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Looking at his various websites, Lucian seems to charge in the £400-550 range, which is quite narrow. Perhaps something like £250 for the bottom end and £750 for a 'luxury' package (in Lucian's terms, that is) might work.
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Quote: Answering Lucian's question is simple.
We are seeing the result of the TERRIBLE press of 2011 and the constant talk about recession, depression and massive job losses across the country. Coupled with the fact that some are seeing 2013 as "unlucky", this is not a good year at all. We are down 20% from last year, so we are quiet, but not "quite"...
Today I had 3 wedding meetings, 2 of which booked for 2013 and 2014 - so 2014 looks more promising. My 3rd potential bride had contacted me from Afghanistan as she is in the Army. We had emailed over 4 separate occasions, me giving her a full breakdown of my pricing and her day and what she should expect. Her venue is one where I am personally recommended by the owner. She emailed, asking me to meet her around 30 miles from my home to review sample albums and to book. I turned up at the pre-arranged meeting to receive an email saying that she was at a wedding fayre and had booked another photographer who she had just met and she had booked him instead - but thanked me for my help. Experiences like this, more than anything else, would make me give up wedding photography...
We have had many such experiences too in the past including local wedding photographers stealing our clients from under us - at the end of the day its something each person has a different way of dealing with and you need to find a way that suits you , taking time out and driving 30 miles for nothing is not going to help. I personally wouldn't do that any more been bitten too often by the idiots who don't care about the photography and just want a bunch of togs to see them with albums whilst they attempt to haggle them all down to a price they want to pay.
I am finding personally that bookings are roughly on a par with last year , but then we have put other measures in place since last year to boost them and as for 450 being high end lol, really glad i dont live in that neck of the woods.
If you do a GOOD job at a wedding you WILL get recommends and bookings from it Lucian , maybe you need to stop and think about the impression you are making on your clients after the wedding with your choice of strategy - which appears to be to do it cheap then fleece them after - do you think they will recommend you ? probably not i would say
As an observer rather than a wedding photographer I reckon that price may not have too much to do with a quality product. We have had a few weddings in the family recently and in my view looking at wedding photographer's web sites only about half seem to have mastered capturing the details on the brides dress.
£400 or £1599, there are many desperately poor images. Remember the bride and mother often choose the dress for it's detail, lets see it showing on the snaps.
Maybe we need a few new wedding snappers to help push the quality upwards?
Many years ago, weddings were my bread and butter money. I assisted a pro for a while and he always said. when it comes to getting the correct exposure always expose for the bride(no joke intended)
Weddings are generally the hardest conditions to photograph. Summer time. about mid day. The bride is in a silky white dress and the groom is in a black matt suit. There is no way any film or digital camera is going to cope with the dynamic range.
The one thing to remember is. the groom will probably never look at his wedding photos again. The bride and the brides mother will look at them all the time. They will be the ones that tell there friends how good or bad a photographer you were. The brides family usually footed the bill too. So always expose for the bride and dont worry about the groom. he's just there for ballast. If you make her daughter look beautiful the brides mother will show every person she knows your photographs. Thats the best advertising to can get.
If your business is a little slow slow. why not send out an email to all your wedding clients from the previous year. theres a good chance they will be starting a family. so offer them a discount on family portraits etc.
Being a photographer isn't just about taking photographs.
Quote: Doubling prices is the way to go Lucian...
I think you are the wind up with a comment like this. It would mean that about 80% of clients would not book and would go elsewhere.
It would appear that 80% of your potential clients already are going elsewhere.
It would be great to hear from Lucian. What have you decided to do to counteract this decrease in bookings???
How are you currently advertising yourself?
Quote: How are you currently advertising yourself?
Just make sure that you don't invite the prospects round to your place for the pitch. Don't want to give the neighbours a chance to frighten them off!
Quote: These days, £450 isn't mid-price at all. It's upper end.
Absolute rubbish. We average £1200 per wedding and this is simply because we're good at what we do, we give great service and value and a great finished product. Anyone, like yourself, who is supposed to be in the industry and who goes about saying that "£450 is upper end" wants to retire and take their madcap ideas with them. What would a statement like that do to the industry if a Bridal mag logged on here and picked that comment up?? What would it do to our business??!!! - as a matter of fact, I'll now officially ask a Moderator to review your comment and this reply and delete them both, for all of our sakes...
You are implying that your prices are over the top if you worry what Lucian's statement might do for people who read his comments. (What would a statement like that do to the industry if a Bridal mag logged on here and picked that comment up?? What would it do to our business??!!)
Your business relies on your provision of top quality work so just carry on doing what you do best. There will always be cheaper and sometimes equally as good work done by amateurs, that is life and should not incur your wrath to the extent that you will call upon a Moderator to come to your aid.
There's a place in the market for all price-levels.
Some of the bottom feeders will give all images on a disk for £149 yet the work is grossly over-priced. She-who-must-be-obeyed did her last weddings in 2010 at an average of well over 4k and she was by no means the most expensive.
Quote: If your business is a little slow slow. why not send out an email to all your wedding clients from the previous year. theres a good chance they will be starting a family
Don't worry about the family pictures for them, more likely you will get a booking for their next wedding. As someone said, a woman has to be very careful who she marries, after all that is the guy her kids will be spending their weekends with'
I'm fascinated that someone remarks that you should get detail in the bride's dress. There is a wedding photographer anywhere who doesn't know that? I can't believe such a thing. Someone would pay these people?
Lots of reasons, I suspect.
Weddings themselves down.
Traditional model where bride's father paid for everything becoming less standard.
Let's not forget that photography is one of the least important aspects of any wedding and the photographer is way down the list of "important people"...... after the minister, best man, bridesmaids, church beadle, ushers, and, of course, the bar staff.
That last bit is only half-joking. I was at a wedding as a guest a fortnight ago and was appalled at the officious way the moronic photographer kept butting-in and trying to organise the wedding party and the guests. At times I really felt like snatching his camera from him and smashing it on the floor, not least because the bride herself was visibly upset by the moron's inflated notion of self-importance on "her big day".
In my view like most services connected with weddings in the UK, wedding photography is overpriced. It's been proved, hire a room for a wedding and it's likely to be twice the price than for a retirement do.
I know from experience brides and probably their mother lose all sense of reason when planning a wedding so photographers get to overcharge.
I got married in Rhodes about five years ago. The wedding venue organised a photographer who took excellent images, printed 15 and put together an album and presented us with a CD with full sized images..........cost £250 and it only took him two days to complete.
They are a lot of hassle - you're on the critical path the WHOLE day - you can't afford to f**k it up - you need to crowd control - you need to charm and entertain people in the group shots - you need to meet in advance to plan things - you need to edit the bloody shots - you may even need to spend ages making a book....
I agree that most things are well over priced, but I'd suggest the photographer is probably the best value bit - given the above skills they need.
The florist... they just make the flowers at home a few days in advance
The chauffeurs... .well they just turn up, drive to the brides, then the church, then to the venue... job done
Wedding planners... well they get pretty involved like we do I guess
The venue.... they make the biggest killing...
Just done the 1 wedding this year... keep my eye in Wasn't keen till he said he was hiring an Aston DB9 - no brainer then, loved shooting the bond style shots of the groom
Pulled over on Hartshead Moor to get a shot of the car... .they insisted in being in it
Perhaps your neighbours are yalking the couples out of marriage
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