Post # 1
I was originally not even going to have a photographer for my wedding because it was just not in the budget. A month before the wedding, the fiancé of a good friend of my husband’s decided to start a photography business. She called my husband and asked if she could take pictures at our wedding. We told of course and that was perfect because we didn’t have a photographer. Now the wedding is over and I’m trying to decide how much to pay her. Here’s some details:
She has never shot a wedding before and never taken a single photography class. She probably spent about 12 hours on the wedding day for pictures of us getting ready through reception. I told her that she didn’t have to do all of that and I only wanted some family shots. She asked me to compile a checklist of pictures that I wanted so I spent 2-3 hours working on that and finding poses on Pinterest. Which was added stress 2 days before my wedding.
My husband and I are thinking $200-$300 with a nice review would be fair because she has never shot a wedding or even taken a class. Her business is one month old and she’s trying to build her portfolio. She contacted us about taking photos. Are we on the right track?
Post # 2
Always, always, always sort out monetary expectations before hand! It just leaves so much up in the air and creates problems like this. Did she do it as a gift? Is she expecting payment? Did she say “whatever you want to pay me is fine”?
My photographer charges $2,880 for 8 hours on the wedding day. So if this woman is running a business, even a new one, then $200 is nowhere near enough to compensate her properly.
Post # 3
In my opinion, photographers need to earn the right to charge $2,000…certainly their time is worth money, but no one would pay someone that much to walk around all day taking snaps with an iphone, because anyone can do that. The camera quality, the artistic eye, the editing experience, all play factors into how much a photographer is worth. My photographer charged $575 and had quite a bit of photography experience, but was still in school…and I only had her for 4 hours.
Unless your photographer is incredibly talented and takes stunning photos without needing experience/lessons, I think $300 is a fair price. 12 hours (or more, if she edited any) is a veeerrry long time for a photographer to work, so I could understand an argument for a bit more, maybe $500. Have you talked with her about it at all?
Post # 4
Sorry, I wasn’t clear. I wasn’t suggesting she pay her $3000, I was making a point about her expectations: was it a gift on behalf of the photographer, simply so she could get some experience, or was she considering it her “first assignment” from a business point of view, because the monetary expectations would be very different for those two situations.
Post # 5
Did you have any sort of contract? What did she give you – jpegs or RAW files, or both? Are you happy with the photos?
Post # 6
do you mind posting a few photos? I’m an Art Director for a publishing company and work on a couple dozen magazines a year. I could tell you how much her photos are worth based on her work.
Post # 7
@evilqueenkarly – I would assume a gift since she called my husband and asked to take the pictures. Neither of us reached out to her first.
@kiram – thanks for the help! We never had a contract or talked about price. It was her first event and she does it as more of a hobby. She has never taken a photography class and she called and asked to take the pictures so I assumed it was more of a gift but I wanted to give her a thank you gift to compensate for her time because she did try really hard and spent the whole day with us.
@Astra – we did not have a contract. I don’t think she even has one created yet. She literally started her Facebook page for photography last month. I haven’t seen all of the pictures yet but so far there are a couple of good ones.
Post # 8
I think you just gotta talk to her and ask point blank, “What can we pay you?”. It does sound like she meant it as a gift, so she’ll probably say nothing (in which case I think a check for $200 in a thank you card with a glowing review would be extremely kind of you).
Post # 9
This sounds like a gift to me, especially as she asked to do this and she is the fiance of your husband’s friend.
If it were me, I would get a $100-200 gift certificate to a really nice restaurant (enough for a dinner and drinks), write a very heartfelt thank you card, including something along the lines of you hope that she is able to use the pictures to build her portfolio, and that you would love to write a review for her once you have the pictures.
I could be reading the situation incorrectly, but it sounds like this was an offer she made in hopes of building a portfolio to market her business. And while it worked out for you, since you didn’t have a photographer, it was a mutually beneficial situation.
Post # 10
- Wedding: December 1969 - City, State
I would be more direct and ask her up front so there is no miscommunication of expectations.
My cousin’s engagement photos were taken by her boss and another colleague. They turned out great, and were a gift to the couple. Her boss and colleague also offered to do our prewedding/engagement shoot. They are doing photography as a hobby, and are just starting out, so they reached out to us. I liked that they were very clear and stated that we also do not need to pay them. However my Fiance and I will give them $200 each in cash for helping out, probably more depending on how long the shoot is. They are also helping us edit the photos after.