Have you noticed how...

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by edgreene, Apr 4, 2004.

  1. Wedding sales have gone down since the advent of digital?
    That a dozen or more guests take and give shots to the Brides in numbers that affect post wedding sales?
    And since the digital shots aren't presumed to be copyrighted like your "Professional" looking shots, the Walmarts and Walgreens let the Brides make as many 8 x 10s as they want.
  2. Yes Ed, IMO this seems to be happening somewhat.

    If a client can't see your talent and skill come through in your work, and are willing to
    accept amateur shots of their wedding, then the going gets harder for selling reprints.
    Especially with mostly candid PJ style shots where the difference gets harder to determine.

    And, as we all know, guests sometimes do get good shots. With 10 or 20 people popping
    off digital images, a few are going to look pretty good to the couple. And there often is
    "Uncle Harry" with his Nikon SLR and crappy zoom stalking the couple, or shooting your
    posed set-ups. Plus Uncle Harry has insider information, and shoots people that are
    important to the couple.

    For example, I'm pitching a wedding right now where the couple themselves have a Canon
    digital Rebel. When pitching the inclusion of a second photographer, they balked at it
    saying they would just have "friends" shoot extra shots... presumably at no extra cost
    because of the perception that digital is "free". Next to what most wedding shooters
    charge for prints compared to Wall Mart, it probably does seem almost free.

    The only counter argument to that is pulling out an imposing 1Ds or Contax 645 with a
    digital back and upping the ante in terms of quality of image compared to the consumer
    level toys they are talking about.

    Frankly, your posted issue is why I went to all inclusive pricing and give the corrected files
    on a locked DVDs or CD-ROMs as part of the package. I build in the re-print costs up
    front. The locked DVDs assure original quality even if they get more prints from Wall Mart
  3. Ed:
    You’re pitching a sloooow ball and there are a lot of home run hitter's listening here, so please be prepared to be relieved by coach cause your ERA is no doubt going VERY south and fast at that!
    I say this cause I've seen what consumer digicams can AND cannot do!
    Hmmmmm. I can buy a law cd for $4.99...maybe I should represent myself in court? Food for thought...Turbo Tax $39.99, so I guess the CPA marketplace has clasped. I've always been interested in brain surgery; can your recommend a weekend course?
    Life has not changed...it's just the decisions that are now available that have, and more than ever there is room for bad decisions!
    Case in point. Let's see some pix from a cheesy Sony point and shoot three rows back in a 150 year old catholic church with tiny windows where the priest does not allow flash! Then take them to a Walgreen’s where some eleventh grade educated loser runs what you call 'prints'
    How about home production on a $99 'dye' jet printer that fades white in 6 months?
    FYI, my print sales are done before the event, and I now solely charge for service, that way I can compete. My contract specifically requires that nobody else can shoot MY posed shots...not because I'm greedy but I need to avoid 'blinked eyes.' The candids are just that...I spend the entire reception 'hunting.'
    Between runs to the bar to get ANOTHER cocktail, guests pull out their pocket cams and strobe the red eye cr@p, and get one out of four shots right if their lucky.
    Yes...it's about SERVICE, SKILL and EQUIPMENT.
    PLEASE...post some of your digicam 'art' from that church where the pastor does not allow flash!
    When I first got involved in this I thought I would get rich overnight. Wow...did I learn. People who engage in this activity generally are providing...yes I MUST say it again...SERVICE that is market driven.

    P.S. If you have any daughters please get the real deal! She’ll thank you for it!
  4. Ed:

    OK I just visited your site history and your obviously advanced. Sorry for coming across aggressive but you question was phrased as though it was a 'jib'

  5. Wow William, you took away something completely different from Ed's question than I did. " Life has not changed it's just the decisions that are now available that have, and more than ever there is room for bad decisions!" Actually, I think Ed is saying that since the advent of consumer digital cameras, (with 5 meg P&S cameras becoming pretty popular), a decent 8X10 print from a Fuji Frontier can look pretty darn good to the couple regardless of who's running the machine. The amateurs shooting these cameras can immediately see the shot right on the LCD, and do it over if they made a mistake. So, maybe life HAS changed a little. Not that the amateurs are any talented than years ago, but their cameras and the Fuji Frontier are ; -) It all just heightens the need for professional wedding photographers to develop a distinctive style and depth to their work that reflects the different personalities of the clients, rather than relying on stale formulas that tend to be viewed as familiar and cliched. You have to have the "WOW" effect to make a good sale anymore. My objective when developing my in-studio, on-screen selling piece, was to stun the clients into silence, bring a smile one minute and a tear the next. That takes hard work, but it does make the difference you're offering crystal clear. "PLEASE...post some of your digicam 'art' from that church where the pastor does not allow flash!" I presume by digicam "art" you're talking about Aunt Milly's 2 meg Canon Elf, not a DSLR like a D1-X or 1Ds. All my available light shots in the church are done with a digital camera... like this one shot with a lowly 6 meg. Canon 10D:
  6. Gee Marc, the 10D may not be top of the line, but slap that 85mm f1.2L on anything, and I think you're in for excellence. :) Great shot BTW.
  7. The recording media, digital or film, is irrelevant. The issue of guests taking sales from pros predates digital also. Trends which are relevant is the shift from formal, tradition wedding pictures to PJ style. If you are a very traditional shooter, you’re losing sales to PJ shooters. If you’re a PJ shooter then guest shoots are going to look more like yours. This leads into another change which is fewer albums. Unlike days of old, a significant number of couples don’t buy “Wedding Albums”. A proof book and a few prints is all they want. This cuts into direct reprint sales, and the guest’s 4x6 prints fit right into the proof book.

    They way to deal with this is to have a shooting fee that is high enough that you don’t have to depend on album and reprint sales. The way to be able to charge that high a fee is to be very good. There is always room at the top.
  8. William McAllister: It is legally unenforceable to "contract in" a requirement that the guests can't take pictures while the professional is taking his. TWO people cannot promise what a 3rd WILL OR WILL NOT DO. All you can do is 'request'.
  9. Marc, what exactly do you mean by "locked DVD"? Just curious. I like the idea of all inclusive upfront pricing. Sounds best for all parties involved. Kind of like Saturn's "no hassle, no haggle" line.
  10. Matt, there are different ways of recording and different kinds of discs. Burn the session,
    or burn the disc. A session disc can be added to or altered. A burned disc (most
    common), when done is locked. You can open an image and alter it, even re-save it to
    your desk-top, but when you close that original image you cannot save any changes to
    that disc. This prevents loss of images and/or the original from being screwed up.
  11. Ah, got it. Thanks Marc. More curiousity, and others besides Marc please chime in as well, how high res are the files that you give the customers on cd/dvd? And what image format? Thanks.
  12. I provide 300 PPI tiffs at full, uncompressed rez. @ roughly 8 X 12 for most finished and
    cropped images (with a few 13X19 display prints thrown in). Those are burned to a DVD,
    and are the master files for enlargements

    I then write an action to reduce them to 240 PPI using either tiff or jpeg compression @ a
    smaller size like 5X7, and burn those to a CD-ROM. These are for mass reproduction of
    proof prints at a lab.

    I also keep a master file of the untouched RAW files for myself.
  13. Hi, Im new to this site/forum but since I found it Ive had many belly laughs!!
    -Thank you. Anyway, yes yes yes, everyone with a $200.00 digi cam is now a
    professional, and every wedding I do there are at least 5 other professionals
    there. Aunt Martha was a professional back in the 40's you know... then I
    find out she shot at the Sears portrait studio. Ive done weddings where they
    have made prints in the bathroom during the reception on their "dock".
    I consider myself a purist, film is film and you cant replicate it. A lab
    owner said to me "let them keep shooting all they want, let them keep making
    their ink pictures all they want, the more they do the better your's will look in
    comparison" Finally I decided to hand over the negs, besides all of the other
    struggles you have mentioned, one of my issues is when its the year 2005 and
    a Bride from 2001 all of a sudden needs 1 more 4x6 for her cousin. To me its
    about being in a zone/mindset. When I get close to a wedding I become
    obsessed with it (in a good way) But I feel almost like Im being interupted.
    Any feedback?? Im on to other forums-Love this site! Kim

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