Why can't prices be transparent?

posted 3 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 3
1902 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

Most photographers I looked at had something that said “Wedding collections start at $X.  Please contact for full price list.”  They usually would send me their price lists once I requested it.

Post # 4
46 posts
  • Wedding: December 2014

Omg I know!
One photographer lives almost 2 hours away from me, and they wanted to meet at their home studio so they could discuss pricing and packages….. UMMM NO! that’s a Faaaar drive and this girl is on a budget! what if they were out of my budget? So i just didn’t respond, and I moved on.

I know, it’s frustrating.

Post # 5
193 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

@pinkrose23:  I find this incredibly annoying too!  They just want you to fall in love with their work before you find out the price.  

I found that most reasobably priced photographers listed a starting price at the very least on their websites.  Everyone else was too expensive! 

Post # 6
9526 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

Yeah, I pretty much discounted anybody who didn’t give at least a starting point for prices. I also detest when photographers refer to their pricing as “investments”. Pretentious much? My 401(k) is an investment. Pretty pictures are not.

Post # 7
631 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

@pinkrose23:  Photographers want prospective clients to contact them and share some information because if it happens to be a date they are really trying to fill, or a venue they have been dying to shoot, etc. they may be flexible on their pricing. But if a client sees a price above what they want to spend they often just cross the photographer off their list without ever inquiring and then everyone loses out. Many photographers are also trying to protect their pricing guides/package designs from the million other photographers out there looking to copy/undercut them. 

I think it’s totally fine to say something like “pricing starts at” or “most  couples spend ____”, contact me for more details.  

Post # 8
493 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

@mariematt:  Yeah, I don’t mind contacting for more specific info (in fact I liked the little preview of how responsive they are- I emailed about a dozen photographers one evening and response times ranged from that night to 1.5 weeks… which, either you’re too disorganized, or waaay too busy for me to feel good about hiring you). But I didn’t contact anyone who didn’t at least give me some number to work with. I was looking for something other than a traditional wedding package to begin with, so I didn’t care if I saw their exact full price list, but if they were starting at something 5 times my budget… I could save us both some time by not inquiring.

@JenGirl:  I also loathe the use of the word “investment” to try to pretty up big-ticket purchases that are not investments. It bugs me on photographer’s sites and it makes me INSANE at jewelry stores. Nothing at Kay’s is an investment… it’s not going to appreciate. It’s not even likely ever to resell for anything even close to the purchase price. And wedding pics, even worse- unless your parents are named Brad and Angelina, nobody is going to pay anything for your personal photos; they are not an investment. I love my ring and I’m excited about my photographer, but when they put it that way, it immediately makes me think how viewed through that weird financial lens, these are all terrible investments, guaranteed to lose money. 

I guess if someone proposes with some shares of mutual fund, that’s an investment.

Post # 9
720 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

Ours has the full price list right on their website.  It is one of the main reasons we picked them (and the fact that their pictures are awesome)

Post # 11
1768 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

I don’t understand why it takes several emails? I would email a photographer, briefly introducing myself (my fiancé and I are getting married at x, we’re hoping our day will be x, y, and z” say why we like their work, then ask if they are available, and if so, if I could get pricing. Easy!


Post # 12
8680 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

I hate it even more when a photographers asks what your budget is.. because it seems if your budget is higher, they will go higher. I don’t think that’s right at all. It should be 1 set fee, and they should put it on their website so they don’t waste our time, and theirs.

Post # 13
804 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@pinkrose23:  That drove me crazy too!  I’m so happy my photographer lists her prices for packages clearly on her website.  So much easier.  I also hated contacting people for a price, then having them ask me what I wanted to pay, and then get insulted when I told them my budget.  Jeez, I wouldn’t have bothered you if I knew you started at 5k.

Post # 14
1108 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

My photographers had their bridal packages listed on their site, thankfully. We got a super awesome deal with two photographers, 8 hours of coverage, CD with photo release, all post editing, website for us to look at proofs to select, a bridal wedding album, and two parent wedding albums plus a 1hr bridal or engagement session for something like just under $2,000. We skipepd the bridal/engagement session because we didn’t need it and they comped up the shipping for the bridal albums and knocked $140 off the total.

Post # 15
2474 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Yep. I HATED that when we were trying to figure out pricing. Just tell me how much it is, instead of making me ask you. I think a lot of them do it so they can appear to be high profile and expensive. It makes them feel good, and they think it makes them look good if you have to ask them to see prices.

They can all go play together in their fancy playgrounds… the rest of us will take our balls and play with the cool kids. 😛

Post # 16
10748 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2014

This also turned me off from many photographers. If you don’t list your price, I probably won’t bother asking for it. 

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