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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old September 5th, 2007, 01:59 PM   #1
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Wedding in Jamaica

I've been asked to shoot a wedding in Jamaica. What is the proper protocol for this? Should I expect the bride and groom pay for my travel to and from or do I just include that into my price? I now it's kind of vague but I'm in a hurry..

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Old September 5th, 2007, 02:06 PM   #2
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I charge travel fees for weddings out of state but I generally eat some of the cost if it's a place like Jamaica.
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Old September 5th, 2007, 02:14 PM   #3
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When I first got into the business. A guy from Ireland wanted me to fly over there and shoot their wedding. I hadn't even shot a wedding yet, but he was willing to pay more for traveling cost than the actual cost for me shooting the wedding. It all seemed kind "Hostel-ish" so I turned it down and told him he should be able to find someone in Ireland. He found me in an ad I posted in Craigslist for the SF Bay Area. Weird.
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Old September 6th, 2007, 01:20 PM   #4
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I got several of those

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Originally Posted by Sean Johnson View Post
When I first got into the business. A guy from Ireland wanted me to fly over there and shoot their wedding. I hadn't even shot a wedding yet, but he was willing to pay more for traveling cost than the actual cost for me shooting the wedding. It all seemed kind "Hostel-ish" so I turned it down and told him he should be able to find someone in Ireland. He found me in an ad I posted in Craigslist for the SF Bay Area. Weird.
This spring I had at least 2-3 of those fishy sounding requests. One was New York and I can't remember the others. So I did about 3 hours of research for all the expenses. I totaled up flight costs, cab rides, 2 days hotel for two people (me and assistant), food expenses, etc etc etc. My end price was astronomical because of all that, but I forwarded that on over and never heard from him. :-)

So if someone in NY booked a wedding from a client wanting to pay with a cashiers check with foreign B&G, then you can thank (or curse) me. Depending on the outcome.

I smelled a rat instantly, but I went through with the preliminary planning as a good mental exercise. My post regarding that incident is here.
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Old September 6th, 2007, 01:24 PM   #5
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More scams here

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Originally Posted by Sean Johnson View Post
When I first got into the business. A guy from Ireland wanted me to fly over there and shoot their wedding. I hadn't even shot a wedding yet, but he was willing to pay more for traveling cost than the actual cost for me shooting the wedding. It all seemed kind "Hostel-ish" so I turned it down and told him he should be able to find someone in Ireland. He found me in an ad I posted in Craigslist for the SF Bay Area. Weird.
I did some searching on dvinfo.net and found some other scam threads, this one by Mark VL (who if you don't know, should be someone to listen to).
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Old September 6th, 2007, 01:46 PM   #6
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I never really considered this a scam because the woman who contacted me was a referral from a previous customer. She has offered to pay for mine and my wife's (who is my assistant) flight and room for two days in the resort where the wedding will be at. We will probably add two days on to it and make a vacation out of it. I really haven't decided on what to charge her as of yet. The people who referred me to her told her what they paid which was fairly cheap. Come to think of it, if she pays for the travel expenses, I might not charge her that much..

Does anyone know if customs will charge me for bringing my cameras into their country..
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Old September 6th, 2007, 04:48 PM   #7
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Personal Referral

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Originally Posted by Greg Patch View Post
I never really considered this a scam because the woman who contacted me was a referral from a previous customer. She has offered to pay for mine and my wife's (who is my assistant) flight and room for two days in the resort where the wedding will be at. We will probably add two days on to it and make a vacation out of it. I really haven't decided on what to charge her as of yet. The people who referred me to her told her what they paid which was fairly cheap. Come to think of it, if she pays for the travel expenses, I might not charge her that much..

Does anyone know if customs will charge me for bringing my cameras into their country..
Well then that completely changes my thoughts on the matter. Go for the free travel and stay a few extra days. Onl major risk there is that your gear & the footage on tape will be floating in possible danger (damage, loss, thieves) while you are vacationing. Might be able to just FedEx the tapes and gear back so ou don't have to worry about them while relaxing.
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Old September 6th, 2007, 05:44 PM   #8
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My wife and I have gone through this process before. We always ask that travel costs be covered in full, and we don't reduce our regular rates at all simply because it's a destination wedding. Think of it this way, if you don't book that wedding, you'll probably book one locally and get paid the full amount, so why charge any less? You might suggest charging less because it's Jamaica, and it'll be like a vacation, but in my experience destination weddings are MORE work than a local wedding. Fun, but more work. Hope that insight helps.
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Old September 6th, 2007, 09:50 PM   #9
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I agree. Why charge less because it's going to be a fun time in Jamacia?
I've done a number of destination corpaorate jobs where they pay the full boat of expenses for me and my "assistant" (wife for these trips-try explaining to her that YOU'RE going to Hawaii for 9 days to do a corp job and she's NOT going-good luck with that). I charge my normal day rate for the days of shooting, 1/2 rate for each travel day (for me not my "assistant" can't get too greedy you know) They pay for transportation, hotel, per diem, rental car. Again though as sweet as the deal has been over the years (3 trips to Hawaii, 1 cruise, 1 trip to Cancun, 1 to Scottsdale,and many other places around the country) they always pay my going rate never less nor would they expect to. I've been doing their work for 15 years and they know and expect to pay for it. Why shouldn't someone you're going to go out of town to shoot a wedding do the same.
they will if they want you to do the job. I've done it. did a wedding in Little Rock a couple of years ago, they paid EVERYTHING for me and 1 other guy. Transportation, hotel, per diem and paid full price for the wedding.
Bottom Line, Don't sell yourself short.
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Old September 7th, 2007, 12:56 PM   #10
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I lived in Jamaica for two years, so if you have any questions about the island let me know. I can suggest some places to go if you are going to add a few extra days. Which resort and in what city would the wedding be?

I'd throw in with the other voices here that say you shouldn't sell yourself short. Charge your regular rate and make sure your travel expenses are covered. If they like you that much then they'll certainly pay. In terms of customs I never took any equipment down there with me. I did have to pay duty on all packages that came into the country. I'll try to contact some of my friends and see if they know anything about it.
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