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View Full Version : I dont get it...



Jeffro600
September 28th, 2009, 12:38 PM
Scouting prices for local wedding photography, i placed a phony ad on craigslist describing that i wanted a basic photo coverage of a wedding 6-8 hours long(including 2 hours before the wedding, ceremony, and reception) and with about 35-40 people in attendance...id say, an average, small sized wedding.

Within 5 hours, i got back over 150 responses! :eek: Sorting through them i grabbed a pen and paper and started jotting down nots, about 90 of them were worthy, IMO, to shoot a wedding...the others were your typical GWC(Guy\Girl with Camera) that had no experience or clue what they were doing. Out of those 90 potentials, about 40 of them were pretty pricey but were VERY good...average price for the more expensive ones were 3000-4000 dollars...expensive but fair considering the work they could deliver. The remaining 50, 5 of those were astronomically high...like to the point i laughed out loud...8000-15000 dollars and they really were nothing special.

Which brings me to the remaining 45...on average these guys were charging 500 dollars....and most of them were quite good. We'll say a worse case scenario and figure 8 hours...thats 62ish an hour...just for the actual shooting...dont forget to factor in all the hours it takes to post process hundreds or thousands of images, plus materials for printing, scrapbooking, albums, etc.

How are these guys making any money?!? I dont get it? I ran a few numbers and id be lucky to be making minimum wage at that sort of pricing after i factored in all my time and expense! I know times are tough and people are having a hard time shelling over money but wow, just wow! Their making it very difficult for aspiring professionals to make any money!

Edit: in the time it took me to write this, i received another 15 responses...lol

ArloGuthroJeep
September 28th, 2009, 12:42 PM
I just got engaged and need a photographer, send me the 45 "quite good" photographers that only charge $500:D

Jeffro600
September 28th, 2009, 12:45 PM
I just got engaged and need a photographer, send me the 45 "quite good" photographers that only charge $500:D

Oh go do your own research... :P

Seriously though...just put an ad on Denvers CL...then you too can be swamped by emails!! Ridiculous!

satan
September 28th, 2009, 01:17 PM
Shoot is one thing - some of em will garner a little more for "proofs" and "prints" and other post-shoot services.

Re-do your ad, or contact the throngs to see ho many of em can work a Wednesday mid-afternoon gig --- I would imagine that quite a few have "other" full time work, so wedding shoots are seen more as a side-job.

Back in the "film" days, I shot babies... The new-borns with mommy kinda stuff. I'd often go out and get the shots for next to nothing (expenses or just pro-bono if I was in the same Hospital for another one) and clean house on prints.

Jeffro600
September 28th, 2009, 03:00 PM
Im totally blown away...the responses still keep coming in at alarming numbers! I think ive gotten another 60 or 70 responses in the last couple hours! :eek: Im getting quotes from photographers as far away as Phoenix!

Craziness! Maybe i should look to start expanding elsewhere...the market seems to be flooded with crazy cheap wedding photog... :shrug:

ArloGuthroJeep
September 28th, 2009, 03:15 PM
Jeff do you do wedding photography exclusively?

Or maybe my question should really be, what are you expanding out of and into what?

Jeffro600
September 28th, 2009, 03:22 PM
Jeff do you do wedding photography exclusively?

Or maybe my question should really be, what are you expanding out of and into what?

Nope, done a small handful and was thinking about getting into it a little more exclusively...im having second thoughts now. :eek:

My main area was and always has been sporting events and nature. For the last year or so, ive been getting big into portraits also...not wanting to get away from those, just looking to expand my services and appeal to a broader audience. The amount of competition out here is starting to get ridiculous!!

ArloGuthroJeep
September 28th, 2009, 03:30 PM
Gotchya.

I just had some friends get married and didn't want to spend the $5k our other friends spent, and didn't want to spend the $3500 that they found for a more reasonable average online, and ended up going the craigslist route themselves for a bit under $2k I believe. It was a father/daughter combo, two cameras + a video camera for the different parts.

Steve
September 28th, 2009, 03:32 PM
You're in an area where you're competing with how many potential photographers from the greater LA area? And, with a depressed economy, those kinds of things are a luxury and prices will drop. As the prices of real good digital equipment continues to drop, that just makes it easier for lots more people to say they're professional wedding photogs when they already have a day job.

There's no licensing, bonding, permits, etc. required, so anybody with a good digital camera can call themselves a professional photographer. I gotta think it's one of the more cutthroat businesses you could get into and will keep getting worse. :shrug:

Jeffro600
September 28th, 2009, 03:44 PM
There's no licensing, bonding, permits, etc. required, so anybody with a good digital camera can call themselves a professional photographer. I gotta think it's one of the more cutthroat businesses you could get into and will keep getting worse. :shrug:

Yes and no...

Most people wont give you the time of day when looking for a photographer unless you can show examples of high quality work that stand out from the rest...and not just anyone with a bitchin camera can deliver this so it tends to weed out those that can cut it and those that cant. Wedding photography, aside from experience, requires alot more equipment than just a good camera though...your talking expensive lighting, lenses, backdrops, software, etc to give professional quality results...you can tell the people who are using basic equipment and the ones using lot of high dollar stuff with a quick examination of their work more often than not unless their a stellar photographer.

Im just completely blown away by the incredibly cheap prices that the better ones are quoting for the amount of work their willing to take on.

Maybe i should change my name to "You Get What You Pay For Photography"... lol

Steve
September 28th, 2009, 09:48 PM
Maybe i should change my name to "You Get What You Pay For Photography"... lol

Truth in advertising should count for something. :D

ColoradoSkier
September 29th, 2009, 07:28 AM
Not sure if this is totally applicable, but there was an article in a recent Rangefinder or Aftercapture about a highly successful photographer who is just a "CD Photographer", meaning that she just takes the pics and then puts them to disc. That works for a lot of people, but for those that want retouching, prints, etc, she can do it. It just isn't her mainstream thing like it is for a lot of people. As such, her rates tend to be a bit lower than the norm. I think that this is where the industry is headed really.

Just speculating, and I agree with the points Steve makes as well.