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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Weddings & Other Family Events Talk 
Thread started 13 Dec 2011 (Tuesday) 16:19
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Portraits vs Weddings

 
snakeman55
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Dec 13, 2011 16:19 |  #1

How many portrait sessions (kids, family whatever) do you avg per year vs how many weddings do you avg per year? This past year I did a lot of portrait sessions, 6 weddings and a few parties/events/fundrai​sers.

I feel like my ratio of portrait vs wedding is inverse from most on here.


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Peacefield
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Dec 13, 2011 17:46 |  #2

I'm almost all weddings. Most portrait sessions are e-sessions. I'd like to begin to transition from weddings to portraits.


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umphotography
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Dec 13, 2011 18:14 as a reply to  @ Peacefield's post |  #3

We did 21 weddings, I believe 18 HS seniors,some families and kids sessions and 4 corporate events. Its a great switch to go more portrait but i have to tell you that the HS senior business is getting tougher every year. More and more kids are satisfied with what a friend can do with their 40D camera.

Others could care less either way. Babies is really difficult for the guys and my wife does most of those sessions. More and More moms with cameras are marketing themselves as professionals so it make things tough. Really good baby photographers market themselves to the families that have the bucks but as you know there's only so many and the financially well off out there. No doubt, things are tough in Portrait land. Ive seen many full time studios close up shop over the past 3-4 yrs and the ones that are hanging on are trying to teach and get very creative with the marketing. Not easy for sure.


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rob0225
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Dec 13, 2011 19:14 |  #4

Mike,

Out of curiosity ( or nosiness) and if you don't mind, what were your gross revenues this past year? Apologies in advance if this is too forward. I'm a hobbyist only and am just curious on what you grossed based on the above work you did. Fee free to provide a general range if your more comfortable wit that. Or of course you can also go tell me it's none of my damn business and to go pound sand.

Thanks,

Robert


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CTP
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Dec 13, 2011 21:41 |  #5

Peacefield wrote in post #13540147 (external link)
I'm almost all weddings. Most portrait sessions are e-sessions. I'd like to begin to transition from weddings to portraits.

Why is this? Business or personal? I only ask because I am very heavy on weddings and very light on portraits, so I am curious as to your thought process.


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PeaceFire
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Dec 13, 2011 22:07 as a reply to  @ CTP's post |  #6

Weddings make me way more money so I prefer to do those mostly. Boudoirs average quite a bit more than the average portrait session so I'll run a few marathons and then a handful of solo shoots a year. If I can avoid it, I'd prefer to not do a single family session!

So... let's see... I did 14 weddings last year and maybe 20 total portrait sessions.


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Peacefield
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Dec 14, 2011 07:06 |  #7

CTP wrote in post #13541452 (external link)
Why is this? Business or personal? I only ask because I am very heavy on weddings and very light on portraits, so I am curious as to your thought process.

Why is what? Why I'm mostly weddings now or why I'd like to transition more to portraits?

I'm mostly weddings because I simply gravitate to it; I get it, I know what to do, I have a feel for the day and all the emotions and that comes through in my images, etc. And there's a natural demand that comes out of the wedding process that offers pretty good money.

I'd like to transition more to portraits because, candidly, weddings are physically hard. I'm 52 which isn't ancient, but I'm not a kid anymore either. My primary motivation for starting a formal wedding photography business was to create a phase-two career that would allow me to retire from my "day job" early; maybe in as little as 4 years.

I did 21 weddings last year and generated all the income I would want from a semi-retirement career. However, as we all know, wedding shoots are long and physical and filled with the pressure of getting "have-to" shots all day long. Yet, the part of the day I enjoy most, portraits, represents maybe 60-90 minutes worth.

While I would have to sell 5-10x as many portrait sessions, I would enjoy it more and it should be less physically demanding for the old man.


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

  
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CTP
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Dec 14, 2011 07:36 |  #8

Everything you said make complete sense, while I am only 33 I can understand your views very easily. For me though, its more the grind of everything outside of the wedding day does get old but during the actual wedding, I feel like I am in my moment and I couldnt be happier. I am like you, in that the portraits are my favorite time of the day. I think it because you can only take so many photos of static objects before it starts to get redundant. Especially if I end up at a venue I have been at 3-4 times.

So when you said you were thinking about transition from weddings to portraits, it caught my attention. Thanks for letting me pick your brain on it, I appreciate it!

Peacefield wrote in post #13542881 (external link)
Why is what? Why I'm mostly weddings now or why I'd like to transition more to portraits?

I'm mostly weddings because I simply gravitate to it; I get it, I know what to do, I have a feel for the day and all the emotions and that comes through in my images, etc. And there's a natural demand that comes out of the wedding process that offers pretty good money.

I'd like to transition more to portraits because, candidly, weddings are physically hard. I'm 52 which isn't ancient, but I'm not a kid anymore either. My primary motivation for starting a formal wedding photography business was to create a phase-two career that would allow me to retire from my "day job" early; maybe in as little as 4 years.

I did 21 weddings last year and generated all the income I would want from a semi-retirement career. However, as we all know, wedding shoots are long and physical and filled with the pressure of getting "have-to" shots all day long. Yet, the part of the day I enjoy most, portraits, represents maybe 60-90 minutes worth.

While I would have to sell 5-10x as many portrait sessions, I would enjoy it more and it should be less physically demanding for the old man.


EOS R + 5D4, 16-35L II, 24L TS-E II, 24L II, 50L, 85L II, 100L, 135L, 70-200L 2.8 IS II, RF 28-70L, 580ex IIx2
Rockford IL Wedding Photographer (external link), my blog (external link) and Youtube (external link).

  
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helloagain36
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Dec 14, 2011 09:35 as a reply to  @ CTP's post |  #9

I always have been very wedding heavy...and still am. Though for the first time this year I have had quite a few portrait sessions. Specifically in the last 2 months I have have 11 family portrait sessions. Obviously it is the Christmas card rush...but I have never marketed myself much as a portrait photographer. Almost all were referrals and Facebook leads.

As the wedding season is winding down for the winter here...this has been a nice little supplement.


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picturecrazy
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Dec 14, 2011 11:17 |  #10

Limit myself to 12 weddings a year. I did 13 this year, but a good collection of portrait/family/baby stuff. And a ton of boudoir, and a couple bigger scale commercial projects. I spent more time on non-wedding work overall. But I'm in a trasitional state. I'm trying to do more non-wedding stuff, only because weddings are so time consuming and with a young family, I want to spend as much time with them as possible. But I will always do weddings and it will always be a large part of my business.


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DirtyMax
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Dec 15, 2011 14:12 |  #11

4 weddings, 2 senior shoots, 5 family/kid sessions, and 2 e-sessions. This was my busiest year by far in the short 3 year existence of my small business. It's also about my limit because my "day job" is very intense and involves a lot of travel as of late.




  
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