(Closed) Getting a pay-per-image back up wedding photographer

posted 5 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 3
Member
2 posts
Wannabee
  • Wedding: March 2009

I think the only thing I can tell you is that this would get very old for you very fast. I’m sorry if that sounds rude but I think some couples would go through and try very hard to do this extremely cheap. It would also cut into any profit you would potentially make.

For instance, you communicate with a client for a week and book them. Then you shoot an 8 hour wedding and it takes you 2 hours to import the photos into your computer when you get home. You send the couple the gallery, (whether or not you edit them before they see them or not, is your call) but the couple decides that they would only “need” 20 photos. At $10 a pop, this would make you $200. So this takes up roughly 12 hours of time but let’s say it costs you $3 per photo, this costs YOU $60. That leaves you with $140 for 12 hours of work which is roughly ~$11 per hour. Now, let’s say you book 5 weddings doing this exact same thing. This brings in a whopping ~$700. That is no where near enough after taxes, business costs, equipment upgrades and upkeep. You would have next to nothing after everything except maybe a headache. I am sure you could get by short term but it would be rough. I don’t necessarily think this would work out well for you in the long run…

Post # 4
Member
680 posts
Busy bee

While in theory it would be great, I could definitely see how this would be a very one sided business relationship with the bride and groom receiving the most benefit. As PP said, many try to get by as cheaply as possible, and you could find yourself working for close to nothing at the end of the day.

Post # 5
Member
11327 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2011

Just charging a straight charge-per-picture fee will make it impossible for you to make any money. A lot of photographers do charge a price per photo on top of a base price, which I think is actually a more traditional model of photography than the current trend of giving the couple a full edited CD of photos. But that would work more like, 3k to shoot the wedding for 8 hours and that does not include photos and then every photo you want is $25 for the digital negative or something. I think the solution to the problem you’re trying to solve (photo disappointment) is education of brides to pick good and reliable photographers. 

Also as an aside, you may want to consider reducing the file size of the photos you upload to your website (I format all mine to get exported at a size of 850 pixels on the long side) and/or reduce the number of blog posts that appear initially because the page takes forevvvvveeeerrrrr to load the pics. 

Post # 6
Member
739 posts
Busy bee

You would burn out pretty quickly. I can see you booking a lot of weddings at first, then {seeing you can’t actually support yourself with this model} you would be basically giving away every evening and weekend to manage clients and edit. Giving up every weekend in the summer to make less than min wage. IF you were to do this model I would start at $40 -$60per image. Remember having a business you will have A LOT of overhead and taxes to pay. Your time is also valuable.

 

A good friend of mine posted this on her blog a few days ago: http://kristaphotoblog.com/2013/04/so-you-want-to-be-a-wedding-photographer/

 

Post # 7
Member
344 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

From a photographers prospective, perhaps one of the worst ideas I’ve ever heard. Save your sanity, run away from this idea!!:)

Post # 8
Member
1755 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

Perhaps you could do something like charge $500 and then charge per picture so that you made a profit, but brides could take advantage of the secondary photographer?

Post # 9
Member
344 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Sorry, is the idea that you are the main photographer or that you are shooting was well as a ” back up” to the main photographer? Because if the idea is a ” back up”, no offense but no decent   photographer is going to allow that. 

Post # 10
Member
12831 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Personally, no, I wouldn’t do this.  I considered the payment to my photographer was for her experience and expertise, not because I thought I’d love every photo.

Plus, with all the photos I got, it would have cost my thousands upon thousands more for me to purchase the photos in your business model.  It’s honestly not one I would even have considered in wedding planning.  Sorry!

Post # 11
Member
3041 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

Don’t do it!

#1: Most professional photographers do not allow another photographer to shoot at the same wedding. Your best bet is to contact other local photographers & ask them if they need a 2nd shooter/assistant.

#2: If a bride wasn’t confident in their photographer (your marketing being “what if your photographer falls through”) they most likely wouldn’t hire them. I wouldn’t hire someone I thought would produce bad work & if a bride DID hire someone they weren’t sure of but couldn’t afford anyone else… they probably wouldn’t have the money to purchase all the photos from you, but maybe would buy a few.

#3: If I was photographing a wedding & the bride told me they hired a backup than I’d be insulted & thought maybe I wasn’t what she is looking for / she’s not the type of client I would want – it could damage the relationship between the photographer & bride/groom.

I get your theory… there are some photographers on craigslist that make me laugh/cry because their work is awful. There are good ones mixed in there, don’t get me wrong! But the bad ones… they are booking weddings. I get those starting out, their work won’t be brilliant… but the ones who claim to have shot over 200 weddings & their photos are dark & grainy & blurry… I wish I could help out the brides who hire them!

Post # 12
Member
739 posts
Busy bee

BTW – we have it in our contract that no other “pros” will be shooting at the wedding. If one of our clients hired a backup photog {which would never happen} they would be in breach of contract and I would consider taking the day off.

 

Lesson: Hire someone you love, you’ve done your homework with: saw a whole wedding, met in person, great reviews and referrals and their work is shot and edited in a style you love.

 

Post # 13
Member
344 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

It’s also a real good way to make some enemies in your area. If a client told me they hired a ” back up” in case I screwed up? Oh man. They’d be making a quick decision on which one of us was going to be shooting their wedding. I’d say you’d be much better off looking for some second shooter work. 

Post # 14
Member
814 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2012

Sorry but none of this sounds like a good idea. You will literally lose money EVERY single time. As continuumphotography tells people every week, if you’re paying your photog less than $2.5k, you’re probably not getting a real pro. I can see if you did this, you’d make a MAX of $500 per wedding. That’s unsustainable. Think about it. You spend 8 hours at the wedding, maybe 5 hours editing fully, travel time and cost to and from wedding, meeting with client… you’d have to sell hundreds of prints to break even.

Just.. no. Plus no professional photographer would EVER let another ‘pro’ shoot the same wedding they were doing.

Post # 15
Member
790 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2014

I know of someone that does this. They charge $600 upfront as retainer, shoots for 4 hours, and it comes with 5 photos. All other photos are $100 a piece.

 

I dont know how well or not so well it works for them…

Post # 16
Member
6467 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

I can tell you right off the bat, if you show up at my wedding where I was the hired photographer there would be hell to pay. My contract says that I’m to be the only hired pro, and that would put my clients in breech of contract. Furthermore, I would never want a client that has so little faith in me that they feel the need to hire a backup.

That aside, doing that will burn you out and you’ll never make any money. Clients are going to look at what you provide them after the fact and say “well I think we’re happy with what we already paid for from our main photographer”. I hate to say it, but not even factoring in the legal ramifications, it’s a pretty silly idea.

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