« on: December 23, 2013, 07:43:48 PM »
There are lots of price points in the market. If a customer isn't offering what you're worth then politely decline.
I think that's mostly where I stand on this discussion. I'm no Professional Wedding Photographer. I'm the guy that friends want to ask to shoot their weddings (usually for free). While at my current skill level I would never dream of charging $3000 for a wedding, I think "free" for anyone not joined to me at the hip would be grossly underselling myself (and very presumptuous). Don't get me wrong, I have shot several of my friends weddings for "free" (and to gain experience), but in general, I've always felt that they got the better end of the deal.
I can see and agree with both sides. Customers want the best value. Photographers want fair compensation for their work... and for most, their work doesn't end after the dancing stops, the lights go out, and the decorations come down.
Lately, I've been declining to shoot as the sole or main photographer at friends' weddings. I don't want the pressure- I just want to enjoy the day like a regular guest. Of the probably 10 weddings I've shot, only one I can think of has ever paid me for it.
As a photographer who knows that some good photos are luck, but consistent good photos are skill, I tend to side with the photographer charging what they believe their skill is worth. If the customer doesn't believe you're worth your price tag, I'm sure there are plenty suckers like me (friends, relatives, etc) that will shoot for "experience." In some cases it's legit to complain about the prices photographers charge, but in most cases, it's best to just find someone that fits your price point for the quality you're willing to accept.