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FORUMS Photo Sharing & Visual Enjoyment Weddings & Other Family Events 
Thread started 05 Mar 2016 (Saturday) 20:01
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How do I get hired as an American to shoot destination weddings in India?

 
laughingwillowphotography
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Mar 05, 2016 20:01 |  #1

Hello! I hope that question is not offensive in any way, because I know Indian photographer's are absolutely incredible and I don't want to undercut anyone.

Here comes the but...But I was asked to shoot a wedding in India next February and I am beyond thrilled about it!!! :lol: I'm charging about $2000 (it's a one day event) and if you add in the plane ticket, which they're paying for, I'm still cheaper than many of the photographers there that charge $5000 starting price.

I was thinking it would be a cool opportunity to shoot another wedding while I'm there, if at all possible, but I don't know how to reach out to anyone that might need a lower priced photographer in India. Are there any English classifieds for India that I can post in?


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Mar 05, 2016 20:14 |  #2

I hate to be "that person," but while it might be cool to shoot another wedding in India while you're there, it wouldn't be cool for the bride and groom who are flying you out there to be paying for your transportation costs so you can do photography work for other people as well.

If you're planning to try to pick up other work, I hope you're willing to foot the bill for your own plane ticket.


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laughingwillowphotography
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Mar 05, 2016 20:28 as a reply to  @ neacail's post |  #3

I appreciate your feed-back Shelley! I guess maybe I'm not as familiar with the variants involved in plane ticket costs, but realistically, wouldn't it cost the same to fly back 3 weeks later as opposed to 1 week? If it's on a weekday or whatnot. Since it's a year in advance that I'm planning, I will make sure to accommodate my bride and groom first before considering any additional work.


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crbinson
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Mar 05, 2016 20:53 as a reply to  @ laughingwillowphotography's post |  #4

I can't even imagine asking...


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laughingwillowphotography
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Mar 05, 2016 21:51 as a reply to  @ crbinson's post |  #5

Do you mind if I ask what you mean?


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Mar 05, 2016 22:06 |  #6

I would contact the bride and groom and let them know your plans and explain it all to them. Whether you go home in a few days after the wedding or two weeks because you shot another, I don't think would be a big deal as long as you are covering the costs of a room while there. As long as the booked couple is not incurring any additional charges for your plans, should not be a big deal. And why would they care if you wanted to try to get to shoot another wedding or two for that matter while there. They might even be able to help you with booking another client or give you some ideas how to go about it.

That last response of I can't even imagine asking makes no sense. Why not ask? You won't get to go to India too often so why not try to make the best of things while there. I think the bride and groom booked already would be happy for you to book a few more.


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Mar 05, 2016 22:33 |  #7

Amadauss wrote in post #17925021 (external link)
...

That last response of I can't even imagine asking makes no sense. Why not ask? ...

Obviously, I don't know anyone involved here.
So why I would not ask may have absolutely no basis in reality at all, but I would not ask.

Why?

I would not want to give the bride and groom a reason to question my own professionalism in any way, or to question/decide if they maybe would be better off to hire someone else more interested in their wedding, and thus lose the original opportunity by looking to "add value" to what was already a dream come true.

IF I had more work lined up on the trip, my only approach to the B&G would be to let them know I had more work lined up, or even simply that I have always wanted to spend time in India, and therefore I was going to pay for and schedule my own return flight.


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Mar 05, 2016 23:09 as a reply to  @ Amadauss's post |  #8

Thank you Amadauss, I appreciate your response! That's how I feel too, I won't be incurring any extra expenses, I will be covering hotel and any travel aside from the plane.


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laughingwillowphotography
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Mar 05, 2016 23:13 as a reply to  @ CyberDyneSystems's post |  #9

Thank you for your response, you bring up some good points! :)


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crbinson
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Mar 06, 2016 02:38 |  #10

laughingwillowphotogra​phy wrote in post #17925009 (external link)
Do you mind if I ask what you mean?

I mean I think it is unprofessional to ask the client. I would be put off if you asked me and tell you no or more likely get lost.

Why? Because the client is paying and arranging your travel so you can perform the work you are being contracted for; not have your own boondoggle. They should not be imposed upon for any special arrangements on your behalf; you are on assignment...their assignment.

If you want to go back do so on your own time at your own expense.

Just me though...


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Mar 06, 2016 05:58 |  #11

CyberDyneSystems wrote in post #17925043 (external link)
Obviously, I don't know anyone involved here.
So why I would not ask may have absolutely no basis in reality at all, but I would not ask.

Why?

I would not want to give the bride and groom a reason to question my own professionalism in any way, or to question/decide if they maybe would be better off to hire someone else more interested in their wedding, and thus lose the original opportunity by looking to "add value" to what was already a dream come true.

IF I had more work lined up on the trip, my only approach to the B&G would be to let them know I had more work lined up, or even simply that I have always wanted to spend time in India, and therefore I was going to pay for and schedule my own return flight.

crbinson wrote in post #17925164 (external link)
I mean I think it is unprofessional to ask the client. I would be put off if you asked me and tell you no or more likely get lost.

Why? Because the client is paying and arranging your travel so you can perform the work you are being contracted for; not have your own boondoggle. They should not be imposed upon for any special arrangements on your behalf; you are on assignment...their assignment.

If you want to go back do so on your own time at your own expense.

It is very unprofessional, bordering on crass. This bride and groom think enough of your work to fly you a great distance and provide you with accommodations while there to do a job for them. You have been hired by and work for them. Therefore you do what they request and work within their constraints.

If you were paying for your trip and accommodations it would be entirely different. If I were in their shoes and you posed this situation to me, I would be insulted and would consider hiring another photographer.


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Mar 06, 2016 06:32 |  #12

I don't think the ethics of this situation are so simple. On the one hand, acceptance of a job that includes reimbursed travel may carry a tacit agreement that the travel expense be used exclusively for the purpose of the original job. On the other hand, if that is the position of the original b&g, I think it is an overbearing and even arrogant indenture.

They're paying for your travel, but that doesn't mean they can dictate when you leave or how you choose to spend your personal time while visiting. But I can still see how they might be upset if they learn of any additional jobs you perform. And they might find out easily due to social media.

Perhaps the better course would be to first attempt to book one or more additional jobs. If another couple wants to book you, before accepting the job, explain to both clients what is happening and allow them to share in your travel expenses. In other words you could offer a discount to the first client. I don't think anyone could REASONABLY question your professionalism in this scenario.


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laughingwillowphotography
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Mar 07, 2016 21:13 as a reply to  @ PineBomb's post |  #13

Thank you Matt, I appreciate your balanced viewpoint! Some of my favorite photographers, Simply Bloom, announce on their website "We will be in Paris these dates, Mexico these dates" etc. and then people book up their time while they're there. I wish I had enough money to do business that way, but on principle I imagined they book a wedding in Europe and then used the rest of the month to continue working there. I thought my idea was along the same lines.

Hopefully this isn't rude but I wasn't planning on asking the couple because I do think that's tacky, I was simply figured if the plane ticket costs the same round-trip, how I use my free time is up to me. My couple is always my top priority, I never book weddings the same day, or even back to back on weekends if I feel I can't give 100% after that many hours. The only point I feel is valid is that another couple might get a better deal because they didn't pay for my flight -that's true, but is it really unethical? The numbers are the same for my first couple, whether I get more work or not.

Anyway, I appreciate looking at this from all angles, I don't think my idea is wrong from a strictly logical point of view, but from an emotional stand-point if the couple knew it might hurt their feelings for the reasons everyone mentioned. I will give it more thought, thanks everyone!


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laughingwillowphotography
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Mar 07, 2016 21:23 |  #14

I'm just curious, is anyone that's commenting here a wedding photographer? You don't have to be one to comment on ethics of course (which wasn't really my question, so if you had a comment about my question, that would be even better...) but I'm seeing mostly beautiful:love: nature pictures... It would be awesome if someone with experience in the wedding field has encountered anything like this.


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memoriesoftomorrow
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Mar 08, 2016 01:18 |  #15

saea501 wrote in post #17925251 (external link)
It is very unprofessional, bordering on crass. This bride and groom think enough of your work to fly you a great distance and provide you with accommodations while there to do a job for them. You have been hired by and work for them. Therefore you do what they request and work within their constraints.

This 100%. In fact if I were you I'd delete my posts in this thread as it isn't a good look to potential clients. Unfortunately for you, you've been quoted several times in the thread so that would do no good.


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How do I get hired as an American to shoot destination weddings in India?
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