Wedding photographers vastly overpaid at DVinfo.net

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


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Old August 4th, 2006, 02:44 PM   #1
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Wedding photographers vastly overpaid

Sez this engineering Web site:

http://www.engineersalary.com/overpaid.asp
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Old August 4th, 2006, 02:47 PM   #2
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But yet the people complain when a videographer asks for anything close to what a photog charges!
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Old August 4th, 2006, 04:12 PM   #3
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Forget it. I'm heading down to Salt Lake International to become a skycap. =)
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Old August 4th, 2006, 10:08 PM   #4
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Hmmm, yeah I think I want a minimum wage guy flying my airplane too.....
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Old August 5th, 2006, 12:08 AM   #5
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That is a very ignorant article. Doesn't say anything about the promotion needed. the care that must be taken to have fine prints made, insurance, gear, assistant, etc etc. If you get to keep half that 75 grand your doing good.

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Old August 5th, 2006, 01:33 AM   #6
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that article seems like a bunch of garbage. I'm sorry. A wedding video is viewed by many as wedding "extra". No one said that they had to pay a videographer. They opt to.

ALSO, their are videographers that do so well, that B&G will alter their wedding plans just so they can get their video done by that person.

The only wedding videographers I think that are overpaid are the ones that really don't have the talent or desire to do this. They are just really good at running a business and getting clients. They might show a slick promo video, but in return deliver junk.
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Old August 5th, 2006, 03:03 AM   #7
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Hey Tim, you do realize that the article listed wedding photographers, not videographers. I do agree with Mike S. about the article not considering overhead costs. I don't think photographers are overpaid - just that videographers are underpaid. The number of hours spent in post for a wedding video probably exceeds 5x more than what a photog would normally do. Equipment-wise could vary quite a bit. A couple of DSLRs, medium format, L-lenses, etc, could quickly add up to the same amount as 2 or 3 prosumer video cameras.
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Old August 5th, 2006, 09:58 AM   #8
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This article is hilarious! I just posted this in another thread -

I'm on the cusp of getting a DSLR. I'm excited about the prospect of the new Nikon D80. I want to see what that's about before commiting to a camera.

I decided on adding photography because the photographers I've worked with have no aesthetic integrity and imagination. Usually I attach their photos to my DVDs. I'm constantly overwhelmed that the few pics I take with my point-n-shoot, were ALWAYS so much better than the high-priced photog's pics. I always feel a pit of resentment against them for doing a bad job, in less time, and getting paid much more for it. At my last gig, the photog didn't know what to do with the couple, so I stepped in and woke up their poses, their attitudes, and those shots were by faaaar the best shots of the day.

I know what I do well, and what I do not do well. I direct people well. I realized that I'm limiting myself by only offering videography. Financially and creatively.
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Old August 5th, 2006, 10:25 AM   #9
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We had some very good friends get married and they hired a photog for the event. Five of us show up with our still rigs. One of which has several magazine covers to his credits. We all bust out and just start snapping like mad and having fun. Even my lowly D70s set up with my lenses smoked the hired guys rig. He finnaly asked why the couple had hired him with all of us there. He was told "Because we'll be way to drunk to get the reception and they want that part too."
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Old August 5th, 2006, 10:34 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Porter
He finnaly asked why the couple had hired him with all of us there. He was told "Because we'll be way to drunk to get the reception and they want that part too."
Honest, and to the point. What an admirable trait ;)
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Old August 6th, 2006, 01:41 AM   #11
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this has been one of those subjects that not only segregates the "archive" industry as a whole, but also creats bad blood if the attitude goes unchecked.

Ive shot weddings with 10k phtoogs, and 1k photos, and to be honest, theyre a mixed bunch irrespective of how much they charge.
What devalues our service is the precedent previous videogpraphers have set with regard to sales technique, people skills, shooting styles/techniques, demeaner and confidence, edited work, as well as time for edited work to be completed.

Its at THIS time as professionals, we much educate the client in what we do and how we do it.
Its the only way to add value to our product against uncle joe with his handycam. its the only way to bring ourselves up to equal or higher levels than the photgrapher. We MUST make it known HOW much work is invovled in getting a client what they want.

Its up to US to make these changes...

a perfect example is HDV... perfect opportunity to increase teh value of our product, but do we? How many here actually charge $1000 more for HD??
How many here charge over $2500 for a package which covers brides prep through to farewell from teh reception? How many here charge for Image CDRoms?? Hell i dont even charge that... BUT when i walk away with 400 stills from the footage i took, and 3 months later, the couple send me an album of my work i then KNOW i should have charged at least 500 for that...

I kid u not, ive had clients go for $5000 packages to have their day shot in HD simply because they want larger stills... then they skimp on teh phoog coz they know i will at least have a decent number of pics for them...

As for jumping ship, im waiting for the 5d to come down in price before i go for it. Im definately moving to stills simply becuase my own video compositions have ben leached to a point where all the photog seems to be doing is sitting back and snapping away while i do all the work and he then gives his stills and tries to take credit for my compositions.. u might think htis isnt important.. but i guarantee u, whne ur clients shows u their albums, and u u recognise your key signiature shots as stills, THEN to have THAT client turn and tell u that THAT is their fave foto... then u know uve done a good job.. what kills it though, is when they believe the photographer is due that credit.. when in fact theyre not..

Call me stuck up, but ive been at this for long enough to know my work when i see it.. and if someone plans on making money from my ideas, i want a cut in it.. if not, they should at least acknowledge that the shot wasnt their idea... but that wont ever happen... why give up credit when u dont have to?? let the client believe what they like, at least the photog will have a decent shot to use for his folio... but in the end though, its my shot/composition which allows him to contniue his bunsiness and use THAT shot to nail new clients...

Competitive...?? of course.. when u consider how small the videography demand is compared to photogs, then u will learn to appreciate this attitude. Having an edge in the industry is paramount to success.. whether that success be $$ or prestige..

Put it this way, we bought this onto ourselves.. by aloowing ourselves to overly compete with each other, weve bought our prices so low, that weve buried ourselves.

it all comes down to 3 things..

education (inc info provided to client, sales techniques, contracts, etc etc)
execution (equipment used, how its used, demeaner and your character on the actual day, people skills, interelation with other professionals <dj, photog> etc >
termination <Edit style, edit time, Info updates, contract completion, revisions and and finally the finished product itself...>

we all do these 3 things differently and put vaying values on them, but be true to yourselves and to the industry... how much are these 3 things REALLY worth...??
most of us are working between 12 to 20bux an hour...
to be hinest, it might be more worthwhile finding a job as a meat packer and make 25bux a hour...

so with the investment youve made, the skills u have and the time it took to refine your knowledge, the time it takes to meet, shoot, edit and do the accounting for each job... how much would u think its really worth??
Now that u have that answer... are u charging for that worth??
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Old August 7th, 2006, 05:31 AM   #12
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There are tons of videographers who provide bad service (sending one person to film getting ready, one for event, and one for reception...where's the involvement in the day?), really dated/bad quality edits, are bossy, intrusive, etc...

There are photographers the same as well.

People get paid what the market can tolerate and what clients choose based on what they show. To be honest a lot of what most videographers show to brides they don't like...they're nice and hire people anyways because they want something. That's actually how I got into videoing as well as photographing weddings. People kept asking me for someone who wouldn't set up tons of lights, have two or three extra people running around, etc. So I told them at first I'd set up a quality 3CCD camera and do a very basic edit for them for XXX amount. They all jumped for it. Now I offer more, but still keep the cheesy things that will eventually date folks to a minimum and do very basic storytelling. Next year I won't sell under 3K packages for photography (most ranging from 4-6K), and will be upping my video rates as well. Guests and videographers with point and shoots cannot touch what I'm giving the client re: service, quality albums, prints, retouching, etc. It's not just about one snap...it's about the time before and after the wedding, the 500 nailed snaps given and the 1.5K taken...the moments capture, etc.

I won't ever charge 75K for a wedding, but I'm going to start getting up there. I've assisted on 10K+ weddings...they got a lot of product and taxes eating into that by the way. It's more than just snapping pictures that gets you there. It's solid relations all the way through, solid product, salesmanship, etc. It's also being able to transform something that's in the brides mind to print.

Look at the work of [ b ] , huy at F8 studio in Dallas, and some others and tell me if you can do that with your point and shoot.

If you're doing 5K quality work then charge that. If you're not and noones paying bust your butt to make your business better and quit complaining that someone else makes more for something you personally don't value. Make what you do something folks do value and will spend money on. It's not that hard...it just takes work...and I'm not talking about educating them to how much time you spend editing, etc (all that crap that people try to explain to say, "look at the work I'm doing please pay me more".)...it's having stuff in their hands that they can look at and show friends that they feel is of such quality they got you for a steal at 5K...honestly I don't see that kind of quality in most video folks. It's out there for sure....but there's more people pushing over cut, cheesy transition, bad video out there....it's up to you to change peopel's perceptions and you got an uphill battle :)

I'm happy to be doing video now too. I'm not charging what I do for wedding coverage as it's an add on, but I make sure it's something that to the best of my ability they won't look back on and cringe because I'm using star wipes or whatever...and I give them something they value and reflects them and their personality. Plus service long before and long after. Within a couple years I guarantee I'll have video service at the same rates or maybe higher than my photography...unless my shooting for NGO's takes up all my free time...

Paul
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Old August 7th, 2006, 08:07 AM   #13
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In posting this I just thought it was funny more than anything. I don't think it's meant to be taken too seriously. In particular, I find the article's assertion that wedding photographers do unskilled work to be downright ignorant.
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Old August 7th, 2006, 09:50 AM   #14
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Paul, how much time does it take you to create a 4-6k photography package? How much time does it take you to create your video? Also you never stated how much you charged for video? Can you please supply that info?

I trust that you are as good a photog as you say you are, but I can't even begin to tell you how many bad, uncaring photographers I've encountered. You must be an anomaly and that's why your business is great. Congrats!

I agree with you about videographers who use cheezy special effects and corny Enya music. I can't stand that myself, but in their defense I will say they probably have put more thought into their videos than most of the photogs I see just casually snapping away without regard to composition. I find it offensive and lazy.

Also, the thing I believe you're missing in your argumenent is location, location, location. If a photog or videog live in a big city, I think there are less opportunities to charge higher rates, than a business in a smaller town.
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Old August 7th, 2006, 10:41 AM   #15
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I can't believe someone hasn't said this yet. Does anyone realize that this article is on an ENGINEERING website? Better yet, it is a website that helps engineers determine what their salary should be? Of course it is going to poke fun at other industries and how they are "supposedly" overpaid. I don't think that this should be taken as anything more than a fun Internet joke that pokes fun at other industries. Of course it is biased and inaccurate. It's not trying to be anything but that.
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