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Archive 2012 · Wedding photographer near Pittsburgh
  
 
RichardLavigne
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p.3 #1 · Wedding photographer near Pittsburgh


alexhibbert wrote:
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
...Show more


The more you write... the more you prove that you have no concept of what professional photography is...



Nov 10, 2012 at 02:01 PM
jcolman
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p.3 #2 · Wedding photographer near Pittsburgh


I'm behind on this flame fest, but here's my thoughts. I say "go for it Kevin!". It's money and experience in your pocket.

Let me address a few things here. The restaurant analogy is bogus. There are places that charge $18 for a burger and places that will sell you one for $2. They sell the same thing (burgers) but the experience, ingredients, size, etc are different. Same thing with wedding photographers.

Nick, I love you man, but this statement 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. doesn't always fly. I tried to second shoot when I was starting out and nobody wanted to give me a shot. I wasn't "lazy", it's just that nobody wanted a newbie second shooting for them. So I said "screw it" and started booking weddings on my own, off of CL. I shot my first two for $500 because I needed to put something in my portfolio. Today (four years later) I'm booking $5000 weddings and I have people lined up who what to second shoot for me but have no experience. Why should I hire an inexperienced person when I can get a seasoned pro I can trust?

Rich, this comment 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. is assuming that Kevin will even get a chance for a full price job a week or so down the road. That's like rolling the dice, hoping for snake eyes, instead of putting the money in your pocket and calling it a day.

RJK, your comment 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! smacks of insecurity. If you are afraid of someone coming along and stealing your business out from under you with lower prices, maybe it's time to stop selling $5 burgers and start trying to sell $15 sandwiches.

Bottom line guys, It's a market driven business. If the client doesn't want to pay $3000, he should be able to advertise for someone who's willing to do the job for half that.

Too many high horses all up in this thread.





Nov 10, 2012 at 02:34 PM
Nikon_14
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p.3 #3 · Wedding photographer near Pittsburgh


a low-overhead job.

2 x Nikon D700 = $2,700 + tax each.

Seven f/2.8 & f/1.4 lenses = $10k+

$4,462 in lighting, off-camera flash triggers & light modifiers

$23k in gear altogether

$450/year in liability insurance.

Advertising costs like $900 per table at bridal shows.

I'm so glad I'm in a low-overhead line of work!



Nov 10, 2012 at 02:46 PM
Nikon_14
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p.3 #4 · Wedding photographer near Pittsburgh


jcolman wrote:
I tried to second shoot when I was starting out and nobody wanted to give me a shot. I wasn't "lazy", it's just that nobody wanted a newbie second shooting for them. So I said "screw it" and started booking weddings on my own, off of CL. I shot my first two for $500 because I needed to put something in my portfolio. Today (four years later) I'm booking $5000 weddings and I have people lined up who what to second shoot for me but have no experience.



J, this is the most encouraging thought in the whole thread... glad to see it worked out for you, and it's pretty much what I'm trying to do.

I used to live in Chapel Hill, and would be glad to see some friends while shooting for you to gain the experience.



Nov 10, 2012 at 02:49 PM
RichardLavigne
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p.3 #5 · Wedding photographer near Pittsburgh


jcolman wrote:

Rich, this comment is assuming that Kevin will even get a chance for a full price job a week or so down the road. That's like rolling the dice, hoping for snake eyes, instead of putting the money in your pocket and calling it a day.



Jim.... perhaps you couldn't read all of my post from up on your HIGH horse... I said that he should book the job if that's what he wants to do. I'm not gonna flame him or be mad at him for accepting a job that will help to put money in his pocket... but my bit of advice after that was about the fact that at some point he has to realize that he has some talent. He has to be confident in his skills and realize that he can probably get double what's asking for his talent. There's no way that he's going to get there though, if he continues to be happy with $1500.



Nov 10, 2012 at 03:27 PM
fotojennik
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p.3 #6 · Wedding photographer near Pittsburgh


RichardLavigne wrote:
.........
He has to be confident in his skills and realize that he can probably get double what's asking for his talent. There's no way that he's going to get there though, if he continues to be happy with $1500.


Whoa now, I don't believe I ever said I was "happy" with $1500. I have every intention of raising my rates significantly come next year, and the year after that.



Nov 10, 2012 at 04:07 PM
Inku Yo
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p.3 #7 · Wedding photographer near Pittsburgh


alexhibbert wrote:
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
...Show more

The amount of money isn't relevant. It's the perceived value of your services. What's your normal speaking engagement rate? $500? $1000? Whatever it is, I'll offer you half. Bill Clinton gets something like $500-$750K per engagement. I'm sure there is someone in your field that is better than you, more experienced than you, speaks better than you, and is in higher demand. And I be they make more money per speaking engagement than you. Why is that? Are you telling that person that they are overcharging and should be able to live on less per gig?

I'm not mad that I'm not going to get this job (not that I'm even interested). I'm too busy shooting $5K weddings to even think about yours. I was just really surprised that a fellow photographer would put so little value on his own wedding photography. Then I took a closer look at your site. You're not a photographer at all. You're an polar explorer that occasionally takes snap shots on your expeditions and a public speaker.

So, I'm not really surprised anymore. Best of luck to you.



Nov 10, 2012 at 04:51 PM
M Lucca
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p.3 #8 · Wedding photographer near Pittsburgh


^ After watching hours upon hours of Planet Earth, I cannot imagine listening to someone other than Sir David Attenborough speak on anything nature related.


Nov 10, 2012 at 07:31 PM
KibblesNbitz
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p.3 #9 · Wedding photographer near Pittsburgh


Who the hell says a wedding photographer only has to make a "decent" or "average" income and should be happy with that?!?

I want a Porsche and a really nice house dammit! To hell with making a decent income and being content with that!



Nov 11, 2012 at 12:14 AM
alexhibbert
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p.3 #10 · Wedding photographer near Pittsburgh


Nikon_14 wrote:
2 x Nikon D700 = $2,700 + tax each.

Seven f/2.8 & f/1.4 lenses = $10k+

$4,462 in lighting, off-camera flash triggers & light modifiers

$23k in gear altogether

$450/year in liability insurance.

Advertising costs like $900 per table at bridal shows.

I'm so glad I'm in a low-overhead line of work!


Assuming your equipment doesn't spontaneously combust, most of this kit only needs infrequent replacement. You don't need $4,500 of lighting to shoot a wedding. You can, but do not need to do so.

KibblesNbitz wrote:
Who the hell says a wedding photographer only has to make a "decent" or "average" income and should be happy with that?!?

I want a Porsche and a really nice house dammit! To hell with making a decent income and being content with that!


And that's absolutely your choice, but don't expect clients to feel obliged to pay for your Porsche.

Edited on Nov 11, 2012 at 04:26 PM · View previous versions



Nov 11, 2012 at 11:56 AM
 

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alexhibbert
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p.3 #11 · Wedding photographer near Pittsburgh


You're not a photographer at all. You're an polar explorer that occasionally takes snap shots on your expeditions and a public speaker.



My income sheet begs to differ. You should do a little more clicking on links before making your judgement. You have an exceptional superiority complex which, along with some others on here, clearly masks an insecurity and unwillingness to accept your business model has an expiry date. Especially true is that the quality of photography on here does not match the prices charged. Only the egos seem to match the prices.

Anyhow, and this really is my last post, the maturity level on this forum is no longer what it used to be - now it's more a panicky and embittered version of dpreview. So on that basis, and with some sensible discussions now underway with some good photographers, I'll bow out. Enjoy the mud slinging!

(for information, this isn't my wedding. I offered to put the feelers out amongst photogs local to Pittsburgh via a community I formerly respected.)

Edited on Nov 11, 2012 at 04:30 PM · View previous versions



Nov 11, 2012 at 11:57 AM
klee.007
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p.3 #12 · Wedding photographer near Pittsburgh


Guys - I think it's pretty simple... if you aren't interested, don't respond back. For most of us here, some with a $700-1500 wedding photography budget, is NOT our wedding client. But for some, especially those who are just starting out, that might be totally acceptable. Two years ago, I would have been fine to make that kind of bank for a day's worth of work (come on, we all started somewhere) and I'm sure Alex will find someone too. Will they as awesome as Tony or Todd or Inku or Rich? No... But that's probably just fine for Alex and his fiancé.

Keith



Nov 11, 2012 at 12:45 PM
paparazzinick
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p.3 #13 · Wedding photographer near Pittsburgh


jcolman..... sorry I did not respond to your comment from page 2. Your situation is different. Your city must have a bunch of assholes to not let you second. Our city has our share of assholes as you can see. But for the most part, we have a bunch of cool peeps that will let you second with them. I love teaching people. Especially if it means we can raise the bar in PGH and knock the competition out.


Nov 12, 2012 at 02:11 AM
nolaguy
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p.3 #14 · Wedding photographer near Pittsburgh


Some relevant input and perspective here. And some, well, perhaps not so much.

In any case, this is over the top, guys. Seriously.

Even amongst those with nothing but well-reasoned, malice-free input, there are no “winners” in this thread. It’s too tainted now. And if it keeps going, we all lose.

Respectfully, I suggest turning away and letting it rest.



Nov 12, 2012 at 02:27 AM
nguyencs
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p.3 #15 · Wedding photographer near Pittsburgh


I was going to help out by posting the potential job on Pittsburgh photographers' facebook group. But we're having the same problem where established photographers are belittling and sending anonymous degrading letters to the newer photographers.

I hope you find someone for the job, Alex. I'll have to agree that $700 is too little money for my time but if you really need someone, I can try asking around.

Edited on Nov 12, 2012 at 02:42 AM · View previous versions



Nov 12, 2012 at 02:39 AM
jcolman
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p.3 #16 · Wedding photographer near Pittsburgh


paparazzinick wrote:
jcolman..... sorry I did not respond to your comment from page 2. Your situation is different. Your city must have a bunch of assholes to not let you second. Our city has our share of assholes as you can see. But for the most part, we have a bunch of cool peeps that will let you second with them. I love teaching people. Especially if it means we can raise the bar in PGH and knock the competition out.


Nick, we actually have a very vibrant and active wedding photography association. Our goal is to help others to advance their skills. I have been involved in teaching those who want to learn more about off camera lighting. I have also started mentoring others by letting them second shoot with me. It's been a very rewarding experience for me.

But when I first started my business four years ago, this organization was just getting off the ground. I also did not know too many other wedding shooters in my area. I reached out to a few people, seeking second shooting opportunities, but to no avail. One person however did spent several lunch hours with me giving me his valuable advice about the wedding photography business. In fact, when my oldest daughter got married, we hired him to shoot her wedding.

Our goal is similar to yours. We want to raise the standard of photography, thereby raising everyone's rates. However we also realize that there will always be people who can't afford to pay thousands of dollars for photography, and there will also be a number of willing photographers who will shoot for little money just to gain the experience. We have no problem with this. We all have to start somewhere.

The one thing that we ( and I personally) will never do is to berate someone for trying to learn, by taking whatever job they can. I'm not worried about a noob taking business away from me or undercutting my price. If I can't compete on the quality of my work alone, then I don't deserved to be in business.




Nov 12, 2012 at 02:40 AM
jcolman
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p.3 #17 · Wedding photographer near Pittsburgh


It appears that the mods have deleted our love fest. I can't say that I blame them. Apology accepted, however I would prefer you offer the same to Kevin.


Nov 12, 2012 at 03:02 AM
RJKphoto
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p.3 #18 · Wedding photographer near Pittsburgh


I didn't tell Kevin to, well, you know what.
And to Kevin, while I still do not agree with or like your business model, I am sorry for my part in the deterioration of this thread.



Nov 12, 2012 at 03:11 AM
jcolman
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p.3 #19 · Wedding photographer near Pittsburgh


Next time I'm in Pittsburgh, RJK, I'll buy you a beer and we can continue to compare dick size.


Nov 12, 2012 at 03:13 AM
paparazzinick
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p.3 #20 · Wedding photographer near Pittsburgh


nguyencs wrote:
I was going to help out by posting the potential job on Pittsburgh photographers' facebook group. But we're having the same problem where established photographers are belittling and sending anonymous degrading letters to the newer photographers.

I hope you find someone for the job, Alex. I'll have to agree that $700 is too little money for my time but if you really need someone, I can try asking around.


Yea, a lot of the locals to us that have been around as long as i have or longer are real dbags, They wont help and they wont share and apparently, recently they are reaching out in negative ways. Its pretty sad really.

There arent many in our city that will help the newer and younger people. I am always open to helping. Hit me up sometime.



Nov 12, 2012 at 03:46 AM
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