(Closed) Negotiating prices with a photographer…

posted 8 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 3
893 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

Before you meet, make sure you know what your photography budget is and be prepared to share it.

We just said “$X is our budget, would you be willing to meet that?”

She said yes.

If they say no, maybe you both can come to some kind of in-between point.

Post # 4
2313 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

Some will negotiate with you or maybe put together a custom package that only includes that you want and nothing you don’t, but I’d be careful about negotiating price too much. A lot of them see it as insulting, and if your wedding is during a time when they know they can book someone else for the full price they ask, they’re not likely to budge too much. 

Post # 5
5271 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2009

You don’t know unless you ask!

For example, we didn’t want to have engagement pics, so our photog gave us a discount b/c we eliminated that from our package. We also got another discount b/c our wedding was on a Sunday.

Post # 7
363 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

@coffeegal85: Yeah that’s fine! We’ve done that with nearly everyone we’ve talked to. We just explained we are trying to make the most of our budget. If it’s albums/prints etc. I’ve told them we may save up and come back to get one later.

Post # 8
399 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

@coffeegal85: You might have trouble getting the price down much for a Saturday in summer . . . especially when its over a year away. Good photographers will be pretty confident they can book that with someone else and may be less likely to work with you on price. As far as offending, this depends on the photographer really. My advice for people (unofficially, since I’m a wedding photographer!) is that you’ll likely get more out of asking for different things at the same price than you will asking the photog to drop their price substantially. There are only so many Saturdays in a year, and photographers have a number in mind in terms of how many Saturdays they need to book at what price to keep their business running and make a slim to modest living. If you value the photographer’s work and talent, think about asking to customize a package. For example, if the photographer is offering 6 hours coverage with a 10×10 album and 100 prints, you may have more luck asking to add a few extra hours of coverage in lieu of the prints/albums.

There will be photographers out there who will shoot for whatever you can pay them, but be wary. Many of them don’t have business expenses to consider if they can price freely like that – liability insurance, pro equipment, business license, TAXES, etc. Many of them only shoot part time, aren’t officially a business (you can search this on your state’s secretary of state website) which can cause problems if there’s ever a contractual issue, don’t declare their income on their taxes, etc. Please note that I say many, not all. You’ve got to be careful these days with photographers – more people are out of work and cameras are getting more affordable and easier to use so everyone out there is a “professional photographer”. Just some things to consider!

Post # 9
3316 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

You can definitely negotiate to take things out of a package.  We told our photographer that a) we only wanted three hours of coverage, and b) we only wanted a disk of the images with reproduction rights, no prints or albums. (Our reception after the ceremony was just a luncheon, and we didn’t need professional pictures of people eating.) That brought the price way down.  And it also means that if we later decide we want prints or albums, we can buy them at that time.

Post # 11
1000 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

@coffeegal85: Asking to swap or remove certain items to see how that affects the price is OKAY. I work with clients as much as possible doing this to meet their budgets. If someone asks me just to drop money off the price of a package, or pushes too hard to get things in that they know they can’t afford by “customizing” that’s when I turn them away.

Looking at your package, first I think it’s shotty that the photographer is offering the DVD but no print rights? Is it a web-only dvd? Photographers like that are the reason clients are so obsessed with “rights” these days, and there is all this confusion over print rights/copyrights etc. Anyway, I digress, the only thing that might be worth the $500 value on the print rights in that package is the album, or you could TRY to have him remove just the companion albums and guestbook album in exchange. I don’t think he’ll tell you the eshoot is worth the $500, but it couldn’t hurt to ask.

Post # 12
739 posts
Busy bee

Of course it never to ask, but your approach is going to make it or brake it.  I am definitely willing to have a little wiggle room in my pricing for those who meet me and are really in love with my work but I might be just out of their reach. They also don’t come in saying “i really love you, but I’m on a budget can you help me?” Unless money is no object EVERYONE is on a budget. All a budget means is you’ve set a certain amount of funds aside for your photography. The ones who I’m willing to work with know exactly why they love my work and why they want to work with me.

Also, if you are having a 150 person wedding, at one of the nicest venues, on a popular summer or fall date and ask for a discount, I’m going to prob say no unless you want a lot of products, albums, parent albums, boudoir session, etc then I may discount it a bit or even throw in some of the products. But just want hours and a disk then I’m less likely to do so.

If you know my pricing and know I start at a certain # then don’t ask for me to add a bunch of products and then expect me to cut that number in half.  It’s like walking into Coach and asking for a purse at half off, oh and throw in a wallet too just because you are on a budget.

Other things I’m willing to give a small discount for: Paying in full when you sign the contract, having a unique offbeat wedding on a non popular day. Winter weddings, some non-holiday weekend Fri or Sunday weddings on non-popular weekends, and definitely weekday {m-th} weddings.

LB I don’t understand photogs who give disks without printing rights either. Why give them at all, that’s what proofing sites are for. 
@coffeegal85 I would also say your best bet was to trade in the 2 – 20 side Companion Album for printing rights and your album and canvases for the extra hours.

Post # 14
1405 posts
Bumble bee

@coffeegal85:  Old school photographer’s don’t like giving out rights/full resolution files,etc.  They feel that it is “stealing” away print sales since the client is not buying prints through them.

Post # 15
739 posts
Busy bee

@coffeegal85 I was referring to when photogs give low resolution images that can’t be printed on disk. I wasn’t referring to selling the rights. Most photogs sell on their own or in a package a full resolution disk that you have the rights to go print anywhere you like. On a wedding day you are paying a photog to use their time and talent to capture images of the day. They are working much longer then the 8 or so hours they are with you. In addition to their time, there is the cost of running their business and being able to pay bills. To to this they need to sell you prints and products of the images they created for you or sell you the rights to do so on your own. Sure you will find some lower-end or newbie photogs who give away the kitchen sink, but they wont be in business to long because they wont be able to sustain it. I hope this makes sense. 

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