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Thread: How much do you charge for an AD wedding

  1. #81

    Default Re: How much do you charge for an AD wedding

    already planning to do that.

  2. #82

    Default Re: How much do you charge for an AD wedding

    I'm just a mid end AD photographer. In fact I only shoot a handful of weddings a year, cos I'm more diversified in other areas of photography. So whenever my frens casually envy my lifestyle deeming it as seemingly lucrative or have a lot of free time doing this business; I would simply invite them to quit their full time jobs, come into the market and give it a try doing photography as a full time business (not for months, but for at least a year or two). Welcome to the greener side of the field.

  3. #83
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: How much do you charge for an AD wedding

    Quote Originally Posted by lancey View Post
    already planning to do that.
    That's great, the path of professional photography it is not an easy way, you have to be hard working, patient and perseverance. You will only able see the fruits one or two years later.
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
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  4. #84

    Default Re: How much do you charge for an AD wedding

    Quote Originally Posted by lancey View Post
    Actually I think it's very lucrative (else why so many people get in?). People are just saying it's "not really profitable" so less people will get in and less competition ensues.. What's new?
    Who's saying it's not really profitable? Were you reading the wrong thread? This thread is about how much people charge for AD wedding, and what the costs are involved. If anything, we're merely suggesting it's not as profitable as it seems.

    Quote Originally Posted by lancey View Post
    I never said this is not a business. I just said it's lucrative...and more people should join in and start their own wedding photography businesses and share the big PIE.
    Well, I think more people should join too, especially talents. Just not with the delusion that it's a bed of roses, songs and dance.

    Quote Originally Posted by lancey View Post
    already planning to do that.
    Then welcome aboard! It's one heck of a ride. With the spirit of 'survival of the fittest', I personally feel that you already come equipped with an important and necessary attitude.

  5. #85

    Default Re: How much do you charge for an AD wedding

    Thx. Looking at some of the websites of wedding photogs and the rate they are charging, tsk...im sure it wun be as tough as the NS obstacle course.

  6. #86

    Default Re: How much do you charge for an AD wedding

    Quote Originally Posted by ckuang View Post
    I don't mind revealing because anyone can find out simply by sending an email to my office asking for prices. If based on TS question, 10 hrs of coverage and 300 prints, my coverage will start from $5500 onwards. For a 10 hour wedding as the above mentioned is a bare bones package, we generally advise people to budget around $8k.

    While people think it is a lot, it's not really a lot and actually some of the guys who shoot for less but shoot higher quantity actually make a lot more than I do as I don't generally shoot more than 3-4 weddings a month. I know many people are going "wah how can you not make money with those rates?" but here's a little secret about the high end market. While the numbers looks glamorous, the reality isn't. Why? Because it cost more to play in the high end market too. Wining and dining your high end clients cost more than wining and dining mid or low end clients because their expectations are higher. Eg, your client wants to meet you to talk to you about something. They're about to spend say 10K with you, you're not going to get away with meeting him/her at Macdonalds. You gotta take them to a really really nice place to talk business. That's just the way it is. The final deliverables, ie packaging, prints etc, need to be a much higher quality. Any problems with the $4k album, no questions asked. You just take it back and give them a whole new one even if it means you take a loss on that client. And when you lose you lose in the thousands. So what are our margins? we generally take a gross (mind you gross not nett) of around 25%-30% of total revenue which is about average for this industry.

    So if it's not that profitable and why do it? Well, first, based on my personality, i can't wrap my mind around a mass business model. I actually truly believe that to make the real big money, it's in the mass market, but my flaw is that i do not understand the market and what they want exactly. And as i said, I can't stand listening to some romantic jazz 20 nights a month. Just don't have it in me.

    So why continue in this high cash flow low profit industry? simple because for me there is a certain power in cash flow. My target is not necessarily profitability or the immediate realization of profit. That will come at a later time. So unless your goal is to exploit cash flow (which in itself is a dangerous game), you should really be concentrating on profitability. But really any serious business person would look at my accounts and laugh (well actually my financial planner does that already) because it's not a real money making business to be in, in Singapore anyway. It's an ok lifestyle and at my rates I can probably retire when I'm oh about 70 years.

    Hopefully this post brings about reality for a lot of people thinking about joining the industry just because of they hear of the "big" numbers being thrown around or for photographers thinking the high end market is more profitable than the mid or low end market. Anyway, as a closer, I'd advice a photographer getting into this industry to think about how they plan on getting out before they get in. The exit is way more important than the entry. A wise banker told me that piece of advice years ago and every single day his saying is becoming more and more relevant.
    I agree! A meal with clients rarely starts from $350 for 4, and its not the type to fill you in, just a nice place to discuss about their passion for good photography. Also dry-cleaning the suit is another plain. Any of you guys wear a suit to work? A dress shoe is also important, as with my nice white shirts and cufflinks. Also I have started to bring spare sets incase my clients need one. Larry Smith would set them siggering behind me, Paul Smith would make me look better. Cufflinks starts at $179, some cost $399.

    Last edited by Belle&Sebastain; 30th August 2008 at 03:05 PM.

  7. #87
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    Default Re: How much do you charge for an AD wedding

    Quote Originally Posted by ckuang View Post
    I don't mind revealing because anyone can find out simply by sending an email to my office asking for prices. If based on TS question, 10 hrs of coverage and 300 prints, my coverage will start from $5500 onwards. For a 10 hour wedding as the above mentioned is a bare bones package, we generally advise people to budget around $8k.

    While people think it is a lot, it's not really a lot and actually some of the guys who shoot for less but shoot higher quantity actually make a lot more than I do as I don't generally shoot more than 3-4 weddings a month. I know many people are going "wah how can you not make money with those rates?" but here's a little secret about the high end market. While the numbers looks glamorous, the reality isn't. Why? Because it cost more to play in the high end market too. Wining and dining your high end clients cost more than wining and dining mid or low end clients because their expectations are higher. Eg, your client wants to meet you to talk to you about something. They're about to spend say 10K with you, you're not going to get away with meeting him/her at Macdonalds. You gotta take them to a really really nice place to talk business. That's just the way it is. The final deliverables, ie packaging, prints etc, need to be a much higher quality. Any problems with the $4k album, no questions asked. You just take it back and give them a whole new one even if it means you take a loss on that client. And when you lose you lose in the thousands. So what are our margins? we generally take a gross (mind you gross not nett) of around 25%-30% of total revenue which is about average for this industry.

    So if it's not that profitable and why do it? Well, first, based on my personality, i can't wrap my mind around a mass business model. I actually truly believe that to make the real big money, it's in the mass market, but my flaw is that i do not understand the market and what they want exactly. And as i said, I can't stand listening to some romantic jazz 20 nights a month. Just don't have it in me.

    So why continue in this high cash flow low profit industry? simple because for me there is a certain power in cash flow. My target is not necessarily profitability or the immediate realization of profit. That will come at a later time. So unless your goal is to exploit cash flow (which in itself is a dangerous game), you should really be concentrating on profitability. But really any serious business person would look at my accounts and laugh (well actually my financial planner does that already) because it's not a real money making business to be in, in Singapore anyway. It's an ok lifestyle and at my rates I can probably retire when I'm oh about 70 years.

    Hopefully this post brings about reality for a lot of people thinking about joining the industry just because of they hear of the "big" numbers being thrown around or for photographers thinking the high end market is more profitable than the mid or low end market. Anyway, as a closer, I'd advice a photographer getting into this industry to think about how they plan on getting out before they get in. The exit is way more important than the entry. A wise banker told me that piece of advice years ago and every single day his saying is becoming more and more relevant.
    I do not think TS has the intention to be a wedding photographer, part-time or turning pro. Many selfless pros have given their valuable takes nevertheless. Why would anyone be willing to share with a potential competitor?

    Kuang, a gentleman and his true self is ever so willing to share, his time, experience and knowledge. A mark of a true Class A player.

    There are more to art and passion. If itís a business, think like an entrepreneur or a businessman. It helps to understand finance or accounting, but these would not get you very far. Asking very basic questions just meant that you have not done your homework. To be, or not to be?
    1) Itís not the money, itís the passion to make it.
    2) Do you have a burning desire? Hunger for achievement.
    3) Are you stupid enough to even try?

    If itís yes, just do it. Your survival instinct will see you thru. But start with a capital to last you a year or two. Itís expensive as a business as itís a hobby. Do not just try, see first, hope, etc. You are doomed to fail.

    To be a successful photographer or a successful businessman requires a certain mentality, charging right is the first step. Everything else is secondary.
    just1book, no kidding!

  8. #88
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: How much do you charge for an AD wedding

    Quote Originally Posted by Belle&Sebastain View Post
    I agree! A meal with clients rarely starts from $350 for 4, and its not the type to fill you in, just a nice place to discuss about their passion for good photography. Also dry-cleaning the suit is another plain. Any of you guys wear a suit to work? A dress shoe is also important, as with my nice white shirts and cufflinks. Also I have started to bring spare sets incase my clients need one. Larry Smith would set them siggering behind me, Paul Smith would make me look better. Cufflinks starts at $179, some cost $399.

    speaking of what to wear during shooting a wedding, that remind me about some time ago, someone mention that he need to wear a pair of slipper, since he need to run in and out the houses for shooting tea ceremony....
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
    www.benjaminloo.com | iStock portfolio

  9. #89

    Default Re: How much do you charge for an AD wedding

    Quote Originally Posted by Belle&Sebastain View Post
    I agree! A meal with clients rarely starts from $350 for 4, and its not the type to fill you in, just a nice place to discuss about their passion for good photography. Also dry-cleaning the suit is another plain. Any of you guys wear a suit to work? A dress shoe is also important, as with my nice white shirts and cufflinks. Also I have started to bring spare sets incase my clients need one. Larry Smith would set them siggering behind me, Paul Smith would make me look better. Cufflinks starts at $179, some cost $399.


    what was i smoking? I meant $200 very light refreshments for 4 like at PS cafe.

  10. #90
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    Default Re: How much do you charge for an AD wedding

    Quote Originally Posted by lancey View Post
    I never said this is not a business. I just said it's lucrative...and more people should join in and start their own wedding photography businesses and share the big PIE.
    It can be lucrative if you know how to play your cards right, if not, too many peez will be sharing the same pie, just like donuts, pork floss buns, bubble tea and look at what happens to all these entities

    And how much you charge will depend on which market you're targeting, and pitching it right from the beginning will save you a lot time, and I mean really know how to turn away people who falls in the wasting-your-time category.

    I don't mind sharing this too, if clients requirements deviate too much from my standard terms and conditions, I can either make a decision not to take up the job or make them pay more for it. For example, clients wants exclusivity or want to put in clauses that prevents you from monetizing the images in future (e.g. you can't post, use the images for advertising purposes or competition), then the fees are going to be different. Call me mercenary, but clients who value your work or clients who can see how much you value your work usually don't mind negoitating for that.

  11. #91

    Default Re: How much do you charge for an AD wedding

    The portfolio speaks for themselves. ALl the negotiation is just smoke screen.

  12. #92

    Default Re: How much do you charge for an AD wedding

    Quote Originally Posted by lancey View Post
    The portfolio speaks for themselves. ALl the negotiation is just smoke screen.
    Have you quited your day job and started your AD wedding business yet? Otherwise all your talk sounds cheap doesn't it?

  13. #93

    Default Re: How much do you charge for an AD wedding

    dun tink i'll need to quit my day job though.

  14. #94
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: How much do you charge for an AD wedding

    Quote Originally Posted by shinken View Post
    Have you quited your day job and started your AD wedding business yet? Otherwise all your talk sounds cheap doesn't it?
    it is as usual,

    there is always have one hundred photographers say I can shoot better than so and so, but only handful of them able to put down his works side by side to compete.

    I used to talk like that in my younger days, but realize that to stay in business, able to shoot good photos is not the only key factors.
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
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  15. #95

    Default Re: How much do you charge for an AD wedding

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights View Post
    it is as usual,

    there is always have one hundred photographers say I can shoot better than so and so, but only handful of them able to put down his works side by side to compete.

    I used to talk like that in my younger days, but realize that to stay in business, able to shoot good photos is not the only key factors.
    Agree. Way too common for pple who can just talk. What's new? But out of the hundred, sometimes there's just one who can walk the talk; they have my utmost respect, along with all the esteemed bros here who have worked so hard in the industry.

  16. #96

    Default Re: How much do you charge for an AD wedding

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights View Post
    it is as usual,

    there is always have one hundred photographers say I can shoot better than so and so, but only handful of them able to put down his works side by side to compete.

    I used to talk like that in my younger days, but realize that to stay in business, able to shoot good photos is not the only key factors.
    I checked your website and gallery. Nothing spectacular to be honest. You must have very good business skills to stay in business i guess? Care to share?

  17. #97

    Default Re: How much do you charge for an AD wedding

    Quote Originally Posted by lancey View Post
    dun tink i'll need to quit my day job though.
    This is Photo Biz forum, where practitioners share their different business practices. If you're coming from a consumer point of view and don't believe what's shared, then perhaps you could clarify exactly what you disbelieve in, with empirical or anecdotal evidence to help us understand better. Or if you disagree with what's shared about the business practices, you can start your own, come out with an alternative set of practices, then share them here and when they proved to be workable.

    But your challenges, sarcasm and negativity is doing nothing constructive except for stirring up negativity amongst practitioners and non practitioners. Or is this your main intention?

  18. #98
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: How much do you charge for an AD wedding

    Quote Originally Posted by lancey View Post
    I checked your website and gallery. Nothing spectacular to be honest. You must have very good business skills to stay in business i guess? Care to share?
    three things I can tell you right now,

    first, in photography business, or professional photography, able to do a proper business practice is far more important than able to shoot.
    second, I never publish my best works.

    third, I don't have time to update my site.
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
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  19. #99

    Default Re: How much do you charge for an AD wedding

    Quote Originally Posted by shinken View Post
    This is Photo Biz forum, where practitioners share their different business practices. If you're coming from a consumer point of view and don't believe what's shared, then perhaps you could clarify exactly what you disbelieve in, with empirical or anecdotal evidence to help us understand better. Or if you disagree with what's shared about the business practices, you can start your own, come out with an alternative set of practices, then share them here and when they proved to be workable.

    But your challenges, sarcasm and negativity is doing nothing constructive except for stirring up negativity amongst practitioners and non practitioners. Or is this your main intention?

    I tink i will come up with my own set of practices soon. will PM u if it works. Hope u will still be ard the forum. No need to get so jumpy.

  20. #100

    Default Re: How much do you charge for an AD wedding

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights View Post
    three things I can tell you right now,

    first, in photography business, or professional photography, able to do a proper business practice is far more important than able to shoot.
    second, I never publish my best works.

    third, I don't have time to update my site.
    I will brush up on my business skills which i feel is the way to go. Ability to shoot well really doesn't count from what i gather from the experts here. Thx for the confirmation and good luck with your updated website.

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