(Closed) Two photographers… which one?

posted 8 years ago in Photos/Videos
  • poll: Which one?

    Photographer 1

    Photographer 2

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  • Post # 17
    Member
    7286 posts
    Busy Beekeeper
    • Wedding: September 2012

    Wow…OP, as a graphic designer how would you feel if you did all the “grunt work” for a client and then they essentially told you that you weren’t worth what you were charging and they wanted you to give them a cheaper rate and they’d just finish the job themselves? As someone in an artistic field, I would really think you of all people should understand a photographer’s POV on this subject. It really makes me sad to read things like that. 🙁

    I don’t get why it’s so hard for people to understand that their photographer has bills too? We all have a mortgage to pay, health insurance, cell phone, car payments, gas, etc….and that’s ON TOP of the astronomical fees associated with running our businesses.

    I’m in no way bashing that you say you don’t have the budget to spend 3k or more on a photographer. I respect that, it’s a lot of money! It’s just really insulting to a photographer to be asked that. I would be wary of any professional that would actually agree to letting their images be edited. I’m of the camp that we should all find vendors that fit within our budget.

     

    Post # 19
    Member
    789 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: February 2014

    -Liability insurance

    -Federal tax

    -State tax

    -Sales tax

    -Social security tax

    -Equipment insurance

    -Studio rent and insurance for the space

    -Health/dental/prescription insurance. Cost for individuals is outrageous! We dont have a the luxury of a massive company discount thats offered at most jobs.

    -Gas- you bet we can charge for gas, lots of jobs do. (charges start over 100 miles from my home) are you telling me I need to suck up gas cost because you got married in a barn 2-3 hours away? Gas is costly.. This gas cost is outside the cost of everyday life like everyone else. You think Best Buy or the like doesnt pass the gas cost off to the customer for product delivery? Think again.

    -Car insurance- you bet, I pay more because my car is used for business, different rates for business use.

    -Car maintenance- We have more when we use our car to travel. I go through more tires, breaks, and oil changes than the average person going back and fourth to their office job..

    -Paying out for second shooters/assistants

    -Credit card fees

    -Retirement fund

    -Costs to print contracts

    -Costs of the lawyer I hired to keep my contract solid and up to date

    -Time- consults, venues scouts, back and forth emails/phone calls

    -Batteries- I go through so many batteries a year for my speed flashes to light your candle lit venue at night. Sometimes we even have to rent things because a couple is getting married in some random place where extra is needed!

    -Equipment updates- digital does not last as long as film cameras did. digital is also more pricey than what film cameras ever were. Every 2-3 years we need new bodies. Bodies that shoot in low light do not come cheap. We need 2 to 3 of them so we have proper back up. Memory cards only last so long as well. Also high speed cards to handle event shooting are not cheap like a card a hobby shooter can use.

    -Program updates- Photoshop stops working when a new version comes out, they dont make updates anymore so guess what it wont read a new cameras files anymore! So guess what I have to upgrade so I get the latest updates.

    -Domain and website fees

    -Print service fees

    I know Im forgetting something on this list…

    I also personally take classes here and there to keep my skills updated, I also paid to go to business school.

    My gear brought to a wedding roughly $15,000-$20,000 worth. EVERY business passes off the cost of doing business to the customer, thats how a business is run. Its business basics. Period.

    When it comes down to it, its about $15-$20 and hour.. if you think $20 an hour is over paid thats sad.. a factory worker and a waitress makes more than I do! I made more waiting tables than I do as a photographer. I also got benefits as a waitress.

    You also live in a big city, the cost of living is higher. period. Just like a NYC photographer is going to be more than an upstate NY photographer.. I don’t charge $500 per hour in my area.

    Also someone with 10 years of experience, you pay for that experience. Shooting events is not easy and takes real skill, not everyone has that, period. Nor do we have to explain. You just seem defensive and pouty. You also dont even value your self/work with your defensive pouty attitude. Good for you you’ll take any job for any money and let people walk all over you and your work. Thats just not how a professional works. You’re are not in a position to judge because you dont understand business basics. You dont charge for your upgrade to stay in business, you should be!! Photography is 10% photos and the rest is business. Hows that for a break down for ya?

    Also sorry you dont think you’re special or think your talent is special because ya know what I think Im special. So should you. Everyone should think they are special because we are in our own ways, ALL of us are.. just like there is beauty in everyone and everything. Thats how I see the world and people in it.

    Post # 20
    Member
    14 posts
    Newbee
    • Wedding: August 2011

    Also don’t forget cost of advertising to get clients in the first place. That can be a huge cost unless you rely on referals only. 

    We also need to be able to afford repairs on our equipment which may get damaged while we work, and standard maintenance. 

    When you say you’re getting married on a weeknight, do you mean mon-thurs? 

    Post # 21
    Member
    344 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: September 2012

    I don’t think I have anything to add from the other photographers here but I’ll make it as quick as possible. My average client pays $3500.00 for a 10 hour wedding coverage. From that they get an album that costs me $400.00. So we are down to 3100.00. out of that I pay

    Income tax to the tune of 30%

    Everything from Insurance ( equipment, liability, errors and omissions to the tune of $2000/year)

    Put on top of that gear, normally about 5-10,000 per year. That’s not start up. That’s replacing old bodies, lenses, batteries, flashes that go crash and boom. One of my camera bodies costs $4000.00.

    Then I pay for everything from electricity, computers, updating programs, mailing costs, packaging, gas…everything down to the tissue paper that goes in the packages myclients receive.

    I shoot 25 weddings a year and bring home less than my husband who never went past high school. I also work 7 days a week 12 hour days. I never stop communicating with clients, helping them plan weddings etc.

    I’m not trying to be defensive or rude or anything. You really are missing a lot.

    I also pay back my student loan for my three years of schooling I took so I could do this at the best level I can. We don’t make $500/hour.

    Last year I clocked 80 hours of work per week and made about 10 bucks an hour. yup. no private jets here haha

    Post # 22
    Member
    344 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: September 2012

    And your Photoshop Upgrade expenses should totally be passed on to your clients. That’s part of your COGS

    Post # 23
    Member
    344 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: September 2012

    I think something you’re missing is that $200/ hour ( which is what most of us charge) is really more like 10 hours of work before costs. Every hour I shoot= ten hours of work. From client communication to ordering to even charging my batteries. It’s all work that goes towards a wedding.

    Post # 24
    Member
    281 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: October 2013

    I really do beilieve photographer #2 will do a better job in the end than #1 would, and you wouldn’t regret hiring #2. I’ve worked with hundreds of photographers and know a decent amount of photography myself. #2’s style is much more unique and interesting, and his use of lighting is muuuchhh better, IMO. I don’t really care for #1’s work. And most professional photographers would only include their most favorite shots in their portfolio. Just like you will only include your most favorite photos in your album and around your house. I do modeling work, and only include about 40 of the thousands of photos I have in my portfolio. A portfolio should show versatility and not show tons of photos that are almost exactly alike as it can get tedious to look trough, and I believe the same goes for photographers.

    Hope that helps some!

    Post # 25
    Member
    789 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: February 2014

    View original reply
    @Lashmont:  Glad you listed some of the things I forgot! lol I knew I was.

     

    Op I forgot, try searching outside Baltimore, you might find a better price point to fit more in your budget. Most of us easily travel within a few hours of home. And dig deeper in the search engine, some great photographers get lost on page 10…

     

    Post # 26
    Member
    344 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: September 2012

    View original reply
    @Styles:  Everything down to the office chair and coffee for clients when they consult. you could never list every expense. heck, I spent over $2000 last year in webhosting, client proofing, blog design…

    Post # 27
    Member
    789 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: February 2014

    View original reply
    @Lashmont:  Phew, thats one thing I saved on is website/blog building. Thats something I know how to do. Clocked tons of hours doing it though! I actually do site design a bit on the side, mainly customizing WordPress.

    Post # 28
    Member
    609 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: November 2013

    View original reply
    @Styles:  Truthfully, I think if it doesn’t work out with these 2 phtoogs, keep looking. There are going to be willing photographers who will give you their RAWS of the day for a bit less than they usually charge. I know plenty of shooters who would rather NOT be bothered with the editing process, and you would be saving them alot of time. 

    I’ve done it for friends who are in the business, and I have a friend who is shooting our wedding (we used to both work at http://www.ikonica.ca) and providing us with the RAWS at the end of the night for a cheaper rate than if he had to spend a few weeks editing them. 

    You’ll find the right fit! 🙂

    Post # 29
    Member
    739 posts
    Busy bee

    It cost me and hubby around $14K A MONTH to run our photography studio and living expenses  You said, “oh you can’t count gas/rent”??!! umm where is that money supposed to come from? Those bills need to be paid and I have to charge enough to make sure I have a house/heat/food for my kid. I do this job first because I LOVE it and second because I need to make a living off it. I work 80 hours a week, Yes a lot of that is from home, but it’s still work. Answering emails, editing photos, putting blog posts together, entering my accounting, designing albums, putting orders into the lab so. EVERY TIME I make a personal expense not only do I pay for that item I now have to pay income tax on that. OH and guess what, I have to pay a small business tax on top on income taxes. Last year I paid just over $15k to the IRS. So NO I do not get paid $500 an hour. When it comes down to it, it’s more like $15 an hour and I have to pay all my personal expensive {rent, health insurance, deductibles, student loans gas, car, child care, food, cloths, feeding my cats, etc} for a family of three with that.

    Up untill two years ago when I was less in demand I didn’t graphic design in the winter months to try to bring in some extra cash. I know what does into it. You are not required to have around 20K in equipment hanging around your neck to complete the job last time I checked. Oh and that equipment needs to be insured because heaven forbid you get robbed, break something or have a fire. I should also mention that carrying around about 50lbs of gear around all day is a little different then sitting at a desk. It’s very physically taxing.

    Even though I find a lot of your comments insulting to photographers in general I still want to give you some advice that I think may be helpful. Have you considered bartering your stills? I know a lot of photographers need graphic design. Marketing pieces, albums, etc. You might be able to trade some of that work for them to get more of what you want. You are doing that in a way with editing your own photos. I still wouldn’t ever let someone I didn’t know or client touch my images. We have a VERY strict no edit/altering image policy in our personal use rights contract. But again, I’m on the higher end and most my clients are looking for a finished product. BUT I have bartered with clients to reduce their cost. I also bartered 85% of my own wedding, but I had the skill,the demand, and the reputation within the wedding community to pull it off.

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