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Archive 2012 · $895.00 is just way too much
  
 
fabiocamandona
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p.3 #1 · $895.00 is just way too much


Every years we get better photos, every year we grow up our prices (with calm )
Every years we obtain more and better client.
We think is a good way.

We think all the guys here are in right.

"The Net" is a good film but do you remember "Wargames" ?



Oct 03, 2012 at 07:30 AM
Evan Baines
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p.3 #2 · $895.00 is just way too much


Its nice to stop by every once in a while and see how the old gang is doing! Glad I didn't miss this thread!


Oct 03, 2012 at 10:58 AM
rema86
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p.3 #3 · $895.00 is just way too much


Curious, does the $895.00 package include an album? lol


Oct 03, 2012 at 11:20 AM
Manzelle
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p.3 #4 · $895.00 is just way too much


Are you a hapless techno weenie?




Oct 03, 2012 at 12:07 PM
ricardovaste
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p.3 #5 · $895.00 is just way too much


marti, when I saw the title I assumed this was related to your recent album thread because of the price in the title. And well, I cannot speak of your position, market, ability etc (I've not seen your work), perhaps the $900 4hr shoot&burn can be a useful addition at times. But it is what it is after all, your lowest package and so as mentioned this one will always be attracting those who are looking to spend less, perhaps have a smaller budget, or in other words do not share the similar values that you do with photography. So you have to expect this... as someone mentioned, the initial line of inquiry was not promising... "Somebody told me you had some GREAT pricing".

You must have known yourself this wasn't going to be a solid inquiry, which suggests to me that you've become slightly frustrated because of the frequency in which such interest passes your way. How do you display your prices? "Weddings start at $895.00"? I'm guessing that's not how you do it. But in relation to what Mike mentioned, try to be more objective about how much work you need to take on. If you can do around 30 weddings per year, and maybe fill in a few shoot and burns in between then that's that, if that is what you want to do. But perhaps you can increase your full weddings by 5-10% and then no longer need to do shoot and burn 4 hour weddings... just thinking out loud.

I recently changed my pricing structure to show only "full day" weddings, noting "half day" at the side. It's definitely cut down time wasting, and I feel more satisfied that the interest I get are from people who are looking to spend what I need to make. And it's not just about what you need to make, as most will agree, shooting a full-day is far more satisfying than turning up for a small section during the day and then going home... it can feel very incomplete.

Best of luck.



Oct 03, 2012 at 12:19 PM
MattSepeta
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p.3 #6 · $895.00 is just way too much


marti.g3 wrote:
At that price I'll be terminating my county business license and signing up for county assistance.



Yes, with that attitude you're probably right...




Oct 03, 2012 at 12:33 PM
tobicus
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p.3 #7 · $895.00 is just way too much


ricardovaste wrote:
marti, when I saw the title I assumed this was related to your recent album thread because of the price in the title. And well, I cannot speak of your position, market, ability etc (I've not seen your work), perhaps the $900 4hr shoot&burn can be a useful addition at times. But it is what it is after all, your lowest package and so as mentioned this one will always be attracting those who are looking to spend less, perhaps have a smaller budget, or in other words do not share the similar values that you do with photography. So
...Show more

^ Listen to this.



Oct 03, 2012 at 12:43 PM
ricardovaste
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p.3 #8 · $895.00 is just way too much


Well, hey, I was just trying to be constructive, apologies if it came off as negative.


Oct 03, 2012 at 01:15 PM
cineski
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p.3 #9 · $895.00 is just way too much


That is not true. They'll still call you ;-)

Sergio Mottola wrote:
pretty normal when you start at $895. bump to $3895 and you won't be dealing with these kind of folks




Oct 03, 2012 at 01:32 PM
spink
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p.3 #10 · $895.00 is just way too much


ricardovaste wrote:
Well, hey, I was just trying to be constructive, apologies if it came off as negative.


+1

I realize you think we're attacking you. We aren't. We are trying to help you improve your situation. If you like your situation, then my bad. We have no right to tell you how to run your business. Calling people idiots is not the way to handle the situation on hand though.

We have a guy like you locally that shoots 60 - 70 weddings a year. He charges by the hour and does shoot and burn. It works for him and he's been doing that for years. It is a model that works as long as you don't mind being the Wall-mart of photography.

Personally I don't want to work that hard. If you doubled your rates and worked 1/2 as much, would that really be a bad thing? Can you imagine having 1/2 your time back?

Also, clients in your price range think that $1000 is a lot of money. To some it is. Those aren't the clients I want to work with. There will always be clients in that range and I have no problem leaving them to new photographers or the aforementioned guy in my area. In addition to this, saying that the ability to move up market isn't an option is just silly talk. I live in a town that has a median income of just 30k a year and the average house price is 350k. At one point we had the highest unemployment rate in our province at around 18%. If I can average more than 3k a wedding, so can you.

Hope this helps you out, I don't think anyone meant you any disrespect, myself included.

Spencer.

PS. If you still think I'm a negative idiot, so be it. I won't lose sleep over it especially considering I'm fairly certain that I've compliment you on your work before and can't ever recall the same from you.

Edited on Oct 03, 2012 at 01:59 PM · View previous versions



Oct 03, 2012 at 01:39 PM
 

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Robin Usagani
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p.3 #11 · $895.00 is just way too much


dude.. wth man? $895? The wedding planner gave them your number because you have a great price.... not because you shoot good. The thing is.. you shoot good.

Do you rather shoot 1 wedding at $3500+ or 4 weddings at $895? Everyone knows I am a weekend warrior and rather green here. I have taken everyone's advice about pushing the price up. I charge way more than you do. Even if that means I only have 1-5 weddings a year, I don't care. All I know is this, if I do get a referral from the weddings I have done, it WILL be about the same amount or higher. If you shoot at $895, all of your future referral expect the same price! More than likely most of your future clients dont value photography as much and most will be pain in the ass.



Oct 03, 2012 at 01:43 PM
Robin Usagani
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p.3 #12 · $895.00 is just way too much


marti.g3 wrote:
As I've said before, not everyone can be an overpriced photographer shooting 10 weddings a year.


Wow.. so what you are saying all the talented folks here who charge decent amount are overpriced? You got to clear your head man.. You got the wrong idea in your head. These people are not overpriced. They are just damn good and very good business people. If they are overpriced, they wont be shooting that many weddings.



Oct 03, 2012 at 01:48 PM
canerino
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p.3 #13 · $895.00 is just way too much


marti,

your $895 package has me curious. and i havent seen this mentioned in the thread. can you make a living on this? if you can, i guess all who say 'raise your prices' can go suck it.

if you cant, why offer that as a pricing offer?




Oct 03, 2012 at 02:12 PM
widjayaman
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p.3 #14 · $895.00 is just way too much


I'm going to empathize with Martin here regardless of his uncalled lashing out to the people giving him good advice...

It's easy for many of us to give advice like this to Martin and Form because we are not the ones living it out. On the other hand it is very hard for Martin to accept because the advise he gets are contrary to his experiences in the many years he's done business.

Many of us here are weekend warriors just like me. Many of us here are also new, with only a few years of experience. We started shooting for cheap just like Martin, we got better, we went to FM and got slammed because of our pricing, and we said, 'what the heck' and raised our prices and got out of our cheap referral base into our current level.

I know this works because I lived it myself too. Started shooting at $750 as Craigslist wedding photog 4 years ago. Got into FM, learned some stuff, and completely changed how I marketed myself. Right now I get far less inquiries but I got far more solid leads and average close to 4K in a very competitive east-coast market. But I was willing to make the change because I have nothing to lose. I was new, I have very few clients, and I have a day job to fall back to.

But for Martin, he has built years and years of reputation doing this. It's far more difficult to get out of a referral base that has been built for many years. If you have been getting referrals from certain vendors and your pricing all the sudden triples, of course all your referrals will completely dry out.

My suggestion - and this probably won't be a popular one, is to create a new, more expensive brand and keep the old one going. Get a new, much more modern website under a different name. Create a sense of exclusivity and high-class. Put your best work there to start. See how that works for you. The 2 brands will be so far apart in price that you won't be interfering with your current client base.

Edited on Oct 03, 2012 at 02:23 PM · View previous versions



Oct 03, 2012 at 02:15 PM
cineski
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p.3 #15 · $895.00 is just way too much


This turned out to be a fun thread! Wish I could have joined up earlier ;-).

First, to all the people out there not in California who are getting on Marti: you simply don't know what the overall economy and photography market is like in CA. The state can't even re-pave the roads correctly, businesses are leaving in large numbers as are people all the while the state is sucking everything it can from the people. The mood is not bright. Norcal seems to be doing better than Socal, but let me put it to you this way: the Socal market is so bad, in most cases photographers are moving out of the state or getting day jobs who were once full time pros because the market is so over saturated with cheap photographers it's insane. A lot of photographer's incomes have been cut in half in a state that's extremely expensive to live in. The $1000-2000 price bracket is where most brides are in SoCal.....and they want the world for that price (2 photogs, all day, album). To those who have never lived in Socal, you can't live even a modest life with this income, you're living like a college kid. Why is the market so cheap? Because the Socal photo market is full of desperate people who are willing to live like a college kid chasing a dream. Metro LA has 18 million people, when you pack that many people together in a bad economy, bad things start to happen. With our economy the way it is, you're not only dealing with thousands of real photographers who get into the underbidding game, you're dealing with an incredible amount of unemployed people who suddenly pick up their cameras and become a "photographer" because they have nothing else to do. They're all over the streets and facebook screaming and hollering about how cheap they are....and yes, they're impacting market expectations. On an almost monthly basis I have an old friend I haven't heard from in years email me asking how to be a photographer because they bought a camera and have "some extra time" (unemployed). It's scary and it's frustrating. It's not just weddings. Commercial photographers are also freaking out. I have a buddy of mine who's a photo assistant on commercial jobs. Over the past year he worked only a few days. Let me reiterate that: Over the last year he worked a few days as a photo assistant. The year before he was really busy.

But that doesn't mean you have to start charging $900 for photography if you're willing to work hard. Marti, I'm going to be constructively harsh. You sound miserable. You probably sound miserable to your clients. I know you think you're hiding it, but you're probably not. I think you've described before that you're in your 50's and I can imagine this entire experience is not fun by any means for you. You already paid your dues with building your business, and now you're having to re-build. You're not alone. I know a lot of people in the industry in their 50's and there's a lot of people hurting and freaking out and having to rebuild what as of a few years ago was a lucrative, well oiled machine. These are very talented people who have gotten caught up in the market. In my experience, you're only as good as who you photograph and who you work with (coordinators). But they're digging their heels into the dirt and making it happen.

If I didn't have the coordinators I currently have I wouldn't be making it. I also had to revamp myself because a few years ago the coordinators I did have bottomed out....their brides suddenly wanted $1000-2500 photography which I don't provide. I had to work very hard and move into the high end of the spectrum. So maybe you need to talk to your coordinators and tell them to stop sending you cheap brides (if one of my coordinators told a bride I had cheap pricing I'd be pissed as hell!). Talk to them and get a grasp of what they're seeing with their brides. Tell them you're only accepting jobs that pay enough for you to actually pay your bills. If they don't give you the answer you like, you must adapt and I'd suggest by trying to get new coordinators (not an easy task). And yes, raise your pricing. You lowered to $900 and you're still having issues. That's because $900 is the bottom of the dredges and underbidding yourself means you'll eventually have to get so low you'll end up angry at those cheap jobs. I can't imagine having to deal with clients with those unrealistic expectations. In fact I don't. When I get a bride who brings up pricing in the first sentence, I know I won't book them. When a bride starts talking about why she likes my work, I'll book them.



Oct 03, 2012 at 02:20 PM
TheGE
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p.3 #16 · $895.00 is just way too much


marti.g3 wrote:
Thank you...you are the first to come up with something positive. I appreciate that.


You mean he's the first to say something you like to hear. I certainly believe I offered constructive words but apparently you wish to choose what you want to hear.



Oct 03, 2012 at 02:35 PM
Inku Yo
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p.3 #17 · $895.00 is just way too much


cineski wrote:
This turned out to be a fun thread! Wish I could have joined up earlier ;-).

First, to all the people out there not in California who are getting on Marti: you simply don't know what the overall economy and photography market is like in CA. The state can't even re-pave the roads correctly, businesses are leaving in large numbers as are people all the while the state is sucking everything it can from the people. The mood is not bright. Norcal seems to be doing better than Socal, but let me put it to you this way: the Socal market
...Show more

All due respect, but you're talking as if California is the only place feeling the effects of this current economy. Sorry to break it to you, but it's not. Here in NJ, it's mind boggling how many "photographers" there are. I was added to an NJ photographer group on FB a while back. It really opened my eyes to 1) how many people really wanted to be professional photographers, and 2) how bad 99% of them were. Oh, and 3) how many of them really, REALLY wanted to be like J*.



Oct 03, 2012 at 02:37 PM
asparkes
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p.3 #18 · $895.00 is just way too much


Inku Yo wrote:
All due respect, but you're talking as if California is the only place feeling the effects of this current economy. Sorry to break it to you, but it's not. Here in NJ, it's mind boggling how many "photographers" there are. I was added to an NJ photographer group on FB a while back. It really opened my eyes to 1) how many people really wanted to be professional photographers, and 2) how bad 99% of them were. Oh, and 3) how many of them really, REALLY wanted to be like J*.



Yeah. I've been Full time here in Metro Detroit for three years now. It hasn't exactly been a bull market for us. I'm sure you all are familiar with the term "motor city" and the bumpy ride the automotive industry has had? I'm in a state with a much lower cost of living than most of SoCal, and I'd still say under 1K is VERY low. Not knocking it, but I'm not sure how I'd swing that and my mortgage is probably a lot lower than you guys closer to the coasts...



Oct 03, 2012 at 02:48 PM
DmitriM
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p.3 #19 · $895.00 is just way too much


marti.g3 wrote:
Dude, you're in Russia...what the hell do you know about living in America and our economy except for what you read on the internet. With all due respect, when YOU move HERE and try to make a living here, then maybe what you have to offer might hold some weight.


But...but California is where all the movie stars live!!! It's what our Russian TV shows. It's my dream to move there to your land and start my photography business. I am just collecting more money and hopefully next year I will have enough to pay $1000 for a visa and move to California. Then I am pretty sure I'll be able to shoot all the movie stars at $10,000 per wedding while you are struggling to get $800 clients. I am very confident!! And the only reason you don't shoot movie stars is because you don't believe in yourself. I am in my 60s,but tough life in Russia taught me to work hard and smart. Maybe after I move and become a famous California wedding photographer, I can hire you as my 2nd photographer and pay you more than you charge now. Who knows....

Edited on Oct 03, 2012 at 02:54 PM · View previous versions



Oct 03, 2012 at 02:51 PM
Juliewhitlock
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p.3 #20 · $895.00 is just way too much


I'm going to guess that there are brides who would be willing to pay you more but aren't because of what you charge. If a bride has $3000.00 to spend and knows that is what good photographers cost they aren't going to look at you. It's like If someone was offering me a $20,000 Bentley and telling me it's perfectly fine. It's like all the rest.Yeah... I'd be wondering what was wrong with it. You're probably losing more brides with low costing than gaining them. If your work is really as good as people are saying they are most likely looking at it and thinking " What don't I know?". Does this guy have no insurance, no back-up gear, no personality? Why the low price? Then they move on to the person with the same ( or less) quality of work that is asking what they expect a good photographer to charge. I basically live in the economic armpit of Canada. There are about 100 wedding photographers in a very small area. Most charge $500-$1000.00. I still manage to book 25-30 weddings a year at an average of $3000.00/ wedding for little more than a shoot and burn. You can do it. You just need to believe you can. People can smell desperation. Best of luck to you! I hope things look up soon!

Edited on Oct 03, 2012 at 02:53 PM · View previous versions



Oct 03, 2012 at 02:52 PM
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