I recently found myself with the fortune of shooting a wedding at very short notice, and now I'm preparing to meet the couple again in a few days time to show them the results...! I've shot a couple of weddings before for friends, and they've been pretty pleased, but this is the first paying job. Despite the probably alarming sounding nature of the story below, I think things went pretty well so far, but I'm just after a bit of advice over how to work things out best from here! I have sort of agreed a price verbally, but now I'm thinking I should try to get a little more in some way or another given the coverage I put in.
First of all, here's the story... I was actually supposed to be acting as a second videographer on the day (the other guy knows the bride and he'd arranged to pay me). However, I get a call the night before saying the photographer they'd booked had dropped out and could I cover it instead? To be more accurate, this photographer had been travelling from eastern Europe to the UK and his car had broken down due to freezing weather! I discussed it with the other videographer, and he told me they were working on a tight budget (I guess this is why the guy was coming from eastern Europe?), but I should still get more than for helping with the videography. I said I was looking for at least £150-£200, but I'd discuss the exact arrangement with the couple when I met them. I was told they'd go with it (seemed they didn't have a lot of choice at that point!)
I know this isn't the smoothest way of working, but it's how things happened. The first time I met the bride was when she was getting ready after having her hair done (it seemed like a bit of a disaster for her because she had to get driven to another city and back again at the last minute after something went wrong with her initial hair appointment, so everything was running late!) Well after this things seemed to go a bit more smoothly, and I think the rest of the day went without too many hiccups for the couple I think I got most of the important shots - a few missed opportunities and minor panics, but I think I have enough good material (I'm working my way through editing down 1700 shots now...). Now, I was introduced to the groom just before the ceremony, but finally got to chat with him after the dinner. I said I was looking for a basic fee of £250 for covering the whole day (12 hours shooting), but we'd work it out exactly once we meet up when they're back from the honeymoon.
So I'm wondering what is the best way to procced and if I can expect to get anything more at this point? I'm hoping when I show them the edit they will be pleased enough and I might be able to haggle for a little more (another £50 or £100?) For the basic amount I think I'd say I'll give them web-res prints on CD, and perhaps make an online gallery for them. Or maybe I just say a little more - £400 or £450 - and I give them the full size files with rights to make whatever prints they want. I think that's the easiest thing to do. But the question is if I can stand to do any better by saying I'll do a package of prints or an album separately. I've not really got any experience with making albums, so I'm more hesitant to go down that route, with the extra time it will take to investigate and prepare, and the uncertainty involved. Also I don't have any sample to show them.
Whereas on the other hand, prints seem a good option - I think maybe they could be impressed if I take along a couple of 8x12 prints? Currently I'm planning on showing them a slideshow on my laptop, and I'm not going to give them anything until they've paid But at the end of the day I have to see how willing they are to pay anything extra anyway when I discuss it, I'm suspecting probably not based on the information I have. However the wedding day was held in a pretty nice hotel and it didn't seem like that was done on the cheap, so I have some doubts... although that could have all been paid for by relatives.
That leads me to the third option, which is to give them the low res CD & gallery for the basic price, then to try and set up an online ordering system, or use a commercial service to try and sell prints that way, possibly also to the guests. A lot of the brides family had travelled from different countries and were really happy having their portraits taken, so I feel some of them might cough up for prints. The downside is I want to keep the additional organisation to a minimum, as I have a full time job at the moment which is also keeping me busy! I'm not sure if I have time to figure out setting up an ordering system on my web page just now (I haven't even had time to update my portfolio!) So a commercial provider might be good - I used photobox pro before, though they take around 50% of print sales.
So any thoughts? Are my prices way off? I know I am probably charging on the low side, but given the fact I'm still just starting out with this as something on the side, and the nature of the situation that it's about right. Including post processing however, I'll have put in quite a lot of hours, and I think my images should be up to a reasonable standard.
Oh, also should I try to make up some kind of contract, even though it is after the event? Basically I think I probalby want something more like a simple model release, so that I can use the pics for my own purposes etc. (I'm not going to assign them exclusive rights in any case).
Btw. I shot a mixture of formals and PJ/candids. For presentation, I don't know if I should mix them up chronologically, or do in two sets? [I'll try to post some samples once I'm further through the editing ]