October 25, 2014, 05:35:24 AM

Author Topic: The Bride chose my images instead of the photographer, how much should I charge?  (Read 17879 times)

jdramirez

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Usually in this case the second photog is paid a set amount.

Is that the norm for a photographer who's never shot a wedding?

If to are working with a professional, they should have that all worked out in advance.  So whether the pay is $200 or $1, the role needs to be determined in advance.
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neuroanatomist

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This will rile a lot of people up, but you should sell them at the prices you are looking for, you sent him images and he liked them ao you know the shots are good.  I would ignore all the protectionist bull that has been spouted in this thread, the bride likes your stuff so sell it to them and move on.

Fats...I'm not impressed with your views on professionalism and integrity.

There is no way that the "oral agreement" between the OP and wedding pro included having the OP sell his photos to the bride, thereby undermining the wedding pro, and probably adding insult to the injury.

So taking the course of action that you suggest would be lacking in professionalism and integrity.  IMO

+1 - he's certainly no one with whom I'd have business dealings.  Maybe next time he could recommend a more expedient course of action, like stealing one of the pro's lenses as a 'reward'.  Take the lens and run, take the money and run...what's the difference?   ::)
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Joe M

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Hi everyone,

How much do you think should I charge them for about 30-40 photos, retouching and the time spend at the wedding?


Nothing.  You don't have the right to sell them.  You might have the right to give them away for free.  End of dilemma.  Of course all said not knowing the copyright issues in your country.  I will assume they are the same or similar to mine in Canada.   
In any case, I doubt you'll be invited to come along to any more weddings by that photographer (if you sell them and maybe even if you give them away for free).  I myself am very leery of taking on shadows.  If I do, I make it very clear at the onset as to who is in charge and who owns what along with rights.  I always work with an assistant/second shooter and am lucky enough to have two backups in case of illnesses who know how things are. 

And finally, that all said, your "pay" is the experience garnered by attending this wedding.  Your "pay" is the knowledge that this bride thought enough of your 30 pics to think they are worth buying.  You might want to just sit at home and feel good about that and be happy with it.  You now have a few pics likely worthy to be added to a growing portfolio and when you finally start up for yourself, you'll have something to show potential clients as opposed to many who start up with a blank page of "weddings I've done" on their website.  This is an investment in your future and you ought to resist the temptation to grab a few bucks now and endanger a career of making money. 

kphoto99

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Hi everyone,

About a month ago I contacted a photographer because I wanted to get into the wedding business.
He accepted my request and he took me with him to a wedding, now:

The Bride called my up a week ago telling me that she didn't like the photographer images and she asked to have a look at my photographs instead.

I set up a gallery for her and she contacted my back very excited and happy about my work, making me so happy as well.

Photographers say that you have to know your client to work out a price, well I don't know how much their budget was but they hired a Limousine and a Cadillac for their wedding, this is what I've seen.

How much do you think should I charge them for about 30-40 photos, retouching and the time spend at the wedding?

I was thinking between $500 - $600 (Australia)

Thank you

(By the way I didn't get paid by the photographer and he didn't tell me the client tried to get in contact with me)

Why would the client tried to get in contact with you without seeing your photos first?

You are asking us how much you should charge. The best person to tell you this is the original photographer. He knows the market and he knows the client.
One big lesson that you should learn from this is how much to charge, this is the most important information you can get out of this experience. Even if the PRO does not want to share any money with you, but you know what is the right amount to charge for your local market you will come out ahead in the future.

As far as the number you proposed ($600/40), that is $15 per picture, it sure does not sound like you value your time much.

Dukinald

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Looks like the op has already made up his mind selling his photos. It also looks/sounds like all of this is being done behind the contracted photographer's back.

If I had asked someone for a favor the least I can do is return it (even 2 folds).  All the previous posters have shared valuable experience to you. You may or may not follow them but you've been warned.

As far as the price, it seems you're asking price is too low for 40 post processed pictures.
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photonius

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I haven't made a living by photography in a very long time (I find more joy in being a hobby shooter) but it seems to me that you were present at the wedding as a guest of the contracted photographer for a learning experience.  I sense an ethical dilemma in "poaching" sales even though the bride preferred your shots.  In fact, I would have turned down her request to view them.  If you had been a guest of the bride or groom at the wedding then I wouldn't see the same problem.

I agree. This is an ethics problem.

You are going to have to chalk this up to being a learning experience... if you are doing a job, find out what your responsibilities are beforehand and who your images belong to....

There are two big questions here that will decide your actions:

1) Do the images that you shot belong to you, or do they belong to the event photographer?
2) Will you be taking money away from the event photographer? Should you be sharing the revenue from any extra work with them, and in what proportion?

In the end... the bride MUST get the pictures, regardless of who she has to pay or even if it is free. The last thing you want is to have your name attached to an angry bride who has been denied pictures of her wedding day. This will create a situation that can destroy any good will and reputation that you are trying to build... even if you have to give them away for free, chalk it up to good marketing....

Right, the last thing you want to do is deny the photos to the bridge, that would just be atrocious

danski0224

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Hi everyone,

About a month ago I contacted a photographer because I wanted to get into the wedding business.
He accepted my request and he took me with him to a wedding, now:

The Bride called my up a week ago telling me that she didn't like the photographer images and she asked to have a look at my photographs instead.

I set up a gallery for her and she contacted my back very excited and happy about my work, making me so happy as well.

Photographers say that you have to know your client to work out a price, well I don't know how much their budget was but they hired a Limousine and a Cadillac for their wedding, this is what I've seen.

How much do you think should I charge them for about 30-40 photos, retouching and the time spend at the wedding?

I was thinking between $500 - $600 (Australia)

Thank you

(By the way I didn't get paid by the photographer and he didn't tell me the client tried to get in contact with me)

Lots of replies to go through (and I haven't) so here are my thoughts.

You are way out of line to sell those images to the client directly, if there was no written or oral agreement in place beforehand.

At a minimum, you need to sit down with the person that took you to his/her event and straighten this out.

Best case, the prime photographer will not care and will allow you to do business with the client. I'd certainly ask about paying a commission.

Worst case is the client is looking to save some dough through using your photos.

Somewhere in the middle is the prime photographer asking for those images and possibly paying you a bit.

Don't think, even for a minute, that the prime photographer won't find out if you sell to his/her client as a sidejob. The client will probably brag about how much "cheaper" you were.
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Orangutan

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all the protectionist bull

Please explain how it is "protectionist" to honor an agreement.

Badger

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Wow! Lots of opinions on this! There might even be some subtleties that we may be missing so, here comes my opinion.

To the OP, do the right thing, and keep your conscience clear. Do what you will, in the light of day. Talk to the Pro who let you tag along. What are his/her thoughts on the situation? If the pro is cool with it, then, you have no issues. If the pro suggests a price, honor that. If the pro requests a percentage cut, honor that too. If the pro ultimately objects to you billing for the pictures, then provide the service free to the bride, or, give the RAW files to the pro and let him/her process them as you did with the 40 or so shots you already provided.

This way, you can sleep at night  :)
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unfocused

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First, let me say that I'm impressed by the forum community. About five pages of comments and only one person suggesting he take the money and run.

First of all I'm a portrait photographer and I've got experience...Second I didn't sign any contract with him and he told me that I could post the photos on my website.

Okay, let's take your second point first – you had an oral agreement with the photographer that you could post the photos on your website. So, that was your contract.

There was no agreement that you could sell the photos. Only an agreement that you could post your photos on your website. Anything beyond that, you are obligated to discuss and renegotiate with the photographer. It may not hold up in a court, but it is a contract and you should honor it.

Now, to your first point. Do you, as a portrait photographer, allow other photographers to accompany you when you shoot portraits? If you do, do you allow them to sell their photographs to the clients?

This is clear cut. There is no grey area here. I agree with virtually everyone else who has weighed in. Your first responsibility is to the other photographer. You are trying to rationalize unethical behavior because your ego has been flattered. Your first mistake was even talking to the bride without going through the photographer. That should have never happened.

If you had just told her that you were there with the other photographer and that all pictures would need to be ordered through him, that would have prevented a lot of grief for everyone involved. Now, the situation has been hopelessly confused and, frankly, there is probably little you can do at this point to make amends to the photographer who was kind enough to take you along. Still, you should try.
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This would be an interesting conversation to watch (and pretty loud too I suspect) if we were all in a bar drinking beer together.  (Slurp!)   :)

Seems like there are basically 2 sides to the answer...

-  Be selfish, sideline the pro and charge $$ (LOW ROAD)
-  Be ethical, support the pro and charge 0 (HIGH ROAD)

In both scenarios, the OP still walks away with the same wedding experience gained on the day.  How much more does he expect to gain?  The answer to that question really comes down to his ethics, scruples and conscience.         I know what I would do and it's clear what many on this forum would do.

If it were me, I would be honored, extremely humble and appreciative if any professional of any craft were willing to jeopardize their livelihood by having my inept and inexperienced greenhorn ass in their way while they are trying to make a living.  If I turned out to be an asset, wonderful for everyone.  But the risk that I slow things down or disrupt the rhythm is high and so I don't expect compensation.  I just want to learn and I would be grateful for that chance.  Pay me later when I deserve it and that is up to the pro who is putting up with my sorry ass.

Just MHO!
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Sporgon

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I would say that wedding photography is more about organisation and relationships towards the subjects than pressing the shutter, especially so with digital and TTL flash.

I learned this lesson while pressing the shutter, and also while reviewing my photos later.  What did I miss that I could have gotten?  What views/angles worked?  How could I have positioned myself better?  Which guests should I have made a point to photograph better?  (the primary photog typically followed the bride, it was my job to make sure all the guests were in the final set of images, and to fill in the scenery he couldn't get)

That is undoubtably true; you're looking to improve your photography. Beingrequired to produce the professional results as the photographer and it's your sole responsibility to make it happen is a different thing altogether.

From your post I guess you have never been soley responsible for the successful photographic production of the 'big day'.

No, working as second only.  My response was to your suggestion that a new photographer be an assistant only at first, and not take any photos.  I felt I was able to get a sense of the organization and relationships while clicking the shutter as second-shooter.  I would not want to be the primary person responsible while going through that learning process, that's one reason I think the OP needs to keep on good terms with his local pro community: he still has some learning ahead.

I think we are at slight cross purposes. The OP is claiming to be a portrait photographer; the innuendo is that he is experienced. I was referring to someone who is looking to fast track into the wedding procedure rather than someone who is learning photography as they go along.

Badger

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Here is a slight twist on the question. Many of you have weighed in on what the OP should do in response to his question.

If you are a pro, and someone who tagged along with you on a shot to learn from you actually approached you afterwards with the OPs dilemma, but in this case, he deferred to your decision. What would you do or tell your apprentice?

Just curious.
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privatebydesign

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Here is a slight twist on the question. Many of you have weighed in on what the OP should do in response to his question.

If you are a pro, and someone who tagged along with you on a shot to learn from you actually approached you afterwards with the OPs dilemma, but in this case, he deferred to your decision. What would you do or tell your apprentice?

Just curious.

I would have downloaded all his files initially, before we parted the day of the wedding, most of the time seconds use my cards to negate issues like this.

However, if he came to me in this situation as it is, I'd give him credit for it, if the bride hated my images and liked his, I'd sell her his (as part of my contract to her) and pay him enough to make him happy (for saving my butt), but also make quite clear that what he did was wrong and why it was wrong, but I'd also encourage him to second again, I have had the best luck with second shooters that take different types of images to me and the two obviously covered the bases.
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Orangutan

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If you are a pro, and someone who tagged along with you on a shot to learn from you actually approached you afterwards with the OPs dilemma, but in this case, he deferred to your decision. What would you do or tell your apprentice?

It depends on what I thought our agreement had been, and how I made my money.  If I make my money with prints, I would expect that the assistant would not undermine me.  Of course, I would also be clear about having him hand over the raw files when we left the location, and I'd be particularly careful with an experienced portrait photographer.  Getting a few print-worthy photos at a wedding is not that hard; what's hard is getting a comprehensive set of high-quality photos that tells the story of the day.  If I make money on prints and have a pro portrait photographer in-tow, I'm thinking this guy's gonna have a small number of *really* good shots at the end of the day, and $$$$.


On the other hand, if I made my money on the location fee alone (e.g. handing over all decent photos on DVD after PP) then I wouldn't care.   

It's all about advance communication and agreement.

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