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Thread: How will recession hit the wedding photography business?

  1. #41

    Default Re: How will recession hit the wedding photography business?

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Potter View Post
    Milk powders dun slash price because it is essential.

    Wedding photography is not an essential thing. Infact, wedding ceremony also not essential if the couples are really in tight situation. I'm sure we all have heard of couples just go ROM office, get flats, no banquets at all.
    I kinda of agree to disagree It really depends on the couple's priority in life. There are couples who are willing to spend more on photography becos they reckon that after the eventful day, when glasses are emptied, cakes cut, all the cheers and merrying ends, wat's left are the pictures that record the couples matrimony. These images will bring to generation of admiration when they look back.

    BTW, you can still get discounted milk powder during promotion.

  2. #42
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    Default Re: How will recession hit the wedding photography business?

    Quote Originally Posted by perspectives-act View Post
    I kinda of agree to disagree It really depends on the couple's priority in life. There are couples who are willing to spend more on photography becos they reckon that after the eventful day, when glasses are emptied, cakes cut, all the cheers and merrying ends, wat's left are the pictures that record the couples matrimony. These images will bring to generation of admiration when they look back.

    BTW, you can still get discounted milk powder during promotion.
    Agreed 100%! All the food you eat that day just come out the other way the next day. The photos will virtually last forever.

  3. #43

    Default Re: How will recession hit the wedding photography business?

    Alot of people miss the point.

    Wedding photography, is just photography of another genre. Yes it takes skills and experience to do it well. BUT.

    Wedding photography business is anothing thing altogether. How you run the business is probably harder then the act of photographing itself. So..

    I would think of how the recession will hit the wedding pg business as a good gauge to show who can make it in the business and who might not do so well.

    Budget setting and business model is just one tiny aspect of how to survive. Doesnt mean that people who go from 500-700 2 mths back to 1500-1800 now will not survive. But its more of how they can justify the value of their work's worth.

    So i'd say that alot of people who think that wedding photography is a good way of making quick bucks. I'd like to say that, you're gonna require a whole lot more then just being able to shoot good photos. You will be drained, tired, sleepless, lose creativity over time, uninspired, possibily lose passion cos it becomes a work that takes over ur life and maybe even make you more worried then you'll ever be at certain quiet times. And when you run out of gas or lose your niche(which i find is so easy to do in sg). Then what? Probably sth you should think about.

  4. #44
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    Default Re: How will recession hit the wedding photography business?

    Quote Originally Posted by gremlin View Post
    Check out the article here. How will the recession, the most serious in 60 years to boot, affect local wedding photography business? Start a recession package? Or still maintain or even increase rates?
    weddings are not planned in a day or two. what has been planned will still have to go ahead this year anyway.

  5. #45

    Default Re: How will recession hit the wedding photography business?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Lim View Post
    Alot of people miss the point.

    Wedding photography, is just photography of another genre. Yes it takes skills and experience to do it well. BUT.

    Wedding photography business is anothing thing altogether. How you run the business is probably harder then the act of photographing itself. So..

    I would think of how the recession will hit the wedding pg business as a good gauge to show who can make it in the business and who might not do so well.

    Budget setting and business model is just one tiny aspect of how to survive. Doesnt mean that people who go from 500-700 2 mths back to 1500-1800 now will not survive. But its more of how they can justify the value of their work's worth.

    So i'd say that alot of people who think that wedding photography is a good way of making quick bucks. I'd like to say that, you're gonna require a whole lot more then just being able to shoot good photos. You will be drained, tired, sleepless, lose creativity over time, uninspired, possibily lose passion cos it becomes a work that takes over ur life and maybe even make you more worried then you'll ever be at certain quiet times. And when you run out of gas or lose your niche(which i find is so easy to do in sg). Then what? Probably sth you should think about.
    There is a LOT of those in the market now.........and I mean a lot.......

    I just close another deal an hour ago.......with a couple who is still willing to splurge more than $5,000. This was because some joker (i guess it must he desperate.....) tried to close a deal for $500.00......yup......$500.00 Singapore dollars for Actual Wedding Day (including prints and CD). Reason why they did not sign up? Well.......I did not ask but my guess is they do not want to put their wedding day with someone who is selling themselves too cheap.

  6. #46

    Default Re: How will recession hit the wedding photography business?

    Quote Originally Posted by gremlin View Post
    Check out the article here. Start a recession package? Or still maintain or even increase rates?
    Not 100% related, but recessions, bad times, very generally speaking screw-ups will always happen. DO NOT PUT ALL YOUR EGGS IN ONE BASKET. If you think you can put your eggs in one basket, then better be earning 500K/year type and ensure you do not or at least its not easy to go into debt type of biz, till you really made it (enough reserves/savings).

    Be prepared to go through some rough times you don't diversify your income esp if you have over-committed to loans. Able to command 3-4k packages/earning 200K a year does not mean you go out immediate to go buy a GT-R and ask your wife to quit her job or become a HDB tai-tai.

    Its quite bad, sister's pharma sector affected bad, pops got SRS (also good dah...60+ years old liao leh), BIL Infineon/kimota going soon too. Did I tell you my wedding couple got retrenched on their wedding day? So I really count my blessings that I still have my day-time job into this Q4 for my Co and got news that still getting AI and bonus. (next FY then say LOL!). Lots of horror stories outside.

    I already foresaw this situation last year July, then tried my best to get every couple to confirm....so at least now I still got 40+ orders. Also increased deposit *just to be sure & safe*. But still i'd be very surprised if I can get 80 shoots this lunar year till Feb 2010....more like set target @ 60 happy liao.

    To survive Wedding Photography you gotta run it like a biz.
    To survive life its not difficult. Practise good fundamentals, don't over commit, shouldn't be an issue and get into debts.

    Rich people got rich because they do indulge in big ticket items like getting a 100K car (running costs are still high nowadays anyway), branded watches, "not worth much when selling back" diamonds, branded bags, high-end exotic tours when a China/backpack DIY tour would serve the same effect etc. If you have 200K in investments and 500K in FD then ok i've got nothing to say. BTW, your HDB house is not exactly an investment.
    Eg, my Pinnacle @ Duxton has ~ 300K in paper profit now, but I'm still crossing my fingers till 5-8 years down the road. LOL! ie, Money in hand first then say.

    Anyway, gonna start another biz in Batam with my wife, and hopefully 5-10 years down the road I would have made enough from all incomes, aim is to semi-retire with my wife in Indonesia together with my in-laws together by 40-45. Too stressful and low quality of life to stay in SG....anyway can easily travel back to SG for recreation if you are in Batam lar. Anyway got $$$ to spend that much everyday in SG meh....heh. To have a high quality of life here its not easy, too much $$$ and reserves needed unless your expectations are not that high or you have solid spiritual sustenance like religion. My own parents, hope I got enough dough to ask them to come along but then they fully support Papa Alpha Papa one....while i support money, reality and relaxation. LOL! See first dah...

    Life is always full of F-ups, be prepared and stay healthy.
    My main wish is for this recession to end by early 2010. If continues for 2-3 years then it will really be hard.
    Last edited by 2100; 22nd February 2009 at 08:46 AM.

  7. #47

    Default Re: How will recession hit the wedding photography business?

    Quote Originally Posted by jOhO View Post
    usually i let canturn talk but this time i'll have to chip in agree with him, especially the part where "our competitors aren't actually other photographers".

    sounds wierd but it's so true....
    Technically speaking I think your league won't be affected. My league affect a bit (1-1.5k range). But the mid-range 2K pack affect a lot. There is a diff between 1-2k, though it may be peanuts for your range.

    Correct me if I am wrong.

    Biang how time flies, its been 4 years since you shot my big day!!

  8. #48

    Default Re: How will recession hit the wedding photography business?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Lim View Post
    And when you run out of gas or lose your niche(which i find is so easy to do in sg). Then what? Probably sth you should think about.
    After 10 years in MNC fighting politics, running out of gas liao.

    Diverisfy.

  9. #49

    Default Re: How will recession hit the wedding photography business?

    wah ... terok man ... everything want discount ... cut course ... terok man ....

  10. #50

    Default Re: How will recession hit the wedding photography business?

    Quote Originally Posted by 2100 View Post
    Technically speaking I think your league won't be affected. My league affect a bit (1-1.5k range). But the mid-range 2K pack affect a lot. There is a diff between 1-2k, though it may be peanuts for your range.

    Correct me if I am wrong.

    Biang how time flies, its been 4 years since you shot my big day!!
    Mid range 2k suffer alot? Hmm maybe not for some...that's what my album maker noted... I'm in that range too however I'm gonna leave a lot of my prospective clients this year disappointed...

    I don't think the quantity of weddings can gauge the market...but the amount of willing-to-pay consumers.

    There are photographers who had around 40over weddings. But charge only 500+

  11. #51

    Default Re: How will recession hit the wedding photography business?

    Quote Originally Posted by perspectives-act View Post
    I kinda of agree to disagree It really depends on the couple's priority in life. There are couples who are willing to spend more on photography becos they reckon that after the eventful day, when glasses are emptied, cakes cut, all the cheers and merrying ends, wat's left are the pictures that record the couples matrimony. These images will bring to generation of admiration when they look back.

    BTW, you can still get discounted milk powder during promotion.
    I asked my parents where are their wedding albums. They told me dunno where, probably somewhere in attic.

  12. #52
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    Default Re: How will recession hit the wedding photography business?

    Hi as an opinion of a psychologist, people's mindset does change accordingly to their immediate circumstance. Yes there are those who can still afford the mid or even high end package, and they would not mind. To this group, high end package means more competent photographer. And if you are able to base your argument/marketing upon strong logic and persuasion, you would be doing fine.

    Yet as a responsible social creature, it would be sincerely heart warming for a photography firm to readjust their rates. That itself could be an effective marketing technique for later success. For whatever you sow, out of which you will also reap. This is a timeless principle. By lowering your rates, you would get more business and your rivals would get less business according to replacement logic. More business = more opportunity to hone your skills. Equally truth for the opposite, less business = less opportunity. When the recession ends in 2-3 years down the road, guess who would be the better photographer. Who would be in a better position to expand his business in the latter good times? Of course how much to readjust is likened to a thermostat, you and to trial and error until it is the right temperature.

    As you water onto others, you will also be watered.

  13. #53
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    Default Re: How will recession hit the wedding photography business?

    I just done 3 wedding + 1 more wedding on friday this month.

    I am charging $700. 300print + album + CD.

    This is just a freelance job. I am charging too low...

  14. #54

    Default Re: How will recession hit the wedding photography business?

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Potter View Post
    I asked my parents where are their wedding albums. They told me dunno where, probably somewhere in attic.
    Actually even some of my colleagues who have been married for merely <2 years already said their albums are "dunno kept where". (They know lah, but what they mean is, they don't view it any more at all or consider it important. It's a "past event".)

    They will be the first to advise couples: Don't waste so much money on photography. Not that they don't appreciate it. In fact, my colleagues saw some shots by the higher priced photographers. They thought they were nice, but it wasn't worth it for them cos they would not be willing to pay so much. (Read more below.) Moreover, to them, when the wedding was over, and people had viewed their pictures, no one would be bothered so much with how they looked or what they wore on that day.

    I think there is a wide spectrum of opinions regarding how much to spend on weddings and also whether it is easy or tempting to be a wed photographer. I find the discussion here to unbalanced, maybe because in this thread, many are into weddings so they naturally will tend to defend their own professions.

    These are my opinions:

    1. It may or may not be easy to be a wedding photographer. It really depends on who you are and how you started out. All I know is, no wed photog will be honest to reveal "I'm earning good money, $xxxxxx a month", even if he is successful. That's personal. He probably won't even bother to waste his precious time posting on such a thread.

    But to those who think you want to make it big or earn extra easy cash just by doing weddings, you may not be on a good start with your thinking. And if you want to be rich or millionaire from this trade, you are probably dreaming.

    Sure, you may make some money. But if you think there's no hard work at all, just cos you have a camera and some lenses, then you are also dreaming.

    This probably explains why many wed photographers here tend to paint a bleak picture about what they do. So as to let those "lazy buggers" who think they can make money easily thru wed photography that it may not be true at all. But to those photographers who over exaggearate their work, as in, it's tough, you hardly got time for families, business suffers, etc etc, then I ask: Why are you still in this line? Every job has its difficulties. You think being a school teacher is easy?

    2. As for couples who are willing to spend a lot of money on photography, say a few thousand dollars, right up to the $5k or more, I don't think they represent the whole community of people who are getting married. And I don't see it as the photographers necessarily being that great charging that kind of amount, though perhaps some are.

    The fact is, there are many other couples who are willing to spend a lot less than that kind of money. Some are willing to pay only $500 for an AD wedding. So what? I see nothing wrong with that, even if the couples come from rich families. (In fact, this has been mentioned here.) To be honest, I've seen a photographer who charge less but could rival those who charge more. But this may not be representative of all the photographers.

    It's all about emphasis. Some couples emphasize on the wedding process itself rather than the photography aspect. This explains why a good handful simply get their friends or relatives to take pics, maybe for free! To them, a wedding is just a record of the event, just like birthdays. (Some even think a wedding is just a simple event, and so they do away with all the unneeded costly hotel dinners, etc and only do an ROM. Nothing wrong again.)

    I suspect for SOME couples who are willing to spend big money on photography, say $5k or more, it's not because they are rich or truly appreciate photography. It could very well be silly money spent, or the want to be showy. You know, the kind where they are pressured to buy into the "latest" or what their friends got. Like, Hey, you know, my photographer is so-and-so, my gown is designed by Ms. xxxx and I'm getting married at the posh xxxx hotel. It's the same with people who spend $2k on a watch or designer bag despite only earning barely $3k a month. Or those who buy cars and have to pay off their loans till they have very little or no savings every month. Are they wise? It's up to them to answer. For me, I think it's foolish spending. But who cares about what I think. If they are happy, good for them.

    (Note I used "SOME" above. There are others who feel the money is well-spent. Whatever makes them happy.)

    So it's the same with weddings. Willing couples who pay so much could be sucked into the Buy Buy syndrome. And bridal studios are No.1 in putting such pressure on them. All too often, we've heard the "it's a once in a lifetime thing", so you shouldn't be afraid to spend so much in the photography. If the couple can cope, fine. But if the couple incur debts after the weddings, for what? If you think about it, there are many firsts in our lives. Does that mean we have to get the best in everything? Clearly, it's a sales tactics.

    3. As for pricing, it's really up to the photographer. No one should complain there are people out there who charge so little for the whole day. This is a competitive trade. If you think you deserve to be paid $xxxx, then stick with it and be confident. Putting down those who charge much less only shows you feel threatened and perhaps your skills are not worth that much after all.

    4. Why are there some people here who put down, directly or indirectly, wedding photographers? I suspect it's because you don't need any special qualifications to be one. It's unlike other professions where you need to study for years and get certification perhaps. So there's that lack of respect for photographers.

    And I think that's why some photographers themselves are arguing Experience is not important. Because many of these photographers are only 1-2 years' into the business but they are charging more than what a teacher earns in a month. (Think this was briefly discussed in the past by some other posters.) They argue: "it's my creativity and expertise in seeing things that's important". No offence, but that's craps to me. Nothing beats exprience no matter what you do. It may not get you to be the best, but without it, you will not function effectively. This applies whether you are a doctor, lawyer, sportsman or whatever.

    So what can we conclude? Little as the Right and Wrong are separated by a thin line. For sure, I think it's unfair to put down wed photogs. If you think you are so good, then talk less, and go out and try to be one. It may work out for you. Or not. But to think that you want quick or easy cash, like I said, that's dreaming.

    For couples, how much to pay for a photographer? It depends. What matters to you? If you only earn $3k a month, are you willing to spend $8k on a photographer? If you insist and think you must do it, go ahead. My colleague earns $3k a month and buys $2k Gucci bags fairly frequently. I dunno how she is coping but that's her. I won't spend like that. For those who think you are only willing to spend $500-1000 or even get your friends to do it for you for free, I say, Why not? If that's ok for you.

    This is a photography forum so I think there is also a biased view that wed photography is important as what lasts after that are the memories. "Milk powder can buy later." Maybe. But the photography part is definitely not the most important in the marriage. What's most important is the life that comes after all the hoo-har preparation for it. Some couples miss this point. They spend so much time and money on the preparation, photography, then when they live together, problems come in. Break-ups then happen. Hands-up those who know couples who have split despite having nice lavish weddings. I know some.

    If anything is more important than all these, I'd think it's to spend more time and money (planning for kid, nice getaway together, sprucing up your home) making the marriage work. Photos are there to look at, but once it's over, you won't be bothered to look at them any more for a long time. And no one cares really. But you have to look at your spouse for the rest of your life. Hopefully!
    Last edited by kiwi2; 23rd February 2009 at 12:53 PM.

  15. #55

    Default Re: How will recession hit the wedding photography business?

    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi2 View Post
    Actually even some of my colleagues who have been married for merely <2 years already said their albums are "dunno kept where". (They know lah, but what they mean is, they don't view it any more at all or consider it important. It's a "past event".)

    They will be the first to advise couples: Don't waste so much money on photography. Not that they don't appreciate it. In fact, my colleagues saw some shots by the higher priced photographers. They thought they were nice, but it wasn't worth it for them cos they would not be willing to pay so much. (Read more below.) Moreover, to them, when the wedding was over, and people had viewed their pictures, no one would be bothered so much with how they looked or what they wore on that day.

    I think there is a wide spectrum of opinions regarding how much to spend on weddings and also whether it is easy or tempting to be a wed photographer. I find the discussion here to unbalanced, maybe because in this thread, many are into weddings so they naturally will tend to defend their own professions.

    These are my opinions:

    1. It may or may not be easy to be a wedding photographer. It really depends on who you are and how you started out. All I know is, no wed photog will be honest to reveal "I'm earning good money, $xxxxxx a month", even if he is successful. That's personal. He probably won't even bother to waste his precious time posting on such a thread.

    But to those who think you want to make it big or earn extra easy cash just by doing weddings, you may not be on a good start with your thinking. And if you want to be rich or millionaire from this trade, you are probably dreaming.

    Sure, you may make some money. But if you think there's no hard work at all, just cos you have a camera and some lenses, then you are also dreaming.

    This probably explains why many wed photographers here tend to paint a bleak picture about what they do. So as to let those "lazy buggers" who think they can make money easily thru wed photography that it may not be true at all. But to those photographers who over exaggearate their work, as in, it's tough, you hardly got time for families, business suffers, etc etc, then I ask: Why are you still in this line? Every job has its difficulties. You think being a school teacher is easy?

    2. As for couples who are willing to spend a lot of money on photography, say a few thousand dollars, right up to the $5k or more, I don't think they represent the whole community of people who are getting married. And I don't see it as the photographers necessarily being that great charging that kind of amount, though perhaps some are.

    The fact is, there are many other couples who are willing to spend a lot less than that kind of money. Some are willing to pay only $500 for an AD wedding. So what? I see nothing wrong with that, even if the couples come from rich families. (In fact, this has been mentioned here.) To be honest, I've seen a photographer who charge less but could rival those who charge more. But this may not be representative of all the photographers.

    It's all about emphasis. Some couples emphasize on the wedding process itself rather than the photography aspect. This explains why a good handful simply get their friends or relatives to take pics, maybe for free! To them, a wedding is just a record of the event, just like birthdays. (Some even think a wedding is just a simple event, and so they do away with all the unneeded costly hotel dinners, etc and only do an ROM. Nothing wrong again.)

    I suspect for SOME couples who are willing to spend big money on photography, say $5k or more, it's not because they are rich or truly appreciate photography. It could very well be silly money spent, or the want to be showy. You know, the kind where they are pressured to buy into the "latest" or what their friends got. Like, Hey, you know, my photographer is so-and-so, my gown is designed by Ms. xxxx and I'm getting married at the posh xxxx hotel. It's the same with people who spend $2k on a watch or designer bag despite only earning barely $3k a month. Or those who buy cars and have to pay off their loans till they have very little or no savings every month. Are they wise? It's up to them to answer. For me, I think it's foolish spending. But who cares about what I think. If they are happy, good for them.

    (Note I used "SOME" above. There are others who feel the money is well-spent. Whatever makes them happy.)

    So it's the same with weddings. Willing couples who pay so much could be sucked into the Buy Buy syndrome. And bridal studios are No.1 in putting such pressure on them. All too often, we've heard the "it's a once in a lifetime thing", so you shouldn't be afraid to spend so much in the photography. If the couple can cope, fine. But if the couple incur debts after the weddings, for what? If you think about it, there are many firsts in our lives. Does that mean we have to get the best in everything? Clearly, it's a sales tactics.

    3. As for pricing, it's really up to the photographer. No one should complain there are people out there who charge so little for the whole day. This is a competitive trade. If you think you deserve to be paid $xxxx, then stick with it and be confident. Putting down those who charge much less only shows you feel threatened and perhaps your skills are not worth that much after all.

    4. Why are there some people here who put down, directly or indirectly, wedding photographers? I suspect it's because you don't need any special qualifications to be one. It's unlike other professions where you need to study for years and get certification perhaps. So there's that lack of respect for photographers.

    And I think that's why some photographers themselves are arguing Experience is not important. Because many of these photographers are only 1-2 years' into the business but they are charging more than what a teacher earns in a month. (Think this was briefly discussed in the past by some other posters.) They argue: "it's my creativity and expertise in seeing things that's important". No offence, but that's craps to me. Nothing beats exprience no matter what you do. It may not get you to be the best, but without it, you will not function effectively. This applies whether you are a doctor, lawyer, sportsman or whatever.

    So what can we conclude? Little as the Right and Wrong are separated by a thin line. For sure, I think it's unfair to put down wed photogs. If you think you are so good, then talk less, and go out and try to be one. It may work out for you. Or not. But to think that you want quick or easy cash, like I said, that's dreaming.

    For couples, how much to pay for a photographer? It depends. What matters to you? If you only earn $3k a month, are you willing to spend $8k on a photographer? If you insist and think you must do it, go ahead. My colleague earns $3k a month and buys $2k Gucci bags fairly frequently. I dunno how she is coping but that's her. I won't spend like that. For those who think you are only willing to spend $500-1000 or even get your friends to do it for you for free, I say, Why not? If that's ok for you.

    This is a photography forum so I think there is also a biased view that wed photography is important as what lasts after that are the memories. "Milk powder can buy later." Maybe. But the photography part is definitely not the most important in the marriage. What's most important is the life that comes after all the hoo-har preparation for it. Some couples miss this point. They spend so much time and money on the preparation, photography, then when they live together, problems come in. Break-ups then happen. Hands-up those who know couples who have split despite having nice lavish weddings. I know some.

    If anything is more important than all these, I'd think it's to spend more time and money (planning for kid, nice getaway together, sprucing up your home) making the marriage work. Photos are there to look at, but once it's over, you won't be bothered to look at them any more for a long time. And no one cares really. But you have to look at your spouse for the rest of your life. Hopefully!

    in short... ppl dnt knw what they want... right...

  16. #56
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    Default Re: How will recession hit the wedding photography business?

    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi2 View Post
    Actually even some of my colleagues who have been married for merely <2 years already said their albums are "dunno kept where". (They know lah, but what they mean is, they don't view it any more at all or consider it important. It's a "past event".)

    They will be the first to advise couples: Don't waste so much money on photography. Not that they don't appreciate it. In fact, my colleagues saw some shots by the higher priced photographers. They thought they were nice, but it wasn't worth it for them cos they would not be willing to pay so much. (Read more below.) Moreover, to them, when the wedding was over, and people had viewed their pictures, no one would be bothered so much with how they looked or what they wore on that day.

    I think there is a wide spectrum of opinions regarding how much to spend on weddings and also whether it is easy or tempting to be a wed photographer. I find the discussion here to unbalanced, maybe because in this thread, many are into weddings so they naturally will tend to defend their own professions.

    These are my opinions:

    1. It may or may not be easy to be a wedding photographer. It really depends on who you are and how you started out. All I know is, no wed photog will be honest to reveal "I'm earning good money, $xxxxxx a month", even if he is successful. That's personal. He probably won't even bother to waste his precious time posting on such a thread.

    But to those who think you want to make it big or earn extra easy cash just by doing weddings, you may not be on a good start with your thinking. And if you want to be rich or millionaire from this trade, you are probably dreaming.

    Sure, you may make some money. But if you think there's no hard work at all, just cos you have a camera and some lenses, then you are also dreaming.

    This probably explains why many wed photographers here tend to paint a bleak picture about what they do. So as to let those "lazy buggers" who think they can make money easily thru wed photography that it may not be true at all. But to those photographers who over exaggearate their work, as in, it's tough, you hardly got time for families, business suffers, etc etc, then I ask: Why are you still in this line? Every job has its difficulties. You think being a school teacher is easy?

    2. As for couples who are willing to spend a lot of money on photography, say a few thousand dollars, right up to the $5k or more, I don't think they represent the whole community of people who are getting married. And I don't see it as the photographers necessarily being that great charging that kind of amount, though perhaps some are.

    The fact is, there are many other couples who are willing to spend a lot less than that kind of money. Some are willing to pay only $500 for an AD wedding. So what? I see nothing wrong with that, even if the couples come from rich families. (In fact, this has been mentioned here.) To be honest, I've seen a photographer who charge less but could rival those who charge more. But this may not be representative of all the photographers.

    It's all about emphasis. Some couples emphasize on the wedding process itself rather than the photography aspect. This explains why a good handful simply get their friends or relatives to take pics, maybe for free! To them, a wedding is just a record of the event, just like birthdays. (Some even think a wedding is just a simple event, and so they do away with all the unneeded costly hotel dinners, etc and only do an ROM. Nothing wrong again.)

    I suspect for SOME couples who are willing to spend big money on photography, say $5k or more, it's not because they are rich or truly appreciate photography. It could very well be silly money spent, or the want to be showy. You know, the kind where they are pressured to buy into the "latest" or what their friends got. Like, Hey, you know, my photographer is so-and-so, my gown is designed by Ms. xxxx and I'm getting married at the posh xxxx hotel. It's the same with people who spend $2k on a watch or designer bag despite only earning barely $3k a month. Or those who buy cars and have to pay off their loans till they have very little or no savings every month. Are they wise? It's up to them to answer. For me, I think it's foolish spending. But who cares about what I think. If they are happy, good for them.

    (Note I used "SOME" above. There are others who feel the money is well-spent. Whatever makes them happy.)

    So it's the same with weddings. Willing couples who pay so much could be sucked into the Buy Buy syndrome. And bridal studios are No.1 in putting such pressure on them. All too often, we've heard the "it's a once in a lifetime thing", so you shouldn't be afraid to spend so much in the photography. If the couple can cope, fine. But if the couple incur debts after the weddings, for what? If you think about it, there are many firsts in our lives. Does that mean we have to get the best in everything? Clearly, it's a sales tactics.

    3. As for pricing, it's really up to the photographer. No one should complain there are people out there who charge so little for the whole day. This is a competitive trade. If you think you deserve to be paid $xxxx, then stick with it and be confident. Putting down those who charge much less only shows you feel threatened and perhaps your skills are not worth that much after all.

    4. Why are there some people here who put down, directly or indirectly, wedding photographers? I suspect it's because you don't need any special qualifications to be one. It's unlike other professions where you need to study for years and get certification perhaps. So there's that lack of respect for photographers.

    And I think that's why some photographers themselves are arguing Experience is not important. Because many of these photographers are only 1-2 years' into the business but they are charging more than what a teacher earns in a month. (Think this was briefly discussed in the past by some other posters.) They argue: "it's my creativity and expertise in seeing things that's important". No offence, but that's craps to me. Nothing beats exprience no matter what you do. It may not get you to be the best, but without it, you will not function effectively. This applies whether you are a doctor, lawyer, sportsman or whatever.

    So what can we conclude? Little as the Right and Wrong are separated by a thin line. For sure, I think it's unfair to put down wed photogs. If you think you are so good, then talk less, and go out and try to be one. It may work out for you. Or not. But to think that you want quick or easy cash, like I said, that's dreaming.

    For couples, how much to pay for a photographer? It depends. What matters to you? If you only earn $3k a month, are you willing to spend $8k on a photographer? If you insist and think you must do it, go ahead. My colleague earns $3k a month and buys $2k Gucci bags fairly frequently. I dunno how she is coping but that's her. I won't spend like that. For those who think you are only willing to spend $500-1000 or even get your friends to do it for you for free, I say, Why not? If that's ok for you.

    This is a photography forum so I think there is also a biased view that wed photography is important as what lasts after that are the memories. "Milk powder can buy later." Maybe. But the photography part is definitely not the most important in the marriage. What's most important is the life that comes after all the hoo-har preparation for it. Some couples miss this point. They spend so much time and money on the preparation, photography, then when they live together, problems come in. Break-ups then happen. Hands-up those who know couples who have split despite having nice lavish weddings. I know some.

    If anything is more important than all these, I'd think it's to spend more time and money (planning for kid, nice getaway together, sprucing up your home) making the marriage work. Photos are there to look at, but once it's over, you won't be bothered to look at them any more for a long time. And no one cares really. But you have to look at your spouse for the rest of your life. Hopefully!
    Hahaha IMHO frank and realistic

  17. #57

    Default Re: How will recession hit the wedding photography business?

    if earn $3K can afford a $300K HDB flat, why cannot afford a $8K photographer? No saving meh?

    I noticed about car owners. They bought big cars but when come to ERP and parking fees, they are super stingy.

  18. #58
    Senior Member Hommie's Avatar
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    Default Re: How will recession hit the wedding photography business?

    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi2 View Post
    Actually even some of my colleagues who have been married for merely <2 years already said their albums are "dunno kept where". (They know lah, but what they mean is, they don't view it any more at all or consider it important. It's a "past event".)

    They will be the first to advise couples: Don't waste so much money on photography. Not that they don't appreciate it. In fact, my colleagues saw some shots by the higher priced photographers. They thought they were nice, but it wasn't worth it for them cos they would not be willing to pay so much. (Read more below.) Moreover, to them, when the wedding was over, and people had viewed their pictures, no one would be bothered so much with how they looked or what they wore on that day.

    This is a photography forum so I think there is also a biased view that wed photography is important as what lasts after that are the memories. "Milk powder can buy later." Maybe. But the photography part is definitely not the most important in the marriage. What's most important is the life that comes after all the hoo-har preparation for it. Some couples miss this point. They spend so much time and money on the preparation, photography, then when they live together, problems come in. Break-ups then happen. Hands-up those who know couples who have split despite having nice lavish weddings. I know some.

    If anything is more important than all these, I'd think it's to spend more time and money (planning for kid, nice getaway together, sprucing up your home) making the marriage work. Photos are there to look at, but once it's over, you won't be bothered to look at them any more for a long time. And no one cares really. But you have to look at your spouse for the rest of your life. Hopefully!
    I think its a shame not to know where know their own wedding album are. Perhaps the daily grind have taken away the love between the relationship that everything have becomes mechanical.

  19. #59

    Default Re: How will recession hit the wedding photography business?

    Quote Originally Posted by nicholas68 View Post
    I just done 3 wedding + 1 more wedding on friday this month.

    I am charging $700. 300print + album + CD.

    This is just a freelance job. I am charging too low...
    should go $1k. I dun think the couples really mind.

  20. #60

    Default Re: How will recession hit the wedding photography business?

    Quote Originally Posted by Godzilla Invades View Post
    I did not ask but my guess is they do not want to put their wedding day with someone who is selling themselves too cheap.
    or might be they r just plain ignorant to pay 10x more for maybe the same stuff?

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