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Thread: How much do you charge for an AD wedding

  1. #101

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

    Quote Originally Posted by lancey View Post
    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.
    Apologies if my delivery comes across as offensive. I believe for more practitioners to come forward to share, there must first be a comfortable environment that encourages them to. Already, there's no extrinsic motivation for us to share what we do. And if we do, and are met by bombardments, sarcasm and challenges, then those who're hesitating to come forward to share and help the industry progress will be even more discouraged to do so. Hope you can understand where I can come from.

  2. #102

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

    Quote Originally Posted by shinken View Post
    Apologies if my delivery comes across as offensive. I believe for more practitioners to come forward to share, there must first be a comfortable environment that encourages them to. Already, there's no extrinsic motivation for us to share what we do. And if we do, and are met by bombardments, sarcasm and challenges, then those who're hesitating to come forward to share and help the industry progress will be even more discouraged to do so. Hope you can understand where I can come from.
    Yep, no problem. Maybe u can be my mentor one day.

  3. #103
    Senior Member jOhO's Avatar
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    Default Re: How much do you charge for an AD wedding

    this business is lucrative??

    i have NEVER seen a photographer on the cover of forbes...

    if u want LUCRATIVE, go into oil or something.

    of course, this industry can get by, more than get by, but lucrative, no nononnonono way.

    unless we have different meanings for the word lucrative.

  4. #104

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

    Quote Originally Posted by jOhO View Post
    this business is lucrative??

    i have NEVER seen a photographer on the cover of forbes...

    if u want LUCRATIVE, go into oil or something.

    of course, this industry can get by, more than get by, but lucrative, no nononnonono way.

    unless we have different meanings for the word lucrative.
    Yea, maybe. doesn't matter. Anyone can say they r poor or rich. U believe? tell that to the taxman.

  5. #105
    Senior Member jOhO's Avatar
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    Default Re: How much do you charge for an AD wedding

    Quote Originally Posted by lancey View Post
    Yea, maybe. doesn't matter. Anyone can say they r poor or rich. U believe? tell that to the taxman.
    what did i say that had to do with how rich "anyone" is, whoever "anyone" is?

    and further, i'm not sure how tax has come involved.

  6. #106

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

    Quote Originally Posted by lancey View Post
    Yep, no problem. Maybe u can be my mentor one day.
    Compared to so many working photogs, I don't think I have enough of what it takes to be a real mentor. No sarcasm here. You're right about the importance of business skills, it's my major and stumbling flaw which is slowing down my business's growth. You're also probably right when you can't believe whether a person is rich or not just by what they say. But as I read the different posts in this thread, I believe that for those who shared tried to put forward how it's not as profitable as it seems, most also tried to contextualize what they said, which is heartening, because there're some really invaluable reference materials, even for me.

    If an industry is not profitable, there'll be very little interest. That's a fact. And if someone goes into business just for passion (like the dumb old me), then it'll be a rude shock. Yes, I believe it's profitable, but it's really not easy at all, and definitely far less profitable than it seems. Give what has been said in this thread another chance.

  7. #107
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    Default Re: How much do you charge for an AD wedding

    Quote Originally Posted by shinken View Post
    If an industry is not profitable, there'll be very little interest. That's a fact.
    Actually gotta correct you on this one. Interest in an industry is created by the PERCEPTION of the profitability of the industry and not the actual level of profitability. Some examples includes the California gold rush in the 1800s, everyone thought they would strike it big and everyone rushed to California, most never made a cent and in fact many many prospectors went broke.

    Another recent example would be the housing industry in 2006 and 2007 in Singapore. Remember how everyone during that time was rushing to become a housing agent? Very few walked away with a profit and even fewer struck the mother load. Those that did really well were the agents who were already in the industry for a long time before the "gold rush" of the last 2 years.

  8. #108
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: How much do you charge for an AD wedding

    that's reminded me about selling the Lohan Fish and bubble tea business.
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
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  9. #109

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

    Quote Originally Posted by ckuang View Post
    Actually gotta correct you on this one. Interest in an industry is created by the PERCEPTION of the profitability of the industry and not the actual level of profitability. Some examples includes the California gold rush in the 1800s, everyone thought they would strike it big and everyone rushed to California, most never made a cent and in fact many many prospectors went broke.

    Another recent example would be the housing industry in 2006 and 2007 in Singapore. Remember how everyone during that time was rushing to become a housing agent? Very few walked away with a profit and even fewer struck the mother load. Those that did really well were the agents who were already in the industry for a long time before the "gold rush" of the last 2 years.
    I stand corrected. That was what I really meant to say.

  10. #110

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

    So many come and goes, so many says he can shoots better, but infact better or what so ever is from clients and bussiness flow.

    I always believe, if u are that good, u have already shine already. Many would have know ur name. A sharp knife can't be hidden forever.

    I used to look back to what i shoot, be it weddings, commercial, portraits, whatever, and i always comes to one conclusion, it can be better.

    When i started, i was arrogant, always tot i can shoot better, now, nah.....one is only good when ppl likes his work, one cannot says he is good, proclaiming itself, i call it self decieving.

    Last time i look at someone else's work, i say:'' I can do better.''
    But many years pasted, i realised:'' Given the same senario, same subject, i may or may not shoot better.''

    Yeah, many professionals work may not be that spectaclar, example people portraits, but given the same situation, u may not be able to deliver.

    Photography if it's good money, then i cannot understand why one shd not quit it's full time job and jump in.
    Eat breath LIVERPOOL!!!

  11. #111
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    Default Re: How much do you charge for an AD wedding

    I'm just in this to pay off my equipments.

  12. #112
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    Default Re: How much do you charge for an AD wedding

    Quote Originally Posted by fotoudavid View Post
    So many come and goes, so many says he can shoots better, but infact better or what so ever is from clients and bussiness flow.

    I always believe, if u are that good, u have already shine already. Many would have know ur name. A sharp knife can't be hidden forever.

    I used to look back to what i shoot, be it weddings, commercial, portraits, whatever, and i always comes to one conclusion, it can be better.

    When i started, i was arrogant, always tot i can shoot better, now, nah.....one is only good when ppl likes his work, one cannot says he is good, proclaiming itself, i call it self decieving.

    Last time i look at someone else's work, i say:'' I can do better.''
    But many years pasted, i realised:'' Given the same senario, same subject, i may or may not shoot better.''

    Yeah, many professionals work may not be that spectaclar, example people portraits, but given the same situation, u may not be able to deliver.

    Photography if it's good money, then i cannot understand why one shd not quit it's full time job and jump in.
    It's a sign of growing old, and also maturity in the art.
    Successful and matured photographers are humble, they do not need to prove more.
    Young, hungry ones out there needed to work harder and can be cocky sometimes.
    just1book, no kidding!

  13. #113

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

    I really think some of u guys should retire. what a depressing lot

  14. #114

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

    Shinken, u make a lot of sense. But the general impression i get from these postings is that wedding photography is a business where: "as long as u get paid well, who cares what crap u produce". Sad but people are apparently proud of it.

    and the people inside are telling us :" oh no, not as profitable dun come in, it's hard, not very lucrative hahaha" but at the same time they r still happily inside the ring making money out of it.

    I have yet to see one post where newcomers are encouraged to come into the market. Know why? it's obvious. U invite your competitor to be your neighbour? spore is a small circle, dun forget.

    Take these threads with a pinch of salt. But liked i said, u make a lot of sense in your postings. I will be watching your posts.

  15. #115

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

    Quote Originally Posted by lancey View Post
    and the people inside are telling us :" oh no, not as profitable dun come in, it's hard, not very lucrative hahaha" but at the same time they r still happily inside the ring making money out of it.

    I have yet to see one post where newcomers are encouraged to come into the market. Know why? it's obvious. U invite your competitor to be your neighbour? spore is a small circle, dun forget.
    My exact sentiments. That's the pattern I've observed here for some time.

    The general advice seems to be, it's hard work, pay ok only (but really what is ok?) and it may not be suitable for you. But if you think about it, those descriptions fit any job.

    If you're looking for some "kakis" to go out and shoot, and look for some like-minded people here, they'll likely tell you, "Welcome to CS! Come, come, don't shy we all start from some place. Make friends!"

    But the moment you express interest in wedding photography, they go, RED ALERT! And give all sorts of reasons to make you feel, "Am I competant enough? Am I Really SURE this business is for me?" And others give ludicrous comparisons like being a photographer won't make you become super rich like some oil tycoons, etc. *roll eyes* Whoever said they want to be that rich from being a wedding photographer?

    And yet others will challenge you, like, "How much do you know about wedding photography? I'd like to see some of your works." I dislike such arrogance. It's as if they were born with high and mighty skills, and only they could capture those special moments. Weren't they a baby in photography once too?

    Strangely, these very photographers started off somewhere themselves. I've seen a few of their works "evolve" through the years. They also started off posting newbie shots and progressed from there. Even the better known photographers take so-so shots when they started out and before they turn pro. (A handful still take mediocre shots, but due to word-of-mouth, they can maintain their group of client pool.)

    So how can anyone say this wedding photography career path is impossible for other newbies? No one is born a genius photographer. Everyone probably started off with photography as a hobby.

    So to those interested in weddings, I'd say Go for it. Do your own research. You won't get hold-you-by-the-hand info here, unless you know someone well enough who's willing to mentor you.

    Just remember: We all once used to crawl first before we walk. We may be slower, but we'll reach there with determination and self-belief. No one should put you down into realizing your dreams.

    Even if it doesn't work out, you know you've tried. The worst that can ever happen in your life is to FEAR you cannot make it, but actually you can.

  16. #116

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

    Quote Originally Posted by shinken View Post
    Without divulging my full business model and operations, I wouldn't be able to throw you a number and make sense of it. Which of course, is something I'm uncomfortable with. Just curious, why would you want to know?

    There are end clients who frequent these forums but not participate. If they leave with the impression that a 'fair' charge is $16/hr, then they'd think those who charge $150/hr are charging 10 times more than they should, those who charge $300/hr are charging 20 times more than they should. That is definitely a false impression. People use numbers to suit they way they want to interpret the world, even scientific researchers. Not everyone would look through each post to be more perceptive and understanding.

    Everyday I wonder if I have made the mistake of not accepting the offer from this one mentor who made a world of difference to my photography to join his studio. Then I can just concentrate on pursuing my art.
    I wanted to know because it will really help me if I wanted to go full time with this. I can understand if you do not want to share.

    You don't really have to worry about the $16/hour rate. If the client can only pay this much, he will soon find ou the truth when no one want to take up his job due to low pay. This is one reason why i am still sticking to my day job. I can choose who I want to shoot and how much I want to charge.

  17. #117

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

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights View Post
    This is not customer service, customer service is to tell them that you can do a better job than let them DIY, you are throwing your potential profit away.

    anyway, where to print their photos is their choice, so be it.
    I am still billing them if I do the print but I do not add on extra charges. I do mind where they do the print because where the print is done matter. If it is poorly printed, it affected my reputation.

  18. #118

    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.

    Thanks for sharing this.

  19. #119
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: How much do you charge for an AD wedding

    Quote Originally Posted by Xiao_shin View Post
    I am still billing them if I do the print but I do not add on extra charges. I do mind where they do the print because where the print is done matter. If it is poorly printed, it affected my reputation.
    I edited my post already, what I meant is they have to pay me a premium for doing the 4R album for them.
    If they don't want, that's their choice.
    I can tell them where to get good prints, but wouldn't be cheap as neighborhood labs, than again, that is their choice.
    anyway, serving this type of customers, it will affect your reputation eventually, not about how the final prints will look like.
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
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  20. #120

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

    Quote Originally Posted by lancey View Post
    Shinken, u make a lot of sense. But the general impression i get from these postings is that wedding photography is a business where: "as long as u get paid well, who cares what crap u produce". Sad but people are apparently proud of it.

    and the people inside are telling us :" oh no, not as profitable dun come in, it's hard, not very lucrative hahaha" but at the same time they r still happily inside the ring making money out of it.

    I have yet to see one post where newcomers are encouraged to come into the market. Know why? it's obvious. U invite your competitor to be your neighbour? spore is a small circle, dun forget.

    Take these threads with a pinch of salt. But liked i said, u make a lot of sense in your postings. I will be watching your posts.
    Now that you mentioned it, I do noticed this trend too.

    What got me started on taking wedding as part time is so that I can pay off my equipment. Which I did. All my current equipment has been already paid for.

    I do scarifice some personal time doing the shoot and processing them. But I do enjoy al my assignment so far.

    One day, I would like to go full time. Seeing Joho and Will03 being able to go overseas and take a vacation and still bringing in money really inspired me.

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