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Archive 2013 · Wedding Photographer? Ya' okay! WTF?
  
 
agelessphotog
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p.4 #1 · Wedding Photographer? Ya' okay! WTF?


Keep in mind that Enigmatl has said himself that almost anyone can be a photographer if they just watch a few youtube videos, read a few website articles and research for about a month on forums. He thinks that after doing this almost anyone can take really good photos. He also thinks that anyone who charges over $100 for a family photo session is ripping the client off. He says because ANYONE can do photography. Unlike things like carpentry and being a mechanic.

He thinks that unless you charge about $50 for a family photo session the client is getting ripped off.



Jan 10, 2013 at 07:27 PM
enigmatl
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p.4 #2 · Wedding Photographer? Ya' okay! WTF?


You're right. After the consulting and the planning and the editing, it might get down to $150 an hour. Still though, for the right or wrong reasons, there are few businesses out there whose potential customers believe that's crazy in such high numbers. As long as that's the case, there will be the challenges from lower priced photographers. Will the lower priced photographers ultimately lower the price across the board? I'm just saying that's way more possible in photography than anywhere else that this is what will happen.


Jan 10, 2013 at 09:27 PM
enigmatl
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p.4 #3 · Wedding Photographer? Ya' okay! WTF?


Agelessphotog, it's not 1970 anymore. As far as most photographers go, there are no darkrooms, there's no developer solution, no stopper, no retouching of actual negatives, it's not hard like it was then. It's a lot easier. You can see what you're shooting right when you shoot it and right after. The cameras have software in them that let us analyze the shot as we take it just like they have for audio in recording studios. We have photoshop and plugins now that makes it easier than ever to edit.

So like it or not, yes, the learning curve is easier for Photography startups than it is for most anything else. And more and more people are learning this. When you have an industry like this where both cases are true -1- that many think it's pricy and -2- that the learning curve is really not too much, it's only natural that you're going to see some downward momentum in price.

We're already witnessing this. Why do you think that gone are the days of the photographer's watermark on your pictures? Why is it easier than ever now to own your own pictures these days when once upon a time, if you got your pictures taken somewhere, it was a given that they were copyrighted by the photographer?

It's because these things were never really desired in the first place but often, it was that, or go buy a Kodak. Well, for many, it's still perceived that the price is too high. And based on the way things are going now, I would almost bet that 5-10 years from now, half the photographers in business by then haven't even picked up a camera yet beyond a point and shoot model. Are you really thinking with the learning curve and the consumer discontent with the prices, there's not going to be some price drops coming? You'd better read up on some photography history. Here is an important piece that you should read now.

Ultimately, the modern photographic process came about from a series of refinements and improvements in the first 20 years. In 1884 George Eastman, of Rochester, New York, developed dry gel on paper, or film, to replace the photographic plate so that a photographer no longer needed to carry boxes of plates and toxic chemicals around. In July 1888 Eastman's Kodak camera went on the market with the slogan "You press the button, we do the rest". Now anyone could take a photograph and leave the complex parts of the process to others, and photography became available for the mass-market in 1901 with the introduction of the Kodak Brownie.

There are only 3 of the many innovations that took place to give us what we have today in photography. And you can bet that some of the industry status quo complained after each one. But yet, you can bet that each time it got easier, the price dropped and more people were given access to great photographs, great art made by people with the help of cameras.

And that's what this is, it's an art form. And if more people get access to having portions of their lives documented, that's a good thing.



Jan 11, 2013 at 01:21 AM
joelconner
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p.4 #4 · Wedding Photographer? Ya' okay! WTF?


enigmatl wrote:
You're right. After the consulting and the planning and the editing, it might get down to $150 an hour.


this is just outright silly.

We shoot 30-35 weddings per year. Our starting rate for weddings is $3,200...our average couple spends about $5k.
I work 60+ hours per week. We do not make anywhere near $150 per hour. If I was, I would be making around $450,000 per year. I can assure, we are not making anywhere close to that.



Jan 11, 2013 at 09:32 PM
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p.4 #5 · Wedding Photographer? Ya' okay! WTF?


1) I don't think photography as a profession has ever been 'easy'.

2) I think the market will eventually figure out the value, or the lack thereof (both at the same time). There will always be people who find a way to succeed, just as there will always be those who at some point can no longer survive and have to drop out or move on.



Jan 11, 2013 at 09:49 PM
Chris Tylko
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p.4 #6 · Wedding Photographer? Ya' okay! WTF?


scottam10 wrote:
Did you see her images - were they cringe-worthy?


Yes, they were nice snapshots.



Jan 12, 2013 at 01:05 AM
kmorvant
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p.4 #7 · Wedding Photographer? Ya' okay! WTF?


David,
You are absolutely right, wedding photography is a very tough job. And there are some very creative wedding photographers.
Kelly



Jan 12, 2013 at 01:30 AM
Stilltime
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p.4 #8 · Wedding Photographer? Ya' okay! WTF?


After moving into our house last March we have become close friends with our neighbors. The other night they were sharing their wedding photos and telling us the horror story they had by having a friend shoot their wedding (circa 2008). Long story short, she was shooting with a 20D and what seemed to be the kit zooms, none of the shots had a glimpse of composition or proper exposure, and "in order to give them all of the images on one CD, she downsized every picture to ~400x600px @ 100dpi..." When they asked her later for the full size images, she told them her computer crashed and they lost them all.

I felt absolutely terrible for them, but at least they do have some photos of their wedding day
I just wish people would think past the logic that "someone will pay me a lot of money to take their pictures" like in the OP's instance with the fellow photographer who didn't know their gear.

Chris C.



Jan 12, 2013 at 02:37 AM
agelessphotog
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p.4 #9 · Wedding Photographer? Ya' okay! WTF?


It's funny how EnigmaTL thinks anyone can get a DSLR and start shooting weddings after doing a few hours of research on the net. It's so easy but he can't produce one really good photo he's taken.


Jan 12, 2013 at 05:41 AM
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p.4 #10 · Wedding Photographer? Ya' okay! WTF?


Stilltime wrote:
I felt absolutely terrible for them, but at least they do have some photos of their wedding day
I just wish people would think past the logic that "someone will pay me a lot of money to take their pictures" like in the OP's instance with the fellow photographer who didn't know their gear.

The problem is really on the customer / demand side and not the "photographer" side. Or more, it's simply a matter of practicality; we can do something about the customer side, but we can't do anything about the photographer side.

In any free market society, where a demand exists, it will be filled by someone. If customers do not demand good photography, if they are not willing to educate themselves, do their research, spend the time necessary to find a good photographer (and pay them a fair price), then they are likely to end up with the bad. There would be no room for photographers who cannot deliver a quality product or result if every customer out there was motivated, educated, and informed.



Jan 12, 2013 at 06:01 AM
 



enigmatl
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p.4 #11 · Wedding Photographer? Ya' okay! WTF?


joelconner, and if somebody does pay $3,200 for a wedding, and you say that it's well under $150 an hour, are you saying that well over 22 hours is put into a single wedding? Because that's what it'd take to make well under $150 an hour and you should know that doctors sometimes don't make that and they spent 8 years peparing. Many people are seeing what it takes to do photography, how the camera itsef has become a great help in the ease, how accessable knowledge is and such and if you ask people to put a number on it of how much photography's worth and most people will tell you around $30 or so an hour. $150 an hour or even $100 an hour, if you spell it out to them like that, it just sounds ridiculous.

If this were 1970 and a photographer had to use a film camera and then they retouched negatives and developed their own film (because it's said that the good ones did that), I could see $100 or $150 an hour because learning it and getting it right were difficult. This is not the same world.

Stilltime, One bad apple who charges a low price does not in any way prove that all people who charge a low price are bad apples. What it also does not prove is that if you go out and find the highest price you can pay, you're not going to get great pictures for certain. And about the only place where one hears such horror stories so much is in threads where photographers come in and share discontent with new guys coming in and sometimes taking their business.



Jan 12, 2013 at 06:11 AM
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p.4 #12 · Wedding Photographer? Ya' okay! WTF?


enigmatl I think you are missing the economics part of it, if you are going to make a half-decent living out of it, charging $30./hr gross is just not feasible.

You have business expenses like the rent on your office, insurance, transportation, etc., then you have taxes including the self-employment tax, payroll tax; it all adds up and you would be hard pressed to pay yourself a living wage charging just $30./hr.

It might sound nice from the consumer side, but it's just not sustainable on the photographer side of things.

But seriously, if you can find a quality photographer with more than a few years experience that is still charging $30./hr for their services, more the power to you.



Jan 12, 2013 at 06:26 AM
agelessphotog
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p.4 #13 · Wedding Photographer? Ya' okay! WTF?


He can't find one. Iv'e asked him plenty of times. Show me a link to one of these wedding photographers who charge $750 for a wedding and has quality work. He still cannot produce one link. He doesn't understand what all is involved. Me and my wife spend hours just preparing for the wedding. Meeting with the bride and groom, Going on location to plan how we are going to do everything. Travel time, Getting all my gear ready and charged, Loading up my car, arriving early, test shots before the wedding.

Spending 8+ hours at the wedding. Copying all the photos to my pc, looking at 2,000+ images to decide which 150 to edit, editing the photos, sending them to my client or the mail or delivering them to the client, designing there photo album, updating my website or facebook, updating my records for tax purposes.

Also not to mention the thousands of dollars I have spent on my gear, paying taxes, gas spent on travel. And keep in mind it's not like you are always going to have a steady 40+ hours a week. You have to make enough and charge enough to get you through the slow times.



Jan 12, 2013 at 06:34 AM
enigmatl
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p.4 #14 · Wedding Photographer? Ya' okay! WTF?


Ageless, plumbers, mechanics, electricians and even musicians do not try to site work related expenses and factor them in. They get what they get by the hour or by the job which can then be divided to figure out the hours.

And what you say in your next post can be translated to "Hey I'm the only game in town and because of that, I should get $3,000 or even more for photographing your wedding." Dude, that is so wrong on so many fronts because when another game IS found in town, they don't just leave you cause of that attitude, they leave you hard core.

But, depending on the town you live in, there are people that do it for cheaper and always new ones coming.

And waste my time finding cheap photographers? Why? They're all over google search and Craigslist. It's already predetermined that you and anyone who defends a $3,500 wedding photog price is gonna say with some bias that they suck. The real testiment to if they suck is are they in business, do they continue to stay in business, do people continue to go with them and if so, I guess a lot of people determine that they're fine and don't need to pay more than $100 or $150 an hour when we sometimes don't pay that kind of money to our doctor and yet people say all the time that doctors cost too much money. Well, if you poll people, you're gonna find monitarily, it's worth a little more per hour to diagnose for example a sick child than it is to get photos done.



Jan 12, 2013 at 07:10 AM
agelessphotog
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p.4 #15 · Wedding Photographer? Ya' okay! WTF?


My point is you get what you pay for. I said find a cheap photographer for $30 a hour, meaing about $750 for a wedding that produces quality work. I can find you 50 cheap photographers on the net. I'm saying find me one that offers great wedding photos at that price.


Jan 12, 2013 at 07:13 AM
enigmatl
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p.4 #16 · Wedding Photographer? Ya' okay! WTF?


Ageless, you're not going to because like I said, with some bias, nothing I show you will be good unless the price is high. If they exist, continue to host their website despite the charges, if they continue to do business, chances are, they are getting votes more credible than your bias opinion. They're getting dollars from people and there can be no more credible vote than that. In fact, I'd say a negative nod from one's competition is probably the least credible nod one can count.


Jan 12, 2013 at 07:18 AM
dhp_sf
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p.4 #17 · Wedding Photographer? Ya' okay! WTF?


I just feel bad for Apple. Their stuff is so much more expensive than the competition who offer similar products. They are doomed.


Jan 12, 2013 at 07:39 AM
enigmatl
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p.4 #18 · Wedding Photographer? Ya' okay! WTF?


dhp_sf wrote:
I just feel bad for Apple. Their stuff is so much more expensive than the competition who offer similar products. They are doomed.


Let's look at Apple. That's a good example. I don't think there's a single corporation that's better at keeping itsel'f from being number one than Apple. Upon it's creation, the iPhone was a marvel. It was amazing. People called it the Jesus phone. But from that very day, Apple's cocky my way or the highway attitude was not even liked among it's users. What I mean is the inability to replace keyboards and launchers, it's lack of battery replacement, it's lack of a memory card slot, Apple's willingness to only deal with AT&T with this device.

What happened? Android came around. It was soon out on ALL the carriers. We soon had a choice of options that users wanted, the device was cheaper. Android offered phones with bigger screens and faster processers and just a few years later, more apps are showing up on Google Play than on the iPhone.

Apple's not so hot anymore. It's not so alone at the top now. There are more Android phones in use now than iPhones. Many people never went with Apple in the first place saying Screw you Apple, I will not switch carriers to get your device. But, some Apple iPhone users switched over to Android the first second they could and you know some of them will never turn back if Apple gave them an iPhone for fre (they might take it and sell it though.)

When you're the only game in town and you play it cocky like that, the first instant people get the chance to leave, they would rip the door off the hinges in the process because of their happiness for a new choice and their pent up anger at the old.

And, the people on Android are not limited to "crappier devices". Though there are debates, many will argue point for point why they feel Android is superior. As someone familiar with these devices, a few examples of this are, I have a bigger screen, keyboard and launcher replacement of my choice, I'm on the carrier of my choice and though Apple finally submitted on that front, they're too late. I have a faster processor, a better in phone speaker, and I never had to endure either the map catastrophe that was Apple Maps nor did I have to deal with iPhone 4s's issue where if you covered the wrong part of your iPhone, you lost connection with your carrier.

So, if you bought a pricier iPhone, you can competently tell me you have a good phone. But you can't tell me you have a better phone with any certainty than my Android phone for which I paid much less. Sadly, there is, was, and always will be a nitch crowd of people who just want an iPhone cause it's the best phone in the world cause it's an iPhone and it has the wifis and bigger GBs ( that's not the way I speak of these terms, it's a joke from the old iPhone vs evo animated youtube joke video) but it's name and price do not make it definitively better.



Jan 12, 2013 at 11:10 AM
misty23
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p.4 #19 · Wedding Photographer? Ya' okay! WTF?


Stilltime wrote:
After moving into our house last March we have become close friends with our neighbors. The other night they were sharing their wedding photos and telling us the horror story they had by having a friend shoot their wedding (circa 2008). Long story short, she was shooting with a 20D and what seemed to be the kit zooms, none of the shots had a glimpse of composition or proper exposure, and "in order to give them all of the images on one CD, she downsized every picture to ~400x600px @ 100dpi..." When they asked her later for the full size
...Show more

And why did they allow their neighbor to shoot their wedding ? $$$$$$$$ I'm sure they paid very little for it, and now they're complaining ? We see this all the time......brides want to go cheap on their photos, are not happy with the results, then blame the photographer. All they have to do is look in the mirror to see who they should blame for being so cheap.
But I'll bet they had the largest limo they could afford, and chair covers and a band......



Jan 12, 2013 at 01:46 PM
misty23
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p.4 #20 · Wedding Photographer? Ya' okay! WTF?


enigmatl wrote:
joelconner, and if somebody does pay $3,200 for a wedding, and you say that it's well under $150 an hour, are you saying that well over 22 hours is put into a single wedding? Because that's what it'd take to make well under $150 an hour and you should know that doctors sometimes don't make that and they spent 8 years peparing. Many people are seeing what it takes to do photography, how the camera itsef has become a great help in the ease, how accessable knowledge is and such and if you ask people to put a number on
...Show more

Your arguments make no sense at all. You aren't even including all of the marketing, back end work that goes into weddings, post production work on images and albums. You have no idea how much work goes into getting that one job and working it from meeting to final delivery. It's a proven fact, given the number of hours a photographer puts into a wedding that wedding photography is one of the least profitable disciplines in the profession. Based on the number of hours put into it.

Photography is an art and anyone can charge what they want to charge. The key is making buyers pay your fee. Who cares about hourly rates, photography worth, how much we make an hour, blah blah blah.......it's just like any other art discipline, if a customer is willing to pay my rate and sees value in my art, that's all that matters.

If YOU can't do what I do, too bad for you, great for me.



Jan 12, 2013 at 01:51 PM
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