Yes, maybe people don't know what they want or have not worked out how to handle the wedding plans financially so they just "go with the flow". This is dangerous on the finances and I find such a lifestyle to be meaningless cos you are trying to live the lives of others. True happiness does not come from what you own but how you appreciate what you have. Oh man, I'm getting philosophical.
I didn't know one can pay by installment for wed photog? Serious, you know such people? Good eg of getting into debt for something they can't handle.
Can't really say if one can afford a $300k HDB flat, $8k is peanuts. Firstly, flat is an essential. Secondly, actually, few can afford a flat upfront. That's why they pay loans. Most of us don't own the flats until perhaps close to retirement when the debts are cleared. Thirdly, I find it's foolish spending to go beyond one's means. Sure, one who earns say $1k a month can also afford a Gucci bag. Save for 5-6 months perhaps, then buy one. But is it wise spending?
As for divorce and wedding albums, there is not necessarily a close correlation. Couples can stay together or divorce regardless of whether they know where their albums are kept or not. I guess it's better not to be too pessimistic by saying, since a divorce is possible, who cares where the album is kept.
I'm sure the couples can find their albums in the house, just that they are too lazy or can't be bothered to view them after the event. It's quite natural. People get all too excited before the marriage, some thinking really big on whether to get a $5 or $10 diamond ring, which posh hotel to book, which exotic honeymoon destination to go to, etc, but from what my couple friends tell me, after all these are over, the REAL life begins.
That's where they have to work really hard at understanding each other, paying tons of bills, dealing with in-laws (just because they smiled during the wedding day does not mean they are that easy to handle!), planning for kids perhaps, etc. The wedding will never feature as anything special anymore. It's just like a birthday. Past. Being romantic after marriage is no longer about buying 100 roses or booking a high-end restaurant. It's just about enjoying the affordable things in life together, and trying to deal with many more important issues in the life ahead.
Yah, maybe people's mindset is the more a photographer charges, the better he is. It may be true for some, but sometimes, a cheaper photographer may suit the couple better. Or it could be simply due to pressure tactics. Especially when one attends those bridal shows. It's easy to get pressurized by all the sweet talk.
Last edited by kiwi2; 25th February 2009 at 10:34 AM.
Let's not OT and stick to the original topic
Huh? Why are you questioning me in that tone? Are you sure you are directing the question to the right person? Tis is the second time you thought wrongly I meant couples forget where they have kept their albums.
I mentioned very clearly twice it's not that the couples can't remember where they left their albums but they don't hold much significance any more, compared to the other issues in married life that they have to handle.
For the record, I'm not married. But I do also find it quite hard to believe that one can forget where the albums are, though there is a slight chance it might happen.
Ok, let's not go off course, as chngpe01 kindly reminded.
I don't understand how a Photobiz thread on recession degenerate into the same old discussion on attacking the 'worth' of wedding photography - again. It is not so much of the OT I'm concerned about. I'm seeing this forum as a common space for anti-business sentiments for photography and less and less sharing of what this forum is about - Photobiz.
Increasingly, less and less full-time photographers will be motivated to share in this forum if that's the direction this forum is heading. Perhaps this forum should restrict to participation for full-time photographers altogether; if the direction headed is not contructive towards the field of photography business in general. A chicken rice seller who can sell his chicken rice for $20 shouldn't need to justify his worth to the world. If he's willing to share, he would be less likely to share it with a community of hobbyists who slams the worth of his products.
If you're someone who don't value photography, make your point and move on. You don't have to make it a personal mission to spread the good news to the world. Especially here.
This is Photobiz forum.
Just my 2 cents.
Last edited by shinken; 25th February 2009 at 04:21 PM.
Likely reason for forgetting be mostly be the wifey kept it someplace but husband forgotten where because she kept rearranging!
I think to begin with, this Wedding Photography section has unfortunately not been helpful and that has created all the "rojak" posts, not unlike Kopitiam.
It already started off on a fairly poor note with full-time photographers almost always ready to shoot their own professions down by saying it's tough, pay is little, etc. Maybe that's true. But there's no new info a budding wedding photographer can benefit from such sharing or comments. Since when is money sufficient? Ask a $30k a month businessman and he will tell you he wants more still.
I think this post could have been a lot more useful and healthier if there are seniors who will guide the juniors on the basics, perhaps not so much the technical aspects (though this will be excellent), but like what to look out for, how to start, the pitfalls, etc. Now, of course, this will be impossible. Why, because it's a fierce competition out there. And why should a pro "wastes" his time teaching or sharing for free?
That aside, what is worse is, we hear some pros make remarks like, Are you sure you're up to it? Show me your pics. And recently, when someone asks, How much should you charge for a certain assignment, the response is often cold, like, Whatever you please. Or if you need to ask that kind of question, it means you're not good enough. What's up man?
So if there is no healthy sharing done, I think that's what happens. Members from, all over, pros and non-pros, will just write how they feel or what they like, and the discussion can often snowball into misunderstandings and bad mouthing. In fact, if you think about it, there's nothing much worthy to discuss at all. Cos everything about wedding photography is confidential, secret, hush hush. It all depends on oneself. No one can help anyone.
And like the good $20 chicken rice analogy given, no one should be obliged to justify how the recession will affect the photography business. Which photographer here will honestly reveal if he or she charges less or more given the recession? That's like openly admitting my business is no good or if it's doing very well.
Hence, the Kopitiam-like banter this section has become.
Juz my 2 cents too...
Haha.. just like my boss... very good time... he said no make money..... good time... he said
no make money.... bad time.... very bad time.... I also don't need him to tell me la.
Already there are full time monthly salaried photographers in tanjong pagar bridal shops are laid-off.
Nikon D3, AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8 G ED, AF-S VR 70-200mm f/2.8G IF-ED and Speedlight SB-800
If you look at this thread, there's some guide on deciding how much to charge. First of all, the cost of doing business. The charges must at least cover the cost of each shoot. I'm also sure I've read someone sharing how to arrive at the costs. Next, also include the minimum amount of earnings you'll expect. The final amount will be the charges. Generally speaking. And if this amount is higher than what the market is willing to pay, then this line (photography) will not be profitable.
The fact that there's nothing 'worth' discussing at all, at this point, is pretty much the culture of this forum. It's simply not conducive for sharing. At least to me. At this point in time.
How 'will' recession hit the wedding photography biz exactly? Wedding photography is not a necessity. That much is established. The market size is also going to be smaller as a result. Wedding photography is not recession proof. That's about as much as the topic can go. Unless it is renamed, or some constructive questions are asked. Like how to deal with this recession for wedding photography. But it ends up degenerating into a questioning session on the worth of photography.
Wedding photography is NOT practical. The art of wedding photography is even less practical. Wedding is not practical at all. Buying 300-500 people dinner is not practical. Buying a $200/$3000 dress is not practical. Wedding is a dream. A day of fantasy. Wedding photography is about immortalizing this day of fantasy. The art of wedding photography is about translating this day of fantasy. Being a family man, if I have my say, a wedding is a 'waste' of money. But being a wedding day photographer, wedding photography to me is priceless. I already regret (personally) choosing the wrong photographer for my own wedding. Now I'm planning for a renewal of vows, and hoping to get quality photography this time. That's in spite of what a practical person I am.
This forum is not about practicality. It is not even about wedding photography. It is about Photobiz.
Imagine the numerous couples who end up subscribing to your philosophy of how wedding photography, or any form of photography should be valued in a more pragmatic way (which is out of context in this forum) - is the outcome really the one that you want? I thought being a member of CS would at least mean there's an interest in photography - if not passion. If we're not advocates of the value of photography to non-photographers, at least we're the last people to be expected to demean and devalue photography, isn't it?
In a Photobiz, or any biz forum:
1)Instead of slamming photographers who offer installment plans the constructive way is to actually ask about the implementation, and how they can actually convince clients to pay for more than what they can afford at that moment. Remember, this is not a consumer education forum.
2)Instead of trying to devalue photography, a more constructive way or participating would be to ask photographers how they can survive or even close deals with their pricing. Already, many of the nay-sayers have pointed out that the photography of some of us who charge above the market rate don't really stand out. Clients are not stupid. Singaporeans, least of all. They/We are very prudent, intelligent spenders. It would be a folly to assume that it's easy to market ourselves in this super duper competitive industry.
Very thoughtful post by shinken
Nikon D3, AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8 G ED, AF-S VR 70-200mm f/2.8G IF-ED and Speedlight SB-800
Thanks for sharing.
Before I proceed, I have to point out, yet again, that I was not the one who blatantly claimed couples will forget where they kept their wedding albums! I won't explain further. You have to follow the last 2 pages of posts to see who is presenting what sort of perspective.
If I must apologize, it is that I have been riding on the posts of some CS members here who went off-tangent with the original topic. I just joined in such off-topic discussions. As you rightly pointed out, this section is about the photo biz, certainly not about discussing wedding photographers or how much a couple should pay.
I've been thinking for a while why this wedding section has fallen to such a sad state where discussions somehow always ended up with members directly or indirectly commenting how exorbitant some photographers are with their prices. I've come up with some reasons.
1. Lack of firm objective about what or how this section should be.
I don't know who set this "Photography biz" section up, maybe it's one of the moderators, but I feel there is no firm agenda on what is to be achieved here. Is this section for seasoned, full-time photographers to compare how they are doing, should they all raise/reduce prices together, or a discussion of photography techniques? I don't think it's any of these. Or is it a place where a beginner can be guided well by a pro on how to start a business? Definitely not, based on the way things have progressed, and for the obvious reason of stiff competition.
Without a clear aim, I find it's all too easy to go off tangent on the discussions here, and people tend to treat it as a Kopitiam section. With that, and this being a free, open forum where everyone has a right to air their opinions, things are said as how they are personally felt.
Look at other fourms. Eg Nikon discussion group. Like-minded people who own Nikons come together to discuss their cams, lenses, shooting techniques, etc. We hardly see silly posts there like "Nikon sucks, Sony is better", unless the poster want to be ridiculed like crazy. There's an aim, and people discuss in unity, unlike the Photo Biz section where everyone is tight-lipped about his own way of running things.
In fact, come to think of it, it's funny that this section should even exist. Who will discuss their business plans openly here? You think if someone asks the serious question, like how to implement this and that to start a photo biz, pros will actually respond kindly? I seriously doubt so.
So to comment on your earlier statement, this section will never be conducive for sharing. It has never been anyway.
2. Lack of understanding of how wedding photographers function or fare in their profession.
Because of the above point 1, it is natural that full-timers will not reveal exactly how their business is run. And this opens up attacks from lay people and non-pros. People assume, speculate. Sometimes they are right, at other times, wrong perhaps.
3. DSLRs becoming commonplace
With the proliferation of DSLRs, photography has become so much simpler. And that explains why suddenly there is a keen interest in many to jump into the photo biz. I hardly hear of this even as recent as the early 2000. So there's always this tendency to compare with one another. People will naturally ask, How come this photographer can charge $xxxxk with this kind of standard? I know another photographer who can also take something like that, but charge so much cheaper. It's like overnight, everyone becomes a photographer who snatches your business.
To reiterate, it is precisely because there is a lack of objective in this section that people post anything they want. It becomes an open forum where anything goes. For eg, while a wed photog will paint a brilliant picture to his client why they should engage him and how precious the memories are, posters here will present the other side of the coin, like Hey, you can get a cheaper photographer for this kind of standard.
Wedding photographers, unfortunately, have been an easy target even though this section is a more general "Photo biz". Clearly because there are probably a lot more of them here than other form of photographers, such as landscape, food, fashion, etc.
I guess if wedding photography is just a hobby and not a business, people will be a lot more receptive and upfront in helping one another. So again, I question the objective of this Photo Biz section. Look at the Newbie section, beginners ask questions, and they get answers. Though I must add that in the earlier days of Clubsnap, the general attitude tends to be milder as most people started out on a fairly equal level. (Today, if a super simple no-brainer question is asked, either it is ignored or slammed, like Don't be lazy, read the earlier posts.)
Ok, I apologize again for "disturbing" this thread. I shall refrain from posting here again unless really necessary and if it is in line with the original intention of the thread. I think wedding photographers deserve better treatment and respect. It is just unfortunate that instead of getting any fruitful outcome from this section, it has become an "Anything goes" forum.
Last edited by kiwi2; 26th February 2009 at 12:25 AM.
I apologize for giving you the impression that I was directing my comments (on how the Photobiz forum is not used as such) at you. I didn't mean to. I quoted your post because it was the most logical and insightful one among the distractions. And you really seemed like the most reasonable one.
Actually, there are photography forums where forumers really do share their business practices generously. They are almost always closed forums (such that all participants are actually stakeholders in one way or another, not just a curious passerby) though.
I also agree how I don't see the Photobiz growing in the positive direction. Much as I do want to see it happen, in all honesty.