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Wedding photographer explains the reasons behind 'unrealistic' prices

By dpreview staff on Jan 27, 2012 at 02:31 GMT

PetaPixel has published an excellent response from a photographer to a Seattle-area bride criticizing the pricing of wedding photographers. In a remarkably calm response, Nikki Wagner details the expenses connected to her wedding photography business, dismissing the idea that wedding photographers set their prices high simply because they can. After reading Wagner's response it's understandable why the bride is having so much trouble finding an 'exceptional, amazingly talented, fun photographer' that she also deems 'decently priced.' The post also acts as a reminder that there can be good reasons why there's a gap between what a product or service costs and how much you think it should be priced. (From PetaPixel)

The poster 'has yet to find a decently priced, exceptional, amazingly talented, fun photographer.'

Comments

Total comments: 784
12345
Northwest Photography
By Northwest Photography (3 weeks ago)

I am a pro wedding photographer in the Northwest of the UK and read comments like this regularly.

I simply explain to my clients that my equipments costs £15,000 per year and each wedding takes 30 hours work.

I ask then to get quotes from a plumber or electricion for a 30 hour job and I agree to match their quote !!!

0 upvotes
dktucson
By dktucson (May 19, 2012)

I'm a photographer/hobbyist that used to work in photolabs and as a technician for a major equipment manufacturer (Noritsu America). A friend was getting married and was lamenting the $2000 that a pro wanted for her event. I had taken some pics for her for home inventory as well as some family shots previously and liked my work and asked me if I would shoot her wedding. Knowing she was picky I advised using me as a backup photog and possibly finding someone on the lower end so we could "cover" each other. She did pay me $20/hour for my time. I shot nearly 700 frames and they had a vid team. I stayed out of the way of the hired folks and shot from where I could with angles I had. The video folks were better positioned for the down-the-aisle shots and anything I didn't get we can pull off the video with VLC and make stills. not fun explaining that 2 people cannot occupy the same place at the same time and 1 person cannot be in 2 places at once

0 upvotes
dktucson
By dktucson (May 19, 2012)

I was the only still shooter ( did NOT take my advice) and we have tons of excellent pics..but woe unto the photographer that misses *that moment* due to a lens change or battery swap--it's going to happen and that's why I wanted a secondary shooter..The shots missed at the ceremony were the mom giving the bride away and the walk down the aisle. I did get them entering and the vows..the kiss , pronounced as man & wife etc as well as the rest of the event (12 hours) As with any photo shoot you are going to have shots that are going to be near art to near crap and good to mddling in between. Plus the client doesn't understand things like "aspect ratio" and why they cannot get a group shot 10 people across waist up crop in the camera ( I was shaking my head at that one) or telling me to "gun" the camera like I'm shooting the Superbowl...overall it was stressful & not fun and thats why those guys charge what they do

0 upvotes
UCpinky
By UCpinky (May 14, 2012)

Many people talk about the time it takes to learn the poses, lighting, etc... for wedding photography. How were they learning? That is where the shoot and burn $500 photographer comes in. You have to learn by doing sometimes, and thank goodness people like the Craigslist poster who can't afford much and the $500 amateur can find each other. I don't think amateurs are filling the spots of the pros. I think they are taking the place of the friend/family member who would be shooting the wedding for them. There is a customer for every photographer at every level. It is pure insecurity and a negative attitude that makes the "pro" photographers get up in arms and try to debase everyone else. Live and let live!

1 upvote
Samren
By Samren (10 months ago)

No one should ever be learning on someone's wedding! You learn that stuff elsewhere then try to find someone who will take you on as a second shooter for a wedding or two. You can't use someone's once in a lifetime memories to hone your skills that's just ridiculous. I don't care if they're not paying you a cent they still have expectations and you should still be able to pull off the technical side with your eyes closed and one hand tied behind your back before you take on something with no do overs. Pros complain about these people because they're bringing down the industry and making it difficult to charge what you need to and still make a living.

1 upvote
Van Van Horn
By Van Van Horn (8 months ago)

Right. So what sort of events having the range of activities, participants, traditions, and schedule issues of a wedding were you thinking would be an appropriate exercise for learning? Presidential inaugurations?

I'm shooting a wedding next Saturday, my first for pay and only the second ever. I'm sweating the details, getting organized, allowing plenty of time, and I made a point to shoot a couple of family gatherings in similar settings. I'm not planning to make a career out of this, but if this goes well I'll probably be asked to do others, and a couple of kilo-buck shoots a year will mean that some couples get images they wouldn't have otherwise, either because they couldn't afford a top shooter or because they didn't think to book one a year in advance.

Heck, the one I'm shooting wasn't even legal a year ago. I don't have that much less experience working with the bride and the bride than most wedding pros!

0 upvotes
preferblackandwhite
By preferblackandwhite (Apr 16, 2012)

As a professional photographer I generally do not do weddings. However that said, the last wedding I shot was a gift to a close relative. Total shoot time 15 hours. Processing the photos approx 40 hours. My usual fee is $50 per hour on a shoot - cost $2750. That did not include the price of sewing up the usher's pants that split when he put them on; altering the maid of honor's dress at the last minute because she had lost weight; and playing counselor to the two bridemaids that had too much to drink. Wedding photographers put up with a lot of insanity caused by the pressure of the day. I have no problem with what they charge. The couple cannot afford the price have there friends donate all of the pictures they take at the wedding. Of course, they will get what they pay for.

1 upvote
llopart
By llopart (Mar 24, 2012)

How about your dress? what did you spend on a dress you will use one time? $1000? How about the drinks for you and your family and friend that will only last 5 hour the most? 4000? How about the food for 250 guest that will be good for one hour? The cake the decoration and the band for playing a couple of hours? All those things will be gone in hours and your pictures and video will be with you for life and more to remember.

Also a wedding photographer only have one shot to take those pictures. If he fails you are screw with bad pictures of that day for life. Yes you can tell your friend to try to catch the moment with the iphones or dsrl cameras at best, but they will be having fun at the party and not trying to catch the best moments on a day you have invest at lest 18 grand.

And again, she is complaining why the good ones are so expensive? she has an option with the dress, food, music, place and ring... Why diamond rings are so expensive? get a fake one....

3 upvotes
prvteye
By prvteye (Feb 11, 2012)

I have been working as a professional photographer for over 30 years and I have seen a lot of changes to our profession especially in the last 10. But the fact remains that we will please a lot of the people a lot of the time and many people all of the time but there will be the occasional customer that thinks that no matter what we charge for our services it is too much. To really grasp this just sell a few things on eBay and see how the perception of value varies from buyer to buyer. As has been pointed out in this section there are photographers worth thousands and other who aren't. It is simply intangible and the value of that photographer is in the eye of the beholder. The hype or publicity surrounding the photog can also inflate perceived value. Do you want a Porsche or a VW? Do you want Joe Buissink or Ron Smith? Who is Ron Smith?? That's the point. They may or may not give you the same skill level or final product but there is a huge difference in what they charge.

0 upvotes
randalusa
By randalusa (Feb 10, 2012)

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.

2 upvotes
PatRM2
By PatRM2 (Feb 10, 2012)

Totally agree with you. The photographer is living in la la land. One of those new age lease everything, corporate minded types. The woman should be able to find a photographer that is good and for a decent price. As for the comment on Indonesia, if people keep pricing themselves out of the country, maybe that isn't a bad idea.

0 upvotes
CD mikelis
By CD mikelis (May 4, 2012)

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.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 4 minutes after posting
1 upvote
IMI Computer
By IMI Computer (Feb 10, 2012)

Why don't U plan u're wedding outside the States, like Indonesia 4 example, we have great number of talented photographers too, amazing spots, great accommodations, you named it we got it, also for god d@mn3d reasonable price too. ^__^

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
digipixphotoinNC
By digipixphotoinNC (Feb 10, 2012)

I have a big investment in my *pro* equipmen, back-up equipment & software. I have to advertise to attract clients ... in a very competitive environment. I work like a dog April, May, June, Sept & Oct. I have very little work, November thrugh Feb. & I've lowered my prices f/the past three years to stay competitive. Doesn't sound like the job f/everyone. But I love what I do. And I've remained friends (& get referrals) f/many previous brides.

Yes, some charge (in this area) starting prices of $1,500 to $1,800. But I'm below that (entry point) this year. As are a # of my pro friends.

Some pros have egos & will not touch a wedding below $2k. They are really hurting in this market. You have to do what is necessary to keep your business solid.

It isn't a job f/everyone. You have to have a very calm personality & know the technology inside & out. The best photographers are creative -&- have the technical expertise. But you won't get rich doing (only) wedding photography.

Comment edited 12 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
mark power
By mark power (Feb 10, 2012)

The real question is why do wedding photography? The photographer works like a dog, shells out a lot of money and puts up with various amounts of stressed out temperaments all for a fairly measly return. There are other kinds of commercial photography which pay more with less stress - advertising, editorial and fashion just to name three. It's been a while since I made a living with commercial photography but it was well known that wedding photography was at the bottom of the heap. My most lucrative gig was construction progress, I forget it's real name. Photographing construction of an office building floor by floor until it was finished. 3-4 hours a day, all you needed was a camera and one lens and the pay was good.

0 upvotes
therathman
By therathman (Feb 10, 2012)

OK, let's talk about a "fair" minimum.
$1000: 40 hrs post processing at a minimum X $25 Hr (I took 1500 total
shots at the last weddding I shot - post processing down to the
best and then editing took a lot more that 40 Hrs - but hey,
maybe I'm just slow)
$400: Day of Wedding 8 hrs (usually a lot longer) time and planning time
with Bride and groom (often several planning meetings)
$200: Fuel costs for the above at a minimum
$200: All in equipment amortization
$200: $200 miscellaneous business related expenses

Provide the DVD to the bride and let her take the photos elsewhere to get them printed at her leisure. If the Photographer does the printing - that can easily eat up the remaining $1000 in paper and ink and additional time to print and present the album.

actual hrly wage for the Photographer - ~$25 hr. This is not an exhorbitant wage.

2 upvotes
maryquitecontrary54
By maryquitecontrary54 (Jun 11, 2012)

I am so glad to see this. I am a semi-pro photographer/ professional graphic designer. I did several weddings for the children of friends who couldn't afford a pro and I didn't charge anything. As a result, I have had people asking me to do weddings and pay me - I have great respect for real wedding photographers, and I know that I am not one, but I have decided to have a go at the low end of the market on small weddings, but I am explicit in the contract about what to expect and I show them examples of my work. You are absolutely right about the 40 hours of post processing - nobody gets that part. You have to look at all of the shots and with groups you have to zoom in and make sure nobody blinked, etc. It can take a dozen to find one with nobody doing something goofy.
Having said all of that, it is worth it to me to provide this service for a little extra income - I'm not taking business from real pros!

0 upvotes
iffer
By iffer (Feb 10, 2012)

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...

0 upvotes
iffer
By iffer (Feb 10, 2012)

ok, 760 replies I should have figured someone had made this point..
I just believe Nikki sunk her case in the opening line. If she had said "it takes a skilled professional 10 days with very expensive equipment to produce your album" and maybe if she really wanted to go into detail, show annual costs for gear/infrastructure divide to get daily overhead costings then show she was just a "reasonable" wage for those 10 days (given she is an professional artist/craftsman).

0 upvotes
YoursTruly
By YoursTruly (Feb 10, 2012)

Valid point.

But people seem to forget that market sets prices. Let's take your example with a serviceman - it could technically happen in a small town if someone was foolish enough to open a full-fledged service center there. But people would not pay such price and it would went out of business. As for wedding photographers - people agree to pay their prices, so maybe it is justified.

If people suddenly refuse to pay $3000 per wedding but only $1000 what would happen? Photogs would just cut expenses - like using cheaper cameras, bringing not two FF DSLRs but one APS-C and a compact to backup, do less postprocessing, etc.

But people seem to be happy to spend big bucks for commercial-grade photography of their event - it is their call. Actually prices are not that much - just imagine what would fashion-grade photography cost with all those medium-format cameras, professional lighting, etc?

0 upvotes
CD mikelis
By CD mikelis (May 4, 2012)

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?

0 upvotes
f_lynx
By f_lynx (Feb 2, 2012)

Hey, if she likes the way I shoot and her wedding fits into my Summer schedule (I have a couple of shows and four festivals planned), I'd do her wedding for free, if she took care of visa, travel, accommodation and expenses for the trip to the wedding + 3 days in Seattle, for me and my assistant (whom I'd pay out of my own pocket)....

And I'm quite serious on that! :)

But to be fair I must mention that I'm based in Moscow, Russia.

4 upvotes
Ken Ballweg
By Ken Ballweg (Feb 2, 2012)

As more people get into digital photography, the market gets flooded with lowered expectations of what it should cost, as the bride who set off this thread so emotionally expressed.

There's room to carp with Nikki about this or that exact cost, but her point was, to make a living she has x in sunk and, x in ongoing costs, and a level of profit needed to make it worth it. Merlin Mann just did a great podcast called "The Hidden Cost is the True Cost" (http://5by5.tv/b2w/52). Worth it if you are trying to make a living making images.

The dilemma is that too many are vying to serve a shrinking customer base able to afford the true cost. And the irony is that established pros are finding it more lucrative to serve the growing ranks of amateurs/enthusiasts and pro-photographer wannabes than they can make off prints. When you can make more selling "How to Become a Pro" than you can off stock photography sales you know there has been a fundamental change in the business.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
klausN12
By klausN12 (Feb 1, 2012)

Lets look at it from a different perspective.
My plumber charges $80/hr a car shop asks 50-120/hr + parts. Why is it so strange if a photographer requests a similar rate?
8hr wedding plus travel and equipment check, maybe 10hrs. Post processing 3-20hrs ....
Lets say 20hrs x $80 = $1600 + album in the lower price range $350 x your mark up. $3000 might seem a little high for some areas and not for others. As already mentioned you get what you pay for, sometimes. But the point is, if you have to make a living, pay insurance, rent and you don't just do it for fun you need to charge some money. The response was not perfect but still made a point in my opinion.

2 upvotes
Manuel Guzman
By Manuel Guzman (Feb 1, 2012)

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.

0 upvotes
CD mikelis
By CD mikelis (May 4, 2012)

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.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
LEW_SH
By LEW_SH (Feb 1, 2012)

A set of good wedding photos is priceless - provided the photographer is really good at it.

There are hundreds of thousands of so-called "Wedding Photographers" in this world, but good ones are a rare breed.

I paid S$1,600.00 to engage a wedding photographer for my son's wedding in Singapore last year. This is a middle of the range price.

The result: Very dissappointing: Out of focus shots; people get chopped into half shots; people without head shots; group photos where peoples' legs get chopped off, etc..

People looking for wedding photographers please take note:
1. Get good references, which is rather difficult.
2. Do not believe in the photographers' portfolio as advertised. In actual performance, it is usually not wysiwyg.
3. Unless you want to splurge $100K for a famous photographer, its best to get a few friends to shoot with good P&S cameras. You may be happier with the results.

Comment edited 13 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
mbloof
By mbloof (Feb 1, 2012)

Classic. Pretty comical. Everyone jumping all over the photog and the customer.

Get real.

The average cost of a wedding in the USA is NOT $30,000.00 (this is a flawed figure "The Knot" came up with and advertises and many like to quote)

Frontier in Oregon sells me a 25D/25U megabit internet connection for $45 a month.

"Professional level" services cost money to provide. More overhead than "GWC" or "Uncle Bob" have. Is it $2000-10,000.00 worth of service? Maybe yes, maybe no. There are some VERY AMAZING shooters out there.

The reality is that photos are not required. Professional photos are optional. Lastly under many "normal conditions" most modern P&S cameras will produce perfectly acceptable 'snap shots' of just about anything.

If you forget to install your CF card during a studio shoot you can simply reschedule it, not so with a wedding. So yes indeed the word "wedding" requires a different level of service.

1 upvote
Dan Ortego
By Dan Ortego (Jan 31, 2012)

Craigslist? Well, I’m no pro but I would shy away from a wedding photographer posting on that ‘garage sale’ website.

2 upvotes
jasonasselin
By jasonasselin (Jan 31, 2012)

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

0 upvotes
CD mikelis
By CD mikelis (May 4, 2012)

do not judge.

0 upvotes
Ryan Christensen
By Ryan Christensen (Jan 31, 2012)

For commercial editing, I bill @ $340/hour. Hmmmm...what would that be for a days worth of post???.....plus location hours? Forget what my equipment or marketing costs are. What is MY TIME worth?!

Anything less than $3000 is charity...or a gift...or a lesson (Personally, I hate weddings and wouldn't even consider one for under $4K...it simply isn't worth my time or stress). My advice for The Bride is to buy a point-n-shoot with a fast fixed lens (Samsung TL500) or a reasonable DSLR with a fast zoom (24-70/2.8) and get her brother to "get'r'done" (in RAW, of course). She can then spend as many hours as she needs until she learns to develop a print, or facebook image, that meets her expectations. In terms of dollars, that's definitely less than $3K.

5 upvotes
igruh
By igruh (Jan 31, 2012)

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.

1 upvote
CD mikelis
By CD mikelis (May 5, 2012)

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 :(

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
mr moonlight
By mr moonlight (Jan 30, 2012)

She would really flip out if she new how much I spent on my wedding photographer and I thought I got a pretty good deal!

...Perhaps it takes being a photographer to understand what you're actually paying for.

3 upvotes
yshk
By yshk (Jan 30, 2012)

And the post not try to rip the bride off,
is trying to tell truth.
if try rip the bride off, it could be much a worse article.
and i dun think Nikki will put her name and source of her.
we are trying to explain we are not a person just have an EOS / D series.
sure the quality is what we support our rate always instead of others,
but what Nikki told was more 90% true and what we need to do,
and most people dun understood so
what make they have such concept.

0 upvotes
yshk
By yshk (Jan 30, 2012)

Saw all related links and some of respond here,
I am a Wedding photographer,
i saw some respond are so negative to Nikki,
and i dun think so, and they should try to quit their job, and be a wedding photographer,
all of those cost are USED TO BE, if stand on our shoes.
blog, internet, ads, etc, even you not agree becoz you not experienced,
i ever can't sleep before a wedding, the stress.
We edit long time becoz we try to make images perfect
(dun talk me about photo skills and some of client dislike BW photos as we need complete the demand of market and client taste)
if you ever met some clients, they TOTALLY misunderstand why we do behind and cost behind so Nikki said such to tell the truth.
Most of wedding photog avoid to tell becoz they afraid to against feeling of clients.
but our cost and stress sometimes are really SUCH LIKE A FILM DIRECTOR.
and she mention 99% true things like Backup, Equipment Damage insure,
Equipment support(like Mac, Adobe), it's not a NON-PRO could understood.

2 upvotes
igruh
By igruh (Jan 31, 2012)

30% tax should be deducted from the income reduced(!) by the direct costs. Car, equipment, studio (house and garage), shoes, phone, internet are used during the whole year rather than only 20 days. Need more mistakes?

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Samuel Gao
By Samuel Gao (Jan 30, 2012)

wow... the link has a virus!!! (ESET picked it up)

0 upvotes
CD mikelis
By CD mikelis (May 5, 2012)

esset pick up itself. get f-secure :)

0 upvotes
robogobo
By robogobo (Jan 30, 2012)

ha. $3000 is CHEAP. What most wedding photographers don't admit is that their price includes pain and suffering from having to deal with brides like this one. Give me a break. One of the highest stress level jobs and MUCH more than just taking a bunch of photos and editing them.

Any budget photographer who takes her as a client will quickly learn their lesson.

Comment edited 8 seconds after posting
6 upvotes
wil13jak
By wil13jak (Jan 31, 2012)

Amen

2 upvotes
chris00nj
By chris00nj (Jan 30, 2012)

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.

0 upvotes
CD mikelis
By CD mikelis (May 5, 2012)

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...

0 upvotes
risk0
By risk0 (Jan 30, 2012)

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.

6 upvotes
mr moonlight
By mr moonlight (Jan 30, 2012)

Exactly. You can find a photographer to shoot your wedding for $100 or $10,000. Set your budget and you'll get what you pay for. No one is entitled to BMW just because they want one. You gotta pay for it.

4 upvotes
CD mikelis
By CD mikelis (May 5, 2012)

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).

0 upvotes
David Chien
By David Chien (Jan 30, 2012)

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.

2 upvotes
CD mikelis
By CD mikelis (May 5, 2012)

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.

0 upvotes
David Chien
By David Chien (Jan 30, 2012)

Get many happy smiles from those on a budget, never get a compliant since i make sure they know what they are buying. All of the traditional poses and must have photos are by the book, so they know beforehand to play nice since i tell them I'll make sure to get all the basics first, but only if you make sure your family cooperates fully. Then, breeze through that followed by hours of fun photos and photos on the spot.
Have done videos as well. Pretty much equipment is the $800 range hd camcorder, batteries, sd cards or hdv tape (once again, tape is the only medium tested to last many decades).
Pc editing can be done on Premiere elements or sony movie cheap, but sony vegas video can brinv more power to the table if you want to do more.
Again, setup is even easier than photos since most are tripoded shots. Nobody wants handheld motion sickness from their wedding video.

0 upvotes
David Chien
By David Chien (Jan 30, 2012)

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.

0 upvotes
mr moonlight
By mr moonlight (Jan 30, 2012)

It's not hard for the expenses to get quite high. If you have a shoot every weekend for $500, that's only 26K annually before expenses. After transportation, equipment, insurance, advertising... you're not making much.

2 upvotes
CD mikelis
By CD mikelis (May 5, 2012)

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).

0 upvotes
Shirrif
By Shirrif (Jan 30, 2012)

Poor photographer needs to work 20 days (during 4 months) per year to be able to live for the rest of the year. My support for Ms. Wagner for the hardships of life.

3 upvotes
depechemode
By depechemode (Jan 30, 2012)

Welecome to China!

0 upvotes
MIKE GG
By MIKE GG (Jan 31, 2012)

depeche mode knows how to spell, ok?

0 upvotes
Paul Pope
By Paul Pope (Jan 30, 2012)

Yeah for the life of me I don't get the $15k in taxes on $50k gross ... just her expenses alone she's listed would make her tax bill $nil
I smell BS

2 upvotes
tom trinko
By tom trinko (Jan 30, 2012)

Oh yeah one other thing. If she's right about all her expenses then all but 7k of her 50k income is effectively taxable since you can deduct business expenses .s I realize the tax situation is insane but I really doubt anyone pays $15k of taxes for a business that makes $7k of profits.

2 upvotes
tom trinko
By tom trinko (Jan 30, 2012)

the numbers in the response are very odd.

1) 15k taxes on 50k income is a 30% average tax rate that seems high
2) 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 $7200
3) 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 month
6) 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.

1 upvote
BasilFawlty
By BasilFawlty (Jan 30, 2012)

As a few other commenters have mentioned, you can pay less than $3000, but someone charging less is likely doing it part time, which means they either hate doing it, or are bad at it. To run a consistently profitable, successful business, you have to charge a certain amount. Photographers who charge $1000 from Craigslist have very little experience (I was that person for a while; you only charge less when you are worried about your own ability), and thus are much more of a gamble. Considering the photography is the only piece that really lives on beyond that day, knowing that you will get beautiful photos is usually worth paying what it takes.

I'm sure the actual cost to remove a gallbladder is very little, but when you have to have something done right, you have to be willing to pay for it. You could probably get your cavity filled for next to nothing, but I'm going to pay the person who actually knows how to do it properly.

1 upvote
Lee Cawley
By Lee Cawley (Jan 31, 2012)

Why do you assume someone doing it part time, either hates it, or is bad at it? How do you know they don't rely on wedding shoots for their main income, and just do weddings for the love of the occasion at weekends?

People do actually do things for the passion, not just for the greed. I should know, I spent many years in the games industry, working for nothing at times... not because I was bad, but because the job satisfaction, was greater than the financial rewards.

That's where all the arguments fall over, because you presume cheap = bad. When in fact, there is plenty of evidence, that expensive does not always equal good. Paying a photographer $10,000, doesn't guarantee you to get one 10 times better than one charging $1,000. But you might get a $10,000 photographer, who thinks they're 10 times better... but isn't.

1 upvote
therathman
By therathman (Feb 10, 2012)

Very good point on the Part time. As in any profession - there is competition. I shoot because I love it, but do it part time because I make a lot more in my "Real" job. I take a lot longer in "post Prod" because I care to only put out a quality product. My clients usually love the end product - and I make the cost somewhat dependent on how fast they want the pictures. I can, but usually do not actually print the pictures, I provide a DVD. They can then print or post the photos online as they wish. The few I've printed, I charge per print and make less than minimum wage if you factor in time and cost of materials. But often they choose to get the DVD.

0 upvotes
CD mikelis
By CD mikelis (May 5, 2012)

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.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
max metz
By max metz (Jan 30, 2012)

Divorce photography would be much more interesting and less pastiche.

3 upvotes
vlad2304
By vlad2304 (Jan 30, 2012)

I see it in black and white.
Seriously, a lot of people paying a fortune to the lawers for divorce and there should be a market for this kind of photos.

Comment edited 44 seconds after posting
1 upvote
ItsaChris
By ItsaChris (Jan 29, 2012)

I have worked for different studios. sometimes how studios set there prices could be considered price fixing. but also if you do not price yourself at a level the market expects then people wont even look at you.

For me on an 8 hr wedding. it take about 3 hrs to pick the photos 5 hr to basic edit and 15 hr to fully edit photos and put together a wedding album (45min a page) add 5 hr for rebuilding album pages that the bride does not like - total 35 hr

equipment upgrade, business license, phone, ads, promotional material, etc are all placed in my per hr wadge. So about $8 an hr is added. (based on my average hrs photographing per year (i do more than just weddings))

so for all jobs it my hr wage + $8 per hr + off-site editing wage per hr + $8 an hr + product cost (album, DVD, etc) = under 1.5k for most weddings

Bottom line (for me is) this studio is using a part time business, to justify full time business expenditures (and the studio does more than just weddings.)

1 upvote
Hen3ry
By Hen3ry (Jan 29, 2012)

The complainant has no point sat all. There ARE cheaper services and they can hire them. They are spending $15,000 already. That's their choice. If they want the assurance of decent pix of the event, then they pay a decent amount of money. If they want cheaper cover, they can get it, and it will be good for what it is. They aren’t just paying the photog for time on the day, they are paying for experience, expertise, and yes, dammit, just for being available.

I was /in business/ as a professional photog. Most to the comments I see here are from people who clearly have /never/ been in business for themselves. They have no idea of the overheads involved nor of the variability of demand. It's feast or famine. As a sole operator pro you might not get a wedding every weekend -- /regardless of your pricing/. When you do get a job, the person hiring you has to pay for that down time too.

That's the nature of small business -- ALL small business. And that's what this is all about.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
7 upvotes
JWest
By JWest (Jan 29, 2012)

Perhaps some cheaper photographers have read her post, but unfortunately "it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests".

2 upvotes
jayboydog
By jayboydog (Jan 29, 2012)

many well thought responses here. while i feel the photog ought to be paid a low hourly rate as i feel the job has easy entry, the photog who has references might command more per hour! i thought i was creating pretty good images with my point & shoot camera as viewed on my computer until i saw the images from a new APS-C machine i'd acquired. understanding i have little photog experience, my visual sense for image composing artistry is intuitive. how many photogs have a portfolio of their best work, have high quality equipment, yet are generally lousy in composing images? how would an agreement for results bonus operate?

0 upvotes
ARShutterbug
By ARShutterbug (Jan 29, 2012)

Assuming that there is no interference, the free market dictates that the price of photography will shift based on market demands. The problem is that this whiner doesn't want just any photographer. She wants an "amazing" photographer, which is not the same as someone who just shows up with a camera and "takes tons of photos and edits them." I'm sure there's someone in her area who's willing to work for what she's willing to pay, but she's excluding those people while also trying to control the price of what she wants. That's bad economics!

2 upvotes
Dave Weinstein
By Dave Weinstein (Jan 30, 2012)

We're talking about WEDDINGS! of course there is interference! The whole industry is set up to trap men into paying WAY more than they think is reasonable for overpriced services.

The penalty for objecting is to be swiftly convicted (without trial) of NOT loving your fiance!

Wedding planners and caterers use this "leverage" the most, but there just isn't any way for ANY service provider to offer ANY wedding service without having the "don't love me" gun aimed directly at the customer.

3 upvotes
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Jan 30, 2012)

The wedding industry is pretty much like real estate. Realtors persuade people to pay the most they can "afford," at maximum leverage. Wedding planners (or the imperative that "everyone does it") persuade people to exhaust their savings on an event. The net result is to leave the budget so tight or under-margined as to compound the risks of distress, default, divorce, and foreclosure.

Plenty of friends might take decent pictures of a new couple for free, but heaven (or is it hell?) forbids that. No, the couple is advised to coax monetary gifts from the guests to help defray the daunting expenses of the venue, the band, the DJ, the caterer, the limo, the clothing, the videographer, the photographer, and even the clergy, who have to eat too.

Comment edited 34 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
Malvin Camina
By Malvin Camina (Jan 29, 2012)

$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): $5199.95
Nikon D700 Full Frame Camera(Body): $2699.95
AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8: $1999.95
AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8: $2399.95
SB-910 AF Speed Light: $549.95 x (2)
MB-D10 Battery Grip: $334.00
MB-D00 Battery Grip: $219.00
El-En15 Battery (2): $145.00
Remote Triger(2) : $180.00
Profoto D1 Air: $ 350.00
Profoto DIY Beauty Dish: $70
MacBook Pro Core i7: $2499.95
Western Digital My Book Essential 2T: $130.00
Creative Suite 5: $199.99
Adobe Lightroom 3: $89.99
LowePro Stealth Reporter: $180.00
Etc: $200
Rough Total: $17997.63

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
2 upvotes
Malvin Camina
By Malvin Camina (Jan 29, 2012)

With that amount how long will it take before you get the returns of investment? Time, Skills, Post Proccessing and Album Prints not yet included. The Photographer must get atlease 5 potential clients for the 1 year just to get the returns for the equipments and gears alone. You add the tax, expenses and other financial needs in a daily basis. In the span of 4-6 years you'll have to upgrade otherwise your outdated. Significantly You studied photography to make peny for living. I doubt if a Pro Photographer will earn that much with in the span 4-6 years. And by the way Videography is not yet included in the service.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Malvin Camina
By Malvin Camina (Jan 29, 2012)

You as Pro Photographer can somtimes lower the rates of a wedding package only to your Limit. It's for the client to take it or leave it anyways it's not your lost. DSLR camera unit has actuations that counts the life span of it. In a given event will probably shoot no less than a thuosand photos to choose the best ones. Whoever do photography business that quotes below $1500 per client will be bankcrupt unless you as a photographer get clients per month then thats Quantity vs High Service Rates.

3 upvotes
jagge
By jagge (Jan 29, 2012)

So a D3s is required for wedding photography now ?? I think you are doing the same mistake as the original poster. You inflate the expenses which dont look good.

Jakob

0 upvotes
Malvin Camina
By Malvin Camina (Jan 29, 2012)

No It's just an example my friend. Infact I only use D80 + D90 + Sigma 17-70mm and Sigma 70-200mm on both f/2.8. The D3s and D700 is just my dream camera. But as you know Camera is really expensive and other photography tools are really expensive. Well perhaps you know aswell the quality of images you can have from a full frame cam? I also owned entry level cams before I've shifted to D80/90 and it was really a big difference. I'm not tallking about pixels here but rather the husstle of editing pictures from an entry level cam to a mid range cam. Most of the clients wants the pictures burned to dvd same day after the wedding co'z they are excited posting it to Facebook or other social networking sites so you gotta be fast otherwise they'll have a bad impression that you can't even deliver "Straight From Camera" images and your just relying from photoshop. It's a bad remark hearing it from a client. They might even ask "Are you a professional photographer or just an editor?

1 upvote
Malvin Camina
By Malvin Camina (Jan 29, 2012)

Yes Its true that you can also obtain high quality shots from an entry level cam. But i'll assure you that you'll spent the time sitting down to your computer editing your shot. For example a shot requires ISO 600 and above with an aperture of f/8 and ofcourse fast shutter speed of 1/200-250 sec to avoid blurry images. This is my common settings I use for a church wedding. As we all know churches have low-light environment. If your camera has the ISO-Noise reduction feature just like the D90 your images will end up grainy. As you'll end up editing just to remove the grainy stuff in an image. Bottom line is your buying top of the line stuff cause you dont want to be embarrass from your client and how much more if they sue you for not delivering your best co'z you fail to do you job specially if it's a signed contract. Yes there is a saying that " It's with the Spear, It's with the Indian " but how long will it applicable in a business like Wedding Photography.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Malvin Camina
By Malvin Camina (Jan 30, 2012)

I started as a Small Scale and Low Profile Wedding Photographer. Budget will hurt you at the start but when you aim big it's rewarding and your experienced will let know the requirements of being successful. At first my rates was very low then my first DSLR gave up in 2 years. To continue my part time business I applied for Financial Assistance with my credit card. I realized at the end that it shouldn't be like that. If I have increase my rates ealier I should have enough money to maintain it or upgrade. That's the main thing there why you should increase your rates because at any given time and out of no where your equipments might fail you and yet you haven't get back the money you spent with your gears.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Malvin Camina
By Malvin Camina (Jan 30, 2012)

Correction Typo graphical error: If your camera has no ISO-Noise reduction feature just like the D90 your images will end up grainy. Then you'll end up editing just to remove the grainy stuff into an image. Bottom line is your buying top of the line stuff cause you dont want to be embarrass from your client and how much more if they sue you for not delivering your best co'z you fail to do your job specially if it's a signed contract. Yes there is a saying that " It's not with the Spear, It's with the Indian " but how long will it applicable in a business like Wedding Photography.

0 upvotes
mr moonlight
By mr moonlight (Jan 30, 2012)

Simple example of the need for the latest gear/software.

Software upgrade is $500 and will save you at least 5 min a day.
Over 1 year, that's over 20 hours... If you make $50/hr, that's $1000 of lost work time.

Add together all the little time saving things such as a better low light camera, faster lenses, the best software, faster computer.... and you could be looking at a huge amount of time savings and a substantial increase in productivity.

0 upvotes
CD mikelis
By CD mikelis (May 5, 2012)

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. :)

0 upvotes
dktucson
By dktucson (May 19, 2012)

If a client EVER questions the use of photoshop and asks if you are a professional or an editor the response would be as follows: Ansel Adams was a mediocre photographer but his saving grace was that he was a GREAT lab man...he fixed in the darkroom what wasn't originally captured on film straight printing".

0 upvotes
John Koch
By John Koch (Jan 29, 2012)

Some people can't pay $3k total for a wedding, which is why many simply don't wed, even in conservative communities. It would make more sense to encourage people to get "hitched" for a modest sum. Any exhorbitant oulays should be for anniversaries. Silver, gold, and diamond anniversaries offer more subjects for photographers anyway: kids, grandkids, friends, etc.

Meanwhile, it's probably true that 70% or more of young couples can't pay enough to compensate a pro for the costs of time, equipment, and so forth. If they can't recruit a friend to take some nice shots, some clever person should invent a "fast-fette" McMarry franchise, where $100 will get you pronounced wed, photographed, and registered. Another alternative would be group weddings, which would later engender anniversaries on the scale of class reunions. Those would be a nice opp for photographers!

0 upvotes
Anepo
By Anepo (Jan 29, 2012)

She DOES have a point in someway's just hear me out.

Some people are poor and 3000$ is a no way in hell for them.

Here is what Photographers SHOULD consider:

Some photographers I Know of manage to do 3 weddings in the same day.

Photographers REALLY need to consider:

Are they low, middle or high income family?
Is it going to be 1000 people or 100?
Do I have to travel 10 miles or 1000 miles?

And calculate based on that not do a "standard" price that can't be changed at all.

As someone who has NEVER made 2000$ in a month in his lifetime and in fact was making 1500$(before 37% taxes) before he lost his job I must say I understand her pain.

Example in my country photographers rent a large area, bring they're own equipment and computers & offer free x-mas photography for the less fortunate.

& we are talking about professional photographers.
So honestly I think photographers who do weddings could show a little flexibility every now & then.

*gets ready for hate msg's*

1 upvote
DUMB4SS
By DUMB4SS (Jan 29, 2012)

I know photographers who do 3 weddings in a day as well.
They usually cover the very cheap end of the market and have a very quick 30 shots at the registry office then images on a disk.

That is far different from the 8-10-12 hour coverage shooting in wildly varying conditions and having the skill to control the light, location and the people well.

There is certainly room for both, but increasingly the bride who can only afford the cheapest coverage is complaining because they can't afford the high end photographer and worse still, place no value on it.

There is also the issue that the low budget weddings frequently seem to have a greater chance of meeting Bridezilla who will be difficult throughout.

Life is just too short to deal with those types of people.

5 upvotes
Anepo
By Anepo (Jan 29, 2012)

Well the one I know of goes to the wedding ceremony in church, photographs, then goes to the next wedding and when he has done all three he gomes home to edit the photographs (he also does video sometimes as well for those who want that)

0 upvotes
Bernd M
By Bernd M (Jan 29, 2012)

I live in Brazil and understand your point of view. But the point is, that you do not need to taunt photographers that offer their sevice for 3,000$ or more, but this is exactly what this bride did. I'm one of those that offer the "Small Package" - Only register the ceremony and take some pictures in front of the church and hand them the "raw-material" on a DVD for the money they can pay. But there is no way to do a 3,000$ service for 200$. And this is what the brides letter proposes.

3 upvotes
asphotographymk
By asphotographymk (Jan 29, 2012)

I am sorry but any photographer shooting 3 weddings in one day is clearly giving a very low level of service so this is not comparable to what you will get from hiring a pro for the day. I often spend 12 to 15 hours shooting on one wedding so that is of course going to cost more.

3 upvotes
Anepo
By Anepo (Jan 29, 2012)

No what you don't understand is that in MY country wedding photography is not the same as in yours.

Here the wedding photographers ONLY photograph in the church then after a day of photographing 2-3 wedding ceremony's they go home and spend the week editing the photographs &/or the videos until the next weekend when they do the same thing again for some other couple's.

The only time's that a professional photographer is is when they are exchanging wovs and kissing the bride and that stuff. the after party is a completely different tradition here.

The wedding photographers NEVER go into the "after party"
they ONLY show up for church to photograph them kissing and walking down the isle and so on.

And he IS a professional this guy is just one example I'm talking of many I know of.

0 upvotes
wil13jak
By wil13jak (Jan 30, 2012)

I do and the my colleagues as well do We offer a wide range of prices and services as (as you say) not all can afford 3K. That's simply good business sense.

0 upvotes
jimread
By jimread (Jan 29, 2012)

What a load of complete rubbish!!

Just enjoy your wedding day and use that which you've got between your ears to remember it.

2 upvotes
Event_shooter
By Event_shooter (Jan 29, 2012)

Occupy wedding photographers.

0 upvotes
Dejan80501
By Dejan80501 (Jan 29, 2012)

I am not sure if I can agree with the math on the CL reply...your equipment costs are paid for by other clients through the year. However, how much is a wedding image to you when it is probably one, if not, the most important day in your life? a million bucks....until you get the divorce, then zero.

A good wedding photographer is worth more than $3K.

1 upvote
joe6pack
By joe6pack (Jan 29, 2012)

I am just sick of people keep saying things like how much is it worth when you have only once? Every moment of our life is only going to happen once.

I am only going to reply to your post for the first time once. Does it mean I would to take out a spell checker to make sure it is perfect? Nope.

2 upvotes
tbcass
By tbcass (Jan 29, 2012)

I'm not buying that. As someone who has been married twice (and used friends, not pros as photographers) I can say the meaning of the photographs diminishes with time. If you get divorced (and 50% of us do, those photographs become fodder for the trash can. It's also a mistake to think that the best possible cameras and lenses are necessary because the average person can't tell the difference between photographs taken with a $6000 full frame with a $2000 lens and a $600 entry level DSLR with a kit lens. I attended a wedding a couple years ago and took some shots for my own enjoyment at the wedding and the reception. The pro's had the expensive equipment (there were 2 of them) While I had my consumer grade DSLR and a couple of inexpensive lenses (along with 40 years experience as a serious amateur). The Bride and Groom liked my photos better and wondered why they hired a pro.

Comment edited 8 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
tbcass
By tbcass (Jan 29, 2012)

Life is tough and in this economy fewer and fewer people can afford expensive photographers. Your choices will be try to cut prices and costs or go out of business. Crying about it will get you nowhere.

0 upvotes
David
By David (Jan 29, 2012)

Digital made photography even cheaper! It had brought upon lots of people from all walks of life into the business. It diluted the pay scale. Ask any real pros out there how much are they getting paid per photo compared to just a few years back? Any Joe and Jane with a EOS or a D3/D700 etc.. can work on contract. Sanctioned professional events are full of them. Sometimes, they paid their own expense to fly out there only to be told, someone else got the job! I saw many of these faces; mostly they tell me oh well it's a holiday. Yeah, but how many holidays can you afford not getting paid enough? It's tough making a living in photography unless you have some business smarts. Unfortunately, there are many talented and non-talented photographers out there who undercharge and eventually run themselves out of business. It happens all the time in many decades I've been in the photo business. So this is not something new. Craiglist is.

1 upvote
Total comments: 784
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