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Shifting expectations in the wedding industry

Graysta 13 1.1k England
14 Sep 2013 8:47PM

Quote: I repeated that I would not do business with any ignorant w@nker who questioned my integrity in that way.

Straight to the point do not p--s about with people like that.
if you ever move from North of the Border to Yorkshire I might need a customer relations person who speaks my language.
I cannot cope with people who think I am ripping them off when all I ask is a living profit.

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janeez Plus
9 1.8k 8 United Kingdom
14 Sep 2013 11:06PM
I think you should read the context of the telephone conversation along the lines of.............

"We love your work, your photos are great"

Real meaning; we love your work, can't really afford you. Would probably book you if you were 500.00 cheaper.

"Seeing loads of others as well."

Real meaning; That'll worry you knowing we are seeing loads of other photographers! Let's see who we can screw down on price first to meet our budget!

Sunday weddings are no different to Fridays or Saturdays. They both mean you are working all weekend whatever the time of year.

Next year we have weddings on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays so it really makes very little difference to me what day of the week it is any more.
ade_mcfade 14 15.2k 216 England
14 Sep 2013 11:39PM
how about, when asked to discount your rates...

"please write, in no less than 500 words, the reason why you feel I should offer you a discount"

you'll no doubt not win their business, but if you're not in to giving discounts anyway, you've nothing to lose and could get some funny replies Wink
scottishphototours 14 2.6k 2
15 Sep 2013 12:15AM
We offer Sunday discounts as most venues discount so we're coming into line with the kind of client booking a Sunday...works a treat.

"Several other togs to see"...cheerio, I work for people who want me for what I do.. not for my discount price...
cuffit Plus
11 321 5 England
15 Sep 2013 12:18AM
So everyone in this thread would pay the price displayed on a used or new car without question; or has not looked at a product in a shop and then bought on line at some time at lower cost and probably free postage to boot? If you differentiate between customers by price based on your time, costs and profit, then state the price up front for what you offer. Those that cannot afford you will not approach you; those that want your product will call; and those that wish to chance their arm can be given a polite 'sorry but I am unable to do it for any less'. No dramas.
ade_mcfade 14 15.2k 216 England
15 Sep 2013 12:22AM
well said - I put a lot of effort into the few weddings I do, and want to know they value it

I've never actually been asked for a discount and done the wedding

I have however seen the shots the couples got for their discounted price, and they got what they paid for Wink quite embarassingly bad in some cases
pulsar69 14 1.6k 6 United Kingdom
15 Sep 2013 8:08AM
Just to clarify a point raised by a few people , I do state my price up front in great details on my website which is how people find me, so the asking for a discount part comes knowing full well what the price is and what it includes. I normally go down the route of moving up and down packages with people who ask for discounts as i find its the easiest way of getting across the point of ' this is what i charge '

I also completely agree with another comment made that it is in fact rude to just ring up and ask for a discount without making the time and effort to have a meeting or discuss things in detail.

The sooner people stop bowing to this sort of media driven haggling nonsense the sooner we can all just get back to making a half decent living.

I do like the '500 words' idea though and might just try that one !
ade_mcfade 14 15.2k 216 England
15 Sep 2013 9:51AM
Lets all do it and share the replies here Wink

I actually get quite a few messages from people saying "I've given my friend your details, they're looking for a wedding photographer", I send them links to my wedding pages and the package page, which filters out the chaff.

All the info is there, nice diagrams for people who like them, everything explained and lots of example shots.

saves a LOT of effort dealing with "tyre kickers" who are just foraging for a cheap deal.

I can make more in an afternoon shooting commercial stuff than a budget wedding - and those jobs are invariably less hassle and you build your network of business contacts in the process...
Evertonian 5 729 England
15 Sep 2013 2:06PM
There are wedding venue managers who also act as a wedding co-ordinator (photographers, menu and place card manufacturers, discos etc,) who offer discounts for mid-week weddings, but I have never heard of Sunday discounts.
puertouk 6 1.1k 17 United Kingdom
15 Sep 2013 4:22PM
Once you start discounting you are degrading your work as well as yourself. Someone said if you go to buy a car you always ask for a discount, well yes, but try getting a discount on one in Tenerife.... NO CHANCE. Not one dealership would give me a discount. There is always someone willing to undercut you, but what's the point of giving someone your experience, quality of service and a far higher quality, than some chav who is willing to do it at a silly price. These people work during the week and do this on a part time basis for pocket money. They have no overheads or declare there earnings to HMRC. To them, it's just cash in hand. Let these people walk away and finish up with poor photographs of their special day, because it will serve them right.

"I'll quite often 'haggle' for a discount and use anything I can to leverage that, expect it and price accordingly, usually if there is no 'wiggle room' I don't buy, as simple as that.

I quit work at the age of 34 because I could but before that I used to get annoyed with folk that saw the customer as an adversary, they are not, without them you have no business!"

That means you would not be riding in a car here then, but peddling around on a bike!!! Yeah and you'd have no photographs of your wedding neither!!
llareggub 7 825 United Kingdom
15 Sep 2013 5:16PM

Quote:Once you start discounting you are degrading your work as well as yourself.

What a load of self important twaddle!

I do not advocate working at a price that does not permit a business to function, the reason I was able to quit work at the age of 34 was because I was able make a career and business function in a way that worked both for me and my customer base. In my experience building 'wiggle room' into a service encourages customers across a range of provisions to 'feel better' by securing a discount and as such were then less aggrieved at the thought of giving me their moolah. How on earth does that degrade myself either professionally or personally?
cuffit Plus
11 321 5 England
15 Sep 2013 6:20PM
I still cannot understand why there appears to be so much angst about difficult or indifferent customers along with competitors - better, inferior or otherwise. The wedding photography industry is a market the same as any other with all the usual problems of standards, variations in pricing and photographers of all standards entering and leaving all the time.

All contributing here appear to offer a great service with excellent websites, layered pricing to meet a customers wishes and a pricing point below which they will not go. In addition, there is an alternate line of business so spreading business risks across more than one line of business and recommendations from previous customers (the best adverts in my experience of most purchases). If customers are not prepared to pay the price and then employ someone not as good as those here then 'caveat emptor' applies - buyer beware. A subsequent disaster for them, while regrettable, can hardly be laid at your door.

I just don't see it as an insult to you or your skills if someone asks for a discount as it isn't a loss to your business because you declined it for all the reasons written above, along with some choice descriptions of those customers who do ask; a polite no is all that is required. Some customers may be inarticulate and rude, yet I have met many wealthy people who are far meaner than those of modest means or poor by comparison; are they tyre kickers or chavs also, or just more thick-skinned at forcing deals and walking away if rebuffed. As long as you have customers prepared to pay the price you ask for your products and which keeps you in a business you enjoy, why the difficulty with other photographers serving other segments of your industry, or eating into yours, it's all part of the market place.

No market stays still and other photographers may well provide the product as well as you for less - the customer is not interested in the type of camera or businesses overheads etc - just the product (look at the supermarket versus high street example); then you may have a problem unless you, in turn, change your business model.
Maddie 13 2.7k 2 United Kingdom
15 Sep 2013 6:45PM
I love the way we talk about discounting as though its something new. As me old Grannie would say - there's no harm in asking, they can only say no.

Put discount wedding photography into Google. Wink
779HOB 6 1.2k United Kingdom
15 Sep 2013 7:16PM
I can't believe there's a photographer alive who hasn't been asked for a discount or free photos. I had an email from a band who I'd taken some shots of at a festival asking for free photos for their Facebook page as they hadn't got any from the festival. I very nicely said they could have free photos if they would agree to play at my daughters 18th birthday party for free. Didn't hear back!

If I did weddings I think I'd add a discount into my prices if you don't get asked for one great but if you do you can look nice and offer one and it not cost you anything.
pulsar69 14 1.6k 6 United Kingdom
15 Sep 2013 8:31PM
The supermarket and high street analogy is not a good one to use ! We now have hundreds of farmers out of business and we are importing food from countries 1000s of miles away , towns everywhere are now attempting to revitalise their high streets and get people back from supermarkets and out of town shopping centres. Following recent findings of all sorts of rubbish in foreign meat we are now attempting to only sell british.

So the fact people go where its cheapest is not the answer.

The vast majority of your purchases today have a price tag and thats what you pay. Go and ask for money off your groceries or your next diy purchase, buy something from an online retailer - you dont get too haggle, the price is already where it needs to be, you pay it and leave.

So the old adage you don't ask you don't get is just plain out of date.

Asking for money off things is just pain rude, lots of people inc myself have done it, but don't try and justify it with talk its simply being cheeky and you will either get away with it or get told where to go. In some cases i think people just do it purely for the challenge and are not even bothered about a discount, some primeval urge fulfilled in robbing someone of some money. Maybe instead of asking for discount you should just stick a balaclava on and demand it for free !

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