View Poll Results: Should there be a Wedding Photographers Board?

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  • YES, it is a good idea, subject to close monitoring.

    25 32.05%
  • NO, let it be a free market.

    53 67.95%
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Thread: Wedding Photographers Board

  1. #1

    Default Wedding Photographers Board

    THere is a lot of hype and discussion over how much should a wedding photographer charge and/or how much should a wedding couple pay for photography services.

    Since there is a large base of photographers in Clubsnap (DUH!), and everyone is from different background and of varying calibre, how about setting up a Wedding Photographers Board to determine the quality of the photographer in terms of whether he/she is amateur, semi-pro or pro?

    By 'grading' the photographer, the Board can also tag on (fairly) how much the photographer is worth. This will provide fairness to all, and will let couples know what they'll expect to get for the amount they're willing to fork out.

    I'm sure the market out there is big enough to have couples who are willing to pay a substantial amount. These couples can look up for semi-pro/pro photogs out there at a certain price (say in excess of $1000).

    For those couples who are willing to pay only $300 for 10 rolls, then there's the appropriate category of photogs - the amateurs.

    IMHO, this is a win-win situation. Pros will not get short-changed by the amateur competition, while amateurs will not be short-changed by couples who demand the world of them. In fact, with this Board, photographers will be somewhat protected of their rights and for some, their livelihood.

    Perhaps the Board may consist of moderators or an invited few to judge/rate the quality of those interested in joining the Board. And perhaps a special wedding gallery can be included in Clubsnap for portfolios and personal statements. This one-stop gallery can be made available to all couples maybe through HerWorld, Brides, etc? And to further protect the serious wedding photographers from unscrupulous amateur P&S 'photogs', serious guidelines could be drawn up for them to meet the criteria, and maybe a token membership fee?

    What do you all think?

  2. #2

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    I don't think rating photographers and then peg them to a price list is a healthy way to promote photography in the long run. In fact, it's nauseating just thinking of the idea. Certainly not in CS, imo.
    You can't compete in the market? Find out why instead.

  3. #3
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    regarding the grading i think people who think they are pro and get lower grade may be unhappy and grumble about the grades.

    also, even if graded, so what? eg, if i am graded as amatuer, i can still go out and charge pro rate....bcos my customers are from outside (non CS) right?

    also, how many wedding couples actually come here to hunt for photographers? I believe many are by word of mouth recommendation, bridal studio, and bridal magazines.

    last, how do u know that the photos submitted are genuiely from that photographers? Full resolutions photos (digital) are not difficult to get, even negatives not very hard. just a simple eg, if my fren wedding are taken from a famous photographers, i just ask him to burn one me CD can liao and I can argue that actual day no need to blow up to more than 8R, thus, i shot at this resolution.....

  4. #4

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    I agree that there should not be a controlling or "guiding" committee to tell people how much they should charge. It's a free market out there. If you are really so 'pro' then you should have the skills, knowledge and service that only a 'pro' can provide. And then, let the customers out there vouch for the quality of your service and refer you to all their friends. Anyway as far as I know, Clubsnap has never been known to be a big source of jobs for professional photographers. The yellow pages is more likely to be.

  5. #5

    Default

    I totally agree with LimCB. Let's say there is this photographer..let's call him Mr A. Mr A is a good photographer. He produces good work. But at the same time he charges $500 for a whole's day work. So what about it? He is free to dictate how much he should charge. We live in a free market where real competition exist!

    Quote Originally Posted by LimCB
    I don't think rating photographers and then peg them to a price list is a healthy way to promote photography in the long run. In fact, it's nauseating just thinking of the idea. Certainly not in CS, imo.
    You can't compete in the market? Find out why instead.

  6. #6
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    Oh GOD, another Board. This is a free market. So who's supposed to say who is good and who is not? And how much to charge blah blah blah.. Let the market force determine the price. The last we want is some individuals dictating over the whole damn thing.

  7. #7
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    I quite agree with engineermunn to start a Wedding Photographer board!
    Not those general photographer board.

    " By 'grading' the photographer, the Board can also tag on (fairly) how much the photographer is worth. This will provide fairness to all, and will let couples know what they'll expect to get for the amount they're willing to fork out."

  8. #8
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    Free market will spoil the Pro image if those amature stated/charge assuming they are pro.

  9. #9
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    Heng I'm not a wedding photographer, else I get labelled and rated like machiam SG G**ls

  10. #10

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    Hehe, do you need another board to rate the moderators/judges who will be rating the first board? etc etc..

  11. #11
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    It is a free market. Let market dictate the prices.

    Agree with LimCB that you will probably need another board to select or grade the first board.
    Also if, the pro/semi-pro/amateur don't agree with the board can also don't join the board right? Then they will be free to dictate their services & prices.

  12. #12

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    It would be nice if we can take a cue from the medical or law professions where there is a Recommended Price List, especially for new comers who think that they are good enough to jump into the bandwagon but unsure about how much to charge.... like, basic: per half day, $200 - $400, etc... so newbie may try to start with a quote of $200 and pro will maybe quote $400, etc...
    This may indirectly protect the whole industry.... i hope.
    always the Light, .... always.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Sion's Avatar
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    This board thing is only workable if it is a licence-issuing authority very much like the taxi licence. Want to shoot wedding for money? You have to pay to sit for the tests to get a licence.

    Different levels of tests determine your level of pricing e.g. Class E wedding photographers get $30 hourly rate. And there'll be heavy fines for those who are caught shooting wedding commerically without licence. And inspectors will visit wedding venues to check for licence.

    Heheh.....what kind of a world this will be? Not that we haven't got enough restrictions and controls already :-)

    Now don't anybody suggest uniforms should be worn by the wedding photographers too :-))

  14. #14

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    I mean how do u classify a pro and an amateur? I mean should there even be such distinction in the first place? How do you judge which work is good and which is bad? What you may judge something as good, another may see it as hopeless. The best way is for the couple to decide what is good for them and whether it is worth the price. This is a free market! If u feel that u r being priced out...well, it's time to take a look at your work, your price and perhaps your marketing.

  15. #15

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    I think its a good idea in general. What I understand from the original post is that the intention is to have a win-win situation. The pros don't like it when amateurs dump the rates. It will have a detrimental effect on the market rate, whether you like it or not. On the otherhand, the amateurs have no idea what to charge, some of them think that $300 is a lot to charge for a day's work.

    Whilst I do not agree on 'grading' photographers, I feel that we should have a schedule of rates instead.

    We have a similar problem here in KL too (I'm from KL btw). So far nothing has been done to rectify this matter. So let us work it out some how. I would like to propose a 'guideline' for wedding photography rates. The emphasis is on guideline as there won't be any strict rules or authoritative body to enforce them (yet).

    We can divide the rates by 3 sub-categories, say top-ranking pro photogs, pro and semi-pro/amateures (who shoot only occasionally).

    Then we can lay down the details on typical packages offered, cost of reprints, enlargements, etc. and the no. of hours utilised.

    eg. pro rate: $250 - $350 per hour, or $1200 - $1400 per package (explaining the package details).

    The rates will obviously have to be agreed upon by a collective of opinions from pros and semi-pros alike, and must reflect the market reality, ie. on tried and tested basis.

    I understand that it's a free market, etc out there and you can charge whatever rate you please, but in the interest of preserving the creative value (and some people's rice bowls), I think it has to be moderated to a certain degree.

    One day, I hope, the market will become accustomed to the 'standardised' rates and many of us can then enjoy a fair share of the somewhat small pie that we have.
    Last edited by Matt2004; 28th September 2004 at 11:51 PM.

  16. #16

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    Jeez... just what we need... more "ranking" in our lives.

  17. #17
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Hi everyone,
    I'm new in this club and forum, but I'm shooting wedding for living.

    For I see is this not gonne workout. As for the reasons many of us here have pointed out.

    You have a very good intention, but the best determind price factors is the customers or the market.

    If you want to know how much a amateur photographer should charge for a wedding, we can give some suggestion on rates, but to follow or not is up to individuals.

    Seriously, I don't care much about the price competion from the amateur photographers, or so call "spoil the market". It happened since before I become a professional, btw, have you ever see professionals undercut each other on pricing?

    So, every photographers has he or she own market, if a coulpe looking a amateur photographer to serve them, definitely will not come to me.
    If my customers go to sign with a amateur photographer, is because of cheaper and better quality, than I knew that I need to provide even better quality of service and products in order to stay in this field.

    Than, how we gonne workout? charge whatever amount you feel comfortable, when your assignments reach your full capacity or feel burn out. Raise your price. If you are not getting any assignment, mostly likely you overprice yourself.

    Price undercutting is just like taking steroid, you may win a race or two, but definitely will end your career early.

  18. #18

    Default

    With the emergence of digital photography, it opened up an avenue that was previously privy only to the very few selected elite professionals. Nowadays, give a chap a digital camera, and within two months, he could shoot as well as a pro with 2 years experience on film. That's how fast the learning curve is nowadays, thanks to digital advancement.

    This creates a dilemma for the incumbent pros. This new breed of photogs can be rather good at what they do, and in a way, possesses a threat to the old timers' livelihood. That, and coupled with a decline in demand for top notch quality wedding photography (most people now are very happy with snapshot quality photos, unless you're talking about niche market with the upper middle class society), is seriously shrinking the pro market. I've heard of many pros complaining about this phenomenon.

    These new guys charge basement bargain rates because they simply don't know how to charge. As the result, the price-conscious mentality of today's clients will dictate that they will mostly get the job. Since weddings are a one-time affair (for most people anyway!), it doesn't really matter much if the photog screw up the assignment as there won't be repeat customers anyway.

    So herein lies the dilemma, pro guys are secretive about their rates, hence losing their market share to the new kids on the block, and the new kids are hoping to charge more but afraid to lose clients. What shall we do?

    I think a system of coaching and sharing of information is helpful here. Building up self-confidence and being comfortable with charging the 'appropriate' rates would give the new photographers assurance that they can get the job and hence there will be less incentive to spoil the market as someone said, because who wouldn't wanna charge more and get away with it?

    As for the pros undercutting each other.... are you kidding me?

  19. #19

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    EngineerMun may have gotten a good concept applied in the wrong place.

    More important is to have some form of grading if the photog is competent to do the job. Then there is no need to set up a board to do this - there is the american PPA , the british MPA, there should be some other groups that are linked to wedding only too - but bad news theses organizations normally pre require that the individual be full time employed as a photog not all of us dear part timers ( who cannot really claim to use the freelancer description as per what the photo trade uses; a freelancer is a assumed full time professional that shots for which ever studio or client hires him and not tied down to one source of jobs). However I do believe that there are people who do claim to be full time employed in the application to these bodies. Grading is at least done by working professionals who are not based here so there can be no biasness or conflict of self interest.

    There is no way to set a bands of prices simply because this is a free market situation. Some example of the medical association recommended prices or cost for consultancy - note that it is follow in an approximate manner - doctors will charge as much as they can provided they do not start to lose customers because of the charges. Doctors are not operating on a charity for the public basis. Trouble is that there are alway smart alecks who think that by cutting 10% or 20% off these prices they can swipe You customers.... Singapore is heavily popluated with smart alecks. Hey I think its genetic to us.

    OKay just to say that if you pay peanuts do not be too surprise to find you have a monkey working for you.

  20. #20
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt2004
    As for the pros undercutting each other.... are you kidding me?
    I was in advertising field, these kinds of things are very common.

    1. Since you mention wedding day is 1 time affair, shouldn't photographers treat every wedding shoot with extreme care? Iím always amazed to see people with little knowledge about the meaning, customary and technical stuff and enter this arena for quick buck. But please donít feel being offended.
    2. My customers are mostly referrers, either met or hear about me before, or seen my works. My rate is just below 1K and I donít serve rock bottom price customers. If couples think my rate is high, I just refer them to my associates or kaki.
    3. Iím making a living with wedding photography, many amateur here just making extra money to finance their expansive hobby, should I complaint about this? Ya maybe, but so what and what for? I have learned to live with this situation.
    4. My associate told me that a debate on here about a photographer offer $500 only and give a lot of things, his initial response was mad about this, and said this joker spoil the market. I simply ask him: Do you think this guy can shoot as good as you? If not. Why should you worried?
    5. Do you know why some professionals are secretive about their rates? Is because they simply donít want to be labeled, and donít want to let customers compare prices. Now you want label everyone and let customers compare prices!!! Lol!!!
    Last edited by catchlights; 29th September 2004 at 12:13 PM.

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