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Wedding photography - Struggling with price

Andy_Curtis 6 808 United Kingdom
22 Feb 2017 10:00PM

I know this is a topic that gets brought up all the time, but I am at an end and super stuck, and need some guidance.

I have been asked to photograph a wedding, a full day, 7am-12am, The whole lot.
I now the couple, and they like my portfolio of wedding images.

the issue is, I thought I would be doing this for free... which didn't bother me. But, when I met up with them recently to go over the finer details, they asked me how much it will cost. And that threw me.

For photographing the event, I was honestly thinking about 550. Photographing, travel, my time for 12 hours, and all the post editing.

If they wanted prints, that would cost extra, but that can be done at a later date.

Please, I know its different anywhere you go. But what would you do in my situation

arhb 13 3.4k 68 United Kingdom
22 Feb 2017 11:25PM
Tell them what you're thinking - it sounds reasonable to me, remembering to mark up your prints and/or book.
rambler Plus
12 1.0k 17 England
22 Feb 2017 11:33PM
When my daughter got married last September a professional photographer friend agreed to do it on mates rates at the figure you are suggesting. If you are happy go with your instinct.

779HOB 8 1.2k United Kingdom
23 Feb 2017 1:14PM
If you were expecting to do it for free, do it for free and tell them it's your wedding gift to them.
collywobles 16 4.0k 10 United Kingdom
23 Feb 2017 1:17PM
For friends I did the wedding for free and gave them a memory stick with the prints, for very close friends and family I did the wedding and an album for free.
Andy_Curtis 6 808 United Kingdom
23 Feb 2017 1:21PM
Well... I wasn't expecting to do it for free, it just hadn't been discussed yet.

And I'd love to do it for free. But I have done too many free weddings for family and friends. I can't keep doing it. If they want me to shoot for a full 18 hours, and do all the post work, I'd like some recognition for it.

They aren't close friends. Just people I know. Without sounding rude haha.

collywobles 16 4.0k 10 United Kingdom
23 Feb 2017 1:37PM
18 hours equates to 360.
Andy_Curtis 6 808 United Kingdom
23 Feb 2017 1:47PM
According to what?
Andy_Curtis 6 808 United Kingdom
23 Feb 2017 1:47PM
That doesn't include all the post editing.
ChrisV Plus
14 2.3k 26 United Kingdom
23 Feb 2017 2:19PM
It sounds like a slog of a day and 550 is more than reasonable; if you're also doing a lot of post editing it sounds super-cheap. I'm not even thinking about providing any prints/slideshow or album in that - which you should at the very least be covering your costs on. Even then considering the number of hours you're covering, you would very much be at the cheaper end of the market.
thewilliam 12 6.1k
23 Feb 2017 4:27PM
Andy, how much post-processing would you normally do? This is often the most labour-intensive part of the job. Would you shoot alone or use an assistant?

We old hands were brought up with tran film and had to get it right in camera so we'd do less than many youngsters would need to do.
janeez 12 1.8k 8 United Kingdom
23 Feb 2017 4:29PM
That is one heck of a long day and is going to require a large number of hours editing afterwards. Look at the equipment you will be using and if you will require additional batteries, cards etc then load this into the cost. Add in the insurance you will need for the day and the fuel you will be using to get there and back and it soon starts to mount up. 550.00 is more than reasonable to charge them. Working like a slave for no money even if it is for friends can be very hard. Just ensure you have the insurance to cover you, your equipment and the public including the wedding establishment, that ming vase won't pay for itself!!!! Wink Tongue
peterjones 18 5.1k 1 United Kingdom
23 Feb 2017 4:37PM
It is a crass facet of human nature that we never appreciate anything given for free so in your case I would charge them; 550 is very reasonable considering the length of time that you will be working and factor in time for post processing; I would also suggest that the 550 or what you decide does NOT include a wedding album as this will incur additional time and expense for you.

Good luck with whatever you decide Grin
janeez 12 1.8k 8 United Kingdom
23 Feb 2017 4:46PM
One thing I would really, really advise is that you finish at 9pm after the first dance. Weddings can go a bit silly after that and the subject quality goes downhill rapidly. You will have ample images of the day before the night crowd get started! I used to stay late but absolutely won't anymore. There are so many reasons why and one of those is the risk to your equipment. I've had drunk guests try to take my camera from me so they can take my photo (????!) and someone once tried to use my camera after I put it on a table while sorting out a new CF card. They didn't know how to turn it on but it was a good lesson for me that alcohol and expensive equipment doesn't mix well!
CTee 13 131 United Kingdom
23 Feb 2017 6:58PM
As you are asking this question, do you have public liability insurance and don't forget that you will need to be prepared to pay tax and self-employed national insurance.

Do you have a back up shooter available if you are unable to attend?

Is your car covered for business use to travel to the venue and the client?

And what sort of contract are you signing with them such that they know what to expect and how work you are prepared to do.

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