Economic Theory on How Much to Charge for Wedding Photography


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Jed

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#8
Actually, to be honest, you shouldn't even shoot for friends, not as the only photographer.

The responsible way to pick up experience is as a second photographer or assisting a seasoned professional. That way you get the chance to shoot and learn without the added burden of possibly messing things up if the pictures don't turn out right.

Disclaimer: I realise that I have disagreed with someone. It has not been my intention to cause any grief on the part of the person disagreed with, and to the best of my knowledge I have done so with as much consideration and tact as I can muster. Hopefully this does not trigger a flame war, or name calling, as I really do not wish to be called childish, ignorant or arrogant again. I honestly cannot see what possible offence someone could take at the reply I have penned, but you never know, and as CK once said, "if people are going to be overly sensitive, can't help it..."
 

togu

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#9
Originally posted by Jed
Actually, to be honest, you shouldn't even shoot for friends, not as the only photographer.

The responsible way to pick up experience is as a second photographer or assisting a seasoned professional. That way you get the chance to shoot and learn without the added burden of possibly messing things up if the pictures don't turn out right.

...I]

:light:

Ck, do you need an assistant to tag along? :p
 

#10
Originally posted by Jed
Actually, to be honest, you shouldn't even shoot for friends, not as the only photographer.

The responsible way to pick up experience is as a second photographer or assisting a seasoned professional. That way you get the chance to shoot and learn without the added burden of possibly messing things up if the pictures don't turn out right.
Totally agree. But hey, screwing up a wedding is not a good thing, it sure make you learn what to do, and what NOT to do. Of coz, you could potentially lose a good friend. ;p

Of coz, bear in mind that the responsibility of shooting a wedding is very very great. Though in Singapore, the most that can happen is that you lose a friend, in other countries, you are liable to be sued for that. And there are couples over there who restage the whole wedding so that photographs can be reshot, that sort of thing.

Regards
CK
 

Jun 2, 2002
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#11
Jed & Ckiang

I totally agree with what you guys have got to say about this.

Think about it - if you offer to shoot for free for strangers - not only are you spoiling the market for others, you are also spoiling the market for yourself in the long run.

Its the same for those who charge extremely cheaply - once you are stuck with such a low price, you will have difficulty increasing your price in future.

I've got a friend (part timer)who charges only $250.00 for his service fee for actual day photography and as for developing costs, he charged the cost price - not like $40.00 or more per roll which some other photographers would charge. To be honest, I think his composition skills need to improve vastly before he can justify charging more. However, because he has been stuck with the same standard of work for so long, his heart is not in it and he doesn't improve in the end - its a vicious cycle for himself. Come to think of it, he doesn't get much orders either.

The whole point of a professional photographer charging higher (ie professional) fees is because he is a PROFESSIONAL and the customer should be able to see the value of his work in his photos. I paid over $1k for my wedding photos simply because I feel that my wedding photographer will be able to deliver the goods.

Having said that, it doesn't mean that all amateurs are lousy either. I am sure there are plenty around whose skills may be on par or even better than a professional but they do it for the love of photography. Even so, it is not the right thing to undercut grossly.

Nobody stands to gain from undercutting eventually.
 

Bean

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#12

I studied a module on basic Economics last semester and the following is what I understand. Please do not flame me, I'm just trying to apply what I learn here on this issue. Constructive discussions on this issue are welcome though. :)

Judging from ClubSNAP, I'm assuming that there is a huge number of photographers (both amateurs and professionals) in Singapore, and this number is growing daily. However, the number of people getting married is fixed (the population of Singapore is not increasing, in fact, lesser people are getting married!).

Increase in the supply of photographers will actually shift the supply curve to the right, which will drive the price down. With so many photographers in the market, forming a collusion is nearly impossible, which explains why there will be photographers "spoiling the market."

Just my 1 cent worth.

Comments are welcomed!

:)
 

mervlam

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#13
Economics has theories to help you study the trends of the market. There is no fast rule, however, in the real world. I believed that photographers who "spoil the market" do it out of their own interest, and not for the money.
 

#14
Originally posted by lavenderlilz
Jed & Ckiang

I totally agree with what you guys have got to say about this.

Think about it - if you offer to shoot for free for strangers - not only are you spoiling the market for others, you are also spoiling the market for yourself in the long run.

Its the same for those who charge extremely cheaply - once you are stuck with such a low price, you will have difficulty increasing your price in future.

I've got a friend (part timer)who charges only $250.00 for his service fee for actual day photography and as for developing costs, he charged the cost price - not like $40.00 or more per roll which some other photographers would charge. To be honest, I think his composition skills need to improve vastly before he can justify charging more. However, because he has been stuck with the same standard of work for so long, his heart is not in it and he doesn't improve in the end - its a vicious cycle for himself. Come to think of it, he doesn't get much orders either.

The whole point of a professional photographer charging higher (ie professional) fees is because he is a PROFESSIONAL and the customer should be able to see the value of his work in his photos. I paid over $1k for my wedding photos simply because I feel that my wedding photographer will be able to deliver the goods.

Having said that, it doesn't mean that all amateurs are lousy either. I am sure there are plenty around whose skills may be on par or even better than a professional but they do it for the love of photography. Even so, it is not the right thing to undercut grossly.

Nobody stands to gain from undercutting eventually.
That's very true. Once you're stuck at a low price, it's VERY difficult to raise the prices again. What I overheard from a group of photographers in the Peninsula area is so true. Something like

"Imagine a photographer charges a low rate of like $300. Then let's say I charge $1200. Sure, he will get lots of clients who go for cheap things. But then he'll have to do 3 weddings to get $1200, while I just need to do one. If I do 3, I get $3600, while he gets just $1200. So which do you think is more worthwhile for yourself"? :)

Regards
CK
 

mervlam

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#16
Originally posted by Digipix
I don't mean to crash your party, but I think we should start the discussion on another thread, don't disturb hong's big day plan. ;)
oops! sorry! :p
 

Bean

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#17
Originally posted by mervlam
Economics has theories to help you study the trends of the market. There is no fast rule, however, in the real world. I believed that photographers who "spoil the market" do it out of their own interest, and not for the money.

ASAIK, price (in economic terms) does not just include cold hard cash. Even if the photographer is doing it out of his/her own interest or even just to learn, they is an opportunity cost to it. He may not gain in monetary terms, but the opportunity to practise (because of interest or just to learn) is enough a reward for some photographers to offer their services for free, thus "spoiling the market." :dunno:
 

Darren

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Jan 16, 2002
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#18
Split from Hong's request for Photogs Thread.

Continue your Economic Theory discussions here ;)
 

mervlam

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#19
Originally posted by Darren
Split from Hong's request for Photogs Thread.

Continue your Economic Theory discussions here ;)
;p ;p

anyone major in Econs?
can do a analysis??? :D

sounds more like a banal topic
 

Snowcrash

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#20
Originally posted by ckiang


That's very true. Once you're stuck at a low price, it's VERY difficult to raise the prices again. What I overheard from a group of photographers in the Peninsula area is so true. Something like

"Imagine a photographer charges a low rate of like $300. Then let's say I charge $1200. Sure, he will get lots of clients who go for cheap things. But then he'll have to do 3 weddings to get $1200, while I just need to do one. If I do 3, I get $3600, while he gets just $1200. So which do you think is more worthwhile for yourself"? :)

Regards
CK
Er... don't be offended ok... if 3 x $300 wedding = $900!!! only. ;)

Anyway, when comes to wedding photography, the quality/style/composition are very much debatable. One couple might like the way you shoot, but not another.

I think newbie should shoot 'free' with a experience photographer to get exposure to the feel.
Things like getting all the right moments and how to be PROFESSIONAL (providing service). Sometimes it's not how much tech stuff you know about photography, but how you click (market yourself) with the 'paying customer'.

I believe selling skills is necessary in ALL kinds of Profession.

As to the economic theory, how will it explain what different couple wants from their actual wedding shoot?

Some don't mind, free/cheap ones as long as something is being photographed to remind me of the event.

Some must have a favorable impression on the photographer (imagine he/she is going to be there whole day to shoot your candids moments, relatives, etc). Can pose naturally since the photographer is so friendly etc

Some pay well to get a famous professional 6 months in advance.
(I think someone share a link on a professional photographer schedule of his work somewhere...)

Some work with a budget, screen through portfolio of recommended photographers (from friends / forum etc) and choose the closest to their ideal quality/style/composition

Well just sharing as I gone through the process this year.

A famous quote: 'you pay pennies, most likely you get monkeys'

Personally, I'm not comfortable working with "free service" only without any backup for such a important event of my life.
 

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