by Phil Jones Published 09/09/2010
Perhaps the most difficult decision a photographer has to make is what to charge for any given product and service, with weddings possibly being the trickiest one of them all to determine.
Routinely photographers will ascertain what their local competitors are charging and then opt to match the price, however this can be somewhat of an impetuous decision. Consider if 'they' have actually determined the costs of providing the service, more often the answer is that they have not.
While remaining competitive is very important there are many other factors to take into consideration.
Lets look at some of the costs associated with wedding photography - these will include:
Top of the range professional reliable equipment, cameras, computers and printers
Training to provide the best possible product and service
Marketing to gain the bookings
Suitable transportation, no one appreciates the photographer turning up on the day in a clapped out old banger!
Proper attire - it is essential that the photographer remains well turned out at each wedding and with the additional wear on tear on clothing this usually results in frequent replacements.
A suitable environment to meet the customers to book the wedding, show previews and present the finished product. This will include lighting and heating
The photographer's personal time in meeting the customers to plan the wedding, taking the wedding images and postproduction.
Stationary and printing costs
The costs of raw materials such as the albums and printing
It is a worthwhile exercise in plotting these expenses on a spreadsheet, as more often than not the results are much higher than first envisaged.
Do keep in mind that many customers go for middle of the range prices, so make sure that you have a high top price to enable customers to come down to what you consider your best selling service.
And finally: Don't just try to compete on price, but be innovative in your services and presentations. Attending seminars and workshops will give you new ideas and inspirations.
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