Malvin Camina: $3000 Will depend on the Wedding Package. Majority of wedding photographers of todays era spent huge amount of peny in buying Top of the line gears. There is no Pro Photographer that wants any equipments die when the big event comes. That will reflect to your reputation as Pro Photographer. Perhaps let me explain to her the Math.
Nikon D3s Full Frame Camera(Body): $5199.95Nikon D700 Full Frame Camera(Body): $2699.95AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8: $1999.95AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8: $2399.95SB-910 AF Speed Light: $549.95 x (2)MB-D10 Battery Grip: $334.00MB-D00 Battery Grip: $219.00El-En15 Battery (2): $145.00Remote Triger(2) : $180.00Profoto D1 Air: $ 350.00Profoto DIY Beauty Dish: $70MacBook Pro Core i7: $2499.95Western Digital My Book Essential 2T: $130.00Creative Suite 5: $199.99Adobe Lightroom 3: $89.99LowePro Stealth Reporter: $180.00Etc: $200Rough Total: $17997.63
Malvin Camina: Totaly agree. I'm videographer. Every step you make higher in equipment price, less hours is needed to correct material in post. So less work means less time/costs for work, but more in to equipment. Question: Where customer gets better product from: Highest quality equipment+little editing, low cost equipment+heawy editing.
Simple: Low cost equipment = lot more work & lower quality of product => lower end-price => lower revenue => harder to get best equipment => endless pdodding for survival. (instead of being creative and put time in new art/skills, you try to survive)Best equipment = vice versa.
And for shure: Why photographer should work double or triple work to live? Are we forced to shoot your wedding amazingly for budget which cover only our time at the wedding, and is our oun business how we get gear and from where we know how to use it? Go and shoot your wedding yourself, dear bride. :)
tom trinko: the numbers in the response are very odd.
1) 15k taxes on 50k income is a 30% average tax rate that seems high2) It appears that the photographer lives in the same place she processes her photos so unless she would otherwise live in a box under an overpass she really can't count that $72003) unless she only uses the car for business she really can't count the full $7200 car expense 4) i suspect the fraction of the time the photographer shoots weddings vs the time she wears those shoes is pretty small.5) I have no idea why she pays 2500 a year for high speed internet. I'd suspect something more like 50-100 a month6) the equipment cost is reasonable but when you add it up it's $11,300. Amortized over 24 weddings/year and 5 years that's $94/wedding.
On the other hand she is effectively charging ~$100/hr which is what you pay an automechanic who has a much higher overhead.
As a potential father of 3 brides I can assure you I won't pay $3k/wedding for photographers.
Lee Cawley: You probably can't pay bills with "job satisfaction", or eat it ?
We are not in North Corea where people are payed with "life happines" and just for in case yet additional 900gr of food /day.
David Chien: Never know what the top end photographers spend their money on, but on the low end, it's easy. $500 or less for a 4/3rds or dslr, $200 or less for a slr (film still is the only storage medium readable many decades later). Nice fast short zoom lens. Targeting the low end-$200-500 for the full day. Typically 6-9 hours of shooting. I tell them the get all the good images, they can print however many they want at Walmart cheap (and on Fuji crystal archive). Week after wedding, fast push through Lightroom/Gimp as needed for color correction (no idea why people overspend on Photoshop), then tossing out the bad photos. Finally delivery of DVD in one week.
Not making much as if you are doing a lot of weddings and have entry level cameras, you'll wear out the equipment faster. Amount of stress is same if you do a low-budget or high-budget wedding. Actualy for low budget I experience even moore stres (how to reduce cost but not drop below level in quality and still hit their expectations).
David Chien: Same $200-500 price range, they get a basic edited video (all important parts, extra junk trimmed. Nice dvd menu, key events indexed, classical music here and there, appropriate transitions). Again, delivered in a week-maybe two if there's a bit of editing or color correction. Key? At the reception and other free moments, go around and get everyone's blessings to the couple to include. Easy, simple- templated photo or video shoots for weddings that don't take Weeks to edit or deliver, stay in budget- and practically guarantees happy faces because you tell and show them straight up front what you will do (show past shoots or dvds). Another cheap key? Take shots of the wedding that work as the cover and back of the dvd. Whip up a nice layout using classical fonts- print on glossy photo paper and glossy DVD lables- and deliver 5 copies. Charge $5-10 for more copies. Amazing-but that's what has kept my poorer clients happy over the years.
Yes, a lot of people are happy with that. If they know what will get for the price, that's ok. But many brides look at our premium videos, than seek entry prices.
risk0: This craigslist post is pathetic. It has no logical or sensible substance. In wedding photography just as everywhere else, the market determines the price and most importantly the value. You get what you pay for! You can find shooters that will take a lot less than $3k for a wedding, but it comes with shortfalls in service and the product quality. Some people can’t accept this “rational phenomenon”. You establish your budget and go from there. Same way you buy a car. If you can’t afford a brand new BMW you buy a used Ford.
Yes, BMW is the best example in our country: Very popular and frequent. People know they must pay for it. But for good photographer they do not, because there is always newcomer to the market who shoot cheap with the latest equipment. And for non expert people the equipment always outweights skills when they seek service (when the weighting two offers by cost). This is not true only if you are one of rare famous photographer. But those few ones probably nobody would even ask, because they know they are expensive (like BMW).
chris00nj: I think it's hard to judge who is right and wrong because there is some missing information on the bride's part and some half-truths on the photogs part.
What exactly is the bride looking for? --Is it 10 hours of coverage, prints, and a fancy album? --Or is it 6 hours of coverage and jpeg files?--What exactly is "decently priced" and "exceptional"?
Shooting a wedding is tough and stressful, but post processing takes the most time, especially if you are building an album. An Art Leather album, plus quality prints costs $500 alone, not to mention the time involved.
The photographer is also producing some half truths. Besides overestimating her expenses, she is comparing everything against shooting 20 weddings a year. Her cash flow would be much different if she shot 30 weddings a year.
For serious photographer even 20 weddings is hell-a-lot per year, to be honest. I know guy who did with his son and son in law 54 wedding last year (2011), but this year he will do less, because "it's too much stress" he said. His price is $500 per day! He gives 300-500 photos in a 1-3 albums or a photo book for that price. But quality??
And brides: Most of them do not know what they want. They watch oprah/ricky/mexican soap/etc and want dream-a-like wedding day and photos as in Cosmo. But than when you come to them to make agreement, they have misery at home barely to sit somewhere. And they fork thoose $500 at best if you promise that you will retouche all photos to make them princes-like and cover all the poverty around house. Unrealistic...
Samuel Gao: wow... the link has a virus!!! (ESET picked it up)
esset pick up itself. get f-secure :)
igruh: Pretty stupid posts from both sides. Bride wants to get everything and pay nothing. Photographer justifies the price by the cost of equipment and lease rather than the quality of the product offered (that is do nothing, take much money). The balance sheet is full of crude flaws. Any low-cost accountant or even student can easily prove this.
I find myself sometimes in same situation when I'm excusing my prices to the customer with the equipment costs. But I have two answers for that (though this is not right to do, and I agree to you opinion):
- more or less we work for our equipment (so little we are appreciated). So we just strive to pay off new camcorder and forget about our years long aducation curve, skills, art factor. - that leads us to the point where we do not know how to explain better to the customer, where all cost came from. Hours of work+equipment.
In my area, customers are affecter to the size of camera. I "hate" small HD era (BETACAM era was great), :)People do not know how much work is involved after shooting, but they know your camcorder is more expensive than theirs. They crack software where you must pay for it... etc.
But this is wrong, and we are self gulty that our profession is not more appreciated :(
jasonasselin: it just must really suck for her to have to do real work during the off season. ever wonder what your elementry teacher did in the summer? or howabout those farmers? weird its almost like alot of careers involve having two kinds of seasonal jobs. i guess some people get off their high horse and do some other work when their main seson is over. not her, just a couple portrates. and choosing to lease instead of finance! lol
do not judge.
Manuel Guzman: part of the problem is that maybe 25% at best deserve the money. I'd say out of all the wedding photos I've seen friends share, only 1 in 4 would I recommend to a friend. They all cost around $3000 plus or minus a few hundred. The bad photographers give a bad name to those who have done their work to deserve to charge $3000+ for a wedding.
True, but:- brides are gulty if they seek discounts for their unhappines after. Some pros are good enough for their price, 75% of others are not, bu they're just putting their price something lower to pros. This "discounts" are dangerous! For maybe 15% lower price you can get 85% less quality. So hire the best (and sue him for bad result, if happend), or NOT hire at all (and live with free service), or gamble with in between: but than DO NOT argue on forums!- photographers are gulty to give discounts beyound economy sense. With that they mess market since people do thing they payed for all their costs + profit and if some other photog would charge normaly, him will mark as "way to expensive". Charge fair for everyone, as your real costs are, or do not charge at all, if you are prepared to do probono for some reason.
iffer: The flaw in the photographer're reply is in the first paragraph" Wedding season only last about 4 months here, so I photograph an average of 20 weddings per year"And then shows how they have try to survive on the money made IN THOSE 4 MONTHS. What are they doing the OTHER 8 months of the year? By Nikki's argument, sitting around watching tele... maybe go fishing...
Maybe Nikki should find other (interesting, rewarding) work for the rest of the year, and then the photography session prices would be realistic for the time, materials, equipment and skill put into them.
To turn it around - lets say you take your camera in for a service and the guy is like "well you know, these days the cameras are so reliable... only get a couple in a year for repair now.. got bills.. and rent... and all that fancy computer analysis stuff out back... so that will be $9,000 repair cost - can pick it up tomorrow if you like... "
Just saying how even the reply looks to the other side...
iffer: Nikki calculated way more costs than that weddings cover. She did not mention how she got all the equipment at first place! We all working for bare hours of work, but rare case is where we can buy equipment out of it. Yes, if we are forced to do something else for the equipment, and even something else to living, that photography is obviously our hobby and than we can be (should be?) cheap. But if we do 2 wedding per month (whole day cinematic wedding movie), and 2-3 person per wedding, that mean we must pay 2-3 montly wages out of that and cover costs. How much is normal wage per month?
randalusa: THAT is considred an EXCELLENT response??? It's kaka. The photographer deducts RENT and nearly everything else on the planet from the $50,000 earned in four months to justify charging $2500 for shooting a wedding!!
You don't get to deduct rent because EVERYBODY has a housing cost. it is not intrinsic to wedding photographers, dopey.
Then the photographer wasted $400 month on a leased vehicle. My 1995 Villager costs ZERO per month and gets me around just fine, including a sunroof, digital gauges, leather seats and more. The insurance is just about nothing because given the small worth of the car I only buy liability.
Enough already. Whoever called the response excellent is living in dreamland. I am a photographer, having worked for a newspaper, an insurance company and done freelance.
But making $50,000 in four months is a LOT, given 8 more months to earn money). Our angry "insulted" photographer is being a twit. Just admit gouging because you can, and get on with your day, Nikki.
How disrespective to Nikki. She LIVES out of photographing, so she must pay rent out of it too. You work for newspaper. Who pays you and how much? And for how much "they" sells your work to cover YOUR wage and all other costs. That's the final-price of your work for your newspeaper customers (probably as utterly expensive ads) as what Nikki charges is final-price for her customers. Do not mix aples and oranges. Your wage and Nikki's wage is just one part of whole cost!
You sounds like her Photographing is fun/joke/hobby, but your is "real work". So much of your respect to other's people work.
And for the car: Maybe is your ancient wagon the reson you work for a newspeaper, since nobody cares what car of yours is parked in car lot, when you are in your office. But (having a big) wedding is luxury and who want's it cares about car/dress/look of photographer too. Is parfume worth the money? It's alcohol + fregrance at best. And Nikki for shure work hard 12mo to cover living costs.