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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Weddings & Other Family Events Talk 
Thread started 24 Nov 2009 (Tuesday) 13:40
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Who here runs a photo booth at their weddings?

 
Peacefield
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Dec 10, 2009 17:54 |  #76

jonwhite wrote in post #9172791 (external link)
Aren't you the same person that said you "keep an eye on Craigs list for opportunities"

That seems kinda at odds with the clientele you say your serving.

BTW you do realize that whilst your dismissing selective color you have one in your online gallery don't you?

I see nothing disingenuous here. First of all, I'm not dismissing selective color nor am I implying anything negative about any photographer who offers it or even a photobooth. I was simply responding to someone who suggested that anyone who didn't do a photobooth was going to get lost in a crowd of indistinquishable photographers. Well, I think that's a pretty narrow interpretation of the market. Geez, don't you?

With respect to selective color, I'm just recognizing it for what we all know it to be; a gimmick. It doesn't appeal to most of my clients, but I have had one or two over the past year (literally, one or two) ask for a shot done that way. I want prospects to know that I can and will offer it. But it's not something I'm building a reputation around. Indeed, I make nearly 600 images available on my site. In total, I show one selective color. I think I'm fine with that proportion.

And what's wrong with CL? Do you think there are only $500 brides on CL? Sure, that's most of them, but there are definitely middle-market brides there, too. Including package commitments, I've sold two ~$4,000 weddings just since Thanksgiving to couples who found me through CL. I'm not boasting and there are many on this forum who sell for far more than that. My point is that CL is dismissed as being for bottom feeders while, with the right marketing approach, it can be a decent source for quality mid-market prospects. This year, about 20% of all of my clients originally came to me through CL; not one of them spent less than $2k. A pretty good return for an investment of zero.

So, Jon, what's your point?


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cdifoto
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Dec 10, 2009 18:18 |  #77

Peacefield wrote in post #9173368 (external link)
I was simply responding to someone who suggested that anyone who didn't do a photobooth was going to get lost in a crowd of indistinquishable photographers. Well, I think that's a pretty narrow interpretation of the market. Geez, don't you?

You misinterpreted that post. That post was saying that you have to do something to separate yourself. A booth is just an example.


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Peacefield
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Dec 10, 2009 18:29 |  #78

cdifoto wrote in post #9173490 (external link)
You misinterpreted that post. That post was saying that you have to do something to separate yourself. A booth is just an example.

"There are probably 25 or 50 guys in your market that take images as good or better than yours. And if they offer the client more value, or more importantly WHAT THEY WANT, they will get the job. I wish I had more competition like you."

Maybe, but I doubt I misinterpreted. I agree with what you're saying CDI, and if a photobooth appeals to any photographer's target client, it obviously makes sense to offer it. But I think this poster just fails to appreciate or understand the intricacies of the market. Or how even offering something like a photobooth can actually turn off some prospects. And if THOSE people are your target client . . .


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cdifoto
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Dec 10, 2009 18:29 |  #79

Peacefield wrote in post #9173368 (external link)
And what's wrong with CL? Do you think there are only $500 brides on CL? Sure, that's most of them, but there are definitely middle-market brides there, too. Including package commitments, I've sold two ~$4,000 weddings just since Thanksgiving to couples who found me through CL. I'm not boasting and there are many on this forum who sell for far more than that. My point is that CL is dismissed as being for bottom feeders while, with the right marketing approach, it can be a decent source for quality mid-market prospects. This year, about 20% of all of my clients originally came to me through CL; not one of them spent less than $2k. A pretty good return for an investment of zero.*


*Results not typical.

Fixed. :D


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Peacefield
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Dec 10, 2009 18:37 |  #80

cdifoto wrote in post #9173542 (external link)
I'm glad you're having success with craigslist but I assure you that you're experience is not typical. It's kinda like the magic weight loss pill of photography. :D

I'm sure it's not. And I know the ability to use CL for mid-market is also geographically sensitive. I serve NYC suburbs and there, CL pulls a broader audience than it does elsewhere. Here too, though, I was only responding to someone questioning whether I could be pulling the client I am while having referenced the use of CL in other posts. Even though their accusation (and that's the correct word) had nothing to do with the topic at hand.

Now where were we; photobooths, right?


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PMCphotography
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Dec 10, 2009 19:16 |  #81

jonwhite wrote in post #9172791 (external link)
Aren't you the same person that said you "keep an eye on Craigs list for opportunities"

That seems kinda at odds with the clientele you say your serving.

I don't really know anything about Craigslist- at least where i am located, there is nothing on it but spam ads. I would advertise on Craigslist if more people looked at it in Tasmania. It's free...and as Peacefield said, he's done quite well on an investment of zero dollars.

Where a client finds you has nothing to do with the style of photography they are after. Every bride I know of has a copy of "Bride Tasmania" that's released every year- and the big, expensive guys have a 5 or 6 page ultra slick spread, and the small guys have one page ads (or smaller). So what? If the bride likes the big guy, they'll hire them. If they like the small guy, they'll hire them.

I target a very specific clientele. I've told the story lots of times on these forums of when I started I shot for high end, and charged $4 grand for a wedding and was miserable. Now i target the low end of the middle- and do pretty well shooting a style I enjoy shooting- my clients rave to their friends about me, and I keep in close touch with almost all my clients. I've been invited over to xmas eve dinners and xmas day by three clients already this year. All because i stick to a style that works for me. And photobooths, or other novelty photography fads (i.e. selective color) have no part in it.

It just seems that too many photogs on this forum are too myopic to look beyond the market they are in, and the clients they serve. We all have different have priorities, needs, and ways of doing things. ANd that's not a bad thing.


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tim
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Dec 10, 2009 19:26 |  #82

High end in Australia is more like $10K - Ian Wilkinson, Yervant, Marcus Bell, etc. $4K is midrange I think.

Aiming for the lower end of the market is a perfectly good strategy.


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Peacefield
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Dec 10, 2009 19:28 |  #83

PMCphotography wrote in post #9173752 (external link)
We all have different have priorities, needs, and ways of doing things. And that's not a bad thing.

That's what it's all about.

I earlier described my work as classic and timeless. What I mean by that is I don't bend to trends. No dirty images, no rad actions, no harsh lighting or off-color processing. Nothing wrong with any of those things. But they're not consistent with the style of image I enjoy creating. Happily, there's a fairly large market out there for non-trendy wedding photography.

It's kinda back to where I started; there isn't one simple wedding photography market; it is broad, complex, has a lot of layers and a lot of segments. Everyone needs to find theirs and pursue it. It just so happens that in mine, photobooths would not only fail to sell, they'd actually be a liability.


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jonwhite
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Dec 10, 2009 19:35 |  #84

Whatever Peacefield, I guess my overriding feeling with you (and hence why I questioned a couple of your posts) is that you talk a good game but share virtually nothing of your own work which always makes me less inclined to listen to a persons esteemed opinion ..... there's more weight to an argument when there's some substance behind the person imo.

The reason I mentioned selective colour is that you were lumping it in with Photo booths as something that your clients wouldn't want to see you offering so I found it quite funny you had a shot on your website done this way, just because of the way you framed your argument with it.

Two x $4,000 packages from CL since Thanksgiving eh, ok if you say so.


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PMCphotography
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Dec 10, 2009 19:39 |  #85

tim wrote in post #9173800 (external link)
High end in Australia is more like $10K - Ian Wilkinson, Yervant, Marcus Bell, etc. $4K is midrange I think.

Aiming for the lower end of the market is a perfectly good strategy.

I think it's all semantics, really. High end in my market (Hobart, Tasmania) i think would be more $5-6k. But Hobart is small city- $10k sounds about right for high end in Sydney/Melbourne/Brisb​ane, and obviously there are those who charge more (or have more expensive packages).


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PMCphotography
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Dec 10, 2009 19:51 |  #86

jonwhite wrote in post #9173849 (external link)
Whatever Peacefield, I guess my overriding feeling with you (and hence why I questioned a couple of your posts) is that you talk a good game but share virtually nothing of your own work which always makes me less inclined to listen to a persons esteemed opinion ..... there's more weight to an argument when there's some substance behind the person imo.

I don't share many of my photos here either.

Why?

Because it's the opinions of the clients who have paid you that are what's important, not necessarily the opinions of strangers who i interact randomly with on a message board.

If my clients are happy, I'm happy.

If someone here didn't like one of my photos, so what? It wouldn't change anything.


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Peacefield
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Dec 10, 2009 20:06 |  #87

Well, Jon, I elect not to share my site and very rarely post to the image gallery. For no reason in particular other than I don't feel the need to. I'm here to learn from others and share my own insights when I feel I have something meaningful to contribute and that's about it. I'm uncertain as to how you've come to view my image gallery as I don't believe I ever have shared my web address here. I do find it amusing, though, that you question my integrity based on nothing more than not seeing my work, and yet . . . you've clearly seen my work. It kinda brings me back to my earlier question to you; what's your point?

Although a mile off topic, I'll share one image here from a wedding I shot in August that I picked up through CL. This is the image I presently use on my home page. A very large wedding with a party of 17 and 230 guests coming from all over the world (the groom is a big deal internationally) The bride's gown and the cake marginally visible in the background are some evidence as to how much was being spent on this wedding. Indeed, her order included a 90 page 12x12 ZookBook. She spent a small fortune (and her family spent that much more for additional prints). She found me through CL.

And this image is a good example of the ONLY point i've been making; know your customer. This image has some frosted processing which doesn't appeal to many; especially those who are attracted to a more fasion forward style of wedding photography. But my clients gobble this up and they all want one just like it. Know your customer; what they want, and what they don't.

I thought I'd stick it out here only because you're carrying on; if you choose not to believe any of this, I don't know how much I care. Especially since these recent exchanges have nothing to do with this sting's original topic.

IMAGE NOT FOUND
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HTTP response: 404 | MIME changed to 'text/html' | Byte size: ZERO

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cdifoto
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Dec 10, 2009 20:43 |  #88

What do you mean by "frosted processing"? That glowy/dreamy stuff?


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tim
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Dec 10, 2009 21:08 |  #89

Peacefield wrote in post #9173994 (external link)
The bride's gown and the cake marginally visible in the background are some evidence as to how much was being spent on this wedding.

(Totally off topic) The poofy 70's style dress, and the blue cake? I hope she didn't pay a lot for those.


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PMCphotography
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Dec 10, 2009 21:57 as a reply to  @ tim's post |  #90

Just because it was a 70's style dress doesn't mean it wasn't expensive. It looks pretty intricate.

But the blue cake? I dunno about that....


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Who here runs a photo booth at their weddings?
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