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Thread: TNP Article on some of our wedding gurus here..

  1. #41

    Default Re: TNP Article on some of our wedding gurus here..

    as i mentioned..

    "Well, we all have different yardsticks to measure out standards"

    "The justificication comes when their clients see their work and says "Yes we want to fork out that amount of money for this photographer" for those who cant, move on."

    "The defination of a professional is when a person becomes an expert at his or her work following an occupation as a means of livelihood. So once again... Photographers Many, Professionals Few."

    "as long as you command the power to charge a higher rate, you will have a greater responsibility on your part." Since Singapore is a society that is "must get cheap and good" it is even easier to get scrutinized and reputation tarnished.

    disclaimer.. "This abstract by CKuang explains enough for his rationale for mentioning 8K."


    Quote Originally Posted by ckuang View Post
    Just to clear up some issues with the article, the amount of $8k was quoted based on a 12 hour day with an album as they wanted to bring everyone to a common standard of deliverables. Will be happy to let everyone know that i have not shot a 12 hour wedding in years and hope I won't for a long time to come. Most of the weddings I shoot range between 6-8 hours only. The paper did not quote my disclaimer so i hope readers won't take this info out of context. Hope this info helps readers make an informed judgment about the state of the industry and not get fooled by the sensational headlines.
    If one day, a few people started charging 8-10K per wedding and slowly increased their hit rates in the number of weddings signed per month, would it not encourage more photographers from all levels to increase their rates seeing that these higher end photographers can pull it off, so can they?

    educating the client doesnt mean telling them that the market is like that. It means telling them that like all other professions, you too are making an honest living. And that the reason to why u pay a specialist more then an MO is probably the same reason to why you pay a pro photographer more then a hobbyist.

    Most higher end photographers, not just weddings, have and are mostly bounded by a legal contract which not only assures the client, but also safeguard themselves should anything happen. So in cases where "Sh*t happened" it can be possible that the photographer be dragged to court as well. The only difference from most other jobs is, we do not have a governing body to determine our status and to met out ironclad guidelines which we must adhere to.

    Quote Originally Posted by Priscilia View Post
    You can maybe take 10 weddings, 6 screw-ups, 4 not too bad, you can use those 4 as your portfolios. No one knows how bad you could be. If you screw someone's pictures, how? Apologize, refund some money? Maybe, but that's not going to cure anything. What's the money worth anyway to the couple? Nothing much. The wedding's over. And you can still possibly go on. That's the worst case scenario of course. There's no governing body to review your work, to maintain your professional license, etc. In other words, you can be into photography with a mere 1 year experience and if you THINK you are ready, you can go full-time. No one can stop you, assuming you do get enough trust from your clients.

    "as long as you command the power to charge a higher rate, you will have a greater responsibility on your part."

    You may escape one, two, maybe even three. But how long is it before you make a big enough boo boo that you get dragged down enough to have such a bad rep in the industry that probably every major forums are asking people to becareful of you? Look ard... im sure u'll find mentions of names even within this forum. These people may or may not get a 2nd lease of getting back into the same business. And i personally know one of them.

    Quoted from Jossseee in asiaONE forum,
    "Those other professions like teachers, cleaners, engineers... their jobs are no easier than yours. And they may not even enjoy their work and may earn even less than you. So I think it's really a case of Everyone Wants More Money For Himself."

    Well Since it is a case of "EVERYONE WANTS MORE MONEY FOR HIMSELF" why not just let go of the whole wedding photographers should be contented with what they are getting cos everyone wants more money for himself, and since wedding photographers can make more money for himself then be happy for him because at least he can do it, unlike others.



    But all said...... At the end of the day.... We all have our own personal views on situations like that. So it is true that, " times like these it's really damned if you do, damned if you don't"
    Last edited by Chris Lim; 18th November 2008 at 12:59 PM.

  2. #42
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    Default Re: TNP Article on some of our wedding gurus here..

    Hi Priscilia

    Thank you for your well thought out post. I agree with you, it's not an article that I am gleeful over as it has been sensationalized quite a bit and a large portion of the "disclaimers" in the interview were left out, which I had a gut feeling was going to be the case. I went ahead and gave the interview anyway, despite my feelings because I feel that a new age of information is upon us and I think it is really important for the future of the industry to have a certain level of transparency.

    While I know there is no way I can change the industry and change the mind of consumers, I feel that by being honest and upfront about what I do is a way of paying it forward in tribute to the "masters" who were just as open and accommodating towards me and helping me along the way. Personally I think the old way of us trying to hide secrets from each other is long over. Rather I feel we're in an information age where we are able to exchange information with one another to create value for the clients. Ideally we can be professionals in an industry governed by goodwill and co operation rather than in fighting and greed.

    Hiding my head in the sand and pretending that there are not going to be more and more people wanting to shoot weddings would be ignoring a very real fact whether or not this article came out. And the funny thing about it is that after the article came out, I got a few wedding photog wannabes emailing and saying they thought I charged more than that and thinking if that was the case, maybe the market isn't that great here in Singapore, especially after they see the kind of numbers being generated in places like OZ and States, which ironically have a lower cost of operations in many regards. In some strange ways, i think the article cuts both ways.

    By being open, my hope is that while I cannot stop people from being wedding photographers, hopefully they would be equipped with the knowledge of the ins and outs of the business to create a sensible business model both for themselves and the industry.

    This is one of the points i raised in the interview which was omitted, was that many young professionals who could have been something else, be it a doctor or a lawyer, entering the industry with sensible business models and that is why you see the rates going up. The numbers that you see are not just random numbers plucked from the sky in hopes of making it big. I'm very encouraged by that fact.

    But i think the joke is that for all the "sensation" this article has been creating, a big name wedding photog was recently in town and the cost of his wedding shoot was easily 5x my day rates. now that to me is sensational. haha, can you imagine the reaction of the readers? I'm really still a little plankton in a really big ocean, but that's ok, because I'm still learning and that's the fun part.

  3. #43
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    Default Re: TNP Article on some of our wedding gurus here..

    Quote Originally Posted by shinken View Post
    I am commenting in the context of this forum being the "Photobiz forum"

    I know a number of people who spent 8k on their hifi speakers (not including cables, amp etc) and it ends up collecting dust and eating up precious space in their houses. Heck, my 8k setup is collecting dust - literally.

    I know a number of people who spent sums exceeding 20k frequently on timepieces which they keep in the box and hardly take it out to view it - ever. And even forget about them.

    I know a number of ladies who'd forget about their 5-figure worth of handbags in their storage rooms.

    I can go on and on about the numerous examples of products and services which priced far above their perceived value. Any business person who tries to cap the product of their price and service according to their own experience will only be able to price their products or services as such.

    I can't help but notice that many participants in this forum likes to argue against the 'worth'. Asking 'why is it worth so much?' or arguing 'why it should not be worth so much'... When the real question to ask, in this forum - the Photobiz forum, is 'how did you guys make it worth so much?'. These guys are still in the business. People are still paying what they're asking. So at the end of the day, they ARE worth this much, no matter how you argue why it should and shouldn't be.

    Maybe all the attempts trying to place a fair value on wedding photography should be more suited in forums like singaporebrides, where such discussions come from the consumers' point of view.

    Ultimately, to apply any pre-conceived notions of worth in business is vastly limiting. You're just one human being existing in one singular social-cultural context.

    So to bring the discussion to context, why not ask if Kuang, Stephen and Kelvin are willing to share 'how' they managed to price as such?
    Hahahaha...

    Thanks for sharing your point of view.

    To your last point, its a simple answer.

  4. #44

    Default Re: TNP Article on some of our wedding gurus here..

    It's human nature to moan about his terrible life compared to others. Why else would Singaporeans complain about expensive public transport fees when ours are about the cheapest in the world for a developed country?

    Likewise, the pro wedding photogs will moan about how hard they work, the hours into post-production etc. But put it in perspective, there are people who work far harder and earn less, and enjoy their work less. This is an issue with Singaporeans, they love to bring people who they perceive as having an easy time, down to their level. Hence the gawking over the salaries of CEOs, ministers and other professions here.

    Personally, I don't find the job of a wedding photographer appealing at all. Why? When you combine work with hobby, chances are you lose your passion for your hobby. That's even more pronounced when you have lots of repetitive assignments like weddings.

    On the bright side, you have awesome stuff like working from home (optional), flexible working hours, more fun than the usual corporate work.

    Priscillia makes a lot of sense.

    Finally, people are easily fooled into thinking just because a large lump sum is paid, one earns a lot. In truth, profitable zhi char owners make an insane amount of money, often running up into the tens/hundreds of thousands a month. And some of them don't cook, just hire chefs what.
    Last edited by tjhan; 18th November 2008 at 02:31 PM.
    Research Institute for Unicultural Visual Arts - Riuva.com

  5. #45

    Default Re: TNP Article on some of our wedding gurus here..

    i think newbies should start charging 8k, even for first timers. I think the 8k portfolios and some 2k ones are not much different. Marketting psychology at work or just goondu couples? Whatever it is, if they r crazy enuff to pay u that kind of money, u'd better take it! ;0

  6. #46

    Default Re: TNP Article on some of our wedding gurus here..

    in fact , some of the 8k portfolios looks like crap to me, to be honest.

  7. #47
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    Default Re: TNP Article on some of our wedding gurus here..

    Lancey I totally agree, thosee portfolios suck! These photographers should be dragged into the streets and shot. damn mongrels!

  8. #48
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    Default Re: TNP Article on some of our wedding gurus here..

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights View Post
    who want to change line to be a makeup artist?

    charge $1000 for two hours works with no "post production"
    This interview was 1 month ago. The dude who charges $1k for 2 hours has raised his fees to S$1500

  9. #49

    Default Re: TNP Article on some of our wedding gurus here..


    This is a real life experience and I'm speaking in the perspective of a consumer...do take sometime and read this and see for yourself if the same thing happened to you..and think about why wedding photography may be important for some but not others...





    Both my other half and I would hire a photographer whom we think is capable to sum up my relationship with my gf at my wedding...photographing the moments which I can in future relate to my children and grandchildren.

    Its something i would regard as heirloom, My parents still have a coffee table album which they took about 27 years ago and is still in good conditions other than the discoloration. When I was younger, I remember my mum bringing it out of her cupboard showing it to me...telling me about the photographer who took it and how it was taken. Time to time again I've also seen her taking it out to clean it and look at it, especially during spring cleaning.

    This is exactly the same thing which I hope I can do for my children and grandchildren. I can even show them my parent's album.

    Anyone can be a good photographer but not everyone can be a good wedding photographer. The feelings and mood in the photographs must be able to stand the test of time.

    Many times i heard my friends mentioning that their wedding photos always end up in the storeroom, reason being that there was nothing special about those photos. It's the simple generic photos that their bridal photographers took which looks the same as any other couples who took up the package from Bridal Shops. So when I showed them photos of William Chua, Kelvin Koh, jOhO and a couple of my favourite photographers from America...They said..."We wish to have such photos too at least these photos are something we will hang on every wall we have or even show off to our friends."

    Regret was the only thing left after they were so call "educated" in the sense of wedding photography.

    Be it for showing off, for memories, heirloom or any other things. Its important that a couple understand their needs and wants for their wedding photographs. Only then you'll understand the value of wedding photography and why people in the other side of this world are forking out USD$10k - USD$25k just for a half day wedding.

    Both me and my other half are willing to even fly in our favourite photographer from America if we cannot find a photographer we like in Singapore. That is how much we value our courtship and our wedding photographs. You cannot say that we are foolish or stupid to waste good money on it.

    Some people think the money should be spent on the diamond rings, some on the wedding banquet of many many many tables, some on the think that money should be spent on the hard liquors that left many guests drunk.

    For me and my other half, we believe only in a great wedding ring, a good wedding photographer, a beautiful gown, and cutting of a real wedding cake.


    So what's yours?

  10. #50

    Default Re: TNP Article on some of our wedding gurus here..

    Quote Originally Posted by ckuang View Post
    Lancey I totally agree, thosee portfolios suck! These photographers should be dragged into the streets and shot. damn mongrels!
    not necessary. The pictures speak for themselves. Only fools would pay that kindda money for them.

  11. #51

    Default Re: TNP Article on some of our wedding gurus here..

    The local scene here should command 2k tops. Every porfolio looks the same to me. Standard Operating Scenes. Jack it up with a few flying gowns on the beach and u get 200 bucks more.

  12. #52
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    Default Re: TNP Article on some of our wedding gurus here..

    I've also read the article.

    Those who can't afford to pay $8000 are not his customers.

    If people complain about the price, i think there's something wrong, because his services are not compulsory. One can easily engage someone who has lower charges.

    There are two type of people in general, those who value money, and those who value quality. I hate to say it but those who belong to the first group sometimes don't understand that there's no such thing as cheap and good.

  13. #53
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    Default Re: TNP Article on some of our wedding gurus here..

    Quote Originally Posted by lancey View Post
    i think newbies should start charging 8k, even for first timers. I think the 8k portfolios and some 2k ones are not much different. Marketting psychology at work or just goondu couples? Whatever it is, if they r crazy enuff to pay u that kind of money, u'd better take it! ;0
    Those who charge $8000 without any understanding of economics in supply and demand will get into trouble very soon.

    People who can afford to pay $8000 doesn't accept low quality. If the quality doesn't meet expectation, anything bad legally can happen.

  14. #54

    Default Re: TNP Article on some of our wedding gurus here..

    Quote Originally Posted by Lumiere View Post
    [I]


    For me and my other half, we believe only in a great wedding ring, a good wedding photographer, a beautiful gown, and cutting of a real wedding cake.


    So what's yours?
    A good and cheap(aka honest) wedding photographer for me.

  15. #55

    Default Re: TNP Article on some of our wedding gurus here..

    Quote Originally Posted by Parka View Post
    Those who charge $8000 without any understanding of economics in supply and demand will get into trouble very soon.

    People who can afford to pay $8000 doesn't accept low quality. If the quality doesn't meet expectation, anything bad legally can happen.
    Quality as in clarity and sharpness of pictures? U mean a 2k porfolio have bad quality? Or do u mean quality in a sense other than that? what quality r u talking about? every wedding website i see advertised here looks the same to me in terms of timing, imagination and imagination. But yet they command different rates? Seems to me these whole trade is more of a marketting one than a technical/artistic one.

    Probably the real "masters" aren't even interested in this forum..

  16. #56
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    Default Re: TNP Article on some of our wedding gurus here..

    Quote Originally Posted by lancey View Post
    Quality as in clarity and sharpness of pictures? U mean a 2k porfolio have bad quality? Or do u mean quality in a sense other than that? what quality r u talking about? every wedding website i see advertised here looks the same to me in terms of timing, imagination and imagination. But yet they command different rates? Seems to me these whole trade is more of a marketting one than a technical/artistic one.

    Probably the real "masters" aren't even interested in this forum..
    Maybe a more accurate word I should use is "expectation", since quality is different to every individual.

  17. #57
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    Default Re: TNP Article on some of our wedding gurus here..

    Think it wasn't too long ago in CS forum when folks are whining and bitching about photographers who charge too low/spoiling market/undercutting.

    Now that people are commanding almost 5-figure sum for wedding, there's just as much to say about them.

    People are really hard to please

  18. #58

    Default Re: TNP Article on some of our wedding gurus here..

    Quote Originally Posted by lancey View Post
    not necessary. The pictures speak for themselves. Only fools would pay that kindda money for them.
    Quote Originally Posted by lancey View Post
    The local scene here should command 2k tops. Every porfolio looks the same to me. Standard Operating Scenes. Jack it up with a few flying gowns on the beach and u get 200 bucks more.
    If you look at it at face value... isn't every "cost" in a wedding "hyped" and inflated?

    From what you wear to what you eat... even the rings you put on each other's finger is really nothing but marketing...

    just in case you aren't aware... below is a case study on how diamonds (thus wedding rings) comes about.

    http://pages.stern.nyu.edu/~rwiner/D...ers%20case.doc
    Last edited by CYRN; 18th November 2008 at 04:56 PM.
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  19. #59

    Default Re: TNP Article on some of our wedding gurus here..

    Quote Originally Posted by ckuang View Post
    Lancey I totally agree, thosee portfolios suck! These photographers should be dragged into the streets and shot. damn mongrels!
    Quote Originally Posted by canturn View Post
    Think it wasn't too long ago in CS forum when folks are whining and bitching about photographers who charge too low/spoiling market/undercutting.

    Now that people are commanding almost 5-figure sum for wedding, there's just as much to say about them.

    People are really hard to please

  20. #60

    Default Re: TNP Article on some of our wedding gurus here..

    Quote Originally Posted by CYRN View Post
    If you look at it at face value... isn't every "cost" in a wedding "hyped" and inflated?

    From what you wear to what you eat... even the rings you put on each other's finger is really nothing but marketing...

    just in case you aren't aware... below is a case study on how diamonds (thus wedding rings) comes about.

    http://pages.stern.nyu.edu/~rwiner/D...ers%20case.doc
    Precisely. This whole wedding shoot thing and the price differential is all hyped around clever marketting(aka BS) tools. Look at some of these peoples' website, telling others what picture of theirs won which competition and so forth. Pathetic. As if to tell the whole world they should pay more for his/her service.

    reminds me of hawker centres pasting adward certs(culinary of cos) in their stall fronts. Some really CMI.

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