lets put it this way, the base rate is 800.
would every couple agree that 800 lowest rate to go to ?
i am sure there are others out there who charge $500-800/day thou.
problem is that some people tend to try slashing prices and trying to nego their way round. what we need is to educate photographers to be firm and comfortable with what they are charging and what they are expecting....
I don't really give much room for my clients to negotiate with me as I do not ONLY depend wedding photography as my rice bowl. I survive as a photographer because I price myself at a higher end which includes commercial photography.
Clients who are uncomfortable with the price I quote, I always give them the one alternative which is to look for other photographers who sells themselves cheap. Don't you know, Singaporeans always like to bargain?
If all photographers can price themselves at a higher end with at least a standard market price, then the clients have less opportunity to go bargain hunting. At the end of the day it's all up to the photographer to convince the couple to engage them because they can deliver what the client wants.
Oh yes, I do have balls.......
Count your base cost, your equipment maintainence, your rental, transport, computer, man hours retouching photos and so on.
Cameras do not last forever. You need to buy new stuffs every 2 years or so.
You need to eat and buy a 4 room HDB / Condo. Go out with girlfriend/wife. Hang out with your buddies. Save money for rainy days. Give some money to parents (this one is the worst as I don't really hear much practice from younger gen to part some of their salary for their own parents). Go on a holiday. Buy a car.
To all photographers out there, do you think $800 based price is enough? You don't get to shoot AWD (Actual Wedding Day) every day or week. Even if you did shoot every weekend 800 X 8 Days (Sat and Sun) = $3600 per month. Is that enough? As I mentioned, at the end of the month, if you do not get any business how are you going to pay your bills?
To tell our customers the based price is $800 will be a big disaster because their mind will set at $800.00! Never quote your customers any based price because just put yourself in their shoes. If you are looking for a photographer to shoot your wedding and he tells you the based price is $800. And you need to add this and that, will you accept it? Instead, you will demand from them to included in the $800.
Although there is no actual gauge for Actual Wedding Photography at the moment but I am pricing a minimum of $3000 (not because I am the best in the market as there are others who price even higher than me) because I understand my clients need. You must be able to convince them you will deliver the best wedding photography and to fulfill their requirement as a wedding photographer.
Remember, you are not just a wedding photographer but you are the most important person that is capturing images for them to remember for the rest of their lives. Plus if your portfolio is outstanding, other clients will keep coming by to you via recommendation. To all the wedding photographers, I hope you all will stick to a higher price. Why am I saying this because my last 2 clients mentioned to me they found a few photographers charging at $650 for the whole actual day wedding including album and prints. They found it was too cheap and did not dare to sign up. Instead they sign up with me for a $4000 package.
You can't be knocking on doors for the rest of your lives. Instead, clients should be knocking on yours.
Oh one more important thing, NEVER give them any credit terms. It's always have been a practise as COD (Cash on Delivery). If they can give a 50% deposit before the shoot will be better. The worst thing is to give them the album and getting the money 3 months later. I would not use the word ruthless but sometimes in life we need to be firm with our contract.
Well said. Most people would not skimp on this once(or twice:P) in a lifetime event. That said, there are hard core money-savers who try to save every bit of their money even though its a wedding.
The rate of around $650 per wedding actually is ok to certain photographers because the money earned is probably for their own expanditure. Meaning that what they eat and where they sleep is probably provided by their parents. So the money earned goes to shopping(?) and all the other extravagant stuff.
For those photographers whose rice bowl depends solely on photography, their quality of work and cost would be higher. This is life, to survive, you must be quite good to survive this relatively cruel world.
Maybe a market standard should not be set. It depends on your skills which adds value to your work. That said, take what i said with 1kg of salt. I have yet to work even once but this is in my humble opinion. I plan to work after my exams and give a substantial portion of my earnings to my parents
The other day one of my colleague showed me her wedding "book album". The prints were pixelated, colour off and worst of all, unsharp. She was charged around 3k for a 2 day shoot. The photog was a freelancer.
My point? There's no such thing as a "3k portfolio". Sometimes u pay gold to get peanuts. But then if the couple like peanuts, who are we to complain?
However the reputation of the photographer who took your colleague's wedding album will somehow is tarnish sooner or later or maybe not. Consistency is important as this is not a one time off thingy.
There is always bad eggs in the market. Those who wants to survive in this line will know how to navigate their business through the right channel. Anyone can be a photographer nowadays but it's always the consistent ones gets the the deal.
I have seen too my friends and colleagues get lousy quality as well off their wedding albums. They too pay a lot from 3000-5000K but because I see happiness in the faces, do you think it's right to spoil their happiness?
Depends on who you deal with..........for example, if you meet another couple who maybe a graphic designers/artist/photographer, I am pretty sure you will need to meet up to their expectation as they will know about print quality. So it's all about your consistency to live up to.
This is indeed shocking...
I thought I was one of the few who encountered friends' albums with low photography standards from their photographers.
The last time I commented about this, as in, couples pay big money and their photographer produced sub-standard quality works, some people got most upset. I really don't know why.
But I don't see this going well with the professional photographers. No wonder there are many out there who jumped into the trade with or without the goods to deliver. You can't blame them. It's a good side income.
My colleague's one is the most "yuan wang". He didn't cut on costs. Paid a supposed pro photographer in this forum "higher than average" price and who is supposedly good. But when the final products came, it was a shocker to see that the technicalities expected of him were not there.
Despite so many of us seemingly discussing and owning expensive cameras in Singapore, It's really sad that the standard of appreciation for photography here is not there generally.
I think we have a loooong way to go.
Yes, it is right indeed. There is no fixed price as to how much a photographer should charge. In fact, I think there are some photographers out there who have been surviving long cos their clients don't have any idea how to differentiate well good and bad photograhy. Note we are not even talking about diffferences in shooting styles. But rather, it's the very basics of photography. If you can't get those right, I don't know else you can.
I think how you package or use flowery words to advertise yourself count a lot.
now the electricity has gone up by at least 21%
isn't it time that photographers raise their prices by at least 15%
since everything we do consumes electricity
I think we should all increase the rate by 21%. Follow wat the Garmen do, sure won't go wrong.
Anyway, like some of you have mentioned, there r no such thing as a base rate. As long as you are comfortable with wat u r charging and that ur client is happy with wat he/she is paying, then all will be well. 天下太平!!
Photography is a very niche market. But sadly, there are pple out there who are trying to "spoil" this niche market by offering way, way, way, way low pricing. I won't wanna say how low is low, but I am sure you guys know wat I am trying to say. =D
Thanks for sharing!
A lot of photographers called themselves "Professional Photographer" because mainly of their ego. Again, this has happen many million times. It does not mean when one carry a Canon 1Ds MkII or a Nikon D3 with all those expensive lenses means they are pros.
Many came in this line thinking it's easy money, charging clients exorbitant rates. Carrying fancy and expensive equipments but do not know the basic knowledge of exposures, compositions and so on.
Agree with you in this forum alone, I have been told by my own clients there's a few photographers who calls themselves professional photographer but did not live up to a basic standard. I know who they are but I shall not name names as it will tarnish their reputation further. Things like out of focus images were printed, some of the photos I could actually count the noise (and no it was not delibeately done for artistic purpose)
So nowadays I will let my customers know to siam them aside. Oh reason they are looking for other photographers is because I have no time to cover their weddings.
What some of us are trying so point out is, there are plenty of couples out there who gets married everyday. There is a fair share out there for everyone to earn a living as a photographer. If you are one person who has very little knowledge on how to run a business in photography, basic skills in photography and poor in communications skills, I suggest you go back to the basic and learn the right way.
There is a few photography schools out in the market teaches you basic skills in photography which covers running a business and communication skills. We are never afraid of those who sells themselves cheap (I am talking really dirt cheap..........$650 for the whole actual wedding day) because we have our own set of clients provides referal to other friends who wants to look for quality and genuine photographers (who does not ruin their once in the lifetime event)
I just hope those who are just starting out should at least go for some basic skills before even attempt to penetrate into the market which they have very little idea. Get to know more experience working photographers and speak to them about it. Don't stop asking.....and be curious about everything in photography. Get advice from them and asked them out for kopi (your treat of course). Every photographer will give you different advice and each and everyone of them will share some of their own experience.
There are however some experience and so call professional photographers who aren't willing to share (some of them are also from this forum). Be humble and you will learn a lot.
wah... i just spent an hour reading the last 14 pages of postings.
Its really wonderful to have fellow CSers come spend time to give us a detailed insight and breakdown of the opportunity and accounting costs involved in taking wedding photog to full time.
Just want to thank all you all for the enlightening posts.
oh yea. You guys are really WAAAYY too nice and patronising to the 1 or 2 pple who consistently flame others and provide useless comments like armchair critics. I'm just a hobbyist so i'm usually a silent reader save for some posts in the BnS section, but even as i was reading thru the posts alot of times i feel like just asking them to shut up and go F**k themselves. Kudos for keeping your tempers under control. *clap clap clap*
Just a quick one. Does anyone knows how does competition law play out on Photography business? i do believe there are people with businesses are discussing pricing is a sensitive topic.
Friend of mine recently paid A$10,000 for lunch wedding photography in Hunters Valley, NSW, Australia. Event took about 8 hours. He gets to keep/own all the memory cards (raw files) and related Intellectual Property. No prints nor post processing, he printed them himself.
But on the photographer's website, he has all the nice flowery words like... Let me capture your Big Day, preserve your wonderful memories, your album won't collect dust, blah blah... And tis another shocker: He uses top of the line Nikon DSLRs with kick a** lenses that many here will dream of.
So please, those of you out there, if you cannot really shoot weddings, DON'T! Your equipment is nothing if you ain't got the skills. Let the real pros handle the job.
But Im sure there are others who charge reasonably cheap and are very good. I guess it all depends on your luck who u pick to shoot your weddings?
In a way, the climate here is not exactly in favour of niche market, since the culture is to go for the cheapest and bestest, and esp when you can't put a number to quality. There are many cheap alternatives (e.g. Frozen food) around, but that's always cheap at the expense of something...fortunately, life is fair and most of the time, you get what you paid for.
I've asked almost all the couples whom I've shot for this year and most of them told me that being comfortable and being able to communicate with the photographer is top priority on their checklist, not the price (with my couple's budget for photography, they can hire almost anyone in the market), not the number of prints they are getting, not the size of the albums or amount of freebies.
As I'm typing now, I just met a couple over lunch and like most of my 2-hours meetings, nothing was mentioned about price - they've gotten my price list prior to meeting and have already clarified what deliverables they're getting, so meeting up is really about sharing with them the photography style, finding out their concerns (which is never about budget). Like them, it's also about choosing the client that I'm comfortable working with, not certainly not those that are forever haggling with you about pricing all the time.
Everyone has to start somewhere and for first timers, it's mostly about budget. Of course, once one has sort of made it(or think they have), they can say things like "it's never about the budget". Wow if i have to pay 4-5k for a shooter, I'll make sure i really really like his style boy.