How many are "making" it...?

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by edgreene, Apr 1, 2004.

  1. I stopped doing weddings (2001) before the 3 Megapixel "Prosumer"
    digital cmaeras took off. But even then, the "Wedding" photography
    business had started spiraling downward, with good quality SLR film
    cameras invading the wedding market. <p>Now with 3 MPXL digitals
    going for under $99, and the EOS RebelD at $999, the possiblility of
    being or becoming a "Wedding Photographer" is within the means of
    many.<bR>The problem is in my area the retail price for a "Normal"
    wedding has dropped from a norm of $750 (and up) to starting prices
    from rookies with 5 MPXL digital cameras who will do them for $150
    as long as your don't mind cheap prints made on cheap inkjet
    priters.<p>How is it where you are?
  2. Timely question Ed.

    My business was off for this year compared to previous ones. Signings started to dry up
    from Oct. 2003 on, and effected 2004 income. In all fairness, I didn't promote myself
    much due to commitments at my real job that I knew would dominate my time. So, I had
    nothing signed for the 1st quarter of '04 and only a few through summer. Then WAM! I
    signed 11 weddings from Aug. through Dec. 7 in September alone. Fortunately,
    commercial work really came on strong from Jan. through now... with more in the pipe

    "... with 5 MPXL digital cameras who will do them for $150 as long as your don't mind
    cheap prints made on cheap ink-jet printers."

    Bargain hunting clients may like the price, but they won't think it's such a bargain when
    their cheap ink-jets fade 5 years down the road.

    Either a client recognizes the value of talent, quality and skill, or they don't. Nothing's
    changed there. And no amount of sell is going to alter that.
  3. Where do you live that the average cost of a wedding is $750?? I thought my $850 to $1200 weddings were cheap. $150 doesn't even cover supplies for a film wedding, but with a simple digital I guess there's not much in the way of cost. Even cheaper would be for them to just give the couple a CD and forget the prints.

    It's hard to earn a living photographing just weddings. Many clients don't realize this is a business and pays the bills. One wedding a week doesn't earn a living wage. No one could ever "make it" on a $150 wedding. Even my weddings bring in enough for only "extra" income.
  4. I shoot weddings on weekends and work about 20 to 25 hours a week as a photojournalist for our local paper. All-in-all, it pays the bills. My prices are relatively cheap (starting at $825 and going upward to $2K+ in order to sell my soul for a weekend).

    I'll echo Todd . . . Where do you live that the average wedding is $750? It seems that around here, the average (starting) pro wedding is probably in the $1200 to $1400 range.

    Of course, I'm not MF shooter. For my style of photography, SLRs are where it's at.
  5. It is pretty slow in the SF Bay Area as well. I didn't have much during March and not much this month. Come May, though, things pick up and continue through November although, for me, some of the bookings are Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, which are more resistant to economic ups and downs, since they happen when they happen, and photography is usually considered an important part of the event so parents tend not to skimp.
  6. I live in Rochester, NY (for now)- and I can say that the actual average price is right around what Ed is saying. With Kodak & RIT here everybody who owns a camera is a "pro photographer".

    I have customers in my retail store who shoot with a K1000 (not bad) and 2 point and shoots, process their film at Sams and Charge $200-$300.

    I graduated from RIT, had my wedding with 3 groomsmen as RIT grads, several guestswho are PJ's for MAJOR newspapers and paid our Photographer $799 for proofs, album, 1 5x7, 1 8x10 and ALL NEGS.

    I shot my cousins wedding for her 2 years ago and gave that as a wedding gift and you would have thought I gave them a pot of gold! I have been told I could be getting $1K-$2K per wedding in their part of the country.

    I think the equipment for now is a "crutch" in that they think a pro looking camera makes them feel like a pro. And if it makes them feel better about themselves, thats OK in my book. Because in the end you will be judged by the quality of the final product, not the equipment you bring to the party. And if you have an exceptional product word will get arround, much as the same will happen if your quality is not up to par.
  7. The "Baby Boomers" grew-up: This is the reason for the fall in the number of weddings.
  8. Couldn't be the crummy economy, could it?
  9. Marc, the economy's great, the president said so! ;-)
  10. "Never believe anything the government tells you," George Carlin.
  11. When I was charging $750 per 35mm wedding including negatives, I was booked every week and made a $500 profit for each gig. Now that I'm "big time" and charge $1000 plus, my profit is much higher, but I have yet to get a booking!

    I think I will review this situation!

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