Hey Ira, I read in other topics that you do wedding shoots and create albums for friends.
This looks like a great way to earn some extra cash to me, since I'm a student and my time/money is limited, I could sure use it.
I have a couple of questions:
Do you need any licenses for that?
How much do you ask for 1 wedding album? How much do professional photographers ask, so I can know where to draw a line.
What's your average expense for 1 wedding? (i.e. sending the photos to a fuji lab, buying the material for the album itself...)
How do you get in touch with the couples? I don't know that many people getting married...
And last but not least: any tips?:-)
OK, first of all weddings are terrifying at first. It is not for the faint hearted. I think you should do a little research into the trials and tribulations of wedding photography before you rush forward.
I started doing photos for family, basically at cost, I have never advertised and I only shoot a wedding if approached to do so by someone who seems to be aware of my amateurstatus.Over the years I have used equipment from a Pentax K1000, through Minolta Maxxum 7000 to a Fuji S7000 (first attempt at digital, a "budget" job for friends that turned out very nice). This weekend I shoot my first wedding with the DL.
Licenses required? That depends on local laws. Since I do only occasional work none is required here however if I earn more than a certain amount I have to claim the income in my taxes (again that numberwill vary)
Wedding albums? I do notput together wedding albums, it is costly and time consuming (but can be quite lucrative). I suggest that doing a photo book through some company such as MyPublishercan cost as little as $50 and would probably sell for much more as part of a wedding package. Since I do "budget" work I usually supply the clients with about 150 4"X6" proofs in a simple store bought album. I will PM you with the details that would be of little interest to others here.
Average expense? Since I have only done one "digital" wedding it is hard for me to say. Good digital proofs are quite inexpensive (usually less than $0.25 each) but if you offer enlargements you need to research the cost of a decent lab first. The biggest expense doing digital is the time involved in editing. I also supply three copies ofa CD (or two) with the images sorted and properly cropped for standard print sizes (very little cost but a lot of work). Many professionals do not supply files, or charge heavily for them, because exclusive rights to reproduce the images can bring in more income. As a beginner (or a casual amateur like me) it is probably best to negotiate a fair price and pass everything over to the couple.
Getting couples? I live in a small town, if you have done a wedding and someone else has seen the result, and liked it, word travels fast. In a larger centre you may have to check regulations first and then take out an ad in a local publication.
The biggest tip I was given for wedding photography was "run away!". It can be challenging dealing with nervous brides and obsessive parents so beware. If you are serious however, start small. Pros can charge thousands for a wedding shoot, beginners must start far more modestly. Offer only the basics at first, and if you supply a CD remember to give a letter that grants copy rights to the couple, many labs will not print images that they are uncertain about the copyright. If it looks professional they will not print it unless you have proof of ownership.
There are others here with more experience than me so hopefully they will give their slant on things.