Questions about wedding photography


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tomshen

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Feb 20, 2002
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#1
Today I accomplished my first wedding assignment, free of charge for a friend. I am pretty happy with the results (D60 + most 20mm/f1.8 + a few 70-200/f2.8). Think my client will be impressed also. Here are a few questions to wedding photographers.

1. Normally how do u pack your digital shots (or print out) to your clients?
2. If I want to charge for wedding photo shooting in the future, what's the "market price"? I dun mind getting some extra bucks to balance my expensive hobby, as long as my clients are pleased.
3. How many shots normally do u shoot in both digital and film formats?
4. Any other issues to be noticed?

thx,
Tom
 

#2
Originally posted by tomshen
Today I accomplished my first wedding assignment, free of charge for a friend. I am pretty happy with the results (D60 + most 20mm/f1.8 + a few 70-200/f2.8). Think my client will be impressed also. Here are a few questions to wedding photographers.

1. Normally how do u pack your digital shots (or print out) to your clients?
2. If I want to charge for wedding photo shooting in the future, what's the "market price"? I dun mind getting some extra bucks to balance my expensive hobby, as long as my clients are pleased.
3. How many shots normally do u shoot in both digital and film formats?
4. Any other issues to be noticed?

thx,
Tom
1. I shoot film, and I don't believe in keeping negatives (it's quite a hassle anyway). So I return all negatives, and all the prints as well.

2. I am told it's around $800 for a full day wedding. FIlm and Processing inclusive. Don't charge less just because it's digital and you have no film cost. Time taken on your part in processing and touching up the images IS a COST as well. :)

3. Typically 10 rolls for the whole day. Max I've done is 12-13 rolls.

4. Go to a good lab.

Regards
CK
 

tomshen

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#3
hehe, thx CK, I expected your reply;p

$800 in Singapore? dun tell me USD! Dun think anyone of my clients is willing to pay $800 (that's about $500~600 profit). I am willing to do even with S$300 profit, hehe. But of course depends on the quality, guess with $800 also needs to do post processing and decoration. Anyway, I have started my wedding shooting, quite straitforward to me now cos I have a much better understanding of exposure compared to that of a few months ago:)
 

tomshen

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#4
btw CK, what's your rate if u charge your clients? I mean, our 'user-friendly' amateur price:)
 

mylau

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Jan 19, 2002
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#5
Originally posted by tomshen
hehe, thx CK, I expected your reply;p

$800 in Singapore? dun tell me USD! Dun think anyone of my clients is willing to pay $800 (that's about $500~600 profit). I am willing to do even with S$300 profit, hehe. But of course depends on the quality, guess with $800 also needs to do post processing and decoration. Anyway, I have started my wedding shooting, quite straitforward to me now cos I have a much better understanding of exposure compared to that of a few months ago:)
No, tomshen, the $500-$600 is not totally profit. It goes to usage of equipment as well. If your flash blows during the wedding shoot, nobody is going to pay for it. There are other equipments as well....
 

#6
Originally posted by tomshen
hehe, thx CK, I expected your reply;p

$800 in Singapore? dun tell me USD! Dun think anyone of my clients is willing to pay $800 (that's about $500~600 profit). I am willing to do even with S$300 profit, hehe. But of course depends on the quality, guess with $800 also needs to do post processing and decoration. Anyway, I have started my wedding shooting, quite straitforward to me now cos I have a much better understanding of exposure compared to that of a few months ago:)
I would love to charge S$800 at least (I do "for free" for friends in return of angpao money). You are right, many people don't want to pay $800. Most people are looking at $500-600. If I do film, that would mean a profit of only $250 if I charge $500. So far, I lost 3 clients like that. Of course, I can charge them what they want, but I'll not only be undercutting the rest (and "spoiling the market", which is already quite bad with so many amateurs offering such cheapo services....), I won't be doing myself a service. After all, we all invested so much into equipment and polishing our skills.

I seriously don't understand why people are willing to spend $2000 on meaningless, posed studio and outdoor shoots, which is not representative of their big day (and even non-couples and commission a shoot like that, you can even do it with your girlfriend/boyfriend if you want to), but is unwilling to spend less than $1k on capturing the essential moments of their big day - something which is unrepeatabe (unless they remarry) and something which is a lot more meaningful. :)

Regards
CK
 

tomshen

Senior Member
Feb 20, 2002
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#7
thx Mylau and CK, I get what u mean. Both of you r right, I have spent so much on both equipment and training myself (which is more important), charging for service is reasonable. Otherwise, a few point-and-shooters might be even better:)

On the other hand, I might feel bad if i turn down a request of wedding photographer if the only reason is due to payment... I guess all of us may encounter this types of situations.:dunno:
 

#9
Originally posted by tomshen
thx Mylau and CK, I get what u mean. Both of you r right, I have spent so much on both equipment and training myself (which is more important), charging for service is reasonable. Otherwise, a few point-and-shooters might be even better:)

On the other hand, I might feel bad if i turn down a request of wedding photographer if the only reason is due to payment... I guess all of us may encounter this types of situations.:dunno:
Right. I feel bad too, I really want to take up the assignment, but it won't do myself justice and I will also "spoil market" for the rest of the people doing similar things.

Guess most people really doesn't believe in spending money on actual day photography (they will probably regret later). Of coz, I can take up the thing for $500-600, use cheap film, cheap lab, and give them so-so prints which fade after 2 years, but what's the point right? Damage my reputation only. ;p

I even tried throwing in a HTML album and CD of the scanned images but no luck there. :( Think the only way is to have something that's really unique and different from what the others have, and at a low cost to you.

Regards
CK
 

tomshen

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#10
In fact, we might have hard time if we dun charge our service. All our friends would ask for cheap/free service and it's not easy to turn down some if we happen have no free time or simply dun want to take sometimes, u know what I mean. ok, i will regulate myself and dun spoil the market;) I shot both formats yesterday, but the dominate is still digital. I might let my clients to choose which format as primary. Does this bring any advantage? keke...
 

#12
Originally posted by tomshen
In fact, we might have hard time if we dun charge our service. All our friends would ask for cheap/free service and it's not easy to turn down some if we happen have no free time or simply dun want to take sometimes, u know what I mean. ok, i will regulate myself and dun spoil the market;) I shot both formats yesterday, but the dominate is still digital. I might let my clients to choose which format as primary. Does this bring any advantage? keke...
If you are on digital already, shoot everything digital, then deliver the equivalent of about 10 rolls (~360-380 shots) on a CD. Then you don't need to restrict yourself, shoot till you drop then deliver the good ones.

Regards
CK
 

Larry

Senior Member
Apr 25, 2002
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www.larryloh.com
#14
Originally posted by Wolfgang
whats a flipalbum? :dunno:
it's like a virtual photo album, where you "flip" pages like a normal book (from left to right) instead of scrolling up and down... the look and feel also like a photo album. try it lah i think the download is free.
 

K

kelvin_lim

Guest
#15
Hi!
I'm a freelance wedding photographer, new to this forum. Hope I can help by sharing some of my experiences...

I shoot digital (D60). For a basic package I deliver 300 4R photos in a large "slot-in"-type album. The jpgs are packed in a CD for them.

Some things you may wish to note:

1) Some couples find it hard to accept that you're not giving them all the photos just becos u shoot digital. Be tactful but honest, if you are questioned.

2) Choose and arrange your photos carefully. Pay great attention to composition, not because it adds artistic value, but because a well-composed photo helps to make the couple look flattering, capture the emotion, and record the event. Couples really want to look good in the photo (especially for the bride) and want the events to be captured. Artistic value is always secondary, usually irrelevant.

3) I charge $750 for the "slot-in"-type album. Some couples are willing to pay $950 for large artistic black albums which look very impressive, I charge more 'cos it can take up to 2 days just to arrange and paste the 300 photos one by one, excluding photo processing time! Also got more expensive albums (e.g. "journalistic" type)... How much effort and material cost are you willing to spend on this assignment?


I fully agree with CK. Although I don't find studio/outdoor shots totally meaningless, I think couples here tragically ignore the emotional value of actual day photography. I know, becos I was one of those couples.

Hope u enjoyed the shoot like I always do!!

Cheers!
Kelvin
 

tomshen

Senior Member
Feb 20, 2002
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#16
Thank everyone for your contribution to this thread!:)

kelvin, thx! Your info makes more sense to me now. May I ask u something further pls?

1. How do u establish your name before your first official assignment as a freelance photographer?
2. Do u ask your clients for their preferences of formats (film/digital) and let them to choose, or you just shoot digital and print?
3. Do u shoot in RAW?
4. Everything else can inspire us regarding this matter?:)

thx,
Tom
 

K

kelvin_lim

Guest
#17
Hi!

1. When I became serious about wedding photography, I had no portfolio. So I asked my fren's fren's fren whether can shoot her wedding as secondary photog for free. The results were pretty disastrous :bsmilie: But I managed to salvage about 30 good photos and built a portfolio. A month later, after looking at my portfolio a good fren was forgiving enough to let me be his official photographer. It was a big success, and the wedding photo-journal I produced from this assignment is still a hit with many of my clients.

2. I just tell my clients that I shoot digital. Digital is more easily accepted now, compared to, say, a year ago.

3. I hardly ever use RAW. It takes time to convert (time=cost) and the advantages are quite invisible, from a practical point of view. I used RAW in my first assignment, but later decided to spend time on polishing my techniques and timing instead - high success rate is very important.

4. Photography is my passion, and I think this passion is reflected in my work. If you have this kind of passion it will drive you on and on - that, IMHO, is the only inspiration you need. Actual day weddings are not easy - there are a million chances to click the shutter, but a photographer's quality and style is defined by the moments he chooses and how he composed them. For me the greatest thrill was in discovering my own style. I hope you'll discover yours soon.

Cheers!
Kelvin
 

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