Recently there have been a rash of responses to a woman in Seattle seeking a wedding photographer via Craigslist. Might not be the typical way of finding a wedding photographer, but I suppose it could work...if you went about it in a sane manner, which unfortunately, she did not.
ATTN: Wedding Photographers
I am a Bride who is getting married this summer and have yet to find a decently priced, exceptional, amazingly talented, fun photographer.
WHY because the word “WEDDING” is involved photographers think they can change you $ 3,000.00 for wedding photos? Oh, because no bride is going to go without so they are going to pay it, because they HAVE to. They are ripping people off for all they have! Why when you want to get married it costs you AT LEAST 15 grand after all is said-and-done? Its such CRAP!! I love all you $ 3,000.00 photographers out there but i think your prices are WACK. All your doing is hanging out at a wedding taking tons of photos and editing them.. and thats owrth 3 GRAND!!! You’re making so much money its crazy. I just wish people would be more realistic. I mean the “average” persons salary for 1 freaking month is somewhere around 3 grand. (Thats making 19$ an hour) So you’re going to take someones WHOLE MONTH paycheck for one flippen day of photos? Just because you CAN!!?????? So that maybe they will not be able to feed themselves or pay any other bills they have, right? It makes me SICK!
I know im speaking for more than just myself right now. Alot of brides out there think the same thing. & I bet all you fancy photographers wont even read this. oh-well.
Maybe there are cheaper photographers that will read this and LOVE to take my photos
I'm not going to write my own response, because I am not primarily a wedding photographer. I am going to share some of the better responses I have seen to this ridiculous post. And it is ridiculous. I usually try not to bad mouth anyone for their thoughts and opinions, but this woman is clearly speaking without having a knowledge base to draw from.
Kristen Booth's response is flooding facebook among my photographer contacts today, and with good reason. It get the point across in a well written manner, but it's also quite funny to read.
Read Kristen's full response here. It's worth scrolling down to the comments and reading Lacy Dagerath's post there. She sent the Craigslist bride an response giving her the cost rundown of wedding photography.
Mike Picnic, editor of Randomn3ss.com, has been down the Wedding photographer craigslist post rant before, and does it with a tongue in cheek response, that gets the point across without question.
I love all you $ 3,000.00 photographers out there but i think your prices are WACK. All your doing is hanging out at a wedding taking tons of photos and editing them.. and thats owrth 3 GRAND!!! You’re making so much money its crazy. I just wish people would be more realistic.
Thanks for the love, can never have enough of that. Now, I’m not going to argue the $3,000.00 figure you keep because that’s somewhat dependent on where you live, you’d be lucky to find a photographer in New York City for that much and in Po-Dunk, Anywhere it might be three times the going rate, so for this we shall stick to it. We don’t hang out. We run a business. A business that has overhead, such as insurance, gear upkeep and maintenance, transportation, advertising, web design and deployment, brochures, sample books, etc. All at a cost. While most wedding photographers don’t have the overhead of an actual storefront, they still incur costs in their home / home offices such as lines for fax machines, Internet, computers, etc. Also, there is no W-2 form when you are a sole owner or LLC, this means you need to pay taxes in most states quarterly, most photographers off-load this to an accountant, an added cost. There are no paid sick days, vacation days, personal or doctor days, those are luxuries not afforded to a wedding photographer. Likewise, business hours are virtually every hour of every day. There is no show up at 8am, take lunch from 12:30-1:30 and leave at 5pm, it’s in your best interest to answer phone calls at 8pm while you’re enjoying a movie with your family or reply to emails at 1am, so the client always feels their wedding is the most important in the world.
Nikki Wagner's approach to answering this ridiculous add was to make a full run down of the costs involved, and fully admits that her prices probably aren't as high as they should be to be making a profit at the end of the year.
My wedding prices aren't this well thought out I'm afraid.Mine are based on number of hours shooting, number of hours editing (roughly 3-4 / hour shooting), factor in cost of hiring a second shooter if required, factor in cost of goods offered in package (albums, DVD etc, plus packaging for said), small contingency percentage, and there you have it.
So, how NOT to hire a wedding photographer - go online and complain and make broad assumptions on how much money photographers make.