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Thread: Why weddings Photography cost so much?

  1. #21

    Default Re: Why weddings Photography cost so much?

    Never knew this article would generate so much discussion I think I'm inclined to agree that it does come across as a little whiny but yes it had to be done just so that clients know what are the costs involved. And like what Hart said, if they balk at your price, they probably are not your clients to begins with
    Furry Photos - Photography for the Modern Pet

  2. #22

    Default Re: Why weddings Photography cost so much?

    Quote Originally Posted by Anson View Post
    Am interested to know if any photographer here solely mirror-less camera to do paid wedding actual day + dinner in Singapore before that is able to charge more than $3k?
    I know quite a few photographers who charge more than $3k for wedding shoots using mirror-less camera.

    Will Leica M consider Mirror-less? hahahaha... sorry, can't help myself.

    Hart
    Last edited by Agetan; 28th January 2012 at 01:59 AM.

  3. #23

    Default Re: Why weddings Photography cost so much?

    Quote Originally Posted by sjackal View Post
    Trick is to educate skillfully without sounding like a rant or 'trying too hard to justify'.
    of course.

    Will have to judge if they want to listen. If not, just say thank you and move on. If they are interested to carry a conversation, then it is a good time to explains how things work, not so much as business perspective, but make it easier to understand and more of a chat rather then "I TELL YOU SO" type of thing.

    Hart

  4. #24

    Default Re: Why weddings Photography cost so much?

    Quote Originally Posted by Xiao_shin View Post
    Her tax return should be after deducting all expense. No?
    She's doing her taxes wrong and she claims to had hired an accountant.

    Business expenses should be tax deductible.

    I am all for educating the client but if she wants to 'showhand' like this she better be entirely honest with what she wrote, but her figures aren't convincing to me and appears exaggerated and too contrived.

    Better to educate photographers than one-time clients.

    Good businessmen always hide material and operation costs, builds value into their services or products and strive for maximum profits. It's the dumb creatives like us that gets overly vested personally, strip naked and get into unnecessary entanglements with people that don't matter.

  5. #25

    Default Re: Why weddings Photography cost so much?

    Take her logic of costing to the extreme, I would do 1 wedding a year and charge a fee of $50k to cover my expenses for the whole year! As my client, are u going to be a sucker to pay such a premium for my inefficiency?

    I may pay her $3k if I really like her work but I were to look at her cost breakdown, I wouldn't wanna pay such a premium price for her inefficiency.

    A pro photog is like running a business. A photog has an overhead to run his business and should increase his sales volume to spread out his overheads cost. And he should also find ways to cut cost, but not cutting corners, in order to offer a competitive price to his customers and earn a good profit.

    The way that the photog argue and account her cost is so 'creative' that it is totally flawed. Instead of justifying her high fees, she's only giving more reasons to prove that the client's complaint about high fees is valid.

    She better leave out all these accounting aside and simply argue on the non-monetary aspects of her work to justify for her charges.
    Last edited by weekh; 28th January 2012 at 07:37 AM.

  6. #26

    Default Re: Why weddings Photography cost so much?

    I am all for charging highest possible prices each individuals can achieve for themselves. It may be volume (though IMO it should not be since your time and energy is only so much) but it should be higher level of service and better product. What she's doing is actually devaluing herself and her brand, which is a big part of her product.

    Quote Originally Posted by weekh View Post
    Take her logic of costing to the extreme, I would do 1 wedding a year and charge a fee of $50k to cover my expenses for the whole year! As my client, are u going to be a sucker to pay such a premium for my inefficiency?

    I may pay her $3k if I really like her work but I were to look at her cost breakdown, I wouldn't wanna pay such a premium price for her inefficiency.

    A pro photog is like running a business. A photog has an overhead to run his business and should increase his sales volume to spread out his overheads cost. And he should also find ways to cut cost, but not cutting corners, in order to offer a competitive price to his customers and earn a good profit.

    The way that the photog argue and account her cost is so 'creative' that it is totally flawed. Instead of justifying her high fees, she's only giving more reasons to prove that the client's complaint about high fees is valid.

    She better leave out all these accounting aside and simply argue on the non-monetary aspects of her work to justify for her charges.

  7. #27

    Default Re: Why weddings Photography cost so much?

    Btw $3000 fee is not high by most US standards, it's quite a common price.

    Take away around a third for taxes, it's more like $2000, plus higher cost of living, it's more like $1500 in Singapore term.

  8. #28

    Default Re: Why weddings Photography cost so much?

    Talk about educating, take a look at Photography Services Directory section and you will see plenty offering a pathetic <$500 or a whole day wedding.
    Inferiority Complex Behavior Signature: A900.D3x.M9..I have this and that blah blah...

  9. #29
    Member Ylesiya's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why weddings Photography cost so much?

    It is possible to find even a free photographer for your wedding if you wish. There is always such a possibility. If you lower the prices, there would always be someone cheaper. But here comes the thing about what you will get after that? One of my friends hired a beginner wedding photographer for his wedding as he was on a tight budget and this guy took awesome pictures. Now he is very popular and paid much more than he was when doing his first weddings. My friend was lucky, I guess
    The author of the article is right to some extent (let us not consider those things like taxes and quality of her pictures as I want to discuss that in general). The thing is that people who do not know anything about photography cannot even imagine what kind of work it is in real. From the outside it really looks like you are running around and just press the button. A lot of people do not know how much work there is behind the scene. And - true - how much good equipment costs to be able to perfectly capture a first dance in very low light without annoying flash! How much work is done after the day itself with sorting, editing, designing album, printing, etc, etc. For a bride her wedding day is something beautiful and she thinks that it is beautiful and easy for everybody while for you it is actually a tough work: to carry gears, to run around and be able to take magical pictures and - trying to be invisible without disturbing the process. After a day of shooting a wedding in a forest resort overseas my legs were covered with mosquito bites and were heavy like rocks, my back was aching, etc. Without saying anything about the work before and after wedding. I guess this all is due to the fact that people normally see the final result only without knowing what stands behind that.

  10. #30

    Default Re: Why weddings Photography cost so much?

    Totally agree with what Ylesiya said above.

    So if your budget is not expensive for a wedding photographer expect similar deliverables. Good experienced & professional photographer usually will have everything done correctly (and some do artistically) & have backup of everything (camera, lens, flash, cards, pics, etc..) incase something go wrong. There is no margin for error in wedding critical moments.

    So it all come down to how much the bride couple values your work involved and willing to paid for it.

  11. #31

    Default Re: Why weddings Photography cost so much?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ylesiya View Post
    It is possible to find even a free photographer for your wedding if you wish. There is always such a possibility. If you lower the prices, there would always be someone cheaper. But here comes the thing about what you will get after that? One of my friends hired a beginner wedding photographer for his wedding as he was on a tight budget and this guy took awesome pictures. Now he is very popular and paid much more than he was when doing his first weddings. My friend was lucky, I guess
    The author of the article is right to some extent (let us not consider those things like taxes and quality of her pictures as I want to discuss that in general). The thing is that people who do not know anything about photography cannot even imagine what kind of work it is in real. From the outside it really looks like you are running around and just press the button. A lot of people do not know how much work there is behind the scene. And - true - how much good equipment costs to be able to perfectly capture a first dance in very low light without annoying flash! How much work is done after the day itself with sorting, editing, designing album, printing, etc, etc. For a bride her wedding day is something beautiful and she thinks that it is beautiful and easy for everybody while for you it is actually a tough work: to carry gears, to run around and be able to take magical pictures and - trying to be invisible without disturbing the process. After a day of shooting a wedding in a forest resort overseas my legs were covered with mosquito bites and were heavy like rocks, my back was aching, etc. Without saying anything about the work before and after wedding. I guess this all is due to the fact that people normally see the final result only without knowing what stands behind that.
    I have to agree with you. Clients don't see the hardwork and they really don't care about it.

    In business, it is simply putting a price that you are comfortable with to do all the hardwork.

    The more you charge, the better clients satisfaction that you need to achieve.

    Hart

  12. #32
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    Default Re: Why weddings Photography cost so much?

    Actually I just remember myself when I was not involved into photography without understanding ANYTHING about it, when taking a picture was just pressing a button and changing the dial from AUTO to LANDSCAPE, etc. That is why I understand that bride from the first post. Just to point it out: I understand her, but do not think she is right. She may need some simple shots with point-and-shoot. But if she wants Joe Buissink for 40$ per hour, that is another story
    Some clients do understand the amount of work and the effort you put inside it. These people normally are very good clients to work with: they understand what they pay for and you are pleased because they value you.

  13. #33

    Default Re: Why weddings Photography cost so much?

    i personally feel this discussion on the worth of a photographer is futile. this is about demand and supply.

    there will always be a market for free, cheap, average and expensive photographers. there is nothing anyone can do about it. if you are a semi-pro or pro, there is nothing you can do to stop free and cheap photographers spoiling the market. in fact we should stop viewing them as spoiling the market because supply is inevitable and demand will come.

    our paradigm as photographers (or soon to be/want to be) needs to change. It shouldn't be about fighting with cheap and free photographers anymore. It's about re positioning yourself and re-strategizing your business. A good case study would be KODAK. If you don't change with time, like a dinosaur, you will extinct.

    if you look deeper, the real culprit that is spoiling the market is not that free photographer. it is technology and the companies that made these equipment easily available that are the so call "culprit".

  14. #34
    Member Ylesiya's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why weddings Photography cost so much?

    Well, I don't care about this, honestly. As I said above - there will also be someone cheaper (and more expensive as well!). So why caring about this? People are too different. Different demands as well.
    Normally, the market itself sorts the prices out. If you are soooo good, you start to have a lot of clients, your client flow becomes too tight, so you have to rise prices to sort the clients to those who can pay higher for your service, etc, until you get your market niche. I don't think people cannot understand the difference between really nice pictures and so-so ones. If you have that something inside you that makes people look at your pictures again and again, you'll definitely have your place in the market (of course with some bit of luck and ability to run business which is also important).

  15. #35

    Default Re: Why weddings Photography cost so much?

    I always feel sad when people say photography is a supply and demand thing. It is and it is not.

    It is a supply and demand thing if you treat it like a commodity and if that's where you get hit hardest by the supply and demand effect or any effect that moves the masses.

    If you are able to move your product out of simple levels, get niched, then you develop immunity to market forces.

    It's not denying that most photographers in CS are controlled by supply and demand. But it's the constant thought or belief or excuse that you are bind by greater market forces and that there's nothing you can do, that is restrictive to the mind and keeps you small.

    It is supply and demand if you allow it to.

    Agreed about the technology part.

  16. #36

    Default Re: Why weddings Photography cost so much?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ylesiya View Post
    Well, I don't care about this, honestly. As I said above - there will also be someone cheaper (and more expensive as well!). So why caring about this? People are too different. Different demands as well.
    Normally, the market itself sorts the prices out. If you are soooo good, you start to have a lot of clients, your client flow becomes too tight, so you have to rise prices to sort the clients to those who can pay higher for your service, etc, until you get your market niche. I don't think people cannot understand the difference between really nice pictures and so-so ones. If you have that something inside you that makes people look at your pictures again and again, you'll definitely have your place in the market (of course with some bit of luck and ability to run business which is also important).
    Agree with you on the pricing issue.

    Rising prices are important to get to the comfortable volume of work. There is a limit on how much you can do so price can control the volume.

    Price and value equation is important concept to understand.

    It is a supply and demand in macro level if u want to call that.

    If u have a product that people want and need, they will convince themselves and find ways to afford your service.

    But If u don't have a product that people want, you won't get any business. And what I mean about product is simply your photography.

    Luck and business skills are essentials to get you to different levels of your business of photography.

    Regards,

    Hart

  17. #37
    Senior Member Anson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why weddings Photography cost so much?

    Quote Originally Posted by Agetan View Post
    I know quite a few photographers who charge more than $3k for wedding shoots using mirror-less camera.

    Will Leica M consider Mirror-less? hahahaha... sorry, can't help myself.

    Hart

    Pre-Wedding shots maybe, but the whole Actual Day Wedding + Dinner with just even a Leica .. I don't think many pg would do that. Also not everyone would get a chance see the photos you took that day, but everyone there would have a glimpse of your equipment (and not all can diff a PnS with a mirrorless system camera even if it's a Leica). Agree?

  18. #38

    Default Re: Why weddings Photography cost so much?

    Quote Originally Posted by Anson View Post
    Pre-Wedding shots maybe, but the whole Actual Day Wedding + Dinner with just even a Leica .. I don't think many pg would do that. Also not everyone would get a chance see the photos you took that day, but everyone there would have a glimpse of your equipment (and not all can diff a PnS with a mirrorless system camera even if it's a Leica). Agree?
    Yes, agree with you.

    i actually shoot 40% of the shots with M8 in my last wedding, I don't have any issue of people glimpse at me actually. If I would do Wedding full time, I would shoot everything with Leica M. I just love the weight as well as the stealth-ness of the set up. I have much higher keeper than the DSLR. I don't think people book me for what equipment I use to photograph them.

    Sometimes, I shoot children session all with the M8 and I don't see any issue at all, in terms of being professional. My clients do respect how I do things and allow me to do what I want so I can give them my best.

    Regards,

    Hart

  19. #39
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    Overheard at an ex schmate wedding dinner...."the service in this hotel so poor, later must feedback the bride.... that uncle photographer steady anot? His camera like falling apart, got black tape (gaffer) on his camera one! Later must feedback the bride. Later we better pass him our camera to take group photos for us, give him something to do."

    I felt insulted for that photographer!
    I'm a cow with a camera

  20. #40

    Default Re: Why weddings Photography cost so much?

    Quote Originally Posted by cowmera View Post
    Overheard at an ex schmate wedding dinner...."the service in this hotel so poor, later must feedback the bride.... that uncle photographer steady anot? His camera like falling apart, got black tape (gaffer) on his camera one! Later must feedback the bride. Later we better pass him our camera to take group photos for us, give him something to do."

    I felt insulted for that photographer!
    Typical ugly Singaporeans behavior - always thinking ownselves as superior when they in fact knew little.

    But I doubt most non camera people will notice gaffer. It was months later after working together that I realized my videographer friend have all sorts of crap stickers, barcode labels, logo tape and markers on his cam.

    The nasty person noticing and saying this must be having a camera hobby.

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