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Thread: Debate on $500 wedding package

  1. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by hyun
    we've been talking about a lot of numbers here, so:

    at $500 for a whole day job, what would be the estimated earnings after deducting all costs?

    and if he gets a job almost every day to sustain his 20+ day working month, what would be his monthly income?

    and looking at that monthly income, would that be considered decent pay for that level of work?
    how about the post processing works? if he sends it off to others to do, he may end up paying though his nose more than he charges for the event, unless he can find IDs that cost him peanuts.

  2. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by zekai
    simple, a photographer who charge $500 for wedding will fall flat flat and die. when his flash spoil, he will curse himself for not charging more to include running and sunk cost.

    together, he will find it hard to raise his price in future.

    This has got to be the worst post I"ve ever read. Chock full of malice, jealousy, unhappiness, etc. to actually curse a person to fall flat and die simply cuz he charges much less than you? wonderful. speaks volumes about you. I"m sure you've lots of frens. hey when you fall, let me know in advance I"ll take photos for free.

    just my 2 cents: i don't see the point of this thread, its simply a means for so called PROS to vent their frustration at being undercut and to question wshooter at his audacity to do this. and this in a free competitive market at that. just so ridiculous. on one hand you guys claim you're a pro, deserve the high price, on the other hand, you bay for a newbie's (assuming wshooter is) blood, belittling him and all the rest of the undercutters (low quality product shooters to you). that's so PROFESSIONAL. if you think you're that good, you won't need to do this, you would have pple coming to you for your services.

    lastly I really had a good chuckle when I read the "don't talk about wee khim if you dont' know him" comments. that reeks of childish arrogance and oh I"m a pro, you don't know anything at all about us pros so shut the hell up kind of mentality. the point made was that WK when first starting out could not possibly have charged the kind of fees he does now. I don't need to know him to know that. neither does wilis128.

    all in all I don't see what's wrong with pple charging cheap fees, like mpenza has said, it could be for extra pocket money or to keep the hobby going. like others have said, he could be just starting out and building up his career, what's the big deal? let your products speak for themselves. charge what you want, see if pple think your price= your product quality. there's no need to put others down. esp not to the point of cursing them to death.

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by hoppinghippo
    This has got to be the worst post I"ve ever read. Chock full of malice, jealousy, unhappiness, etc. to actually curse a person to fall flat and die simply cuz he charges much less than you? wonderful. speaks volumes about you. I"m sure you've lots of frens. hey when you fall, let me know in advance I"ll take photos for free.

    just my 2 cents: i don't see the point of this thread, its simply a means for so called PROS to vent their frustration at being undercut and to question wshooter at his audacity to do this. and this in a free competitive market at that. just so ridiculous. on one hand you guys claim you're a pro, deserve the high price, on the other hand, you bay for a newbie's (assuming wshooter is) blood, belittling him and all the rest of the undercutters (low quality product shooters to you). that's so PROFESSIONAL. if you think you're that good, you won't need to do this, you would have pple coming to you for your services.

    lastly I really had a good chuckle when I read the "don't talk about wee khim if you dont' know him" comments. that reeks of childish arrogance and oh I"m a pro, you don't know anything at all about us pros so shut the hell up kind of mentality. the point made was that WK when first starting out could not possibly have charged the kind of fees he does now. I don't need to know him to know that. neither does wilis128.

    all in all I don't see what's wrong with pple charging cheap fees, like mpenza has said, it could be for extra pocket money or to keep the hobby going. like others have said, he could be just starting out and building up his career, what's the big deal? let your products speak for themselves. charge what you want, see if pple think your price= your product quality. there's no need to put others down. esp not to the point of cursing them to death.

    Oh my...after wilis128's, i think this is the BEST post i have seen so far in this thread..

  4. #44
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    Btw...i think thats common sense if ANYONE who just started out doing something will not be charging a hefty price unless he/her has an existing strong background...so the point is we or whoever don't have or don't even need to know or work with Mr Wee Khim in order to know this.

  5. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by hoppinghippo

    lastly I really had a good chuckle when I read the "don't talk about wee khim if you dont' know him" comments. that reeks of childish arrogance and oh I"m a pro, you don't know anything at all about us pros so shut the hell up kind of mentality. the point made was that WK when first starting out could not possibly have charged the kind of fees he does now. I don't
    nobody said they are pros when they know WK, what give you that idea?
    WK is my boss ex classmate, who happens to shoot for my company's fashion shoots and attends gatherings together. I kinda handle in the middle because i'm my boss right hand man so i get to know WK personally. That does not make me a pro right?

    What i do not like is that wilis128 quotes WK makes 5k per shoot which is not true, we hire him 3 times a year on a professional basis. That i want to clear.

    The thread starter can charge anything he wants and if he gets the job, more power to him! personally if you are good, at what level of professionalism $$$ will never be equal.

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by hoppinghippo
    This has got to be the worst post I"ve ever read. Chock full of malice, jealousy, unhappiness, etc. to actually curse a person to fall flat and die simply cuz he charges much less than you? wonderful. speaks volumes about you. I"m sure you've lots of frens. hey when you fall, let me know in advance I"ll take photos for free.

    just my 2 cents: i don't see the point of this thread, its simply a means for so called PROS to vent their frustration at being undercut and to question wshooter at his audacity to do this. and this in a free competitive market at that. just so ridiculous. on one hand you guys claim you're a pro, deserve the high price, on the other hand, you bay for a newbie's (assuming wshooter is) blood, belittling him and all the rest of the undercutters (low quality product shooters to you). that's so PROFESSIONAL. if you think you're that good, you won't need to do this, you would have pple coming to you for your services.

    lastly I really had a good chuckle when I read the "don't talk about wee khim if you dont' know him" comments. that reeks of childish arrogance and oh I"m a pro, you don't know anything at all about us pros so shut the hell up kind of mentality. the point made was that WK when first starting out could not possibly have charged the kind of fees he does now. I don't need to know him to know that. neither does wilis128.

    all in all I don't see what's wrong with pple charging cheap fees, like mpenza has said, it could be for extra pocket money or to keep the hobby going. like others have said, he could be just starting out and building up his career, what's the big deal? let your products speak for themselves. charge what you want, see if pple think your price= your product quality. there's no need to put others down. esp not to the point of cursing them to death.
    The first part of your retort: I maintain the same position, unsubstainable and will fall flat flat and die. I do not mean malice but is my figure of speech. Like I mentioned before, internet is devoid of other possible body language, intonation etc... to be misinterpeted as malice is not surprising. so i dun give hoot what your opinion is.

    the second part: willis should not be quoting WK or however so what he may know vaguely or remotely to make his point across. I see WK often and i never said that make me a super pro or whatever.

    the general part: I do make my living soley on photography now. I am new to the business too but i believe i deliver quality work. I am also struggling in the begining finding and pitching for job. I am charging rate that are reasonable for my level of competency but there are many part timers who hold a DSLR and walk around charging $500 for a full day weddig shoot. Of course i feel threaten. You guys may say i have nothing to fear if i am good enough. Consider this, I make a dive into this profession and this is my only income. Granted i am new, another new guy who have a day job shoot for fun, come in not very concern about the compensation.

    One guy posted that $500, if he shoot everyday... will it be a reasonable income? He posted a question instead of a position he want to take. I believe he is skewed towards believing it is ok. we must not forget an actual day wedding is a long affair. can be from a teochew wedding from 5am to 10-11pm at night. thats 18 hrs of work. go back must do post processing, arranging prints, another about 2-3 days.... and if you shoot everyday.... if you really get jobs everyday! thats $500 minus cost divided over 3 days of work. And how many 18hr days can you work. I give you 20 days a month and you will fall sick and hate the bloody camera. That said, a photographer especially a wedding photographer who shoot almost every day will be exhausted.

    how many of you actually dive into this full time expericence all of this. Look, i am not complaining. I choose this profession after a long period of consideration. But it get irritating when people not in the know undercut you. I do not know if they are good or not (that not important) but i do know if will affect the market sentiment.

  7. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by zekai
    WK does not undercut on price, period. As professional, people always remember yours last price and it will be very difficult to raise it.

    If you dun believe, feel free to go ahead and try.

    The point in this, is dun quote WK or whoever because from what you typed, i dun think you know him or work with him before.
    u dont see my point, do you?.. i used wee khim & other so n so pro and the figures of $5k just as an example.. it could have read " Do u think Wee Khim and all the top pros could started their career charging $4k or $3 or $2k per shoot liao? if wshooter is good and in demand, i dont think there's any prob for him to raise his price in the future.."

    I dont know him personally and my point was not directed at wee khim and all other pros, but to your rude comments!.. Let me put it the other way, do you know wshooter personally to pass your judgemnet? let alone cursing him fall flat flat and die and accusing him of undercutting?

    like he already pointed out.. he has his cheap sources.. for all you know his father owns a photo lab and his bros in the photo framing biz? and is it then not possible?

    like i said, leave him alone.. let the consumer choose.. u can get a haircut at a trainee stylist for $10 or a pro for $300... is that undercutting? oh well that's cutting...hair

  8. #48

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    zekai: thanks for airing your personal experience and views, I understand where you're coming from and why its so frustrating. Just want to say I appreciate your bothering to clear up the air in such a manner w/o trolling at all, I guess that's the sad thing about business, whether its photography or any other business, undercutting others and being undercut is all part of the process, look at budget airlines vs budget airlines. look how big airlines jump in by lowering their costs (SIA, silkair), all are losing money yet the big boys can outlast the small boys and that's their strategy. fair? no. but effective? yes. I don't see how complaining and feeling unhappy about other photogs undercutting helps your situation. instead you should see how you can differentiate yourself and justify your fees. there'll always be pple who only want cheap photogs, maybe due to really lack of budget, yet they really want to capture their happiest moment in their entire lives. give these couples a chance to have cheap photogs, don't penalise them or their photogs. yet there'll be other couples who value their photo quality and have the means to pay for quality, these should be your targets.

    I still don't agree on cursing others who undercut you. whether figure of speech or otherwise, it's very unprofessional no matter how you look at it.

  9. #49
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    One thing a weekend wedding photographer should be aware of is that if you price your service too low, you tend to attract the low end of the market - the mean, tight, at times demanding clients who want to have everything for nothing.

    If you're an amateur holding a day job, weekend is the only time you have for yourself doing your own things. If you put your thinking cap on, you probably could come up with better options than being a el cheapo wedding photographer.

    I'm talking about this generally with no specific person in mind. I think it's important that we the amateurs know the market and price structure a bit better.

    Whatever you think you want to charge, I think you should X2 it for the stress factor in shooting someone's once-in-a-life-time biggest occasion (of course unless winning a lottery could top it).

  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by feryl
    When I am getting married, wshooter will get at least a call from me for an appointment to view his portfolio. If I am not satisfied after reviewing his portfolio, I will just apologise for his time and look elsewhere (hey, coffee's on me ).

    I know a little bit abt photography - aperture, shutter-speed, lighting, bokeh and all that. But ultimately, if i can't afford a 5K package, it means i can't afford it - i can live with normal wedding photos, as long as my wife is extraordinary

    Someone mentioned using LOMO during the wedding; having used LOMOs before, I feel it takes more skill to take good LOMO shots during weddings than with conventional cameras and i wouldn't mind paying reasonable money for that.
    then you can look for me. :P

  11. #51

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    From the point of view of a newbie (my point of view), I remember the last time i covered a wedding for my cousin, on the condition that it was my first and not to expect much. To my surprise, the shots turned out pretty satisfactorily plus I actually enjoyed myself and despite the hours hunched over the shots doing post-processing and the stress of covering the event, I would count myself as having benefitted from the coverage(which in the end i decided not to charge for).

    Personally i find events exciting and would willingly shoot something i take a personal interest in(eg. friend's party/wedding, family dinner,etc. ) for free. Occasionally i wouldnt mind covering an event for free too and look at it as an ordinary shoot. If i get paid a few hundred dollars in the process, great! its free money. Definitely better than kosong.

    For those who would compare people like me to a budget airline and pros to British Airways or something, I can only say this. While newbies may not be able to produce the same standard of photographs as a pro wedding shooter, we do have some basic standard of photography and definitely our price : performance ratio is much better i would think.

    Seriously, if a pro can't make money, there's 2 basic business 101 techniques that i think are rather common-sensical.
    1. Reduce your charges
    2. Improve your service/product
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  12. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by zekai
    the general part: I do make my living soley on photography now. I am new to the business too but i believe i deliver quality work. I am also struggling in the begining finding and pitching for job. I am charging rate that are reasonable for my level of competency but there are many part timers who hold a DSLR and walk around charging $500 for a full day weddig shoot. Of course i feel threaten. You guys may say i have nothing to fear if i am good enough. Consider this, I make a dive into this profession and this is my only income. Granted i am new, another new guy who have a day job shoot for fun, come in not very concern about the compensation.....................

    how many of you actually dive into this full time expericence all of this. Look, i am not complaining. I choose this profession after a long period of consideration. But it get irritating when people not in the know undercut you. I do not know if they are good or not (that not important) but i do know if will affect the market sentiment.
    As with all business venture, it's a risk that you're taking which could potentially yield very good returns. There will always be people undercutting, and there're also photographer friends and relatives who might not lose out to pros and offer their services as a personal favour/gift to the wedding couple. If it's too threathening, it might be good to do a rethink of the original strategy.

  13. #53
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    thanks guy, its not too threatening but just rather irritating.

  14. #54

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    Both Sides of the Coin

    What's your hourly rate, WSHooter? I think you should base it upon my normal salary job not to say I am mercenary whatsoever but the pay I get out of covering a wedding for the entire day based on my hourly rate.


    Typical work flow for wedding photography


    Typically 12 hours, longer for Teochew weddings. Bride must leave home before day break so literally the photographer would have to be at the bride's damm early, right? So, let us take a average hour of 15. You still have to factor in post processing, etc. A lot of work. 500 is not a alot after you factor in all other stuff, your time being the most important.

    So my question to WShooter, are you really making some pocket money, or are you just losing money in terms of hours spent for photography and related post work. Being a wedding photographer, myself, I know that it is a losing equation some of the time.

    Let us say WShooter gets 10 jobs every month, I gather he will burn himself out and quality of work will drop nonetheless. What about his quality of life?To charge so low is not viable in the long run. Maybe just for portfolio building, gaining experience, to network, to get future referral. I hope Wshooter will raise his charges eventually through providing superior photography, customer services, etc. Keep improving.

    Don't tell me you, you do not need $$ to buy equipment, to compensate for depreciation, etc. Even our shutter will die after much abuse, i.e. snapping wedding pictures. Typically one wedding I do, I would have shot 500-800 shots a single day. My shutter is ever inching towards its death.

    Do you have backup equipment, last thing you want is a failed camera, failed flash...Alot of $$ is involved. I am sure you also don't to screw up someone's wedding because of u..Remember every moment during the wedding is unique and not easy to replicate and say come shoot another day.. Doesn't happen! No back up , no shoot!

    Having done about x number of weddings, I can say it is not an easy job having done a few free shoots for weddings. If not for passion for photography and capturing the wonderous moments during the wedding, I would have chosen something more lucrative to do instead of buring my weekends away, right?

    As for pricing, I am sure there are many couples who would choose price over quality. That said, I don't mean cheap is good or cheap cannot compare to quality. It has always been the case what, just like someone choosing a ferrari over a toyota. Marketing is all about segmentation! PERIOD!

    WShooter, not really sure of your skill level or experience with wedding photography..Just want to say your rates are not substantial in the long run...

    As for the professionals, you just gotta keep improving and improving. Photography equipment are more available and affordable. Competition is inevitable. Think Singapore' Telecommunication sector before the market was open and then compare to now. The telecommunications cost have fallen and in turn fierce competition in the sector and caused companies to differentiate on their service offering. These days, we really cannot compete on cost anymore.

    Ciao for now.

  15. #55

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    If he really gets too many jobs a month all he has to do is raise his prices. Im quite sure the number of jobs he gets will drop. Just adjust the prices until he gets a number that he's comfortable with
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    Quote Originally Posted by zekai
    One guy posted that $500, if he shoot everyday... will it be a reasonable income? He posted a question instead of a position he want to take. I believe he is skewed towards believing it is ok. we must not forget an actual day wedding is a long affair...
    ok, at least some of you are bringing up some numbers instead of tossing concepts around.

    so we have 15-18 hrs, and we have 2-3 days (from 2 different posts). and what are the typical costs. so deducting costs, what's left to cover salary and depreciation?

    and how did u surmise that i'm skewed towards believing it is ok? i'm just surprised you people talk about money without drawing out figures.

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    well.. the market here is different from elsewhere..
    ppl here dun expect to pay high prices for photos.. (at least among the ppl i know..)
    we can debate in this forum till the cows come home.. but hey.. the market is still governed by the consumer! the consumer chooses the services and price he/she is willing to pay/comfortable to fork out.. isnt it so? even if all pros,semi-pro agree to the same price.. say 3k/wedding shoot.. will it mean that the consumers will eventually pay 3k? i dun thnk so.. they can easily get their frens who hav a cam to come shoot their wedding for them.. or they probably jus buy a cam (be it film or digital) and get their fren or siblings to shoot for them..

    in the end, its still the consumers who dictate the market.. every price will have its market..

    juz my thoughts..

  18. #58
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    give him a break. i dun think he said tht he's going to charge $500 forever (it's probably a promotional thingy only). as he progress and his works improve, he may just increase the price packages.

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