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03:00 - 20:0020:00 - 22:00

8:10 PM
hey Stan, you got me curious on the whole shoot and burn thing
seems like it is too discussion oriented to be a question in it's own right though so figured I'd jump in here
 
Go for it.
 
don't know if you saw my response yet, but I actually offer a shoot and burn option for most events I do since I view myself as a contractor for the event. I guess I see it as not being my work and thus not a reflection on me if they choose to print it poorly as long as I'm not doing the work
 
But there will be people asking "who shot this", so it is a reflection of your work, with your name attached.
 
and I still recommend that they have me do the work on them and either I'll do the printing or I work with them to make sure they get a quality result printing if they want to print it from another place, but ultimately my philosophy on it is that it's their money and their choices for their photos
I suppose that's true, but if the customer is happy, then I'll still get a recommendation
 
A recommendation that may fall on deaf ears if the print/presentation is bad.
 
8:15 PM
I suppose I would view it differently if it was something that was going to be displayed associated with me and without the customer having to say who shot it
I mean, I guess I see how it could have some negative impressions, but I don't see that it neccessarily links to them not caring about the presentation of their work so much as feeling that giving the customer what they want is more important than the presentation of their work
I'm very customer experience focused
and I'd hope that if someone thought it didn't look good, they'd ask about it at which point the happy customer would hopefully point out that they had it printed that way against my recommendation because it was cheap
sure it won't work out that way sometimes I suppose
 
I've known too many photographers who've been burned by other people's "improvements" or cheap printing. It stops being a reflection of your style/aesthetic, even when done well. If the customer gets something other than what they've seen before of your work from you directly, how does that improve the customer experience?
 
AJ - Don't sweat it
 
@dpollitt I'm not sweating it, but I'm curious as to Stan's insights on it
since he's spent more time in the field than I have
 
I'm not disagreeing with Stan, he is right. But it is also quite common what you are doing, and if your business model is working...
 
It's a "commodity" model, though, and the "brand" model works a whole lot better if you want to make more than expenses.
 
8:22 PM
@StanRogers Yeah, and that's why I offer free consulting about printing whenever I'm the one doing the touch up work if they aren't having me print it. I will recommend very strongly against something that won't get them the result they are expecting, but ultimately, it's their choice if they prefer cheap to quality and telling them they can't have cheap is going to leave a worse impression with them than if I let them make the mistake
 
I'd rather walk away and leave my brand intact.
 
@StanRogers yeah, and that's the real trick, I don't really care about making more than expenses. I just don't like how expensive the industry is and enjoy providing the service. I'm just looking to make back what I put in and be able to grow it a bit
my primary goal is providing a quality service at the cheapest possible price. If it gets to the point where I have more clients than I have time for, I may revisit it
 
@StanRogers exactly. Many take the commodity model for a few years, get burned out, then start to raise prices and alienate all existing clients in the process
But it is a learning step that most if not all photographers end up taking
It sounds like AJ you aren't relying on photography as your main source of income?
 
@StanRogers Yeah, it'll be interesting to see how it works out. I started with a similar customer focused model in wedding videography and it worked out quite well. By the time I finished up, I was charging about 8 times what I started after building the brand
 
@AJHenderson It's the brand that'll make growth possible. We're in a world now where almost anyone can jump into the game. The bottom end is saturated. If you're competing on price, there's always going to be somebody who's a little cheaper.
Consistent quality is the differentiator.
Being the low bid on Rent--a-Coder isn't something to aspire to.
 
8:30 PM
ack
that was an edit rather than a new post
shoot
but yeah, I go for maximum quality at the lowest price is my current goal.
and yes, I'll be underbid
 
Yeah, people get destroyed on the low end. Then they bitch and complain about new entrants to the market, how they are terrible and should charge more, etc
 
but I try to make the value proposition based on portfolio that I've produced properly
 
It boils down to charging what you're worth rather than what other people are worth. It'll set a level of expectation, so you want to be able to meet that, but if you're substantially better than the bottom-dwellers, you don't want people thinking he's pretty good -- for a bottom-dweller.
 
hahah
much better off with he's really good and I love his work, due to great marketing and great images...
he is worth what I paid is a good compliment :)
 
'Zackly.
 
8:35 PM
i paid $3500 for my wedding photographer's time, to shoot the images, totally worth it!
I heard a great one on a forum the other day... the group was complaining about adobe's new pricing(subscription) model for creative suite/creative cloud. Then someone mentioned that the new (low) price per month for Photoshop CC would allow tons of new photographers to pretend to be professional, and he was pissed!
I just wanted to tell him, hey if you are worried about that, your brand and product sucks!
 
@dpollitt See I don't see why any photographer would ever be worth that much just to shoot images. $350 an hour is crazy (imo)
 
@AJHenderson Hey! dude no no no dont say that
From what I understand, you aren't LIVING off of your photography sales
Create a first years balance sheet for a real photography business, you will see that $350 an hour if you aren't receiving additional revenue from print sales, is LOW!
I'm dead serious.
 
I realize I'm not living off my sales, and I understand why the market ends up being forced high because it is over-saturated and jobs are rare. But the number of bad people in the field makes it so that good people have to overcharge
 
I do not know many professional photographers who overcharge. They charge a reasonable amount for the product they produce. They aren't millionaires.
If you dont want to shoot 50 weddings a year, but want to make a living, you must charge a good amount
 
right, I get that, but the problem is the amount of work to go around is insufficient. So you have to make a living off the jobs you do get
 
8:40 PM
If you shoot 50 a year you will burn out.
 
yeah, but you said they just did shooting for $3500 right? I don't think that would be so unreasonable if it was shooting + touch up since touch up takes longer than the actual shooting
cause at that point it's a far lower per hour rate
 
I was suggesting that hearing that would be a sign of a successful photography business
 
@AJHenderson It's not $350/hr, though. (And it's a fair mid-market price.) You need to factor in the travel, equipment depreciation, insurance and other business expenses, opportunity costs, basic editing and post-processing...
 
Most photographers do not shoot 40/hours week at $350/hr!
 
right, like I said, if it includes basic editing and post, it's a far more reasonable amount
just dpollitt's original comment sounded like it was shooting only
 
8:43 PM
Is it reasonable to you if it includes prints or high res JPEGs?
 
yeah
if it's high res jpegs that have had post done or prints, then it's perfectly reasonable
 
To me it is not, not if you want to turn a profit and sustain full time employment
350/hr is a 10 hour wedding, very reasonable, mind you
throw in a second shooter, wow it is down right cheap!
 
And insurance ($1M liability minimum with proof, or you simply won't be allowed to shoot at many venues) and accounting, office space, telephone,... The photography business is a business, and you have to treat it like one.
 
I also was assuming that it was a single shooter from your description. If it's more than one shooter, that also would make my comment invalid
 
second shooters may cost you... $250-300
Anyways... I think what I am saying is, it sounds like you can charge more :)
And likely should charge more
Maybe less shoot and burn, more brand building
 
8:48 PM
when I was doing video, I was charging $3.5 grand for a ceremony and reception, which included myself and another camera operator plus editing
 
awesome
 
so when I said I thought the 3500 was expensive, it was just because I thought it was photos only and a single shooter. Not that I don't think a good wedding package could easily be worth that much or more
 
Wish I would have done that for my wedding! too late now :(
 
or rather capturing photos only
 
@AJHenderson 3500 could easily be charged simply for 1 photographers time to shoot the wedding, including maybe a minimal print package but no full rez images, etc.
 
8:50 PM
my target for a total wedding right now is starting out at around 1 grand while I'm getting a portfolio together, but it will be going up from there
I'm also still feeling out the market in this area since I literally just started a few months ago and have been doing bookings without actually having had a shoot yet
which is always the hardest time in getting things started
cause I don't have much related portfolio to run on
 
Lol. I just saw a moderator alert because someone flagged in another chat room the comment " Hello volcanic plateu "
The users name was "Barach Obama" hahah
 
speaking of
 
@AJHenderson so the question now is, how can we edit that question to keep it on topic and not closed ? :)
 
which, the question we were just discussing that is way too discussion oriented and doesn't have an actual "true" answer
sadly I don't think it's possible to make a good question out of it
as far as SE is concerned
otherwise I would have posted it as one
cause it is a really valuable topic
but unfortunately completely subjective
 
3
Q: what questions should I ask when looking to hire a photographer?

PastelWhen hiring a photographer one will obviously take a look at their work, but before even doing that what kind of questions can I ask to gauge there skill, knowledge, performance etc some questions already has some general answers to help one choose a photographer- How do I choose a professional ...

that question
 
9:00 PM
oh, hmm, I kind of felt like it was on topic. Possibly a duplicate though
that's why people are voting to close it
 
ya
 
personally, I think it is unique enough, but not sure there is a way to change it to make it more unique than it is
since either you consider a broader question of what to look for in general vs questions to ask different, or you don't
but yeah, my goal long term is to get an average wedding package to be around a $3000 to $3500 affair if I do the printing and packages. That's what I personally think is a good price range for middle tier photography. Obviously it will be more when you get in to the top brands in an area, but at that point you're talking luxury service more than normal person service
and I don't want the headaches of the expectations of that market. You really have to be full time to meet their needs at that level
 
True
 
@AJHenderson Actually, I've found that the expectations are far more reasonable with upscale clients.
There's a lot of entitlement at the low end.
 
Even MOTB?
 
9:07 PM
@StanRogers yes, but that's also part of why I approach that side of the market the way I do. If I can drop it on a disk and go and make sure they know up front exactly what they are getting, I can generally manage their expectations. It worked for the early video work. We'll see how it goes for photo
I think the bigger factor is how much money they have though. For someone that is lower end because they have to be cheap, it's still a big investment for them so they get jumpy
where as on the high end, if they are throwing money around because they just don't care, then they are very laid back
where as if it's someone really splurging, then they tend to be just as jumpy or more so
since it still has the big investment feel
and people get nervous around big investments
 
Upper-middle's good; people aren't in bargain-hunting mode, and may be making a major financial sacrifice to get the best they can afford. At the lower middle and down, you get people who want incentives.
And "I can print it on my HP all-in-one" is one of those incentives.
 
hahah hp all-in-one
but it can fax too!
 
hmm, I guess that also highlights the other side of not giving them high res copies. How often does the photo end up (poorly) scanned and duplicated without rights to do so
 
At almost every opportunity, unfortunately.
 
where as at least the quality is a little better if they have the actual file
but I suppose it's more obvious if they scanned it
 
9:13 PM
Hard to do with a 24x36" canvas, though.
 
yes, but not with the 8 by 10 copy that they got expecting to copy it
 
It's a little better until cousin Irving fixes it up in Photoshop.
 
yeah, but irving can fix up the scan too
to fix the fact it looks like crap when they scanned it
 
QA/QC the whole process, or suffer the consequences. A bad scan is beyond your control, always, but it will be guaranteed to be a bad scan. A bad print from a file is your fault, no matter who does it.
 
I guess ultimately, people are going to do stupid low quality things with your work no matter what, though I guess if you only give prints, you can at least guarantee that they have 1 good copy.
 
9:16 PM
@AJHenderson They have your card, so they should contact you for more copies. You are not charging unreasonably for copies, it is the day's job at the event that you charged, copies are cheap and you should encourage them to come to you for more.
 
@EsaPaulasto believe me I do
I bought a Pixma Pro-1 specifically so I could produce good quality prints cheaply
 
so you don't give them files, good.
 
but I do give them files as well
if they go for my "top" option
 
That's the spirit. And it's also cool to privide the files as an anniversary package at no additional charge. You just don't want the main source to be something out of your control.
 
9:17 PM
I paid 1500 $ for my wedding photographer and it was not worth it
 
hehe, I paid nothing for mine and was worth every penny, but then again, I did my entire wedding for $3 grand
I also called in a LOT of markers
having worked in the wedding industry has it's perks
 
There certainly i a lot of vendor cross-pollination.
 
mind you that was also including fillet minon and chicken and a seafood dish for 150 people
 
fillet mignon wqith chicken? lol, that has to be paleo :p
 
well, it was three seperate options
 
9:20 PM
paleo ha
STARRED
 
but yeah, had a chef friend that we knew that just liked to cook, so only paid for raw ingredients purchased in bulk. Photography was a guy I'd helped get started and so he just wanted me to buy a lens and let him use it. The video guys were a guy I personally had trained using my camera and a professional buddy of mine I'd helped out a lot before that shot footage with his camera for $200.
A DJ I'd worked with before for $350 and a reception hall that is affiliated with an organization I work with for $50
spent the rest on flowers and decorations
granted I still have never finished doing the post production on the video for my own wedding
and that was almost 5 years ago
of course then we went and spent $3500 on the honeymoon ;)
@StanRogers yeah, I certainly strongly advise against it and make my pricing on prints and touch up highly competitive for the quality. I even have low quality samples that I've made up to demonstrate why not to go the cheaper options.
so they can see what they'd be getting
and I of course choose samples that highlight the problems
won't know how effectivly it works until getting through the first few weddings to have something to adjust based on though
anyway, time to head home
 
I'm out for now as well. I fear I have become addicted to food. Should never have had that first "gateway" meal, I guess.
 
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