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Archive 2013 · Beginner trying to determine a structure...
  
 
whoathere
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Beginner trying to determine a structure...


First off, I apologize if this is covered elsewhere... My wife is a photographer (I'm a helper). She mainly does engagements and senior photos, and has also done a lot of head shots in the past. Last May, we were begged to shoot a friends wedding, which we did. We did it for the cost of our equipment rentals (couple of lenses, flashes, and a body) so essentially, for free.

Anyway, under the current business model, she shoots photos, posts all keepers to a gallery and lets the couple/senior decide which pictures they want edited. The package determines the # of pictures chosen. Once they choose their 25, or however many, we then edit, put on CD, provide print release, and make web copies as well.

The problem, this is the only way we know how to do business. With the wedding, we did just this. Had about 400 or so photos, bride and groom chose about 75 or so, we edited and gave them a disc.

The photos that were posted on my wifes blog went bananas. We get 5-10 inquiries per week about shooting weddings, and the inquiries are growing. Largely because she gets a lot of engagements, and those customers want us to do their wedding as well.

We've come up with a pricing scheme and are going to try 5-7 weddings this year, IF we can get this one piece figured out... final, edited pictures. To be honest, I feel the model we currently use is garbage for a wedding. We post a few hundred photos in a gallery and tell the B&G that they have to choose 100? First off, 100 out of 500 seems to little, second off it will take forever for them to choose, plus all of the back and forth as they change their minds. This is not something I envision as going smoothly.

However, my wife doesn't want to post a gallery of keepers, and then we arbitrarily choose the ones we think are best, and tell the best story, only to have our choices conflict with what the couple would have chosen (this is something I feel would happen even if they did the choosing themselves). Anyway, how do you folks recommend handling this? Packages that contain a certain amount of photos that the customer chooses to have edited, or just using our own creative touch to decide for them. If the latter is the case, then do you post all of the keepers to a gallery and edit a certain # of those to be used in the album, or for prints, etc, or do you only post the ones that you are editing and not all of the keepers.

This is something that we are struggling with mightily at this point, and we feel that once we get beyond this, then we can have a good idea of what to expect on our end, as well as what expectations to give our customers.

Any help/insight/info would greatly be appreciated!

Thanks, Cole



Jan 05, 2013 at 07:58 PM
amonline
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Beginner trying to determine a structure...


The "keepers" should be edited and delivered in whatever manner you decide. Giving the client too much choice in the wedding world is a very bad thing.

I would simply suggest checking out many of the "regular's" sites, as well as those in your local market, and looking into their delivery system. (what they deliver in the end) Forget the "choice" editing. That doesn't work in this field.



Jan 05, 2013 at 08:18 PM
SloPhoto
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Beginner trying to determine a structure...


There are several fairly successful photographers in my area who use the model you use for portraits as a way to create upsell later. I hate it myself, and have seen my friends (clients of said photographers) turn from satisfied to dissatisfied clients in a hurry.

Here is a current thread on it
www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1178647/0




Jan 05, 2013 at 08:36 PM
Kittyk
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Beginner trying to determine a structure...


one should not give out any incomplete work.
base your price structure on to provide all keepers edited or none. even if it means you have to step up in the price.



Jan 05, 2013 at 08:40 PM
whoathere
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Beginner trying to determine a structure...


I appreciate the responses so far, and you all seem to be on the same page as me.

I'll give you the next layer (maybe you guys can relate, but anyway) my wife's next gripe is that editing takes a while. People love her work because they love her eye for composition and even more so her editing style. The thought of sifting through and editing 300+ photos is not appealing to her at all (or so I'm gathering, ha). Her concern is that she doesn't have the time to devote to just editing, as she has a lame FT job. I know that there can be a lot done in terms of workflow that will greatly improve our efficiency, but that's a convo for another day. I think she's just having a hard time envisioning when to know the work is complete, ie how many photos to expect to produce at the end, and in turn have a happy client.

I keep telling her that we are trying to depict and tell a story, and if we present the story beautifully with 130 photos, then so be it. Some may require more, maybe even a lot more, but there's no way for us to know ahead of time what exactly will be the result.



Jan 05, 2013 at 09:26 PM
SloPhoto
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Beginner trying to determine a structure...


whoathere wrote:
I appreciate the responses so far, and you all seem to be on the same page as me.

I'll give you the next layer (maybe you guys can relate, but anyway) my wife's next gripe is that editing takes a while. People love her work because they love her eye for composition and even more so her editing style. The thought of sifting through and editing 300+ photos is not appealing to her at all (or so I'm gathering, ha). Her concern is that she doesn't have the time to devote to just editing, as she has a lame FT job.
...Show more


IMO you will get some serious pushback from brides if you deliver 130 photos. (unless you are not counting family portraits)

Please share some of her work and how much time it takes her to edit. Some of the people on here are scary fast when it comes to editing, or may have suggestions (like outsourcing or getting you involved in the edits).



Jan 05, 2013 at 09:39 PM
amonline
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Beginner trying to determine a structure...


If editing time is that precious, I'd consider outsourcing. Price how much you want to deliver for a typical 8 hour wedding. Add that to your package price.


Jan 05, 2013 at 10:48 PM
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Beginner trying to determine a structure...


why not outsource the bulk of the shots. then your wife edits the keepers or for albums. We deliver about 80 shots per hour, but only a few of those are edited beyond a certain point. while they're not at album stage they're not SOOC either. It's a balancing act.

Gordon



Jan 05, 2013 at 11:07 PM
whoathere
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Beginner trying to determine a structure...


Indigo's first wedding

Here's the link to her blog post from the wedding last May.

I do like the idea of correcting the keepers, and doing a full scale edit on all of the ones that would be used in an album or something. I mean there is only so much you can do with the family portraits and all of the staged photos.

I believe that if I were able to edit photos in the same manner that she does, we could blow through an entire wedding in a much shorter time. I'm not so much the perfectionist, whereas she tends to look at a picture and every single element of it and try to tweak it until it's juuuuust right. We joke that she is a modern day Monica (Friends reference).

We've decided to try out a max of 4 weddings this year, with at least 3 week window in between just to keep from getting too hectic and getting in over our heads from the get go. She takes pride in her work and doesn't want to tarnish her rep by taking on too much. I agree.

Thanks for all of the help, I really appreciate it.



Jan 06, 2013 at 02:56 AM
whoathere
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Beginner trying to determine a structure...


Just wanted to send a quick thank you to everyone for their time and input. After sending out a price list that we are comfortable with, we have already booked our first wedding of 2013. We are excited to see what the year has in store and will likely be around the wedding forum more often!

Thanks again and have a great 2013!



Jan 11, 2013 at 02:02 PM
 

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pette87
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Beginner trying to determine a structure...


i use this topic because i feel i'm on the same boat of whoathere.
this is what i do for wedding (5 done till today for friends)
- shoot the wedding
- give 400 low res unedited images to the couple
- adjust the 80/100 they give back to me
- burn a dvd for the couple
u guys have a better plan to handle this?



Jan 11, 2013 at 02:10 PM
evertdoorn
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Beginner trying to determine a structure...


yes. As said, edit everything you hand over.


Jan 11, 2013 at 02:56 PM
whoathere
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Beginner trying to determine a structure...


Yes. I feel as though a lot of it comes down to streamlining your workflow. Our workflow isn't great right now, but with some improvement the quantity of images won't seem so daunting. It will still take some time, but it is a way less cluttered way of handling it in the long run.


Jan 11, 2013 at 05:10 PM
Ian Ivey
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Beginner trying to determine a structure...


Your workflow will evolve year on year. You'll be in a better position to decide whether and what to outsource as you progress. I began outsourcing basic edits this year (color correction for consistency across the set; basic crops/straightening; and a second, objective eye on culling). That took a big pain point out of my workflow for not too much money -- well worth it for me, but not necessary for some others who are very quick with this sort of thing.

We don't see many people here successfully use a model in which the client sees many images but only gets a fraction of them in the purchased package -- that seems to be a recipe for aggravation. It's probably better to price your packages to cover basic edits on all the images you show, and to allow the client to keep all of those images. (That doesn't mean you don't cull before showing, it just means the client gets all the images you show.)



Jan 11, 2013 at 08:20 PM
DblDrgn
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Beginner trying to determine a structure...


I don't see why it's such a big deal... Editing in lightroom is easy and fast if you know how to use the program.

Just do basic color correction/ exposure / cropping on the entire collection, then spend your time perfecting the portraits and bloggable images. How long is that going to take? I do it in about three hours, some people are even faster.



Jan 12, 2013 at 03:03 PM
marko1953
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Beginner trying to determine a structure...


I can't imagine ever showing unedited images! They look flat, uninteresting and show all my mistakes. Using LR :

1. Import entire wedding into LR (usually 1000-1200 RAW photos)
2. Quickly pick (using the "p" shortcut) about 800-900 photos, eliminate any out of focus, bad composition, blinkers, blurred, wrong exposures etc
3. Edit in batches ..vibrance, clarity, saturation, cropping, vignetting, sepia, black and white as I go
4. Export entire edit as Hi-Res JPGs
5. Burn to disc, give to couple (included in package)
6. Couple choose 200 for proof album or 60 for coffee-table album.
All of the above takes me about 6-8 hours. Without Lightroom, I can't imagine how I would ever be able to edit an entire wedding.



Jan 13, 2013 at 04:39 AM
pette87
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Beginner trying to determine a structure...


evertdoorn wrote:
yes. As said, edit everything you hand over.


so I have to decide what pics give to the client?



Jan 23, 2013 at 10:47 PM
Ian Ivey
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Beginner trying to determine a structure...


pette87 wrote:
so I have to decide what pics give to the client?


Yes, if you want to be something more than just a shoot-and-burn wedding photographer.

I keep and deliver probably about 25% of the shots I actually take, and delete the rest. I don't want to deliver any images that, viewed alone, might make someone wonder whether I'm a good photographer. And I don't want to drown my clients in a sea of a thousand photographs they can't meaningfully sift through.



Jan 23, 2013 at 11:00 PM
RichardLavigne
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Beginner trying to determine a structure...


whoathere wrote:
Indigo's first wedding

Here's the link to her blog post from the wedding last May.

I do like the idea of correcting the keepers, and doing a full scale edit on all of the ones that would be used in an album or something. I mean there is only so much you can do with the family portraits and all of the staged photos.

I believe that if I were able to edit photos in the same manner that she does, we could blow through an entire wedding in a much shorter time. I'm not so much the perfectionist, whereas she tends
...Show more

IMO... there's nothing there couldn't be done by anyone.... i.e. outsource the bulk editing (color correction/White balance/contrast) and then she applies her touch at the end.



Jan 23, 2013 at 11:54 PM
RSpears
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Beginner trying to determine a structure...


My wedding workflow used to be a nightmare... until I bought LightRoom and learned how to use it. These days, I average about 1200 pictures taken. Of those, I cull it down to around 400. I use LR to do basic correction and editing. It takes me about 3 hours. Of the 400 or so, I pull about 100 into Photoshop for some creative touches that I will put in the album.


Jan 24, 2013 at 06:31 AM
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