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Thread started 01 Mar 2014 (Saturday) 11:41
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What to charge for wedding photography?

 
rseider
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Mar 01, 2014 11:41 |  #1

Hello Everyone,

I have a friend who would like me to do wedding photography and I'm not sure what to charge. It will be my first experience photographing a wedding. Here's what I know she is looking for so far:

  • Photographing of a small legal ceremony and reception afterwards
  • Digital Files
  • Has a small budget (didn't give me a range), but if it helps, take into consideration she is a young adult with a part-time job that pays $10/hour. I assume she's not hiring someone with more wedding photography experience because she doesn't want to/can't afford professional prices.


She's not 100% on how long the ceremony will be yet or where it will be, but I know I will need to consider gas money, editing time, and upload time, as well as shooting time. Since she doesn't want prints, I won't have to take printing or ordering costs and time into account. But I'd like to have her pick the photos that she wants so I can edit just those ones for her.

I'd like to be able to offer her a range of prices based on some sort of basic packages. In example, how many photos she's going to want. Perhaps I can throw a few free prints into a couple options? And because she's a friend I would like to certainly be fair about everything.

In addition, another friend asked me to shoot her wedding but hers is going to be a bigger one. That one is farther away, but it may be good for me to start thinking of that too.

Thank you,
Rachael

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Hogloff
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Mar 01, 2014 11:47 |  #2
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Shoot the wedding as a wedding present to your friend. At $10/hour, I don't think they can afford anything for your services.

In general, seems like you are getting into wedding photography with no wedding experience. I'd slow down and try getting 2nd shooter experience, even if it is for free, before diving into the deep end. It's no place to make your mistakes during the big show.




  
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Shooting
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Mar 01, 2014 12:15 |  #3

Practice and more practice. A wedding is no place to try new things or learn to do it while doing it. Offer to be a 3rd or 2nd. shooter for an established, experienced wedding photographer to learn some ropes. Or at first just be an assistant and then work up from there. If you go head first into it without really knowing your equipment or what you are doing you will be headed for trouble. Possibly get in a situation you don't know how to get out of or what to do. I rented a church and had some friends dress up in a dress and tux and I practiced shooting them all day as if they were getting married for real. It was great experience just to start off with.
I agree with Hogloff, charge $10 an hour or do the first one for free just to get a feel of it. Charging for something you have no idea what you are doing in my book is wrong and doing a disservice to the couple.




  
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HungV
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Mar 01, 2014 12:18 |  #4

Close friend or just a friend? Well, it doesn’t matter, to myself either runaway or consider as a wedding gift (print the best images). She will remember you for life.


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Phil ­ V
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Mar 02, 2014 05:37 |  #5

She can't afford a pro, you don't know what you're doing.

I'm quite happy helping my mate lay decking, if he buys me a beer we'll both be happy.

You seriously can't charge someone for a service you can't guarantee you can provide. Shoot it for free and she'll love you no matter the end result, charge her $50 and produce crap and you're her new worst enemy.

Her income btw has no bearing other than their budget is tight, I pay my garage, dentist, restaurant and coffee shop the market rate, whether that makes them richer than me or poorer is irrelevant.


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Hogloff
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Mar 02, 2014 08:33 |  #6
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Phil V wrote in post #16728206 (external link)
Her income btw has no bearing other than their budget is tight, I pay my garage, dentist, restaurant and coffee shop the market rate, whether that makes them richer than me or poorer is irrelevant.

yes, but are you friends with all the above establishments? I know my mechanic who is a friend gives me reduced rates and cost parts.




  
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Shane ­ W
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Mar 02, 2014 09:16 |  #7

Hogloff wrote in post #16726537 (external link)
....
In general, seems like you are getting into wedding photography with no wedding experience. I'd slow down and try getting 2nd shooter experience, even if it is for free, before diving into the deep end. It's no place to make your mistakes during the big show.

Listen to these wise words! ^^^

Wow. I have been into photography for 20 years and have a lot of technical knowledge and plenty of gear I know how to use including lighting gear and would NEVER even consider shooting a wedding for someone, even as a gift.

The best gift you can give them is to leave your camera at home. Your not ready.


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digital ­ paradise
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Mar 02, 2014 10:56 |  #8

A friend asked me to shoot his and I got a Canon G11. His hobby is also photography. I started preparing 6 months before particularly for the flash. I took lighting classes, etc. It was well worth it because I was a little afraid of flash photography but by the time the event came I did feel anywhere near ready. It went OK but when show starts there is no second chance.

In your case I agree to do this one for free. We don't know what your skill level is but I would make sure to have a series talk with her about expectations. Going as a second shooter is a good option but she won't be able to afford the first shooter.

http://redtiephotograp​hy.blogspot.ca …dy-to-become-wedding.html (external link)

http://www.dpchallenge​.com/tutorial.php?TUTO​RIAL_ID=51 (external link)

http://digital-photography-school.com …eur-wedding-photographers (external link)

There is a lot here but it will give you some ideas.

http://www.knotforlife​.com …s/photography-poses.shtml (external link)


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Phil ­ V
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Mar 02, 2014 14:51 |  #9

Hogloff wrote in post #16728435 (external link)
yes, but are you friends with all the above establishments? I know my mechanic who is a friend gives me reduced rates and cost parts.

Which has nothing to do with what you earn, which was my point. We don't generally set prices dependant on what our customers earn.


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Fernando
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Mar 03, 2014 07:06 |  #10

Phil V wrote in post #16729224 (external link)
Which has nothing to do with what you earn, which was my point. We don't generally set prices dependant on what our customers earn.

My old mechanic had a sliding scale. Grad students and musicians, discounted; attorneys, full price.


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Hogloff
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Mar 03, 2014 07:35 |  #11
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Phil V wrote in post #16729224 (external link)
Which has nothing to do with what you earn, which was my point. We don't generally set prices dependant on what our customers earn.

Don't forever this is not just a customer, but also a friend. That makes a difference to me. I'd always give my friends a break.




  
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Hogloff
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Mar 03, 2014 07:37 |  #12
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Fernando wrote in post #16730878 (external link)
My old mechanic had a sliding scale. Grad students and musicians, discounted; attorneys, full price.

Yes, I remember in my college days I would get a good break at a certain restaurant because I was a poor college guy. I think it happens more than people think, in many professions.




  
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Phil ­ V
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Mar 03, 2014 11:37 |  #13

Hogloff wrote in post #16730924 (external link)
Yes, I remember in my college days I would get a good break at a certain restaurant because I was a poor college guy. I think it happens more than people think, in many professions.

I think you've led a charmed life, because I've been desperately skint and no local business ever gave me a discount or a handout.:cry:

And IMO mates rates work like this?

Really good mates, I'd do it for free

Everyone else pays the going rate.

Back to the original point though, the OP isn't a professional wedding photographer, she's an amateur doing a mate a favour. Anything more than free is taking liberties IMO.

In your college days, if your mate was a great home baker, you wouldn't have got discount cakes, they'd have been free.


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Mar 03, 2014 13:04 |  #14

In college we would forget who owed who money after baking brownies.


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sdipirro
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Mar 03, 2014 13:09 |  #15

digital paradise wrote in post #16731625 (external link)
In college we would forget who owed who money after baking brownies.

bw!Some years I sure wish I could remember.....


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What to charge for wedding photography?
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