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Realistic wedding photography in Canberra?

By TailgaterHater - 15 March 2013 81

It seems as soon as one mentions the ‘W’ word – wedding – photographers add a zero to their fee. So here’s the deal – my son and fiance need a photograher for a mid-week wedding later this year. Whilst its easy to talk up and over-sophisticate wedding photography, they simply want  someone to do a good job with the photography and hand over a file at the end – no watermarks, no fee per selection, no ego, etc. I can imagine a few pros shuddering at this already…

Yes getting appropriate shots is important, but the 4 figure prices quoted to date are horrendous. If you know someone better than a ‘back-yarder’ but without the elitist price tag, we’d love to hear about it.

What’s Your opinion?


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81 Responses to
Realistic wedding photography in Canberra?
thatsnotme 10:20 pm 16 Mar 13

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd said :

Can you show me where I mentioned I even am a amateur photographer? I’m hopeless! Yet I know many amateur photographers, several who have done weddings for free and done a better job than any pro I ever seen.

And major lol @ making it look natural. All pros stage pictures. It’s impossible to make that look natural.

Stop trying to justify your ridic prices.

Ok, so you’re not actually coming from any position of experience at all then – not even as someone who can take a half decent photo.

You know what? I can make a ‘staged’ photo look natural. I’m not going to lie to you – I found it really hard to do that early on. With time and practice though, I’ve learned how to make a couple feel comfortable enough that they can be in a ‘staged’ environment, but they don’t look like they’re pretending. Mostly, because they’re not – I’m just lucky enough to be part of the joy and excitement they feel after becoming married.

Those photos are probably 10% of all the photos I’ll take on a day though. Surely you’re not trying to tell me that a the ‘first kiss’ is something I’ve staged? Or that moment when one of their voices cracks reading their vows, and their partner looks at them with an expression that is 100% compassion and love? I’m there to get that shot, and when I’m looking back at my coverage of a wedding, I’m far more proud of photos like that, than the shots where I’ve got time to think about what I’m doing.

So I’m done with responding to your posts – I’m proud of what I do, and I’m proud that when I say goodnight to the couple on their wedding day, their thanks to me is almost always warm and heartfelt. It tells me that I’ve managed to be a part of their day – not just a wedding day inconvenience that they need to suffer through. And I sure as hell feel no need to justify anything to you.

Apologies to the OP for the hijack – I hope your son and his fiancee end up with some photos they’re still smiling at 50 years from now.

poetix 10:08 pm 16 Mar 13

Pork Hunt said :

How can we be assured the wedding will be realistic?

Perhaps one of the parties will abstract herself.

OpenYourMind 9:24 pm 16 Mar 13

Yeah, I call BS. I’ve seen some lousy so called professional Wedding photographers. We had a few friends help out with photos at our wedding for next to nothing and we are incredibly happy with our photos. We made a point of not mentioning the ‘wedding’ word for anything to do with our wedding (wherever possible). Even though our cake wasn’t traditional, the cake maker knew it was for a wedding – ended up charging us $1000 and the cake was the worse thing about our wedding. I’m sorry, but just because someone sets themselves up as a ‘professional’ and has expenses, I’m not going to chip in and pay for them unless it is something really special and is priced similarly to if the same thing wasn’t for a wedding.

The other thing I knew about our wedding was that we weren’t going to do the $80 a plate, steak one person, chicken the next, steak the next. Every argument I’ve heard for overcharging for wedding catering is absolute crap.

A English comedy show a while back had an ongoing skit where a couple would approach various businesses such as florists and order flowers for say $60 (or UK pounds), then would accidentally mention it was for a wedding and automatically get the wedding price of $120 for same item.

Weddings, it sets you up as a target in the same way as looking like a tourist in a 3rd world country!

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd 8:31 pm 16 Mar 13

Can you show me where I mentioned I even am a amateur photographer? I’m hopeless! Yet I know many amateur photographers, several who have done weddings for free and done a better job than any pro I ever seen.

And major lol @ making it look natural. All pros stage pictures. It’s impossible to make that look natural.

Stop trying to justify your ridic prices.

Pork Hunt 7:43 pm 16 Mar 13

Ko. said :

Comic and Gamer Nerd will do an entire wedding album of screenshots for you for $13.50.

Source?

Deckard 7:28 pm 16 Mar 13

Ko. said :

Comic and Gamer Nerd will do an entire wedding album of screenshots for you for $13.50.

Hopefully he’ll post some screenshots of them here so we can critique them.

thatsnotme 6:25 pm 16 Mar 13

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd said :

thatsnotme said :

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd said :

oversampled said :

Sorry to break it to you, but professionals who are good enough to do a truly good job and not stuff up the most important life event you can photograph, and who aren’t ‘back-yarders’ usually ask a realistic amount for their work in Canberra because weddings are one of the few photographic jobs in this town where they can earn enough to pay for their rent, their equipment, their car, their house and so on, without going out of business in the quiet season.

You get what you pay for.

BS

In this day and age there are plenty of amateurs who understand how to use cameras effectively better than so called professionals.

Your mistake is to equate professional wedding photographer with simply knowing how to use a camera. It’s not.

Well, a wedding photographer would have that opinion, wouldn’t they?

Again, BS.

Just because someone is a amateur, doesn’t mean they don’t know as much as you, don’t have as much experience as you or don’t have the same gear as you.

Of course a wedding photographer would have that opinion. The fact of the matter is, I know what it’s like to shoot someone’s wedding, and you obviously don’t.

I fully realise that there are amateurs with the same – or better – gear than I’ve got. I fully realise that there are amateurs who have been taking photos for longer than I have. I fully realise that there are amateurs who likely have more theoretical knowledge than I have.

I also know that without having a good knowledge of how the day will flow, I’ll likely miss important shots. I know that without having the confidence to direct my couple during the day, their photos will end up looking awkward and staged. I know that at the end of the day if I’ve been able to build a rapport with my couple – a process that begins from the first time we meet – that their photos will look more comfortable and natural.

We’re talking about photographing someone’s wedding day here. I’m sure there are some amateurs that can just run with it and do a great job – but that’d be the exception, not the rule. A wedding day is about a hell of a lot more than pointing and clicking.

So how about before you go telling me my latest reply is BS, you tell me what experience you’ve had with wedding photography? Aside from sitting on the sidelines imagining you could do a better job?

Ko. 5:02 pm 16 Mar 13

Comic and Gamer Nerd will do an entire wedding album of screenshots for you for $13.50.

Mysteryman 4:58 pm 16 Mar 13

oversampled said :

Sorry to break it to you, but professionals who are good enough to do a truly good job and not stuff up the most important life event you can photograph, and who aren’t ‘back-yarders’ usually ask a realistic amount for their work in Canberra because weddings are one of the few photographic jobs in this town where they can earn enough to pay for their rent, their equipment, their car, their house and so on, without going out of business in the quiet season.

You get what you pay for.

THIS. You want good photos, you pay for them. If your son is the kind of person who can’t tell a good photo from a lousy one, then by all means pay bargain basement prices.

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd said :

BS

In this day and age there are plenty of amateurs who understand how to use cameras effectively better than so called professionals.

You are clearly one of the people who doesn’t know anything about photography. Yes, there are plenty of amateurs who can use a camera. And their photos are clearly amateur, sometimes even horrendous. But thankfully for them there are people like you who wouldn’t know the difference.

Pork Hunt 4:30 pm 16 Mar 13

How can we be assured the wedding will be realistic?

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd 4:11 pm 16 Mar 13

thatsnotme said :

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd said :

oversampled said :

Sorry to break it to you, but professionals who are good enough to do a truly good job and not stuff up the most important life event you can photograph, and who aren’t ‘back-yarders’ usually ask a realistic amount for their work in Canberra because weddings are one of the few photographic jobs in this town where they can earn enough to pay for their rent, their equipment, their car, their house and so on, without going out of business in the quiet season.

You get what you pay for.

BS

In this day and age there are plenty of amateurs who understand how to use cameras effectively better than so called professionals.

Your mistake is to equate professional wedding photographer with simply knowing how to use a camera. It’s not.

Well, a wedding photographer would have that opinion, wouldn’t they?

Again, BS.

Just because someone is a amateur, doesn’t mean they don’t know as much as you, don’t have as much experience as you or don’t have the same gear as you.

thatsnotme 9:19 am 16 Mar 13

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd said :

oversampled said :

Sorry to break it to you, but professionals who are good enough to do a truly good job and not stuff up the most important life event you can photograph, and who aren’t ‘back-yarders’ usually ask a realistic amount for their work in Canberra because weddings are one of the few photographic jobs in this town where they can earn enough to pay for their rent, their equipment, their car, their house and so on, without going out of business in the quiet season.

You get what you pay for.

BS

In this day and age there are plenty of amateurs who understand how to use cameras effectively better than so called professionals.

Your mistake is to equate professional wedding photographer with simply knowing how to use a camera. It’s not.

thatsnotme 9:13 am 16 Mar 13

Disclaimer – I’m a part time wedding photographer, which will obviously affect my opinions. I hope that this post is constructive though – certainly not having a go at the OP.

So what do you think is a fair price for what you’re wanting? And what range are we looking at for these ‘horrendous’ prices – does anything over $1,000 fall into that category?

oversampled is right – for a professional to keep a business viable, there’s a price they need to charge. When you consider that a pro is likely carrying around over $10,000 dollars worth of equipment at least, has to pay tax on your fee, insurance for their gear as well as liability insurance…and the list goes on…then you start to see that the fee you pay isn’t just profit going straight into their pocket.

On top of that, you should double the time that the photographer works on the day, to cover processing time to get your photos ready to hand over to you. That’s not extensive photoshop work – just making sure your photos are consistent, correctly exposed and coloured, and don’t include shots of you pulling some embarrassing face as you blink at just the wrong time. Basically minor work to make sure that your photos look as good as they possibly can.

Bargain basement photographers are going to have to cut corners somewhere along the line. Whether that’s down to using cheap gear, lack of experience, or just not bothering with editing after the fact, by paying a cheap price you’re less likely to be paying closer to what wedding photography is actually worth, and more likely to be paying for a poor result.

Personally, what you’re asking for (nothing fancy, just all your edited photos on disc ready for you to print) I charge from $1,450 for. I realise that while I’m not up in the high end, it’s also a lot of money – you’d better believe that I take time, care, and pride in my work, because I’d hate for someone to be disappointed for that price. If I was charging $500? Maybe I could justify to myself not taking as much care…

Finally, just one piece of advice if you do find someone who’s more in line with what you want to pay. Please please please ask to see a full wedding worth of photos that they’ve taken. It’s going to be far more representative of what your son and his fiancée will actually be paying for, than what you might see on their website or portfolio. Anyone can get lucky with a few shots that end up looking great – consistency is what you want from a wedding day though. Best of luck.

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd 7:44 am 16 Mar 13

oversampled said :

Sorry to break it to you, but professionals who are good enough to do a truly good job and not stuff up the most important life event you can photograph, and who aren’t ‘back-yarders’ usually ask a realistic amount for their work in Canberra because weddings are one of the few photographic jobs in this town where they can earn enough to pay for their rent, their equipment, their car, their house and so on, without going out of business in the quiet season.

You get what you pay for.

BS

In this day and age there are plenty of amateurs who understand how to use cameras effectively better than so called professionals.

oversampled 12:00 am 16 Mar 13

Sorry to break it to you, but professionals who are good enough to do a truly good job and not stuff up the most important life event you can photograph, and who aren’t ‘back-yarders’ usually ask a realistic amount for their work in Canberra because weddings are one of the few photographic jobs in this town where they can earn enough to pay for their rent, their equipment, their car, their house and so on, without going out of business in the quiet season.

You get what you pay for.

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