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Archive 2012 · Wedding photographer near Pittsburgh
  
 
paparazzinick
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p.2 #1 · p.2 #1 · Wedding photographer near Pittsburgh


M Lucca wrote:
Please note that OP is from UK. He might be referring to 700 which is what



Still not enough



Nov 09, 2012 at 06:17 PM
D. Diggler
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p.2 #2 · p.2 #2 · Wedding photographer near Pittsburgh


M Lucca wrote:
the absences of our drama queens - form and marti.g3


I wonder if we'll ever see "marti.g4".



Nov 09, 2012 at 09:19 PM
fotojennik
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p.2 #3 · p.2 #3 · Wedding photographer near Pittsburgh


paparazzinick wrote:
wow really? I really hope someone is not going to consider this for $700. Even if pushed to $1500, I wouldn't do it. I would rather sit at home and not work than be a slave for little pay.



I understand where you are coming from, but you have to consider other perspectives. I am new to the business, but I feel like I have a good amount of talent for my experience level. But as a newbie, it's not the easiest thing in the world to book a bunch of weddings your first year out on your own. I have a few, more than I expected actually, but still... it's not hard to decide between shooting and getting paid $1,000+ or not shooting at all and making nothing. I am not at the point in my career when I can say 'My time is worth more than that.' I have a full time day job, so all of this is done on the side. Regardless, each and every wedding adds to my portfolio, experience level, and bank account. If I were to try and demand $2,000+ for weddings my first year, I would literally have 0 bookings instead of the 6 that I do have now.

My only hesitation with doing this particular wedding is that it pretty much has no chance of leading to future word-of-mouth referrals (since they are coming in from jolly old England). I still need to learn more about the whole situation first before I decide anything.

Ya feel me?



Nov 09, 2012 at 09:39 PM
alexhibbert
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p.2 #4 · p.2 #4 · Wedding photographer near Pittsburgh


fotojennik wrote:
I understand where you are coming from, but you have to consider other perspectives. I am new to the business, but I feel like I have a good amount of talent for my experience level. But as a newbie, it's not the easiest thing in the world to book a bunch of weddings your first year out on your own. I have a few, more than I expected actually, but still... it's not hard to decide between shooting and getting paid $1,000+ or not shooting at all and making nothing. I am not at the point in my career when
...Show more

Common sense and perspective is starting to win over. Without giving details on a public forum, there's a reason why Brits are looking for photogs in Pittsburgh.

To those who wouldn't demean themselves to a lowly daily rate comparable to what some earn in a month, no worries. You won't be booked!



Nov 09, 2012 at 09:44 PM
Inku Yo
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p.2 #5 · p.2 #5 · Wedding photographer near Pittsburgh


alexhibbert wrote:
Common sense and perspective is starting to win over. Without giving details on a public forum, there's a reason why Brits are looking for photogs in Pittsburgh.

To those who wouldn't demean themselves to a lowly daily rate comparable to what some earn in a month, no worries. You won't be booked!


Man, your attitude about this whole thing makes me sad. That being said, I'd like to book someone for a speaking engagement on polar expeditions. My budget is $20. Know anyone?



Nov 09, 2012 at 11:09 PM
M Lucca
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p.2 #6 · p.2 #6 · Wedding photographer near Pittsburgh


I can see Fotojenik's point. How can one break into the scene without portfolio? And who would take a chance on a newbie unless there is great incentive. In this case - price.


Nov 09, 2012 at 11:26 PM
Tony Hoffer
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p.2 #7 · p.2 #7 · Wedding photographer near Pittsburgh


fotojennik wrote:
I understand where you are coming from, but you have to consider other perspectives. I am new to the business, but I feel like I have a good amount of talent for my experience level. But as a newbie, it's not the easiest thing in the world to book a bunch of weddings your first year out on your own. I have a few, more than I expected actually, but still... it's not hard to decide between shooting and getting paid $1,000+ or not shooting at all and making nothing. I am not at the point in my career when
...Show more

Not to take this too far off topic (personally I think a customer has the right to whatever budget they'd like, and a business has a right to charge whatever they'd like or say no to whatever they'd like), but this line of thinking is common and somewhat problematic. The analogy that I often use is that if a restaurant opens and has never made a burger before, they're not going to charge $1 because they haven't done it before. They have to first establish a sustainable price.

I made the same mistake when I started. I mistook a cheap price for true marketing. It's possible to book weddings at sustainable prices without experience, but it requires creative marketing. Again, I truly believe that people have a right to do whatever they'd like, but as someone who has made that mistake (and had the effects last for a while) I wouldn't advise it.

Just my opinion of course. Carry on



Nov 10, 2012 at 01:17 AM
fotojennik
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p.2 #8 · p.2 #8 · Wedding photographer near Pittsburgh


Tony Hoffer wrote:
Not to take this too far off topic (personally I think a customer has the right to whatever budget they'd like, and a business has a right to charge whatever they'd like or say no to whatever they'd like), but this line of thinking is common and somewhat problematic. The analogy that I often use is that if a restaurant opens and has never made a burger before, they're not going to charge $1 because they haven't done it before. They have to first establish a sustainable price.

I made the same mistake when I started. I mistook a
...Show more

Tony, I definitely value your opinion, and I absolutely understand what you are saying. Silly as it is, your burger analogy makes perfect sense. I do worry about what sort of effects my "strategy" will have, especially when it comes to word of mouth referrals, as I imagine something like the following happening in 2013:

Friend: Your pics are omg amazeballs, who was your photographer, I want to use him?
Bride: (insert my name) he was awesome!!!
Friend: How much did you pay, just curious?
Bride: It was great, I paid like $1,500 for everything
Friend: Awesome!!! Contacting him now
...
fast forward
...
Friend: WTF he told me he charges $2,500 for a wedding now? WHY? I HATE HIM


Something along those lines.

I would love to change my marketing around, but I'm sort of stuck right now. Having a full time job, I don't have enough time to fully research and market myself right now. I can't really afford to pay someone to do that for me right now either. I feel stuck, and I don't love it. Any suggestions?



Nov 10, 2012 at 02:15 AM
RJKphoto
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p.2 #9 · p.2 #9 · Wedding photographer near Pittsburgh


fotojennik wrote:
I understand where you are coming from, but you have to consider other perspectives. I am new to the business, but I feel like I have a good amount of talent for my experience level. But as a newbie, it's not the easiest thing in the world to book a bunch of weddings your first year out on your own. I have a few, more than I expected actually, but still... it's not hard to decide between shooting and getting paid $1,000+ or not shooting at all and making nothing. I am not at the point in my career when
...Show more

You are the one muckig up the wedding photography business. If you're not confident enough to charge the going rate, stay home and make portraits of your dog, but stop pissing in our pool!



Nov 10, 2012 at 02:20 AM
fotojennik
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p.2 #10 · p.2 #10 · Wedding photographer near Pittsburgh


RJKphoto wrote:
You are the one muckig up the wedding photography business. If you're not confident enough to charge the going rate, stay home and make portraits of your dog, but stop pissing in our pool!


Thank you for your opinion, but we will just have to agree to disagree.
If you can't adapt to a changing world, you will surely be left behind.



Nov 10, 2012 at 02:28 AM
 

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TTLKurtis
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p.2 #11 · p.2 #11 · Wedding photographer near Pittsburgh


fotojennik wrote:
Thank you for your opinion, but we will just have to agree to disagree.
If you can't adapt to a changing world, you will surely be left behind.


Let me ask you a question, and it's a question I'm really getting sick of asking to people in your position...

Why is it that you feel you need to charge less, when you have a full-time job? Wouldn't that put you in a better situation where you don't need the money, can charge a proper rate, and not have to cut your own legs out from under yourself?



Nov 10, 2012 at 02:42 AM
RJKphoto
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p.2 #12 · p.2 #12 · Wedding photographer near Pittsburgh


How can you call what you are doing adaptation? If your Client's can afford Heinz Chapel ($1000 just to have a ceremony there) or a country club reception, they can afford to pay a photographer an amount that allows for a sustainable business. By undercharging, you undervalue and undermine the entire industry and limit your (and everyone else's) future in the business, for god's sake you even have Tony Hoffer telling you this yet you don't yet get it.


Nov 10, 2012 at 02:43 AM
paparazzinick
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p.2 #13 · p.2 #13 · Wedding photographer near Pittsburgh


fotojennik wrote:
I understand where you are coming from, but you have to consider other perspectives. I am new to the business, but I feel like I have a good amount of talent for my experience level. But as a newbie, it's not the easiest thing in the world to book a bunch of weddings your first year out on your own. I have a few, more than I expected actually, but still... it's not hard to decide between shooting and getting paid $1,000+ or not shooting at all and making nothing. I am not at the point in my career when
...Show more

I feel ya. You're better than that. Trust me. have you seen a lot of the garbage in our city? Youre better than a lot of it.

Lets meet for a beer or coffee sometime and talk shop. I would be glad to help a native black and gold out.





Nov 10, 2012 at 02:47 AM
RichardLavigne
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p.2 #14 · p.2 #14 · Wedding photographer near Pittsburgh


alexhibbert wrote:
Thanks Kevin, I'll make contact. Your work is a good way above that of some of the more bullish commentators on here....


Kevin... what he's trying to tell you is, "Hey, you're pretty good.... I'm happy you don't believe in your own skill."

Definitely book the job dude if that's what you want to do... I don't think anyone will flame you for that, but at some point, you have to realize that you do have talent and that talent deserves to get you paid... and if you're accepting a job for $1500, that means you can't accept the job that's gonna pay full price for that date a week or a month down the line.



Nov 10, 2012 at 02:49 AM
paparazzinick
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p.2 #15 · p.2 #15 · Wedding photographer near Pittsburgh


M Lucca wrote:
I can see Fotojenik's point. How can one break into the scene without portfolio? And who would take a chance on a newbie unless there is great incentive. In this case - price.




This is exactly why our industry and becoming shit to a lot of people. Too many people are afraid to ask to 2nd shoot for a real pro and gain portfolio that way. SO they take low ball prices and now the standard price point just dropped another % because they were too lazy to do it the right way.




Nov 10, 2012 at 02:51 AM
Tony Hoffer
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p.2 #16 · p.2 #16 · Wedding photographer near Pittsburgh


fotojennik wrote:
Tony, I definitely value your opinion, and I absolutely understand what you are saying. Silly as it is, your burger analogy makes perfect sense. I do worry about what sort of effects my "strategy" will have, especially when it comes to word of mouth referrals, as I imagine something like the following happening in 2013:

Friend: Your pics are omg amazeballs, who was your photographer, I want to use him?
Bride: (insert my name) he was awesome!!!
Friend: How much did you pay, just curious?
Bride: It was great, I paid like $1,500 for everything
Friend: Awesome!!! Contacting him now
...
fast forward
...
Friend: WTF he told me
...Show more

Sure. I think the first goal should be to mentally go from a 'just starting' approach to a 'just opened' approach. A 'just starting' approach means you're cheap, and you're probably not very good. A 'just opened' approach means that you're talented and may have some incentives to offer since your wedding business has just opened. I know that seems trivial, but once you take that mental approach it's much easier to think along the mindset of how to market yourself.

For example, things like working hard to create a portrait business with likely (or soon to be) wedding clients is a good place to start. This could mean approaching other photographers to see if they have extra business during this busy Christmas season. Maybe you offer to 2nd shoot for free in exchange for permission to start a portfolio. Then maybe you offer some sort of portrait shoot or project in a place where that work is displayed. Maybe you find a new venue that's in need of some images or something that you could work a deal with. There's lots of opportunities out there, but it just involves a little creative thinking. Going in with a mindset that you just opened your wedding business can really help with that.



Nov 10, 2012 at 03:54 AM
fotojennik
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p.2 #17 · p.2 #17 · Wedding photographer near Pittsburgh


paparazzinick wrote:
I feel ya. You're better than that. Trust me. have you seen a lot of the garbage in our city? Youre better than a lot of it.

Lets meet for a beer or coffee sometime and talk shop. I would be glad to help a native black and gold out.


Thanks. It's always nice to hear words of encouragement. I'm pretty hard on myself when it comes to judging my own photography.

I like both beer and coffee, so either works for me. Wedding season is over for me pretty much (2nd shooting on Nov 24th and Dec 8th but that's it) so I'm free most evenings and weekends.

Also, to reply to another statement, I did spend all of last year 2nd shooting for other photographers in our area (that I think are very good -- you probably know or have heard of most of them). That's how I have built my portfolio so far. I felt that since I had a day job, I could afford to spend a year learning and working my way into the business and make some friends to help me out along the way. I have met some really great, and really nice photographers in our area. I've have also seem some very poor ones also (most through the FB group we are in).



Nov 10, 2012 at 05:45 AM
fotojennik
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p.2 #18 · p.2 #18 · Wedding photographer near Pittsburgh


RichardLavigne wrote:
Kevin... what he's trying to tell you is, "Hey, you're pretty good.... I'm happy you don't believe in your own skill."

Definitely book the job dude if that's what you want to do... I don't think anyone will flame you for that, but at some point, you have to realize that you do have talent and that talent deserves to get you paid... and if you're accepting a job for $1500, that means you can't accept the job that's gonna pay full price for that date a week or a month down the line.


I am very open to suggestions when it comes to this sort of stuff. I am an engineer, definitely not a businessman. The way I had it planned, was for every so many bookings I got this year (for 2013) I would increase my price. After 2, I raised my price. After 4, I raised my price. Each raise was only incremental, but the fact that I was able to continue booking helps me build confidence in charging higher prices. I just figured, that in due time I would be up to full competitive rates. By that time, the verbal referrals should be coming in from 2013 weddings, and I would off to a very good start to my wedding photography career. I see now that a lot of people have an issue with this business model, and I can now see why. Perhaps I didn't do my due diligence when it comes to planning out my business. I plan to take a good look at things over the course of this winter (in addition to revamping my website) and making some changes to my business model and future plans.



Nov 10, 2012 at 05:49 AM
fotojennik
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p.2 #19 · p.2 #19 · Wedding photographer near Pittsburgh


Tony Hoffer wrote:
Sure. I think the first goal should be to mentally go from a 'just starting' approach to a 'just opened' approach. A 'just starting' approach means you're cheap, and you're probably not very good. A 'just opened' approach means that you're talented and may have some incentives to offer since your wedding business has just opened. I know that seems trivial, but once you take that mental approach it's much easier to think along the mindset of how to market yourself.

For example, things like working hard to create a portrait business with likely (or soon to be) wedding clients
...Show more

I can honestly say I never thought of it that way. I think that is pretty obvious. If you were to search this thread alone I probably said the phrase "just starting" like 4 or 5 times. I feel like I am flooding this thread with responses, and I didn't mean for it to be like that.

I do, however, want to thank the people that have responded, for some helpful insight. Much to be considered in the coming winter.



Nov 10, 2012 at 05:55 AM
alexhibbert
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p.2 #20 · p.2 #20 · Wedding photographer near Pittsburgh


Inku Yo wrote:
Man, your attitude about this whole thing makes me sad. That being said, I'd like to book someone for a speaking engagement on polar expeditions. My budget is $20. Know anyone?


That final sentence makes me sad. How is $20 comparable to $1500? If you stopped someone in the street and asked if they would work in their professional role for a daily rate of around $1000 for a few days, they'd say yes. Your concept of scale is totally out of perspective and if you can't maintain your way of life for less than $3k/day (even allowing for only three days paid work a month) then I'm afraid it's not the client at fault.....

What has happened here, and this is my last post, is that a clued up potential client has offered a significant wad of cash for a job which would require relatively little post-prod work. Some people (similar to those deluded about the changing stock photo industry) have decided it's beneath them to work for less than $3000 a day for a low-overhead job and some have been mature and begun a dialogue. One of those photographers will end up $xxxx better off.



Nov 10, 2012 at 08:58 AM
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