If you haven't read Part 1 of this Guide, please scroll down to the post immediately bellow this one, and read it first.
Now I should say something about my fees. My basic fee is $3,000. That includes a $1,000 print credit. Sometimes, a couple will ask what they get for the $1,000. I tell them that I don’t know – I haven’t even taken the pictures, yet. I say that with a smile. The truth is, until the bride sees the images, she doesn’t know what she wants – and I will go into that more deeply when we discuss albums.
If pressed, I will tell them that it includes a 20-page, magazine-style, flush-mount album. That’s not what I want them to end up with, but I can nicely tell the story of their wedding and produce a 20-page, 10x10 inch album for about $180-$350. The money represents my hard costs – what it costs me to have the album printed. It doesn’t consider my design talents, nor my time.
OK, let’s break down my fees. With $2,000 towards the shooting fee, I make $250/hour at an eight-hour wedding. Some jobs are longer and some are shorter. I don’t care. I am only booking one wedding that day and will give them as much time as is necessary to tell their wedding day story.
Another $1,000 is a print credit. If my hard costs are $250, I have $750 available to cover my time. I can layout a typical 20-page album in about three hours. That’s $250 an hour.
So – you see where I am: About $250 an hour for the shooting time and basic album. Now, that’s not what I want to make -- $3,000. I want to make about $5,000 from each wedding – and I can consistently do that. I will show you how.
Before we go on, let me tell you that the numbers are not important. What I will show you will work in any area, city, state, or country. The numbers may be higher or lower, for you, depending on your talent, experience, and local economy, but the principles will still apply. Whatever you are currently making, from each wedding, you can expect to nearly double that, or more – and you will be able to do it with the same type of clients that you currently have.
If you are charging $600, expect to make $1,200-$1,500 from your very next wedding – while still charging $600. PLEASE don’t charge $600. The kid next-door, who just bought a DSLR, last week, can do that. If you intend to do a good to great job of telling your couple’s wedding story, don’t lessen its perceived value by shooting and burning a CD and charging $600!
There are several key elements in this process. The first is album pre-design. I’ll have a special article on album pre-design, soon.
Back to what you charge: I assume that you are working in a developed country. If you in a developing country, then you will have to be guided by local economics. However, the process will not change. Do what I will teach you, and you will double your wedding income – or better.
If you charge more, or if you do destination weddings, you will also be able to double or better your wedding income.
Remember – they first important factor is album pre-design. We'll talk more about this, soon.