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| p.5 #7 · Wedding Photographer? Ya' okay! WTF? |
How exactly is working for $30 an hour vs $150 an hour "for free"? You talk as if the $3,500 5D Mark III were a disposable camera or something that maybe lasted 1 or 2 weddings.
I don't think you are grasping the economics of it all.
When you run a business, the rate you charge to the customer and the rate that you are actually able to pay yourself are two very different things.
If you charge $30./hr you'd be hard pressed to pay yourself even minimum wage once you factor in things like the cost to rent the studio or office, the cost of transportation, the cost of insurance, the cost of purchasing or maintaining your equipment (cameras, lights, computers, software, website, etc.), the cost of paying any assistants or other staff, the cost of assorted regulations, taxes such as payroll tax, self-employment tax, accounting, etc.
Most of these costs are recurring and they do add up. At $30./hr you probably wouldn't be able to pay yourself anything all. Hence "working for free".
Here's one other trend, in my area we do have a 'full-service' wedding firm that hires wedding photographers to shoot a wedding but handles all the other parts (advertising, meeting with the client, booking, editing, postprocessing, album and digital delivery, etc.) And they pay the photographer between $20/hr to $100/hr (for a respected pro) to show up at the wedding, shoot it, and drop off their cards at the firm (which has roughly 40 people to handle everything else). Everyone who deals with them seems to like them, the client still gets to choose the photographer (based on their portfolio), the photographer doesn't have to deal with the overhead of running a business and can shoot a whole lot more weddings in a year than he used to, so at least on paper, it sounds like a win for everyone involved.