Belligerent Rival Photog

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by green_photog, Dec 18, 2012.

  1. no wonder other photographers can not pay their bills and couples are so cheap - you are charging 1000$ for a half day?! Up your prices stupid! $1500 for half a day and $3000 for a full day.​
    This is the third time I got emails from an anonymous photog asking me to raise my prices. The first two I ignored but this one really got me.
    no wonder other photographers can not pay their bills
    Just because one chooses photography as a career, one hasn't automatically earned the right to put food on the table doing so.
    couples are so cheap
    I'm not the most expensive guy out there. I charge $1K for a 4 hour shoot, edit and burn to disc. 8 hours I charge $1500 and $150/hr overage, no album. Most full day wedding I make between $1500-$2000. With album it'll be close to $3K. Are couples so cheap to hire me? Most of the couples who hired me for half a day can't afford a decent reception. I felt priviledge that the couplds without means chose to spend money on me.
    $1500 for half a day and $3000 for a full day.
    This doesn't make sense. If you charge $1500 for 1/2 day, you cannot charge double for a full day, maybe $2500 at the most. The more you buy the lower the unit cost should be.
  2. Is the "$1500-$2000" amount (per wedding I suppose?) calculated on yearly basis after expenses, including health insurance?
  3. It sounds like he is upset that couples find
    your prices more reasonable and you are
    scooping up all their clientele. If this
    photographer communicates with their
    potential clients like they do with you, then
    the fact that their clients are going elsewhere
    makes perfect sense. I would either ignore
    this message completely, or kindly reply and
    say thanks for the suggestion, but that you
    are very happy with your current rates and
    so are your clients. You are running a
    business and there is nothing wrong with
    being better at it then your competition.
  4. If he is losing out to you based solely on rates, either your work is really good and a great value, or his is rather bad, and obviously not worth the rate he charges. Either way, if your pricing works for what you do, and nets you the business you want, ignore this guy. He is most likely looking for an outlet for why his business model is failing...
  5. Jealously is one of the most unprofessional
    traits out there. Don't let someone this
    unprofessional make you question how
    professional you are being.
  6. If you hire an attorney at an hourly rate, does that rate decline the more hours you use? How about a doctor? Lower fees as your appointments increase? What you do by lowering your hourly rate is diminish your value. I think if a client challenged you on the declining-rate thing, you'd be in an uncomfortable place explaining why you charge more for fewer hours - what's your rate based on, how did you determine your hourly rate to begin with, etc.
  7. In Virginia, we have many local churches'. You can not attend them all. That does not keep the members of those churches from stopping by our home and telling us about their church, and, trying to get us to attend their church.
    When they stop by to tell us when their services are, rather than giving them a negative answer we simply say;
    "Thank you for the information"
    I think the same logic and answer applies here.
  8. Barry, I was merely curious for OP did not qualify the statement. I admit I did assume that photography was the main source of income.
  9. Are you able to contact your ISP and see if they could trace the email? Make a shortlist of all the photographers in your area who charge as much as that man or woman is recommending? Perhaps the offender is one of them?
  10. Barry and Parv,
    I've a full time job and wedding photography is my part time job. I started out shooting $500 weddings 3 years ago and now I have shot 70+ weddings.
    3 years ago I can only dream of being in the price range I'm at now so that's why this anonymous email bugs me. I was told I was cheap shooting $500 weddings, and then I am alsol cheap shooting $1K weddings. Now I gross close to $2K per couple with overage and engagement shoot (no album) and I am still cheap.
  11. Like water off a duck's back... if the person isn't brave enough to reach out to you directly (does so with a fake e-mail, name, etc...) then I'd let it go.
    I've responded negatively to a couple of CL / other ads where I thought the person was low balling - but have always done so with my real name and e-mail. One was a photographer and one was a person looking for a photographer.
    And I've gotten a couple of neg responses from other photographers too, when I was first starting out - and charging basically nothing for a senior session or wedding. Got told basically the same things that are in the e-mail you quoted. That I'm taking money out of their accounts, food off the table, etc... I responded to them basically saying I was just starting out and that is what I felt comfortable charging. Also that if they charge so damn much for a wedding / senior session - WTF are they doing looking on CL for ads? Shouldn't they be out shooting? Also, pointed out that clients I was getting on CL were not going to pay the rates they suggested anyway...
  12. You probably would be surprised to know this person is engaged in illegal activity -- illegal attempts to fix prices.
    This is regulated under federal law (Sherman and Clayton Acts) and under similar laws of many states.
    Before you go calling your local Attorney General or District Attorney or law enforcement officer, be advised they will simply scoff at you, as they have shootings, molestations, burglaries, rapes and auto matters to deal with and not enough person power for all that, as well as keeping the citizens in line. Moreover you can't identify the person.
    However, if this person's identity becomes absolutely known to you, as in that person signs a letter or e-mail to you and/or admits he/she authored these e-mails, you might know that for $50 or so, a friendly lawyer will pen a 'heart attack' letter to them that will keep them off you back if the attorney knows anything about the laws of anti-competitive behavior.
    Of course, this is silly to become involved in and mainly hypothetical UNLESS AND UNTIL you learn absolutely for sure that this person is bad mouthing you and your business in a way you can prove AND you are losing business because of that -- because then you have ammunition to send his/her way . . . . heh heh heh heh.
    Frankly cowards send anonymous e-mails; someone who doesn't have the courage to show his/her face to the air and be exposed.
    The advice above is good: ignore this person and take the business away.
    If you're good enough, your rates will go higher and higher and someday this person's rates may even seem bottom drawer to you and you can have the last laugh.
    Success also is not measured by hourly or daily rate . . . .
    If your clients are satisfied and better, refer others who pay you your requested rate on a regular basis and you are eating well and paying your bills timely, then you have a good start.
    If the work gets too much for you, you can have a choice of hiring others to help you and/or upping your rate.
    You have absolutely NO OBLIGATION to this anonymous busybody.
    john (former attorney from long and not practicing for decades)
    John (Crosley)
  13. Green, from time to time we must all evaluate our pricing and perhaps it's time to consider upping your fees? If your work is consistently good, if you're getting plenty of bookings, and if you're charging below the going rate for quality photography in your area, then perhaps that is the reason for the unsolicited e-mail you received (though I can't fathom why the sender would want to remain anonymous). It is of course up to you what you charge, but as a representative of your industry it is normally considered good practise not to undercut your fellow professionals.
  14. I wouldn't worry about it or let it get under your skin. They're worried that more couples will book you at your lower rates ... they know nothing about your business model, other income or expenses. There will always be hater and you can't live your life worrying about this.
    If you feel you should be charging more, then charge more but don't do it as a knee jerk reaction in response to this fool but after carefully analyzing your business.
  15. Just ignore this clown, put his emails in as spam and block his email, move on and do whatever you want.
  16. This vague email passage doesn't rise to the level of Sherman or Clayton Act activity, as we are told, so don't get caught up in that hype. I also suggest not getting to caught up in justifying yourself. Its an annoyance to get these e-mails. Its a harassment issue, not anything requiring debate on the substance of the complaint. You don't owe anyone anything.
  17. This person is trying to get your goat and rattle you. And is doing a pretty good job because you let him/her. You don't even know its another photog, it could be someone who wants to tick you off for some other reason. How does that person know your rates, anyhow? Most photogs in my neck of the woods are real cagey about prices until they get a for-real client.
    If the person is real s/he is gonna starve whatever you do because s/he's a clown who needs to learn if s/he takes better photos he s/he will get more jobs. Worrying about what you are doing is straight from downtown Loser City.
  18. I really don't worry about what other photographers are charging. If I were to tell a photographer to raise their prices, it would be because I thought there work was good enough to justify it and I wanted to see them succeed and in doing so, bring the entire profession up.
  19. Hi Green, I get the impression that you are really quite curious to know who is sending these e-mails. The content is maybe not such a big deal.
    If that is the case, you could bait the line and see if you get a bite... tell them that you'd really love to change your pricing structure, but you really don't know where to start. Ask them if they'd be willing to get together for a networking coffee/lunch and discuss the topic in more detail. Drop in that you'd appreciate the guidance from a more experienced photographer if you like, just to stroke their ego a bit.
    You may not get a response or you might get to unmask the offender.
    Scott. :)

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