Post # 1
So, I am in the middle of emailing my potential photographer and not sure how to word things without sounding like a snake when asking if they are open to working with their prices. She is just *slightly* over our budget, so that’s why I’m hoping that she can work a little with us. I am offering to pay up front, but is there anyway I can word this appropriately, or offer her something in addition to paying up front on my part? Uhg. I am so bad at negotiating.
This is what I have so far:
It was so great meeting with you and browsing through your incredible work. After meeting with other photographers and doing some serious (serious..) research, I have decided that I would love to have you photograph our wedding- If you are still available, of course!
I would like to run something by you- package 2 is exactly what we need, from the 9 hours to the additional photographer. However, it’s somewhat over our budget, but close enough that I was hoping you might be able to work with us on the price. Some other vendors we’re working with have offered discounted fees based on our wedding being in a non-prime month (March). But with that said, we would be more than happy to pay in full up front. Let me know if there is something you might be able to work out with us!
Thanks in advance Bees!
Post # 3
I’m not sure how paying in full up front is an incentive for her to lower prices? It would be better to negotiate things out of the package to lower the price (prints, albums, possibly less coverage). I guess it never hurts to ask though? My two cents.
Post # 4
@maureen9004: I agree with maureen, although some photographers do value this to help their (already tight) cashflow and may discount it for you. You are putting more risk on yourself though…is it worth it?
How much are we talking about here? You didn’t give the photographer any guidelines, so what if she takes 50 dollars off? Will that get you to where you want to be? I would go in with some hard numbers.
Maureen’s approach is more realistic IMO, see what you are willing to live without in the package, and state those items along with your budget.
I wouldn’t consider March as being non prime, esp if it was after easter or on a Saturday. It’s a popular month that typically books. February, is another story. IMO that point is moot, I wouldn’t even mention it.
Post # 5
I wouldn’t pull out the big guns – “other vendors have…” I would just go with ‘sinces its still low season for weddings, might we be able to negotiate the price down somewhat based on that?” Then pull out the big guns after if you need to.
As I have so sadly and very recently found out, photographers can be pooheads
Post # 6
While paying up front is perhaps something they want, it isn’t enough I doubt to lower their prices. How about you lower the # of photos they’ll edit, only copy 1 DVD, spend less time editing or shorter coverage. Think about maybe cutting 30-60 mins of morning photo coverage. Bridal prep photos are awesome but really you dont need any until you are getting into your dress. Shots of you premake up will not make any album! Trust me. You could shorten the length or the 2nd shooter perhps, and it’d be nice to offer then a full meal at the event.
Post # 7
Thanks for the insight! From my experience, people like being paid up front so they don’t have to worry about their clients backing out last minute or somehow run into a “I don’t have any money left” kind of situation closer to the wedding. It was just a way to lock us in, I suppose. March around here (Missouri) is considered off season to many vendors because weather is very, um, PMSish. I’ve gotten a 10% discount, or more through nearly every other vendor we are working with. I guess I’m looking for around that much off from the photographer as well?
Post # 9
Oh! Great idea about cutting the 2nd photographers time..we really only need the 2 photographers for before the ceremony- one to photograph the groom and groomsmen and one for the bride and bridesmaids.
Post # 10
@Oneeleven: Uhg, that’s totally my fear..which I can understand!! Kind of why I’ve been putting it off so long. Thanks!
Post # 11
@caseylynn19: Your contract locks you in. Your photographer probably charges enough up front (that is forfited by the client) if the wedding is canceled they get something. However, it doesn’t hurt to ask, if the photographer had to deal with this a lot, maybe it’s worth something to them. You are putting yourself more at risk though, you are paying 100% in FAR advance.
I would ask for a discount around 10%, give them an idea of what you are looking for. Realize, however that a a photographer is running a business and will charge as little as they have to and as much as they can to get enough business to meet their requirements. If they don’t think they can book that date at full price and need work, they may be willing to bargain with you. If they already have healthy bookings for 2012, they may not be willing to negotiate much. I know one photographer that does X weddings per yr to meet their income requirements, and then doubles their prices. Worst case, the photographer comes back with a reduced price and reduced offering, just expect that is a realistic outcome. Best of luck!
Post # 12
You never know until you ask.
Let her know the situation you’re in and what you’re looking for. My photog (although a great friend, I have always paid her regular prices unless she offered something different), altered her highest and best package, to a notch below it, but still above the others to work in my budget.
A couple of friends have been in similar situations and were able to negotiate with their photogs, dj’s, etc. Anyone working in that kind of business should expect some type of negotiation. Be very honest, kind and upfront with them and always express gratitude!
Just my opinion!
Post # 13
There’s nothing wrong with negotiating but definetely leave out what other vendors have offered. Not only is it irrelevant but it’s insulting!
A 10% difference is not too bad but be prepared to take something out. If you ask them for 10% or ($XX) off, realize that their hard costs and time spent will be the exact same. The only difference is they’re getting paid less. Would you like to do your job for a 10% paycut?
Post # 14
Be careful! Although the market is competitive, you need to be cautious that you aren’t insulting the photographer. We did this and told the photographer that it was between her and another photographer and really wanted her because she had more experience. Now, that I look back at the scenario, I wish we would’ve just paid her the extra $350 because I feel that she spent less time editing our photos. Ho hum…
Post # 15
I don’t think it’s an insult to mention other photographers. It’s a business, and they know it. If anything competetor pricing is good info to have on hand for future marketing. Lowballing is an insult, and so is penny pinching – just find a balance with your request.
I’d just ask the photog how you can make cuts to your contract to lower the price. Give them your budget, and see what they can do.
Paying up front could help. You never know. And cash speaks (just talk to any car dealer salesman). But I echo everyone elses “do you wanna invest all that money upfront?”
IMO, getting them to lower their price by taking 30-60 min off really is no incentive. Most wedding photographers are book themselves the entire day for a wedding in an off-season senairo.Same with a 2 photographer senairo, they often drive together, and many photographers don’t pay hourly for an assistant (plus they need help throughout the day, so not having an assistant might be a burden, rather than relief).
Let us know how it goes!