« on: August 10, 2012, 10:26:00 PM »
FWIW, in Brisbane, Australia, most photographers seem to be around $2000 - $3000 (but of course, some are quoting $15k+). Generally the price includes a few planning meetings, pictures of the bride and bridesmaids before the event, arriving early to get some pictures of the groom and groomsmen, the ceremony, after ceremony photos at a nice location, and early parts of the reception. Then, I guess, there is all of the post production work. When you think about the work involved, the price seems very reasonable.
How do I know about local pricing? Well, my sister in law has just got engaged. And she's a bit short of money. She's asked if I'll DIFF. Having never done anything like this before, I just know it will be a FWIGTEW! But, with about a year to plan, maybe I can do something that won't disappoint her too much and she'll still speak with me. But I'm hoping to meet someone local who will do it for $399 as part of building a portfolio and that can be their wedding present! Any volunteers?
Ok, back on topic. Pricing anything is difficult. If you don't "need" the extra income, I'd be tempted to put your pricing at the higher end of the average range. What's the point of doing it if you're not getting a reasonable return on your time and investment in equipment? Surely, you're not putting yourself through all of the stress just for fun? Charging a higher amounts means that you can spend the time to plan things properly. Rather than running around to two jobs every weekend, you could do one per fortnight and do it well. You're clients will think you are awesome.
Competing with lower cost providers is never easy. You just have to become good at sowing the seeds of doubt and uncertainty in people's mind. Where are the cheaper people skimping? What steps aren't they doing? Are they using professional equipment? Do they have assistants, backup cameras etc etc. Are they just people looking for extra cash, or do they really care about wedding photography and take their role in the bride's most important day seriously? Ultimately, you want people to conclude that if you are charging more than other people, you must be better. And everyone knows that you get what you pay for.
Agree totally about not wanting to do printing. But, I'd at least consider an "extra optional services" guide for your customers. On this, you would offer prints and enlargements, canvas mounts, albums, labelled DVDs with slideshows for guests etc etc. Because you don't want to do it, these would be priced with a significant profit margin. And you'll make it clear that you'll be providing all of the photos for them to do it themselves anyway. But done properly, you can get a reasonable return on your time. If clients ask why they should pay more for you to do it, you just mention things like retouching for colour matching, consistency, supervised print quality, artistic flair, professional printing equipment etc etc. If they're happy to pay for it, great! If they choose to do it themselves, you're not really losing anything.