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Thread: Ok, hold the laughter ...ME a wedding photographer!???

  1. #91
    Senior Member clemmb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ddt0725 View Post
    The birde-to-be just sent me a quick email. Her fiance and future mother-in-law are ok with having me as the photographer! They do need to stick to a budget of $400 and want package options! I haven't put together any package options on my website (haven't had a need) so I will have to look into what other photographers offer for packages in this price range. Suggestions always welcomed ...hint ...hint! Only other thing she mentioned is they primarily want the ceremony photographed highlighting the key moments and that we will discuss further when we meet.
    Since I am a part time photographer my prices are low. My price structure is different than any other I have seen. When I started years ago I put together packages that had print and album options. Every bride without fail wanted to adjust the packages and I would have to re-price them. Since I work full time as an engineer and part time as photographer this was too much so my package prices are for the services and a proof CD. They can build up from there. Add prints, albums, books, etc... I think the most a bride has spent with me has been around $4,000 total. My wedding only package is $475. I have no time limit on reprints. Many brides come back for other products pretty quick. Some come back a year later when they have more money. It works well for those on a very tight budget. Make sure you obtain a non-refundable deposit. For my wedding only package I charge $175 deposit. The day of the wedding they owe the remaining $300. You need to do this so if for some reason the wedding is off after you rent a camera you are not out $$s. I have only had this happen twice. As part of the contract the deposit guaranties them that I am holding their date for them. If you are giving them a DVD of full files I would not include any prints for this price but let them come back to you at any time for professional prints at a reasonable price.
    Mark

  2. #92
    Senior Member conropl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HDNitehawk View Post
    Back to one of the comments I gave you early on, you might end up making minimum wage. But your reward will be you get to do your first wedding. If you do this bride a good job, give her some beautiful pictures and the files that if she wants to print off high quality prints ten years from now when she can afford it, you both win. One of two things can happen here, you get a little wedding business going or you find out this isn't your cup of tea. Either way you win. A few dollars one way or the other won't matter in the long run.
    To expand on this idea a little: Get the brides permision (in the contract) to use her photos for advertising for future business. Then you can use these photos on your web site to kick of that side of your business. If they balk, then remind them that your not making money off them, and this is one way to off set your reduced wage. To have actual pictures on your web site is worth a lot more than a bunch of verbage (the old Cliché, "a picture is worth a thousand words").
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  3. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by ddt0725 View Post
    The birde-to-be just sent me a quick email. Her fiance and future mother-in-law are ok with having me as the photographer! They do need to stick to a budget of $400 and want package options! I haven't put together any package options on my website (haven't had a need) so I will have to look into what other photographers offer for packages in this price range. Suggestions always welcomed ...hint ...hint! Only other thing she mentioned is they primarily want the ceremony photographed highlighting the key moments and that we will discuss further when we meet.
    If you are not doing any pre-ceremony shots, group shots afterwards or the reception I wouldn't rent any gear. I would simply charge them $400 as your fee and offer the disk of processed images and/or just a few prints. At that price you don't have any room for more expenses IMHO. You have to remember too that you're gonna spend quite alot of post processing time. They will not be able to get anywhere near beating that price.

  4. #94
    Senior Member Mark Elberson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joel Eade View Post
    I wouldn't rent any gear. I would simply charge them $400 as your fee and offer the disk of processed images. At that price you don't have any room for more expenses. You have to remember too that you're gonna spend quite alot of post processing time. They will not be able to get anywhere near beating that price.
    I completely agree with the above. If you can borrow something then go for it but don't put any money into this venture (that means no reflectors!). Also, a wedding is not a place to try out new gear/new techniques. Only do what you are proficient with.

    I think I got paid like $250 for my 1st wedding so $400 isn't too bad :-) Don't worry about packages. At $400 there's really no room. Give them a disc of JEPGS (processed of course) and let them know that they can have professionaly made prints off of your website. My general rule of thumb is:

    1 hour behind the camera = 2 hours behind the computer. HDNitehawk is right, if you look closely you'll find out that you are making minimum wage :-( Oh well, next time you can charge $1k :-)

  5. #95
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    Yes, that would include my $65/hr. fee which $10/hr goes to my assistant.
    I did get her permission (verbally) to use the photos for advertising, etc. I will have it written in the contract also.
    Nope, there won't be any pre-ceremony photos!
    Even though I will be spending a great deal of time going through and editing the photos, it's not like I'm doing anything else. So, I guess that part doesn't bother me so much.

    I'm starting to think this could not be a better gig for a first time out their by myself. Even with only a few hours of shooting, I won't walk away with much $ wise but from this thread and doing it, I will walk away with plenty of knowledge and experience that I didn't walk into it with. If it gets me a few more gigs, then that is the icing on the cake. Or, if after it is all said and done, I find out it is not for me, then I keep it just as a hobby that I am passionate about.

    So, here is where I'm at ...rental is definiitely out and I go with what I will have available.

    Here is what I have for one package ...

    $125.00 for a DVD of all edited photos (unwatermarked)
    $195.00 for 3 hours of shooting @ $65/hr.
    $320.00
    $ 56.45 + shipping on my website gets (1) framed 10x13 & (2) 8x10's (small watermark in corner)
    $376.45

    Contract Price: $400

    I would still have a full gallery of the photos on my website for them or family and friends to purchase at a later date.

    Thoughts? Suggestions? Am I on the right track with this?

    Denise

  6. #96
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    I think it sounds great Denise. The bride gets a few prints and saves money, she can always get more later. You get this experience. The bride probably doesn’t want pre-ceremony photos or anything like that because she couldn’t afford it. You might offer to do it for free for the experience if you wanted, or not.
    Last edited by HDNitehawk; 08-10-2012 at 02:43 PM.

  7. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by ddt0725 View Post
    Yes, that would include my $65/hr. fee which $10/hr goes to my assistant.
    I did get her permission (verbally) to use the photos for advertising, etc. I will have it written in the contract also.
    Nope, there won't be any pre-ceremony photos!
    Even though I will be spending a great deal of time going through and editing the photos, it's not like I'm doing anything else. So, I guess that part doesn't bother me so much.

    I'm starting to think this could not be a better gig for a first time out their by myself. Even with only a few hours of shooting, I won't walk away with much $ wise but from this thread and doing it, I will walk away with plenty of knowledge and experience that I didn't walk into it with. If it gets me a few more gigs, then that is the icing on the cake. Or, if after it is all said and done, I find out it is not for me, then I keep it just as a hobby that I am passionate about.

    So, here is where I'm at ...rental is definiitely out and I go with what I will have available.

    Here is what I have for one package ...

    $125.00 for a DVD of all edited photos (unwatermarked)
    $195.00 for 3 hours of shooting @ $65/hr.
    $320.00
    $ 56.45 + shipping on my website gets (1) framed 10x13 & (2) 8x10's (small watermark in corner)
    $376.45

    Contract Price: $400

    I would still have a full gallery of the photos on my website for them or family and friends to purchase at a later date.

    Thoughts? Suggestions? Am I on the right track with this?

    Denise
    Add the 3 hours @ $10/hr for your assistant and you get $406.45

  8. #98
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    No, the $10/hr. isn't an additional charge to them. It comes out of the $65/hr. they are paying me . I told her I would give her that if she would help me. She's pretty introverted, so I thought it would help her too. A mom's mind works in mysterious ways!

  9. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrw View Post
    If you have the time, and a decent margin on prints, it might be worthwhile to get the bride/groom/family shots as an extra. I'd expect that they would be back for them later if you have them. If the guests and family can order them online there just might be enough in sales to make it worth your time to get those few extra shots. Would also look good in your portfolio if you do decide to go this route.
    I am hoping I will make some extra sales afterwards from family and friends of theirs from what I post in the gallery. Fingers crossed!

  10. #100
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    One thing that I was thinking that hasn't been mentioned, if I am using both flashes on camera I will need at least one flip flash bracket to go from landscape to portrait & keep the flash on top?

    Can anyone recommend a good inexpensive flip flash bracket for a 7d (without grip) that can be used easily handheld?

    I have an L bracket on my camera but if I use my camera on a tripod in portrait orientation, I won't be able to use on-camera flash! I may have to take all shots in landscape.

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