographer." Pricing for a photographer of any kinda can run from very cheap to very expensive.

You should both read my reply carefully, this bride is asking for a price for a wedding from a photographer (possibly several) who doesn't advertise wedding photography. He has a Facebook page showing mostly landscape photos. He's not shouting 'low end' or any other clues, these brides are asking people for prices for services they neither advertise or show any ability to perform.

I'll happily quote for any job, I'm up front and honest, but my website clearly states I'm a wedding photographer. I don't happily quote for real estate photography or pet photography because I don't chase that work or want it.


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kjonnnn
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Dec 30, 2013 21:12 |  #25

Phil V wrote in post #16564879 (external link)
You should both read my reply carefully, this bride is asking for a price for a wedding from a photographer (possibly several) who doesn't advertise wedding photography. He has a Facebook page showing mostly landscape photos. He's not shouting 'low end' or any other clues, these brides are asking people for prices for services they neither advertise or show any ability to perform.

I'll happily quote for any job, I'm up front and honest, but my website clearly states I'm a wedding photographer. I don't happily quote for real estate photography or pet photography because I don't chase that work or want it.


You seem to be stuck on the fact that he's not a wedding photographer by vocation. That fact that he didnt dismiss her and say "I can't do it because Im not a wedding photography." negates your point.

I'm NOT a wedding photographer in any shape form or fashion. But a many events where I have been taking photos, people DO come up and ask how much would you charge to a wedding. She saw his photos, liked them, and asked how much would he charge. Photographers tends to have a much more dividing line of the specifics of a genre of photography than the regular public does. She saw good pictures he took, she asked.

SO .. either he should have given her a base price, or said he doesn't do weddings (which he clearly wants to do).




  
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huntersdad
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Dec 30, 2013 21:58 |  #26

FWIW, I responded back with what I thought would be a fair price for me shooting a "first" wedding without any portfolio and what I thought would hit close enough to her budget that I'd have a fair shot. She seemed pretty happy.


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Phil ­ V
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Dec 31, 2013 03:58 |  #27

kjonnnn wrote in post #16565627 (external link)
You seem to be stuck on the fact that he's not a wedding photographer by vocation. That fact that he didnt dismiss her and say "I can't do it because Im not a wedding photography." negates your point.

...

No I'm not. You're simply not reading my answer, but reading what you think I have written.
Firstly, as far as I'm concerned factually the OP is a wedding photographer (as he's shot weddings in the past for money and is prepared to do so again)

But more importantly, to the outside world he isn't a wedding photographer, he neither has a portfolio or any clues visible to the outside world.

So the 'customer' has done the equivalent of walking into a florists and asking for potatoes. Put a business hat on look at the customer behaviour and describe to me the person who would do that.

The average FB user might have access to half a dozen 'photographers', if none of those are wedding photographers, the average 'customer' would go and search elsewhere for a wedding photographer. Just contacting random photographers in the hope they might be prepared to shoot a wedding is not normal behaviour, it's the behaviour of someone looking for a bargain because they're taking a chance on someone who's clearly* not a wedding photographer.

*bear in mind the OP shows no clues that he is a wedding photographer.


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qdrummer21
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Dec 31, 2013 10:06 |  #28

Phil V wrote in post #16564879 (external link)
You should both read my reply carefully...

My apologies. I took the two separate paragraphs to be two separate points. The first point being booking a landscape photographer to do wedding work, which I agree with and didn't quote.

The second which I originally quoted, and repeat again below, which specifically calls out a bride shopping on price and not genre.

Phil V wrote in post #16561205 (external link)
With hundreds of 'wedding photographers' to choose from, what kind of bride is asking you for a price? I suspect it's a bride who doesn't want an actual 'wedding photographer', but someone they can hire cheap who might be able to do a decent job.

I understand now that you were not making a separate point but instead expanding upon the first. I

My point was more of a general caution to everyone against making assumptions about potential customers, of any type, even if the assumptions are most likely accurate. Any customer's money, in the case of the US, is just as green as all the other ones. You never know if the value is there for you as a business owner until you at least have the conversation with them, which in this case starts with answering the customer's initial question: How much to cover a wedding?




  
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Phil ­ V
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Dec 31, 2013 12:35 |  #29

qdrummer21 wrote in post #16566580 (external link)
My apologies. I took the two separate paragraphs to be two separate points. The first point being booking a landscape photographer to do wedding work, which I agree with and didn't quote.

The second which I originally quoted, and repeat again below, which specifically calls out a bride shopping on price and not genre.

I understand now that you were not making a separate point but instead expanding upon the first. I

My point was more of a general caution to everyone against making assumptions about potential customers, of any type, even if the assumptions are most likely accurate. Any customer's money, in the case of the US, is just as green as all the other ones. You never know if the value is there for you as a business owner until you at least have the conversation with them, which in this case starts with answering the customer's initial question: How much to cover a wedding?

I never suggested not replying, I merely tried to put context around the kind of people who go out of their way to hire someone who isn't a 'wedding photographer'.

I don't have to deal with those people because you can't find me without it being obvious I shoot weddings. But I treat every enquiry the same, whether they're obviously tyre kickers or near certainties.


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vanmidd
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Jan 01, 2014 20:03 as a reply to  @ post 16560807 |  #30

I'm going to second most of the other comments. When a bride wants a quote, give her a quote, even if it's ballpark. Better still, send her a pda pricelelist. She doesn't want to meet and sit through a meeting with a dozen photographers. Not only that, it saves you time as well. I'm writing this in a cafe after meeting 2 brides, both if whom booked me. I have my info on my site - meetings are mostly a formality. Be upfront and open.


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Price requests - what am I doing wrong?
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