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Commercial Wedding Photography Quote Sites


pulsar69 10 1.6k 6 United Kingdom
21 Jul 2012 1:12PM
It seems more and more there are commercially driven photography sites aimed at ' quote gathering ' and mass bookings appearing everywhere. Also companies willing to take on hundreds of weddings and farm them out - one of them contacted me to go on their books.

I have just come across one advertising fiercly on google in our area and after a write up on how important the professional photographer is goes on to give this customer review

"We were on a tight budget and the photographer was the last thing on the list. My partner and I had searched the net and contacted the photographers directly but the prices were way over our budget! I placed my details on photographer4me and received a quote the next day. I was very happy with the quote saving me a tremendous amount."
Suzanna, London"

Last thing on the list ?

I have certainly noticed a big swing towards booking cheap photographers in the last two years and wonder just how far this is really going to go before theres no money left for those of us who are dedicating ourselves to it full time.

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ade_mcfade e2
10 15.1k 216 England
21 Jul 2012 1:45PM
People who say photographers are "Last thing on the list" are the last people you want to work for ?


I guess if you can get on one of these company's books as someone who gets 2000/wedding, and get one a month from it, it'd be quite nice.... but I bet it's more like 300... Wink
pulsar69 10 1.6k 6 United Kingdom
21 Jul 2012 1:47PM

Quote:People who say photographers are "Last thing on the list" are the last people you want to work for ?


I guess if you can get on one of these company's books as someone who gets 2000/wedding, and get one a month from it, it'd be quite nice.... but I bet it's more like 300... Wink



They are ade ! , I do find it highly amusing tho that this company uses that as a glowing review of their services , in other words for those who want a cheap and cheerful service and not interested in quality come to us ....
ade_mcfade e2
10 15.1k 216 England
21 Jul 2012 2:15PM
yeah good point...

I bet they're creaming 50% or more too...
puertouk 3 1.1k 17 United Kingdom
21 Jul 2012 5:57PM
Hi Andrew, this reminds me of the supermarkets when they came on the scene. They outpriced the local corner shops and then hiked their prices up when the shops closed. As Adrian says, they'll also be creaming a large percentage for themselves. When people like yourself go out of business, they'll hike the prices back up. There's always someone who will try and undercut you. They ought to be brought to bear with the photographic professional band. The thing is with pro photographers, it costs all of them the same amount to go to a wedding and do their thing. X amount for overheads. X amount for travelling. X amount of hours at the wedding. X amount of time doing post production work. X amount for printing. X amount for photo album = total cost + profit.

You have to have your fingers in every pie available nowadays, because unless you are a large company dealing with only weddings, you have to spread your wings.
Graysta 9 1.1k England
21 Jul 2012 8:07PM

Quote:I guess if you can get on one of these company's books as someone who gets 2000/wedding, and get one a month from it, it'd be quite nice.... but I bet it's more like 300.


You might even be accused of being generous there Ade,I rekon your on the top side I have known 200 mentioned as a fee .
scottishphototours 10 2.6k 2 Scotland
21 Jul 2012 11:05PM
Ade's right - the couple that leave you until last neither value your service or the part you play in their day. They should not be your customer if you value your service and reputation.

We did a wedding a few weeks ago for a couple - money was tight, needed a good deal etc - and turned up for the final wedding meet to discover they had several maids, flower girls, page boys and several best men/ushers, dinner for 160, all the trimmings and more besides. Free bar, nice gifts for favours, fireworks - the lot. Naturally I was livid, but we did the absolute bare minimum to get them what they had booked and nothing more besides. These kinds of customers bring out all the worst kinds of feelings in me I'm sorry to say... how would I react working for a company covering a "do" like that knowing I was getting 200? - I'd need to be either stupid or just be there for all the wrong reasons, ie, the money.

Sorry, but I just can't see a system like this sustaining a relationship that works between photographer and couple. There has to be that respect between us for it to work well...
ade_mcfade e2
10 15.1k 216 England
22 Jul 2012 1:52PM
I did a "swap" wedding last year, no money, but the guy did a bit of work for me (I came off far worse in the deal really - but got a room and enjoyed the party afterwards....)

He was keeping costs down...

Then when we got to the reception, he asked me to take a pic of them in the new car he'd bought for a pressy for the wife....

Wasn't amused...

Not much "editing" took place... put it that way, pretty much the RAW's converted to JPG and bunged on a disc...

I've never got 2000 for a wedding by the way...

The fee's based on many things - the value you add to the day is a huge part... do you just take photos and stand back, or do you get stuck in and help manage the day? How much up-front work/help do you provide? What is the quality of your work like? Do you get the best out of people with your "soft skills" or are they pretty much lined up and shot? Can you tell the story of the day, or does everything look very false and staged? How fast do you work? How do you react to and cope with rapid change?
thewilliam 6 4.9k
22 Jul 2012 5:22PM

Quote:Yeah good point... I bet they're creaming 50% or more too...


Disgusting! Whoever heard of people sellings things for more than they cost!

One colleague from the professional association discovered that the PR agency had marked up his charge from 75 to 275 for the client's bill. This same agency recently sent out a circular demanding that its photographers agree to wait for payment until the client has settled with the agency. The sad thing is that the agency is on safe ground because there's a veritable army of under-employed snappers that will do anything to put food on the table.
bppowell 13 2.1k 2 England
22 Jul 2012 5:33PM
Photographer4me charge 24 per month cheaper if you pay for year, Bride/groom post ther requirements and you along with others bid for contracts and the person hiring select who they want. They may not always go for the cheapest bid.

You can cancel any time.

This is very much along the lines of Elance for IT contracts.

Barry
In my opinion, a discerning wedding photographer does not bid for wedding clients, they ask him/her if they would be willing to photograph their wedding. I would never "chase" a client or "bid" for their business. How demeaning and degrading

Therein lies the difference between the two ends of the market I suppose
ade_mcfade e2
10 15.1k 216 England
23 Jul 2012 1:38PM
Well said barrie

the few weddings I shoot are all on recommendation - usually from people who've been shown one of my books.

I've never bid for anything - and rarely have to negotiate

May try and get a few more in 2013 though so may have to enter the bear pit of wedding fares
mikehit e2
5 7.1k 11 United Kingdom
23 Jul 2012 1:49PM

Quote:In my opinion, a discerning wedding photographer does not bid for wedding clients, they ask him/her if they would be willing to photograph their wedding. I would never "chase" a client or "bid" for their business.


So the photographer is doing the couple a favour? I see.....

Actually, by researching your price and setting at a market level, 'bidding' is exactly what you are doing - there may be not much more than a short conversation ("how much do you charge?"..."600"...."sorry that is too much") and you may choose to not adjust your price (for that particular job) but bidding is what it is.



Quote:
How demeaning and degrading



In that case it would appear that nearly every other industry (including a lot of commercial photography) is 'demeaning'.
ade_mcfade e2
10 15.1k 216 England
23 Jul 2012 2:13PM
So when I buy a pint at a pub, I too am bidding ?

I've never thought of it that way actually - and I'm curious to see how many others have?
Are you going to argue over semantics?

I was merely stating that it is degrading to get into a bidding war just to secure business. You should have a price you are prepared to work for and stick to it. Couples who appreciate YOU, your skill and creativity will pay the price if they don't then they will go elsewhere to Mr Cheap and Cheerful. I'm afraid this scrapping for work reduces an art form to a commodity

As a profession, photographers should be proud of what they do. When you set a price, it's not just for the number of hours you are present at the event (or the even greater number of hours you'll spend editing afterwards) it's to take into account your years of experience and knowledge and your skill and creativity. To reduce this to the level of a "street fight" is demeaning imo.

I've been photographing weddings professionally for 14 years and I have never once got into a bidding war with someone. I've had clients say they would like to book me but they can't stretch that far and I've explained to them I just can't change my prices. For one thing, it is grossly unfair on other couples who have paid what I ask and for another, it is what I believe we are worth.

As I say, it is my opinion based on my knowledge and experience of the business - one that has looked after me very well for a lot of years (it has enabled me to own my home mortgage free so I must be doing something right Grin). Other people will feel differently

Whilst everybody is entitled to have an opinion on any subject, I always find it incredible that so very often, those who are most vehement in stating the rights and wrongs on professional photography and what you should or should not do, are not full time professional photographers themselves. Smile

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