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  1. #1
    EASmithV's Avatar
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    Wedding photography rates?

    I have someone who is looking for a "photographer who is just starting out or does photography on the side" so they obviously don't want to spend a whole lot. Is $60 /hr with an additional $30 materials fee too much for someone like this? I wanna snag this before someone shoots thier wedding with Instagram.
    www.EASmithV.com

    "The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera."— Dorothea Lange
    http://www.flickr.com/easmithv/
    RIP Kodachrome

  2. #2
    daleeman's Avatar
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    I imagine you can do the shoot for that, your $ 30.00 in materials will be eaten up quickly, depending on the expectations the bride and family has on the images. Film makes great wedding images, just how many images are you "contracting" for, proofs, enlargements and other considerations.

    My big thought is have a contract (2 copies) signed by both of you with a copy for the bride and yourself. Include as many conditions as possible including delivery time, proof time, prices, reprints. All of it, or do not get involved.

    Sell the real photography aspect vs pixels and scratched or lost CD disks.

    Make money!!!!

  3. #3
    Mike Wilde's Avatar
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    Wedding photographers do their gig for the even budget end process they might charge for a very good reason. I have done three wedding, over 20 years ago now.

    It is not an easy gig. Count on it eating way more time in communcation and coordination than you could ever imagine. It is your reputation as a photographer that depends on you keeping up with these aspects of the event. You are more than a guy with a camera here, what ever that it is you think you are doing.

    Do it as a package, not a by the hour thing, or she will be paying way more than she thinks.

    Coordination and planning time is a cost. You as a minimim must intervuiew the client for whayt they want and then look at the venues at the times the event is to occur, to plan out the lighting if it will be sunny or overcast (natural or flash assisted to tame contrast ratios, or just to get enough light in the space?). Alos you need a contingency plan for rain or snow.

    Will the gig need an assistant to hold a reflector and herd the guests? The photographer does not have time for that.

    You are really going to do more than turn over a CD of all of your images are you not? At least weed out the real duds? That takes time. Provide colour correction if necessary, because no online service is going to deal with that. An the end result, the images is what you are standing behind, whether you printed it or some onlone service.

    I hope this bit of a rant lets you see I think there is always more than just a guy with a cmaera working by the hour for these type of assignments. Maybe I am way too old school. Oh well.
    my real name, imagine that.

  4. #4

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    A quick look on CL will show the typical rate for a "photographer who is just starting out or does photography on the side" in your area. Most of the ad's I've seen are a flat rate for time and CD (obviously digital). You'll have to do the math between an hourly rate and fixed fee for their event.

    If I take my niece's recent wedding (a fairly typical event), there was a posed shoot prior to the ceremony (1.5 hours I would guess), the ceremony (1 hour), the reception (4 hours, but not sure the photographer was there the whole time). Plus a bit of dead time between ceremony and reception. That doesn't include any prep time (meeting with bride and groom, reviewing the location, testing equipment, etc), travel time, or post processing.

    I think it somewhat depends on whether this couple wants the wedding captured on film or doesn't care. My guess is that they'll also want scanned images so factor that in as well. Also, will you be getting any revenue from print sales?

    I also think the common expectation is for lots and lots of images, rather than a fewer number of carefully composed and selected images. If shooting film, you'll need to manage their expectations.

    $30 would not cover 2 rolls of film, processing, and proofs (except perhaps mail order).
    "Far more critical than what we know or do not know is what we do not want to know." - Eric Hoffer

  5. #5
    ChristopherCoy's Avatar
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    Starting rate for "cheap" wedding photographers in our area is about $800, and its usually a soccer mom with a Rebel and a "spray-n-pray, I'll give you my RAW files on a disc" knowledge base.

  6. #6
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EASmithV View Post
    I have someone who is looking for a "photographer who is just starting out or does photography on the side" so they obviously don't want to spend a whole lot. Is $60 /hr with an additional $30 materials fee too much for someone like this? I wanna snag this before someone shoots thier wedding with Instagram.
    I occasionally do jobs like your looking at. I have a minimum fee of $300, the rate is $100 per roll which includes materials, postage, developing, proofs, and scanning.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  7. #7

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    Don't charge by the hour or pay by the hour. Charge/pay by the job. I don't do weddings-did one and learned how much I hate it. If you charge by the hour you will feel rushed and your shots will look it. If you pay by the hour you will feel rushed and the shots will look it. Better for them to find a photographer sit down then sit down and talk about exactly what they want and see if they photog can do that.

    My brother in law and his bride were shown 200 images on the "preview website". Out of which 3 were impressive shots and the rest were shots a monkey could have taken. This whole more is better is crap.
    Technological society has succeeded in multiplying the opportunities for pleasure, but it has great difficulty in generating joy. Pope Paul VI

    So, I think the "greats" were true to their visions, once their visions no longer sucked. Ralph Barker 12/2004

  8. #8

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    Well long ago I used to do film weddings, 135 and/or 120 format. Plan on 120-180 shots for the whole day, so do the materials and processing costs math, it adds up fast.
    Bob

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    EASmithV's Avatar
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    Never mind they want it done for "less than 1000". We're good...

  10. #10
    ChristopherCoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EASmithV View Post
    Never mind they want it done for "less than 1000". We're good...
    So tell them you'll do it for $975, then shoot 4 rolls of film and head to the bank.

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