Wedding photo opportunity

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Wedding photo opportunity

Post by thirdfloorgirl on Wed Apr 29, 2009 9:22 pm

Hi guys,
So tonight I log in Flickr to find two messages... one from Ken, and one from a girl in town who is planning on getting married next year. Here is the message :

"I found your photos when I was googling pictures of the Bushplane Museum - I was just wondering if you live in the Sault and if you might be interested in doing a little wedding photography - I am planning on getting married next year and am working on a small budget. I was looking for a hobby photographer who might be interested in making a little money. If you're not interested, do you happen to know any other talented photographers who might be?
If so, please email me at samantha.hawdon@hotmail.com
Thanks so much!
Samantha"

So since I am too nervous to do any more wedding photography (I started awesome with the first one, and seems to me that it got worse and worse by the third one) , any of you guys interested? I would do it if I had better equipment, and someone else to work with, and if I was... more confident in my abilities as a "photographer"...
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Re: Wedding photo opportunity

Post by Kenneth Armstrong on Wed Apr 29, 2009 9:55 pm

That's great of you to pass it on. Curt, Colin and Anthony would all be good choices, I would think. I don't have it in me to do any more.

Was the other message helpful?
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Re: Wedding photo opportunity

Post by thirdfloorgirl on Wed Apr 29, 2009 10:30 pm

Yes, very helpful. I will play with that tomorrow I think... just to see...

And as far as the wedding is concerned, I thought of Anthony, and Colin... I was pretty flattered that she thought of me, and when she said "any other talented" photographers... :-) Made me smile... I will write to her I informed a few other "talented" photographers from town of her wedding...
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Re: Wedding photo opportunity

Post by Cujo on Thu Apr 30, 2009 11:26 am

If the others fall through - both pretty awesome - I'm Curt - some people don't know that Wink - you could point her to my site if you wanted so she could see what was there.
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Re: Wedding photo opportunity

Post by thirdfloorgirl on Thu Apr 30, 2009 2:46 pm

Hi Curt, and you're right, some newbies don't know who you are... *raises hand*

I have included her e-mail in the original message, so if you guys want to contact her, feel free to do so... I also told her about Northern Lens on Wellington...
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Re: Wedding photo opportunity

Post by crowellphotographs on Tue May 05, 2009 5:01 pm

Hi All,

Again, I've been away for a while and completely missed the boat on this one... that said, I probably wouldn't have jumped at this one anyways.

I should probably start a new thread about this one but it's just so relevant.

BEWARE OF THE LINE "...working on a small budget"

I'm know there's at least one other photographer here that has been bitten by one of these clients.

First off... (sorry all, I should warn of the rant that's about to be unloaded)

There's an old lesson that my boss told me when I was a shady car salesman(in fact I was a nice one, but we're all thought of as scum). He wisely told me that the clients he made the most money off of where ALWAYS the happiest. It's always the ones that walk away with the deal of the century that will never produce a referral, will complain about how bad they got screwed, and will never be happy with the purchase or the service you offered.

At the time I was too young and naive to understand. It took me about a year to understand. It became even more clear when I started as a photographer.

I can assure you that these will almost always be the most demanding photography clients, will almost never produce a quality referral, will freely complain if there's anything you don't do to their satisfaction and have been known to not even pay you the little money you negotiated to do the job in the first place.
As for the referrals, which is the biggest motivation for many of us doing a "cheap-o" wedding when we get started. The reason this will never work is that the first thing they're going to do when they bring your name up is to tell everyone how little they payed for you(EVEN IF YOU BEG THEM TO NEVER DISCLOSE YOUR PRICE). No client will gladly pay you double what they know you charged their friend. NEVER!!!!!!

The other reason for avoiding these clients kind of a two for one. The major reason being that it devalues your own work and the work of the industry in general. The more people that manage to find someone to shoot their wedding for under 500$, the more of their friends will try. It's always the people that eventually do want to make this their profession who agree to this stuff, (i've been guilty of this once too) and it's exactly this that makes photography harder and harder to make a living at. Basically, you become your worst enemy and biggest hurdle to getting to where you want to go. If you're good enough to get noticed for your work.... YOU'RE GOOD ENOUGH TO GET PAYED FOR IT TOO.
(I should also warn that my use of capital letters is not yelling but highlighting the good stuff.)

It's also the fact that this is a stressful and extremely difficult job, there's prep time, equipment costs(even if you already own the stuff, you payed for it), all of your experience, the actual time spent shooting and the loads of time spent processing the images after.

You've all spent a ton of time, energy and money to get to be as good as you all are... Don't go and sell yourselves short or sell photography short just for a couple hundred bucks.

All in all, I completely understand needing cash... I spent years scraping by between contracts and eager to do anything that made me feel like I was "working" as a photographer. So I really can't judge anyone for it, I just really want to warn of the realities of these kind of contracts. It's been one of the most valuable lessons I think an aspiring professional or even dedicated amateur can learn.
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Re: Wedding photo opportunity

Post by Kenneth Armstrong on Tue May 05, 2009 7:45 pm

^ what he said. As much as I want money I've just become disillusioned by the whole idea. Even as much as I regret doing cheap weddings it's the free one that I regret having done most. Wasn't my idea... I was voluntold.
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Re: Wedding photo opportunity

Post by Cujo on Wed May 06, 2009 8:28 am

Totally agree Colin and if you saw my post I was just letting her know who I was Wink.

I've been approached by a couple of people looking for a cheaper package etc etc and explained to them why my lowest price was what it was and the work involved. A lot of people have a misconception on the industry of being just that "one day" and a "few hours". I think it's up to us as professionals to explain what actually goes into the entire wedding (this obviously varies depending on photographer and what they do, how they go about doing it, etc) as a lot of people are misinformed.

Getting a referral like Colin said from the low budget weddings end up pigeon holing you in the low budget wedding area. As the referral is usually "book X, he's great!" "oh awesome, how much was he" "he was $Y, it was super cheap!" "super awesome!" And then they expect that. Then you have more ground to try to cover in saying why you are priced at where you are.

So far I've been pretty lucky with clients and when informing them of the actual time and care put into their day they then understand costs.
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Re: Wedding photo opportunity

Post by thirdfloorgirl on Wed May 06, 2009 1:25 pm

Thanks for your post Colin. I read the whole thing, and I remember being in that position (even if I am not a professional photographer).

The first wedding I shot, was BY FAR the best wedding I shot, and I only did three. It was perfect, things went smoothly, no pressure from weddees, and they loved the camera... When I first saw the pictures (film) I could not believe I actually had taken those shots!

The second wedding was my friends, they flew me down to Detroit, and I shot their wedding for free. It turned out OK, and everyone was happy, eventhough I was not impressed with the results.

The third wedding, happened because of the first one. The third couple knew the first one, and saw the pictures, and started dreaming... IN French I would say they had "la folie des grandeurs"... totally unrealistic expectations of what I could do... I spent 12 hours on an island with them, shooting... they never allowed me time to get the "great" shots they wanted... and in the end... never paid me. I was not impressed with my pictures as well... and that kinda left me thinking that I could not do weddings anymore, because, I wasn't cut for it. Like i tell a lot of people who look at my photos, I say, I am not a photographer, I just like to take nice pictures...

And you are totally right. In lowballing price, you sell yourself short. I don't want to take away business from other photographers, but at the same time, I understand that certain people do not have the budget other people have. I am often tempted to say, have someone from the wedding party shoot with their digital camera if you want a cheap photopgrapher...

A colleague of mine(here at work) studied photography, and still does weddings. Of course, this is not her main job, so she can afford to do it at a little lower cost than the others in town... and her and I actually talked about teaming up, I gotta say, I like the idea, and I would learn a lot from her...

Thanks for your comments, it made me think a lot. Also reminded me of my bad story with the 3rd wedding...
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Re: Wedding photo opportunity

Post by bobstares on Wed May 06, 2009 10:29 pm

The world of Wedding Photography is a whole other universe. I was in that universe for a few years when I was younger. I became so disillusioned (crowellphotographs reminds me why) that I gave up Photography completely and sold everything, cameras, books, darkroom equipment, enlargers, you name it. It killed my passion completely. With the advent of Digital and a few other reasons, I've re-awakened that passion after decades. However, if I were to get back into it, there would be no mercy for clients who wanted their weddings done on the cheap! It seems there is always money for every other aspect of the wedding except paying the Photograper who is responsible for capturing their special day in images which they will have for a lifetime long after the dress has faded.

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Re: Wedding photo opportunity

Post by SHawdon on Tue Nov 08, 2011 5:51 pm

I just googled myself (yes, I know, I'm embarrassing) and this thread came up. I read it with some interest.

I had a lot of difficulty finding a hobbyist who was brave enough to take on the daunting task of shooting a wedding. I quite like Curt O'Neil's photography, but we could not have afforded him (though I have suggested him to my future sister-in-law, since my own photographer is not available for her date).

I am a little put off that approaching someone who was not a non-professional photographer and asking if they would be willing to photograph a wedding on a budget caused me to be perceived as demanding and unlikely to refer the photographer and/or pay them as agreed. In reality - I was just someone who was on a budget, trying to find creative solutions.

In the end, I did find a truly amazing photographer and, as she was fairly new, we were able to get her at a price that we could afford. I will forever and ever refer her to everyone who asks (and even those that don't). She was just a delight to work with and I hope to god that she thinks the same of me - I don't consider myself even a touch demanding. I paid her as agreed, when agreed, and I would love to have her shoot our family again sometime in the future. Several of my friends and family have approached her since, for weddings and family sessions - willing to pay her full price (which has gone up since our wedding ... and is still worth every penny).

Since my name is attached to this thread, I really felt like I needed to pipe in on my own behalf here. I feel like I got a bad rap for having a small budget and disclosing that at the outset, when that had no bearing on what sort of client I would have been. It was just my reality, and there wasn't a lot that I could do about that.

For the record, thirdfloorgirl, I remember looking through your photos, and I still feel confident that you would have done a great job.

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Re: Wedding photo opportunity

Post by aoolktaioisa on Fri Nov 25, 2011 4:39 am

Thanks for sharing@

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