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newfocus; sadly, there are LOADS of brides on various forums posting wanted ads along the lines of, "Photographer wanted for our wedding at the Civic Centre, followed by reception at the Red Lion. Limited budget, we just want a few formal shots and a record of the day".
Thankfully, they're no longer my clients (they were once) and there is a market for all price ranges. But there does seem to be a general perception that one must be seen to have a wedding photographer, never mind if you won the shoot on the back of a Cornflake packet. And there also seems to be a general assumption that any photographer will suffice.
Sometimes it's worth remembering that this is a photography forum stuffed with talented amateurs - a good number of the general public just don't notice a photo is utter crap until it's pointed out to them, or a direct comparison with something better is shoved under their nose. My wife is one of them (but I still love her ).
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Quote: "Photographer wanted for our wedding at the Civic Centre, followed by reception at the Red Lion. Limited budget, we just want a few formal shots and a record of the day".
I reckon that is true until they see the photos from someone who charges £300 then all hell breaks loose because they don't understand why they are not getting something fit for the cover of Tatler.
Unfortunately, price doesn't bears any relationship to quality.
Some newbies twig that they can get more work by charging into 4 figures, provided they commission a good website with portfolio-day images. Some established photographers are too diffident to charge what they're worth and others have production-engineered the process to make a profit from the low price.
Interesting stuff hey Lucian , been here before , simples - increase your quality and increase your price or stay as you are ....
We do average 40-50 weddings a year all painstakingly edited and professionally treat with proofing meetings albums pre shoots - the works basically. I am proud of what we do and strive to be better with each wedding and hence i dont do weddings for less than 1K ( unless a friend or off-peak business decision ) , looking at hopefully a 1DX this season, that will cost 5 weddings !!
As for people doing 180 plus weddings and hiring photographers its a fly by night business model which fails time and time again and we have all seen them, they will be selling insurance next year
I suppose it all depends what part of the county you are in. I am in a part of the country where it does not pay to be a good photographer with high prices. If i was to charge say £900.00 per wedding i believe that it would be out with 95% of peoples price range. I shoot about 30 per year and only get this amount of weddings because of a large internet presence.
As a matter of interest, Lucian, have you met up with other wedding photographers in your area... perhaps through one of the professional associations of which you are - one assumes - a member?
What is the point in that carabosse?
30 weddings a year with a large internet presence is either - in reality what amounts to a very poor internet presence or a large but not very appealing presence.
...and that's not me having a go at anyone - that's a fact.
Quote: What is the point in that carabosse?
Its called networking, marketing, understanding your competition, corporate intelligence and a whole host of other activities. If your business was successful then you clearly would not need it. Your business is struggling (otherwise you would not repeatedly ask questions on this site about improving marketing and cost structure) so clearly you do need it.
IIRC you have 12+ websites with the intention of blanketing out the competition yet only get 30 weddings a year? Then you reject every suggestion anyone makes.
Good luck....I think you need it.
Quote: What is the point in that carabosse?
To check your assumptions and share best practice? There may be togs, in the areas in which you operate, who are charging £1000+ and getting a decent number of weddings. Your assumption is, currently, that when you don't get a particular job the potential client has gone to someone cheaper. This may not necessarily be the case.
It may be you need to make some changes to your business model/practices to achieve a better return. Easier to see what others are doing - in your own part of the world - than to guess.
30 weddings at £1000 each is not a business.
Quote: 30 weddings at £1000 each is not a business.
The income from it may be a lot more than Lucian is achieving at the moment!
this seems to be going off track as usual where Lucian is involved !
For instance , a business is anything which turns a profit wether it be 30 weddings or 50 or 200 , if it makes money and turns a profit at the end of the year then its a business. Wether its a successful one is down to the person running its aspirations, therefore if Lucian is happy at 30 thats fine. I did however deduce from Lucians previous conversations that he was doing well in advance of 50 a year >???
I any case everyone has different levels, different pricing structures and different demographics so its far from easy to compare for instance Lucian doing weddings in Scotland with someone who owns a studio and makes money from beginners courses etc , you can only really compare like for like , hence Carabosse has hit the nail on the head Lucian , you need to look locally to see whats going on and IF there is something you arent doing right ?
Quote: a business is anything which turns a profit wether it be 30 weddings or 50 or 200 , if it makes money and turns a profit at the end of the year then its a business.
I have worked for a fair few businesses that havnt even bothered with the turning a profit bit...
Pulsar and dare I say it CB have a fair point. Turnover on its own is not a valid measure (having spend 5 years helping a business with a £400,000 turnover to actually make a modest profit) its a case of what is the local market, what are the expenses and what is a valid level of living. I can see for some people a turnover of £30,000 per year is a living. Expenses could be quite low say £5k per year so leaving some money left over to live on.
It also depends if it is your sole income or just a portion. Lots of wedding photographers have other business activities and if you do 2 working days per wedding that is 60 working days from 240 (assuming you work 48 weeks in the year). so 25% of your working time to make £25,000 fill the rest of your time the same way and you have an income of £100k pa. Not too shabby
I know, lies, dames lies and business cases. It all depends on your cost base etc.
Look at those numbers I have written down, no wonder so many people with other occupations do photography as a side line these days. The cost of equipment need not be that high and the barriers to entry are low. It all depends if you try and live on only doing photography or use it as an additional income, or even a way of paying for the hobby. And it also depends on what level/quality of output you are happy with .
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