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Thread: Anyone ever approach bridal shops for business?

  1. #21
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    Default Re: Anyone ever approach bridal shops for business?

    dun go to bridal shops if there are better options.. they offered very low rates.. heard somone earned only $160 the whole day from early morning to late evening.. transport and food not included...

    when asked and find out from the married couple.. they actually pay $2k for a wedding photo/video package to the bridal shop.

    they are not worried about supply of photographers.. becos they are just so many good and cheap ones in current market, young and full of passion, waiting to earn some pocket money to get by

    .. if u can.. do it yourselves... design and develop your own package.
    Last edited by raincool2005; 18th January 2010 at 02:51 PM.

  2. #22

    Default Re: Anyone ever approach bridal shops for business?

    i agree with what most of the photographers here say - that one should have respect and pride for the profession and above all, respect for oneself as a quality wedding photographer. The market needs to be educated and every photographer has a responsibility to carry out this education for the benefit and growth of the entire community as it will come back to bite you one day if you persist in 'spoiling' the market.

    On the other hand, perhaps we should also try and understand why decent photographers still stick to the $200+ jobs that they get from bridal shops instead of branching out on their own. After all, even if one gets by happily with the volume of jobs, i'm sure it'll be short-lived as the sense of self justification sets in. No matter how passionate you are in photography, there will be days when you wake up and feel frustrated that your works demand more rewards and recognition. Can you live with that? Is it a fear of setting out and engaging in other business activities like marketing, financial management, meeting clients etc? is it a lack of support structure (peer support / resources / knowledge etc) in the industry?

    While we frown upon such practices, we should also attempt to educate within the industry and support the ambitions of other budding photographers. Let's not kill the passion by slamming them but help cultivate the passion for the good of everyone.

  3. #23

    Default Re: Anyone ever approach bridal shops for business?

    Quote Originally Posted by ckuang View Post
    from my early days of wedding photography, I came to learn that there is a lot of dirty tricks used by wedding studios (not all, some are ok), so be very careful and if you want to work with them go in with 2 eyes open. Some of the dirty tricks i have come across in the past include

    1. They will ask for your portfolio album on the premise that they will sell you, then they will claim your works belong to their "in-house" photographer, and so when clients want your pics, instead of calling you, they will get some photog from JB to come in and do the job at 1/5 of what they would pay you.

    2. They will withhold payment from you and always have a few bills outstanding, then they will say, after you shoot this one, we will pay you the past bills, but they will always keep one or two bills outstanding so you have no choice but to keep shooting for them. so you will be forever stuck to being paid very low

    3. they just pay very very low to begin with (i've heard of rates as low as $250 for a full 14 hour day) with promises of more work in the future. in most cases, if you do the proper math, you will end up losing money if you are based in singapore. why do you think so many of the shooter they use are from malaysia/johor?

    There's quite a lot more dirt in the industry, but these would likely affect you most.

    If you are doing wedding photography to make money, i think there's really no shortcut to finding a viable and profitable model. My experience with photographers who have come for advice in the past and then ended up going and shooting for a bridal studio, after about one year, as they say in singapore "no sight no sound."

    In fact, for many years before WPN came about, wedding day,both actual and pre wedding was at the mercy of the bridal studios because many photographers in the industry depended solely on bridal studios to bring in the business. That was the heirachy back then. I am glad to say i the last few years, wedding photographers in Singapore have made huge advancements and are less at the mercy of the bridal studios. they can now set their own prices and can survive off walk in customers. As a result fo this the qulity of worked being produced as sky rocketed too.

    In short, starting through bridal studios is not a path i would walk if you plan on doing it for the long term. bad for you, bad for the industry.
    Wow..
    This info is really eye widening for me..
    It's really an important info to me..
    Thank u so much.

  4. #24

    Default Re: Anyone ever approach bridal shops for business?

    Quote Originally Posted by snowspeeder View Post
    That's why I always advise my frens and clients that if they take up a 3 - 4k package fr a bridal studio that comes with the studio/outdoor shoot, wedding car, hand bouquet as well as the AD photographer...then they should not expect too much fr the AD photographer's work..as mostly likely the freelancer is being paid only $250 for the entire day's work. Anyone who can shoot better or knows his worth will never get paid in this peanut amount.
    Yup..so true..
    That's what I'm seeking opinion to understand more about my own's worth.


    Quote Originally Posted by garagez View Post
    got a friend boasting about his bridal package , makeup was good, outfit was good...but everything in the album


    Quote Originally Posted by earthling82 View Post
    Hi everyone

    I am a $250 photographer that works with bridal studios. For the volume, I can compromise with the low rates.

    However some things i do not compromise - for example equipment and energy. I use 2 pro-cameras of different focal lengths with 2 flashes mounted. And any videographer who follow me for AD are fortunate that I can cue special moments and poses for them. The couple would also be pleased that I can engage their whole family in fun and laughter. In the evening, the express highlights always show some of my photos at the climax.

    There was once though a videograher commented that for my quality of works, I should be charging about $1200+ lowest, with CD only. Well seriously i do not know also and cannot be bothered.

    Despite all this, I still consider myself a novice. I am driven by nothing but PASSION and QUALITY. Pay me $250 or $2500, I will deliver the same 100% effort.

    We all start somewhere ... so please dun flame me
    I think about what others reply to you are worth to take note. It's not just about your personal passion, it's more about self justification, market upbring for this business especially those starting their own like me or many others (not thru bridal shops) and also setting a base standard guideline I guess..
    That's I started my own biz, but it's real slow going for me, that's why I seek opinions from all veterans and pros from CS to find get alternatives for my biz.. But knowing this is how the bridal shop work and so much bad experience from so many photog here, I guess I won't take the risk here, unless...

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights View Post
    yes, it is not right, what you call is your passion, but to many other photographers, you are just a stone of stumbling.

    did you realize that many wedding couples will think many others wedding photographers who price their service accordingly to what they are offering are cheaters? after the wedding couples had seen your works or used you before.
    and wedding couples also think those photographers who shoot weddings for bridal shops at low rate same as you are morons? since you can deliver "high quality" works at such low price but they can't.

    you are in the wedding photography industry, if you take pride of you what are doing, please respect yourself, and many other fellow photographers.
    VERY WELL SAID!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by sjackal View Post
    I thought it was low when I was offered $350 to shoot AD for bridal studio, (did not took the job) until I read about your $250. Plus express highlights!?

    The bridal studio charge the couple $600 to $800, studio pays AD photog $350 to $400, the math works out for bridal studio, but not for the AD photog.

    The guys from JB can do it, driving their own cars in every weekend, on Malaysian fuel, and survive, but will be very hard for Singapore based photog.

    But if you are producing high quality work, not shoot and burn, you definitely can get more out on your own.

    AD wedding is hard and tough job, and the serious pros in this line is striving hard to bring up the market, which will benefit everyone. Charging below your worth in the name of passion is not cool, the market is in a way paying for your passion.

    No offenses but just very frank opinions.
    This is what I feel too.
    Well Quoted!!

  5. #25
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    Default Re: Anyone ever approach bridal shops for business?

    Quote Originally Posted by ominblue View Post
    Yup..so true..
    That's what I'm seeking opinion to understand more about my own's worth.

    I think about what others reply to you are worth to take note. It's not just about your personal passion, it's more about self justification, market upbring for this business especially those starting their own like me or many others (not thru bridal shops) and also setting a base standard guideline I guess..
    That's I started my own biz, but it's real slow going for me, that's why I seek opinions from all veterans and pros from CS to find get alternatives for my biz.. But knowing this is how the bridal shop work and so much bad experience from so many photog here, I guess I won't take the risk here, unless...
    Omniblue, you mentioned that your business is slow, how long ago did you start your business? If it makes you feel better, when I first started my business I spent about 1.5yrs with very very poor business. And no matter how much I used to run around to get more wedding shoots, it didnt happen. In my later years, i learnt one thing. For all the money and energy i can throw at marketing there is one thing as a small operation i could not change- consumer behaviour. If you started recently, you can count on the next 6-8 months being very quiet. Why? because most people that want to book a photographer for 2010 wedding would already have done so in the november-december period. Generally the first half the year then goes quiet for an assortment of reasons, like Chinese New Year, fewer weddings in the first half etc. This is simply market trends. So dont get stressed or depressed. Even walmart, the biggest retailer in the world, cannot make consumers buy outside their normal consumption cycle.

  6. #26
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    Default Re: Anyone ever approach bridal shops for business?

    I totally agree with most of the members here especially ckuang and catchlights. I have been doing this business for the past 4 years and there is nothing much you can do to change the way the consumer behaves. Like the sea, you can only predict what is going to happen and prepare yourself.

    With regards to working with bridal houses, my only advice is: If you don't value your work, it does not matter which business you are in because you are only hurting your own income and your future.

    I have been very lucky at one point to have worked with a 'decent' bridal house that gave me good business and we both worked together well. It was not long before things went south not because business went bad. Things were doing very well for the bridal house that they forgotten about their preferred suppliers. They resorted to 'bulk' suppliers then ditched their regulars. By then I felt it was a little too late to negotiate. I told myself heck it and started my own thing instead.

    If you want to work them (Bridal houses), never think that you are the only photographer in this market. Most of them don't really look into your photos to hire you. If you charge low and give them the 'bulk' discounts, you get the job. Simple as that.

  7. #27
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    Default Re: Anyone ever approach bridal shops for business?

    Quote Originally Posted by earthling82 View Post
    Hi everyone

    I am a $250 photographer that works with bridal studios. For the volume, I can compromise with the low rates.

    However some things i do not compromise - for example equipment and energy. I use 2 pro-cameras of different focal lengths with 2 flashes mounted. And any videographer who follow me for AD are fortunate that I can cue special moments and poses for them. The couple would also be pleased that I can engage their whole family in fun and laughter. In the evening, the express highlights always show some of my photos at the climax.

    There was once though a videograher commented that for my quality of works, I should be charging about $1200+ lowest, with CD only. Well seriously i do not know also and cannot be bothered.

    Despite all this, I still consider myself a novice. I am driven by nothing but PASSION and QUALITY. Pay me $250 or $2500, I will deliver the same 100% effort.

    We all start somewhere ... so please dun flame me
    Yes I must agree with you no amount can replace passion in photo works. BUT IN TRUTH THE REALITY OF LIVING IN SINGAPORE IS THAT YOU NEED CERTAIN $XXX OF MONEY TO SURVIVE AND ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE DOING IT FULL TIME N NOT PART TIME. YOU HAVE FAMILY TO FEED AND HOUSING TO PAY SO MUST BE REALISTIC. BEEN THERE AND DONE THAT MY FRIEND.

    Just my 2cts worth.

  8. #28
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    Default Re: Anyone ever approach bridal shops for business?

    Quote Originally Posted by earthling82 View Post
    Hi everyone

    I am a $250 photographer that works with bridal studios. For the volume, I can compromise with the low rates.

    However some things i do not compromise - for example equipment and energy. I use 2 pro-cameras of different focal lengths with 2 flashes mounted. And any videographer who follow me for AD are fortunate that I can cue special moments and poses for them. The couple would also be pleased that I can engage their whole family in fun and laughter. In the evening, the express highlights always show some of my photos at the climax.

    There was once though a videograher commented that for my quality of works, I should be charging about $1200+ lowest, with CD only. Well seriously i do not know also and cannot be bothered.

    Despite all this, I still consider myself a novice. I am driven by nothing but PASSION and QUALITY. Pay me $250 or $2500, I will deliver the same 100% effort.

    We all start somewhere ... so please dun flame me
    Hope you dont stay too long at your starting place.

    Anyway, while you speak like a true artist dedicated to his passion. don't let your passion be used and abused by businesses. Just an advice.

    Last edited by razor; 19th January 2010 at 01:25 PM.
    It is easier to critique than to create ; www.razin-photography.com
    My studio is available for rent

  9. #29

    Default Re: Anyone ever approach bridal shops for business?

    Quote Originally Posted by mnjohar View Post
    Yes I must agree with you no amount can replace passion in photo works. BUT IN TRUTH THE REALITY OF LIVING IN SINGAPORE IS THAT YOU NEED CERTAIN $XXX OF MONEY TO SURVIVE AND ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE DOING IT FULL TIME N NOT PART TIME. YOU HAVE FAMILY TO FEED AND HOUSING TO PAY SO MUST BE REALISTIC. BEEN THERE AND DONE THAT MY FRIEND.

    Just my 2cts worth.
    yo buddy

    I have means to finance photography thru other businesses I run.

    Anyway of course, come to my own customers, i charge them another rate that is much much higher for AD Wedding
    Last edited by earthling82; 19th January 2010 at 05:09 PM.

  10. #30

    Default Re: Anyone ever approach bridal shops for business?

    The bottom line is PASSION won't bring you anywhere (apart from artistic fulfillment/satisfaction) if you don't employ the right BUSINESS framework to empower your earning potential.

  11. #31

    Default Re: Anyone ever approach bridal shops for business?

    Quote Originally Posted by ckuang View Post
    Omniblue, you mentioned that your business is slow, how long ago did you start your business? If it makes you feel better, when I first started my business I spent about 1.5yrs with very very poor business. And no matter how much I used to run around to get more wedding shoots, it didnt happen. In my later years, i learnt one thing. For all the money and energy i can throw at marketing there is one thing as a small operation i could not change- consumer behaviour. If you started recently, you can count on the next 6-8 months being very quiet. Why? because most people that want to book a photographer for 2010 wedding would already have done so in the november-december period. Generally the first half the year then goes quiet for an assortment of reasons, like Chinese New Year, fewer weddings in the first half etc. This is simply market trends. So dont get stressed or depressed. Even walmart, the biggest retailer in the world, cannot make consumers buy outside their normal consumption cycle.
    Thanks so much for this crucial advice ckuang...
    It's certainly reminded me of my patience and also add on to my understanding of this patience for the photo biz. Your advice had greatly wake me up!!
    Cheers!


    Quote Originally Posted by hazmee View Post
    I totally agree with most of the members here especially ckuang and catchlights. I have been doing this business for the past 4 years and there is nothing much you can do to change the way the consumer behaves. Like the sea, you can only predict what is going to happen and prepare yourself.

    With regards to working with bridal houses, my only advice is: If you don't value your work, it does not matter which business you are in because you are only hurting your own income and your future.

    I have been very lucky at one point to have worked with a 'decent' bridal house that gave me good business and we both worked together well. It was not long before things went south not because business went bad. Things were doing very well for the bridal house that they forgotten about their preferred suppliers. They resorted to 'bulk' suppliers then ditched their regulars. By then I felt it was a little too late to negotiate. I told myself heck it and started my own thing instead.

    If you want to work them (Bridal houses), never think that you are the only photographer in this market. Most of them don't really look into your photos to hire you. If you charge low and give them the 'bulk' discounts, you get the job. Simple as that.
    Good experience shared by you..
    Also great advice, so constructive! Will definitely bear this in mind..

    Quote Originally Posted by snowspeeder View Post
    The bottom line is PASSION won't bring you anywhere (apart from artistic fulfillment/satisfaction) if you don't employ the right BUSINESS framework to empower your earning potential.
    Well quote!

  12. #32

    Default Re: Anyone ever approach bridal shops for business?

    Quote Originally Posted by earthling82 View Post
    yo buddy

    I have means to finance photography thru other businesses I run.

    Anyway of course, come to my own customers, i charge them another rate that is much much higher for AD Wedding
    I think yours is an inappropriate case for discussion. Most of the guys here depend on photography for a living and that's what the topic is about. But you're doing it for little money cos you don't depend on it and have other means to get money.

    So simply put, it's like doing charity work - You can't justify how volunteers can put in time and effort for little or no profits gained at all. It's from their hearts. Of course, this will get many photographers who depend on their trade for a living very jealous and threatened and I suspect that's why they are implying to you: Don't charge too low.

    Having said that, I don't see anything wrong with charging what you are. It's an agreement between customer and photographer. Photography is a hobby to some. Main thing is, if you find you enjoy it without caring so much about earning money from it, why not?

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