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Old Feb 20, 2006, 5:37 PM   #1
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Ok, i have an online portfolio available to the students of my university, and a student that i do not know messaged me telling me that she loves my work, and wants me to do her wedding next august. i've done a few weddings, and it's no problem. they were mainly for friends, so i didn't charge much, but this is for someone that is coming to me in a professional type situation, and i'm stumped. she's very sure of what she wants. here's what her request is:

Shots before the Wedding
____Groom looking at watch
____Groom And Groomsmen
____Groom and best Man
____Groom And His Mother and Father
____Bride In Dressing Room
____Maid/Matron of Honor Placing Veil on Bride
____Mother Placing Veil On Bride
____Bride with Mother
____Bride with Father
____Bride With Mother And Father
Shots During The Wedding Ceremony
____Bride's Mother Lighting Candle
____Groom's Mother Lighting Candle
____Flower Girl And Ring Bearer Proceeding Down Aisle
____Bride's Maids Proceeding Down Aisle
____Maid of Honor Proceeding Down Aisle
____Bride Proceeding Down Aisle (Front Shot)
____Bride Proceeding Down Aisle ( Back Shot Accenting Train)
____Bride At Alter With Father Giving Her Away
____Bride And Groom At Alter (Various Angles)
____Bride And Groom Exchanging Vowels
____Bride And Groom Exchanging Rings
____Bride And Groom Lighting The Unity Candle
____Bride And Groom Kissing
____Bride And Groom Leaving Alter

Formal Shots After Wedding Ceremony

____Full Body Shot of Bride With Bouquet (Various Angles)
____Close-up Shot of Bride
____Full Body Shot Of Bride And Groom Holding Bouquet
____Close-up shot of bride and groom holding bouquet
____Various Shots of Bride And Groom
____Re-Stage Bride And Groom Lighting Unity Candle
____Re-Stage Bride And Groom Exchanging Rings
____Bride With Maid/Matron Of Honor
____Bride With Brides Maids
____Bride With Flower Girl
____The Wedding Party
____Groom With Best Man
____Groom With Groom's Men
____Groom With Ring Boy
Family Shots At The Altar
____Bride And Groom With Parents
____Bride With Bride's Parents
____Groom With Groom's Parents
____Bride With Siblings
____Groom With Siblings
____Bride's Entire Family
____Groom's Entire Family
____Groom With Bride's Parents
____Bride With Groom's Parents
____Various other special request family shots from bride, groom and parents
Shots At The Reception
____The Cake
____The Bride And Groom Entering The Reception
____Shots of family and guests enjoying themselves at the reception
____Table Shots of Family Members
____Bride And Groom Tasting
____Ring/ Hand Shot At The Cake Table
____Bride And Groom Cutting Cake
____Bride And Groom Feeding Each other
____Bride Throwing Bouquet
____Groom Removing Garter From Bride's Leg
____Groom Throwing Garter
____Bride And Groom Leaving Reception
____Bride And Groom Walking through Bubbles

Here's the rest. The wedding is a two hour drive, 4 hour round trip.

the only thing i have a problem with is she said she doesn't want prints, she "wants a cd of all the pics to just keep on her laptop". yeah, odds are she's going to wal-mart or wherever and getting prints made of my work. giving the level of business i've had already as a photographer, that would not tick me off that bad, for i'm doing it mainly to get my name out there. but what should i do? what pricing schemes should i possibly throw back at her? i want it to be worth my drive 4 hours round trip, the time processing each image in photoshop, and also if she gets the pictures on cd, what should that cost?

i request as much input on this as possible, for this is a field i would love to go into (not just weddings, just photography in general) full time in the future, and now's a good time as any to start a professional portfolio and pricing scheme. thank you so much.

Jon Ed Rowe
Location: Magnolia, Arkansas (south-west arkansas)
http://www.magnolia-net.com/~jedmag/photography/
[email protected]
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Old Feb 20, 2006, 7:01 PM   #2
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I would charge $300.00 for the first four hours then $20,00 per hour after the first four hours.including the drive time, CD's would be $25.00 each out of camera not corrected at all. $100.00 if sized and color corrected.I make My money doing a DVD slide show set to music of all the photo's that My customers canwatch on their TV. I charge $35.00 for the first one and $25.00 for each copy after the 1st one. Believe Me when I say the people love the slide show. DO NOT DO A WEDDING FOR FREE JUST TO GET YOUR NAME OUT THERE. that is the dumbest thing anybody can do because it is not of value to anyone. Nobody ever likes work that costs them nothing.When they have to pay,They like things more because the money adds value to your hard work.Don't worry if this sounds like a lot of money but a professional would charge four times that mich and still charge for prints because they would not turn the CD over to the bride or anybody.
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Old Feb 20, 2006, 7:29 PM   #3
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If you don't know how much to charge, I'd turn the job down... you don't have enough experience to do a wedding properly.

Wedding photography is a once in a lifetime (usuallyor at least a seldom done ) situation.

Shoot a few weddings with somebody has done a bunch of them before you strike out on your own
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Old Feb 20, 2006, 7:33 PM   #4
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I would charge at $400-$500 for the 4 hour window because of the drive time. I would offer her a cd with low res images for $25. If she wanted printable images with color correction and sizing, I would charge at least $200...wedding photographers make a large portion of their income on prints and reprints, and by giving her all the images on cd, you are forfeiting that extra income. A pro would probably charge double these prices if not more.
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Old Feb 20, 2006, 9:26 PM   #5
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I think RJ Seeny is spot on.

I would also ask for a deposit, 50 percent up front just to show up.

Then 50 percent after to turn over a low res CD (corrected).

I would charge extra to for prints. Maybe post the low res images to a website, and list prices for 4x6, 5x7 or 8x10's etc. so that people can order prints from you.

Wedding is a very tough business. You have to be good at sales, good with the couples, and be very good at getting the shots in the can.

Good luck!

-- Terry


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Old Feb 21, 2006, 12:17 AM   #6
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Wow I guess this is where the money is at!! I cant wait until I become a pro.:blah:

I guess I am getting a good deal from a buddy of mine who is a professional wedding photographer. He is gonna charge me a flat fee of $2,000 or so for EVERYTHING and give me the negative(raw digital file) so I can make as many reprints as I want!
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Old Feb 21, 2006, 5:51 PM   #7
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[email protected] wrote:
Quote:
I think RJ Seeny is spot on.

I would also ask for a deposit, 50 percent up front just to show up.

Then 50 percent after to turn over a low res CD (corrected).

I would charge extra to for prints. Maybe post the low res images to a website, and list prices for 4x6, 5x7 or 8x10's etc. so that people can order prints from you.

Wedding is a very tough business. You have to be good at sales, good with the couples, and be very good at getting the shots in the can.

Good point about the deposit, that I neglected to mention. You want a commitment from them and a deposit will help. You should also draw up a contract, there are many examples available online.

The website is also a very good idea, and helps insure you get what you deserve for your effort.

The wedding business is tough and getting tougher. Now that high quality DSLR's are becoming commonplace, many folks are just saying "let's just get Uncle So&so to take pictures...he's got a nice camera, and we can save some money". If this is what you want to do, Terry's right...you have to be good at sales in addition to being a good photographer.

I do about 3-4 weddings a year for friends of friends (won't do close friends or relatives, although I'll be a secondary photographer), and usually receive $1500 or more per job...most of which is made on prints.
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Old Feb 21, 2006, 5:59 PM   #8
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My two cents worth.

I would not agree to a specific list of images as part of a package that you're receiving compensation for. There is too much that can go wrong.

It's nice to let someone select the images that they want you to capture. But, I don't think you want to be contractually obligated to an exact set of images/poses.

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Old Feb 21, 2006, 8:55 PM   #9
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jedmag wrote:
Quote:
... the only thing i have a problem with is she said she doesn't want prints, she "wants a cd of all the pics to just keep on her laptop". yeah, odds are she's going to wal-mart or wherever and getting prints made of my work. ...
However much you decide to charge, include the cost of at least one 8x10" (or larger) print. Or just give them one. Get that print made to the best standards you can so they have something to compare their Wall*Mart prints to. That way they will knowthat any problems they have with their prints are not due to your images.

They should also be warned that reputable printerswill likelyrefuse to print the images for copyright reasons. So give them (or charge for) a release on your letterhead. Even Wall*Mart will often refuse to print images that might have been scanned from a pro's photo.
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