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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

More on Photography

Ok, here's what I charge for various and sundry jobs.

1. I arrive at the start of wedding and stay until the cutting of the cake. I deliver a disk to the bride and groom $1000.
2. I come to the bride's house, shoot her getting ready for the wedding, shoot the wedding and the entire reception, create a mini website for her to look at, and hand over the disk.  I also give her some tips on putting together an album. $1500
3.  I do all of the above, plus the bride gets a really pretty Art Leather album.  $3000. The album will probably cost me somewhere around $1000 to print and have bound. 

When I shoot a wedding, if the bride wants me to, I will take all of those arty shots that some of them seem to want. For the most part it's a ten hour day, plus a week or two of post processing.

I get paid up front.  I don't take the first picture until the check is in my hand.  I used to do it, a third when they booked,  a third before the wedding and the final third when I delivered the album.  But it's too easy to find reasons not to pay the photographer. The caterer, reception site, wedding gown sellers, DJ's  ect. get paid up front and so should you.

Horse and rider, $250 to $500 depending.  Once again, I give them a disk and recommend some really good printers.  You'd be surprised  how many people are satisfied getting their pictures printed at Wal Mart or Ritz. I can't compete with their prices, so I don't even try.

Family Photos - the same as horse and rider.

Processing tools you will need to have and know how to use.

1.  Photoshop - the full blown photoshop, because you are going to use the RAW setting on your camera for every job you shoot and you will need to be able to use actions. Once you bite the bullet, the updates aren't all that expensive.
2.  Power Retouche Pro's sharpening filter, it's the best I've seen.  What a difference.
3.  The Craig's action set that has Porcelain Skin.  I bought it so long ago, I can't remember which one it was. It's  called something like the Glamour set.  When you use that action and then reduce the opacity of the layer to around 25%, you get what I like to call "the magazine look."  People love it.

You will need a monitor callibration tool.  I like Spyder. What you see on your monitor has to be what they will get at the printer.

Oh yes, if you are unsure about how to use Photoshop, I recomend the book Photoshop for Digital Photographers by Scott Kelby.  He also has a book for those digital photographers who use Elements. It will tell you exactly how to do what you want to do.

If anybody needs any help, just let me know and I'd be happy to help you in any way I can

PS:  I have shot weddings for $500 and family photos for $25, when I knew the people were deserving and they didn't have any money.


  1. Thanks for the info. I read a book that recommended that I order the prints myself to assure that they are good quality and make me look good. However, considering the various problems I've had with printers, it would be easier to offer a disk.

    Could you do something on marketing? I had ads out in various local and regional magazines, have my business card in every store and business related to pets, talk to everyone I meet about my business, have magnets on my truck advertising my business, and am on Facebook as well as dozens of Internet directories for photographers, and I have yet to receive my first serious inquiry.

  2. I would be a nervous wreck if I were to be "in charge" of the photos at a wedding...more nervous than the groom!!! I'll check out the book on Elements. Thanks!

  3. That is very helpful information. Thank you soooo much. I am a push OVER! I let people blow me off for payment - and that's got to stop. I also am not charging enough to cover my costs, I knew this already but seeing your prices helps me feel better about uping my own. Sigh....

    I haven't tried or been interested in doing horse and rider shots, I think I could, I have the techniques down to do it - I just don't know if that's something I want to take on right now.

    Since in my past life I was a Graphic Designer and when I graduated I was only one project away from a Community College Degree dual degree in Photography too... I am all set up with editing tools and I long ago re-calibrated my monitor for photographs work instead of graphic work. Slightly different printing process.

    I too don't bother to print my own. Everyone is happy with Costco or Walmart so I just make sure what they see on the screen is what they see when the prints come back.

    Ok - Let me ask you this, when you do a wedding, say for the $1000 package, do you have a "standard set" of pictures you take? Ex: Bridesmaids Group Shot, Wedding Party Group Shot, all the basic stuff? And your clients know this - so when they get the pictures back there is no whining? I noticed you said you didn't do the artsy shots till the more expensive package....

  4. how odd, what happened to my comment? It was there and now gone...

  5. I do whatever the bride wants no matter what the package. Most of the brides who chose the cheaper packages are too afraid and the grooms won't cooperate. I do whatever they want. I show them some glamour shots and I tell them to practice them so they won't feel stupid on the wedding day. I discuss with them a head of time what they want, so I know. It does change at the last minute. Most brides don't want the family lineup, but some do. I try to give the cheaper packages the same thing I give the bridezilla's who are willing to pay. It's all on the fly. I wish I could give you some guidelines. I'll think about it and tell you what most them in this area, no matter what the package want.

  6. Thanks on the book info. I will have to get one.