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Do you make a living as a wedding photographer?



 
 
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  #1  
Old December 5th 05, 10:56 AM posted to rec.photo.digital.slr-systems,rec.photo.equipment.35mm
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Default Do you make a living as a wedding photographer?

I'm interested in hearing from people around the world on their thoughts
regarding choosing wedding photography as a vocation. If you could take
a moment to answer these questions, I would be most appreciative of your
input.

1. Where do you see yourself on the socio-economic scale regarding your
income? i.e. well above average, above average, average, below average,
well below average.

2. Do you do it full time as your only source of income or purely as a
part-time supplement to existing income? If you are doing it full time,
do you only do weddings? If not, what percentage of your income do
weddings provide?

3. How many weddings do you do annually?

4. How long did it take to establish yourself in the market? What
marketing techniques did you use? i.e. if advertising, where did you
advertise?

5. Do you find it a rewarding profession? In other words, do you feel
you could have done something else instead of doing weddings?

6. What do you base your pricing on?

7. Do you find it very competitive to remain active in this field?

8. What size market are you working in? i.e. Do you have to travel
extensively to get commissions or are you in a big enough centre to
remain locally based?

9. What kind of output do you provide your customers? i.e. do you simply
provide prints or do you also compile their albums in addition to other
offerings, such as CD ROMs, video, etc.

10. What format equipment have you chosen and why?

Thanks.

--
DD
www.dallasdahms.com
Central Scrutinizer
  #2  
Old December 5th 05, 02:42 PM posted to rec.photo.digital.slr-systems,rec.photo.equipment.35mm
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Posts: n/a
Default Do you make a living as a wedding photographer?

In article , DD
wrote:

1. Where do you see yourself on the socio-economic scale regarding your
income? i.e. well above average, above average, average, below average,
well below average.


You can do OK if you charge enough and are good enough at it.

2. Do you do it full time as your only source of income or purely as a
part-time supplement to existing income? If you are doing it full time,
do you only do weddings? If not, what percentage of your income do
weddings provide?


Used to do it as part of other studio photography.

3. How many weddings do you do annually?


Used to do 1-2 per month. I didn't want to do more than that...too easy
to get burned out.

4. How long did it take to establish yourself in the market? What
marketing techniques did you use? i.e. if advertising, where did you
advertise?


I never advertised, never did bridal fairs, etc. I just got enough from
people walking in the door.

5. Do you find it a rewarding profession? In other words, do you feel
you could have done something else instead of doing weddings?


After a while you get tired of going to other people's parties on
Saturday nights.

6. What do you base your pricing on?


My superb ability and the local market.

7. Do you find it very competitive to remain active in this field?


Not really.

8. What size market are you working in? i.e. Do you have to travel
extensively to get commissions or are you in a big enough centre to
remain locally based?


Small community of about 30K. Did most weddings locally, but sometimes
traveled 20-30 miles.

9. What kind of output do you provide your customers? i.e. do you simply
provide prints or do you also compile their albums in addition to other
offerings, such as CD ROMs, video, etc.


Didn't do them in the digital age. Provided prints/albums. Today I
would provide the same end product.

10. What format equipment have you chosen and why?


Used to use two Hasselblads, 2-light setup. Today would still use 2
lights, but the 10D or something similar should be sufficient if you
have good technique.
  #3  
Old December 5th 05, 10:58 PM posted to rec.photo.digital.slr-systems,rec.photo.equipment.35mm
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Posts: n/a
Default Do you make a living as a wedding photographer?



"DD" wrote in message
...
I'm interested in hearing from people around the world on their thoughts
regarding choosing wedding photography as a vocation. If you could take
a moment to answer these questions, I would be most appreciative of your
input.

You can't be serious, Dallas.
Do you really expect anyone to tell you this sort of information about their
business?

For every 100 people with cameras who call themselves "Wedding
Photographers" there are about 8 who actually are. Of those 8, maybe 2,
actually make their living doing it without needing to have their spouse go
to work to support them or have their "real" business fund the pretend one.
How many "Wedding Photographers" do you know who have a barn full of props
for when the weather turns fowl or the ceremony is overrun by gate crashers?
For that matter, how many do you know with a wedding garden where they can
control the lighting for beautiful portraits? Maybe a private jetty for
those sunset shots over water? hmm? Money Dallas, it separates those who do
from those who want. You only get it by charging prices that look like an
exercise in algebra!

There would be no other business in the world where so many participants
have so few qualifications and credit card balances that look like serial
numbers to fund the purchase of the next flavour of the month camera and
still try to claim they are somehow "Professional Photographers". When I
obtained my qualifications, I served an apprenticeship for 7 years and got a
piece of paper in 1962 proclaiming I was a "tradesman Photographer". I also
got fired because I then qualified for full pay rates. I stole my ex boss's
booking diary and proceeded to undercut him on price for the next 2 years.
Then I sold my camera to pay the rent because I just learnt the first lesson
of business. - It's not about getting work, it's about money and getting
paid.

The only thing that has changed is the wannabes who think just because they
have a DSLR and some other wannabe printed them a diploma, they can undercut
real Professionals prices. It's not until they get the first letter of
demand on their cards, they realize if you don't charge enough to make a
(seemingly) obscene profit, you won't make enough to replace you camera at
50,000 clicks of using it like a machine gun in the stupid belief you'll get
at least some good pictures if you shoot a couple of thousand!

Most of my brides reserve all their spending money for one portrait and a
hand made album. They rely on the proofs for the rest of their memories. I
haven't seen too many "bright young Photographers" who have grasped the
concept that the first reason for being in business is to make money, much
less be willing to plan and have the ability to create that one portrait
which sells for twice the price of the whole wedding.

If you are good enough at managing people, if your efforts to date have all
been photographing people and you don't drink or smoke (oh yeah-- That's the
curly one) then maybe you might have a snowflake's hope in hell of getting
into that 8% who make a living at it. You are too pre occupied with other
things to get into the 2% who are successful at it. Why don't you see about
getting a concession in a shopping centre to take kids pics? It's a lot
easier.


  #4  
Old December 5th 05, 11:30 PM posted to rec.photo.digital.slr-systems,rec.photo.equipment.35mm
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Posts: n/a
Default Do you make a living as a wedding photographer?

In article ,
p says...


"DD" wrote in message
...
I'm interested in hearing from people around the world on their thoughts
regarding choosing wedding photography as a vocation. If you could take
a moment to answer these questions, I would be most appreciative of your
input.

You can't be serious, Dallas.
Do you really expect anyone to tell you this sort of information about their
business?

For every 100 people with cameras who call themselves "Wedding
Photographers" there are about 8 who actually are. Of those 8, maybe 2,
actually make their living doing it without needing to have their spouse go
to work to support them or have their "real" business fund the pretend one.
How many "Wedding Photographers" do you know who have a barn full of props
for when the weather turns fowl or the ceremony is overrun by gate crashers?
For that matter, how many do you know with a wedding garden where they can
control the lighting for beautiful portraits? Maybe a private jetty for
those sunset shots over water? hmm? Money Dallas, it separates those who do
from those who want. You only get it by charging prices that look like an
exercise in algebra!

There would be no other business in the world where so many participants
have so few qualifications and credit card balances that look like serial
numbers to fund the purchase of the next flavour of the month camera and
still try to claim they are somehow "Professional Photographers". When I
obtained my qualifications, I served an apprenticeship for 7 years and got a
piece of paper in 1962 proclaiming I was a "tradesman Photographer". I also
got fired because I then qualified for full pay rates. I stole my ex boss's
booking diary and proceeded to undercut him on price for the next 2 years.
Then I sold my camera to pay the rent because I just learnt the first lesson
of business. - It's not about getting work, it's about money and getting
paid.

The only thing that has changed is the wannabes who think just because they
have a DSLR and some other wannabe printed them a diploma, they can undercut
real Professionals prices. It's not until they get the first letter of
demand on their cards, they realize if you don't charge enough to make a
(seemingly) obscene profit, you won't make enough to replace you camera at
50,000 clicks of using it like a machine gun in the stupid belief you'll get
at least some good pictures if you shoot a couple of thousand!

Most of my brides reserve all their spending money for one portrait and a
hand made album. They rely on the proofs for the rest of their memories. I
haven't seen too many "bright young Photographers" who have grasped the
concept that the first reason for being in business is to make money, much
less be willing to plan and have the ability to create that one portrait



And I thought the music business was a rip. After reading this I now
think I'm lucky to be in the music biz and not trying to take pics for a
living.
  #5  
Old December 5th 05, 11:44 PM posted to rec.photo.digital.slr-systems,rec.photo.equipment.35mm
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Do you make a living as a wedding photographer?

DD wrote:

I'm interested in hearing from people around the world on their thoughts
regarding choosing wedding photography as a vocation. If you could take
a moment to answer these questions, I would be most appreciative of your
input.


I did weddings while in college, which might count as some experience; I
was working for someone else, though, so I have none with the actual business
of things. I didn't do any selling or anything, I just went where they sent
me.

1. Where do you see yourself on the socio-economic scale regarding your
income? i.e. well above average, above average, average, below average,
well below average.


One big reason I abandoned photography in general as a profession is because
you can make more money for less work doing just about anything else.

I can afford to do the photography I want because I'm not a professional
photographer.

(This is discounting those few superstars, of course.)

2. Do you do it full time as your only source of income or purely as a
part-time supplement to existing income? If you are doing it full time,
do you only do weddings? If not, what percentage of your income do
weddings provide?

3. How many weddings do you do annually?


I did 2 weddings per week -- one on Friday night, one sometime Saturday.
It was enough money for a college kid to make ends meet. Of course, the
big difference is that I was guaranteed to get paid a certain amount, no
worries about making the business work.

(Obviously, as a college kid I was not doing the high-end weddings on
my own. That would have been more money, but requires a bit more
experience. Weddings are hard.)

5. Do you find it a rewarding profession? In other words, do you feel
you could have done something else instead of doing weddings?


If your interest is in photography, and you're looking for a way to make
it your profession, run away. Really. Wedding photography is not about
photography, it's about people. Sure, you need to know the equipment like
you know how to breathe, but when you're out there, it's all about dealing
with people; that's the skill that's going to make the difference for you.

The richer the people having the wedding are, the more this becomes true.
Doing a wedding is often an exercise in navigating a political minefield,
with your success dependent greatly upon whom you make friends with in
the morning. (The mother of the bride is usually key.)

And weddings are hard. You've been to weddings, and it doesn't look like
that big a deal, but it's a situation where you have to get certain things,
you only get one chance to do it, not getting it is a complete disaster,
and everyone seems to be working against you. Getting through that isn't
about being a good photographer.

Also, it sucks having to dress up for a wedding every weekend.

--
Jeremy |
  #6  
Old December 6th 05, 12:00 AM posted to rec.photo.digital.slr-systems,rec.photo.equipment.35mm
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Do you make a living as a wedding photographer?

I've always wanted to go into divorce photography....


wrote:
In article ,
p says...


"DD" wrote in message
...
I'm interested in hearing from people around the world on their thoughts
regarding choosing wedding photography as a vocation. If you could take
a moment to answer these questions, I would be most appreciative of your
input.

You can't be serious, Dallas.
Do you really expect anyone to tell you this sort of information about their
business?

For every 100 people with cameras who call themselves "Wedding
Photographers" there are about 8 who actually are. Of those 8, maybe 2,
actually make their living doing it without needing to have their spouse go
to work to support them or have their "real" business fund the pretend one.
How many "Wedding Photographers" do you know who have a barn full of props
for when the weather turns fowl or the ceremony is overrun by gate crashers?
For that matter, how many do you know with a wedding garden where they can
control the lighting for beautiful portraits? Maybe a private jetty for
those sunset shots over water? hmm? Money Dallas, it separates those who do
from those who want. You only get it by charging prices that look like an
exercise in algebra!

There would be no other business in the world where so many participants
have so few qualifications and credit card balances that look like serial
numbers to fund the purchase of the next flavour of the month camera and
still try to claim they are somehow "Professional Photographers". When I
obtained my qualifications, I served an apprenticeship for 7 years and got a
piece of paper in 1962 proclaiming I was a "tradesman Photographer". I also
got fired because I then qualified for full pay rates. I stole my ex boss's
booking diary and proceeded to undercut him on price for the next 2 years.
Then I sold my camera to pay the rent because I just learnt the first lesson
of business. - It's not about getting work, it's about money and getting
paid.

The only thing that has changed is the wannabes who think just because they
have a DSLR and some other wannabe printed them a diploma, they can undercut
real Professionals prices. It's not until they get the first letter of
demand on their cards, they realize if you don't charge enough to make a
(seemingly) obscene profit, you won't make enough to replace you camera at
50,000 clicks of using it like a machine gun in the stupid belief you'll get
at least some good pictures if you shoot a couple of thousand!

Most of my brides reserve all their spending money for one portrait and a
hand made album. They rely on the proofs for the rest of their memories. I
haven't seen too many "bright young Photographers" who have grasped the
concept that the first reason for being in business is to make money, much
less be willing to plan and have the ability to create that one portrait



And I thought the music business was a rip. After reading this I now
think I'm lucky to be in the music biz and not trying to take pics for a
living.


  #7  
Old December 6th 05, 12:03 AM posted to rec.photo.digital.slr-systems,rec.photo.equipment.35mm
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Do you make a living as a wedding photographer?

In article .com,
says...
I've always wanted to go into divorce photography....


Now that's a plan! Have your office right next door to a tattoo removal
place.




wrote:
In article ,
p says...


"DD" wrote in message
...
I'm interested in hearing from people around the world on their thoughts
regarding choosing wedding photography as a vocation. If you could take
a moment to answer these questions, I would be most appreciative of your
input.

You can't be serious, Dallas.
Do you really expect anyone to tell you this sort of information about their
business?

For every 100 people with cameras who call themselves "Wedding
Photographers" there are about 8 who actually are. Of those 8, maybe 2,
actually make their living doing it without needing to have their spouse go
to work to support them or have their "real" business fund the pretend one.
How many "Wedding Photographers" do you know who have a barn full of props
for when the weather turns fowl or the ceremony is overrun by gate crashers?
For that matter, how many do you know with a wedding garden where they can
control the lighting for beautiful portraits? Maybe a private jetty for
those sunset shots over water? hmm? Money Dallas, it separates those who do
from those who want. You only get it by charging prices that look like an
exercise in algebra!

There would be no other business in the world where so many participants
have so few qualifications and credit card balances that look like serial
numbers to fund the purchase of the next flavour of the month camera and
still try to claim they are somehow "Professional Photographers". When I
obtained my qualifications, I served an apprenticeship for 7 years and got a
piece of paper in 1962 proclaiming I was a "tradesman Photographer". I also
got fired because I then qualified for full pay rates. I stole my ex boss's
booking diary and proceeded to undercut him on price for the next 2 years.
Then I sold my camera to pay the rent because I just learnt the first lesson
of business. - It's not about getting work, it's about money and getting
paid.

The only thing that has changed is the wannabes who think just because they
have a DSLR and some other wannabe printed them a diploma, they can undercut
real Professionals prices. It's not until they get the first letter of
demand on their cards, they realize if you don't charge enough to make a
(seemingly) obscene profit, you won't make enough to replace you camera at
50,000 clicks of using it like a machine gun in the stupid belief you'll get
at least some good pictures if you shoot a couple of thousand!

  #8  
Old December 6th 05, 12:08 AM posted to rec.photo.digital.slr-systems,rec.photo.equipment.35mm
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Do you make a living as a wedding photographer?

BigPix wrote:
snip
Then I sold my camera to pay the rent because I just learnt the

first lesson
of business. - It's not about getting work, it's about money and getting
paid.

The only thing that has changed is the wannabes who think just because they
have a DSLR and some other wannabe printed them a diploma, they can undercut
real Professionals prices. It's not until they get the first letter of
demand on their cards, they realize if you don't charge enough to make a
(seemingly) obscene profit, you won't make enough to replace you camera at
50,000 clicks of using it like a machine gun in the stupid belief you'll get
at least some good pictures if you shoot a couple of thousand!

Most of my brides reserve all their spending money for one portrait and a
hand made album. They rely on the proofs for the rest of their memories. I
haven't seen too many "bright young Photographers" who have grasped the
concept that the first reason for being in business is to make money, much
less be willing to plan and have the ability to create that one portrait
which sells for twice the price of the whole wedding.


A bit bitter about the whole thing are we?

Scott

  #10  
Old December 6th 05, 12:33 AM posted to rec.photo.digital.slr-systems,rec.photo.equipment.35mm
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Do you make a living as a wedding photographer?

This post should be required reading for anyone considering photography as
their sole source of income. This, I believe, was written by someone who has
actually seen just how completely impossible it's becoming to earn a living
whilst holding a camera. BigPix, whoever you are, thanks for the words of
wisdom.

Rob

---------------------------

"BigPix" wrote ...

You can't be serious, Dallas.
Do you really expect anyone to tell you this sort of information about
their business?

For every 100 people with cameras who call themselves "Wedding
Photographers" there are about 8 who actually are...



 




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